How to Become a CRNA

The minimum education and experience to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) include:
  • A baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing or other appropriate major.
  • An unencumbered license as a registered professional nurse and/or APRN in the United States or its territories.
  • Critical care experience required prior to submitting application.

*Important note: This is the minimum education and experience required. Each program may have different admission requirements, important to carefully check each program’s admission requirements before applying.*



CRNA Programs are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).
  All nurse anesthesia programs in the United States award either a masters or doctoral degree. As of January 1, 2022, all nurse anesthesia programs within the United States must award a doctoral degree for entry into practice for students matriculating into a nurse anesthesia program. 

As of August 2019, there are 121 COA accredited programs in the United States and 91 of those programs award a doctoral degree for entry into practice. 

Upon graduation from an accredited CRNA program, the student must pass the National Certification Examination (NCE) administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Certification as a CRNA is maintained through the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) program by the NBCRNA. 

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