Among profitable healthcare degree lists, aside from a medical doctor's degree, one of the most lucrative academic healthcare degrees includes the nurse anesthesia master's degree. Graduates with this degree can expect to make anywhere between $78,450 to $168,000 in annual income, depending on employer and region. The reason for such demand is that the anesthesia expert is critical for surgical procedures going well. As a result, there is plenty of opportunity and positions in hospitals big and small across the country.
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The nurse anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist plays the key role in provide and regulating anesthesia during a surgery. No surprise then, anyone providing this chemical is literally in control of a patient's life and care in the process. So a huge amount of training and education needs to be taken and certified to ensure that the nurse when licensed operates with the best care and skill.
There is an extreme medical danger in intentionally causing a person to become unconscious, and it involves a critical monitoring of how much anesthesia is allowed into a person. There is not exact formula that defaults for everyone. Because of body size, health, weight and other factors, the formula can be different per patient. A nurse anesthetist has to recalculate the applied formula with every patient and make sure it's right, every time.
Getting Started Towards the Graduate Degree
There are prerequisites before even getting started with the masters in anesthesia. Every state has specific requirements, but they all include the following:
- A high school degree.
- A 4-year college degree.
- State licensing as a registered nurse (RN) through the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.
- A year of practical, hands-on service works in acute-care nursing.
It is also possible for a nurse to take the licensed practical nurse, or LPN, path to completing an undergraduate nurse program. Many nurses go this path because it can be less demanding than the RN path. The assumption is that the LPN training, which does not have as many demands as the RN, makes it easier for a nurse to adjust to the college education process. As a result, by the time the nurse goes after a graduate degree, there's a higher success potential. The argument is debatable, and both sides of LPN and RN nurses will argue their perspective is better. That said, both undergraduate degrees with requisite practical time open the door to the master's degree in nurse anesthesia.
There is no question that the nurse anesthetist degree pays very well; this is confirmed by data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with the increasing demand of baby boomers entering retirement and older age, medical facilities will see more nursing needs overall. That said, it's not going to be the easiest healthcare degree to earn by a long shot. Because of this high hurdle, many nurses are unable to pursue this level of education and many positions remain vacant as a result. As long as this dynamic continues, the nursing anesthetist degree and the income it can earn will remain a high pinnacle among PROFITABLE HEALTHCARE DEGREE choices.