CNN Reports Nurse Anesthetists Salary Outpacing Primary Care Doctors

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According to the latest annual salary report from Merritt Hawkins and Associates, a physician recruiting and consulting firm, certified nurse anesthetists, CRNA’s, are currently offered a base salary greater than that offered to primary care physicians.

The report states that in 2009 primary care doctors were offered an average base salary of 173,000. CRNA’s, on average, were paid $189,000. The firm predicts for 2010 that the figures may come closer to matching, but CRNA’s will likely continue to be paid more.

"It's the fourth year in a row that CRNAs were recruited at a higher pay than a family doctor," said Kurt Mosley, staffing expert with Merritt Hawkins & Associates.

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Although most physicians have more years of medical training than CRNA’s, the increasing number of surgical procedures has increased demand for the nursing specialists. The field is currently one of the top 10 recruited health care specialties.

Nurse anesthetists practice in any setting where anesthesia is administered including hospital operating rooms, obstetrical delivery rooms, and outpatient surgery centers. Some also work in private medical offices, such as dental offices, podiatrists, ophthalmologists and plastic surgeon offices. The CRNA’s role includes taking care of a patient’s anesthesia needs before, during, and after surgery or obstetrical procedure.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) estimates that CRNA’s administer 65% of the 32 million anesthetics given each year to patients in the United States. Unlike other nursing careers, about 40-45% of CRNA’s are men.

The Certified Nurse Anesthetists is an advanced practice nursing specialty that requires a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia and successful completion of a certification exam. Prior to acceptance into a nurse anesthesia academic program, one must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, have a current license as a registered nurse, and have at least one year of practice in an acute care setting. Academic programs are approximately two to three years in length and include clinical training. There are currently 109 accredited nurse anesthesia education programs in the United States.

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Comments

Primary Care is NOT a career worth pursuing. I don't care if you work at a VA outpatient clinic. No weekends, No Call is great, however, Primary Care overall STINKS. Become a specialist and do NOT go into Primary Care.
The key word here is "nurse". Very scary.
Nurses have been provided Anesthesia for many years and there are no studies that show a higher risk for patients or a worse outcome when anesthesia is provided by Nurses. Nurse Anesthetists provide safe anesthesia and they also provide the majority of anesthesia in ALL rural areas.
Crnas are worth every penny they are paid. The risk factor of anesthesia accounts for some of this. A pvp may deal with someone dying over the course of weeks to months. It happens in seconds to minutes in anesthesia. By the way, anesthesiologist's are paid twice to three times what a crna is compensated. The anesthesia given and techniques are the same between the two providers