A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) salary is typically the highest among advanced practice nurses, with an average salary of $143,521 per year. Several factors contribute to CRNA salary levels. CRNAs are certified to administer all types of anesthesia for all types of surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The role of the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is highly complex and stressful, requiring close attention to detail, an acute sense of impending potential problems based on the most subtle of signs, and the ability to act quickly in response to those signs. It is not hyperbolic to say that patient’s lives are in the hands of the CRNA. In rural communities, CRNAs are often in independent practice, so are the sole providers of anesthesia care. In addition, there is a level of competition between CRNAs and anesthesiologists, who are among the highest paid physicians.
Employment Outlook for CRNAs
CRNAs are in extremely high demand, with an employment rate expected to increase by 31% by 2024, a faster than usual growth rate. Factors influencing this high demand include recent healthcare legislation, and the aging of the baby boomer generation. With the aging population, there is a related increase in chronic disease requiring diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical intervention. More procedures are being performed in ambulatory surgery centers, and in physician offices, which also increases the need for anesthesia care. Expansion of insurance coverage has made procedures more affordable and accessible, again, increasing the need for anesthesia care.
CRNAs work in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, pain management centers, dental practices, and plastic surgery practices. CNRAs are able to practice without physician supervision, and practice independently in many rural or lower population hospital settings. They are the major providers of anesthesia in the Armed Forces, as well. Industries with the highest level of employment of CRNAs include;
- Physician offices,
- Hospital settings,
- Outpatient/ambulatory care centers,
- Colleges, universities and professional schools,
- Federal Executive Branch (federal, state, and local government) entities.
States with the highest employment rate for CRNAs include;
- North Carolina
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Salary
CRNAs are the highest paid among Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN); Payscale.com quotes a median annual salary range of $105,400 to $252,460 for CRNAs, with an average annual salary of $143,521. Potential salary may be greater, dependent on state and city of residence, years of experience, and the organizational structure of the employing agency.
Table 1: CRNA Salary; National and Top Ten States
|State||25th Percentile||Average/Median Salary||Average Hourly Pay|
Table 2: Top paying industries for CRNAs
|Industry||Average Annual Salary|
|Outpatient/Ambulatory Care Centers||$194,400|
|Specialty Hospitals (except psych and substance abuse)||$178,920|
|Federal Executive Branch (federal, state and local government)||$168,580|
Table3: CRNA Salary Compared with Other Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)
|Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist||$169,450|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||$107,460|
|Clinical Nurse Specialist||$103,801|