How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Updated April 17, 2017

Nursing is an exciting field with many opportunities and speciality areas. One speciality area that is gaining popularity in nursing is Nurse Anesthesia. This article will describe what educational and work experience steps need to be taken in order to become a Nurse Anesthetist.

Enrol in a Bachelor's of Science (BSN) program. This program will take about 4 years of full time study to complete.

Graduate from the BSN program and pass the State Board of Nursing licensing exam.

Obtain a job as a nurse for a minimum of 1 year in an acute care setting.

Submit an application to an accredited School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Gain acceptance to and graduate from a nurse anaesthesia educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. A program will include 24 to 36 months of graduate course work including both classroom and clinical experience in the classroom. Curriculum will emphasise anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics and pharmacology as related to anaesthesia. The clinical component will provide experience with a variety of anaesthesia techniques and procedures for all types of surgery and obstetrics.

Pass the certification examination administered by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists or its predecessor.


It takes a minimum of seven calendar years of education and experience to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.


Course work to becoming a Nurse Anesthetist is very challenging but well worth it in the end.

Things You'll Need

  • A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing
  • One year’s experience in an acute care nursing setting
  • Graduation from an accredited school of nurse anaesthesia.
  • Passing score on the national certification examination for Nurse Anesthetists following graduation.
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author