CRNA Lookout 2023 and Beyond

If you’re looking for a lucrative career with growth opportunities well into the next decade, certified nurse anesthetists may be a field worth looking into. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimates a 9% growth for CRNAs through 2032 – with approximately 4,500 jobs becoming available. 

These advanced practice nurses play a vital role in caring for patients in a variety of settings – preparing and administering anesthesia while working with surgeons, anesthesiologists and other qualified health professionals. Their expertise and training allow CRNAs to provide anesthesia services in settings that would otherwise go without – and in many instances, make healthcare more cost-effective.

At this time, the supply and demand gap for CRNAs continues to widen with extreme staffing shortages in areas across the country. According to the National Council of State Boards, the average CRNA is 53 years old and 20% of the current CRNA workforce plans to retire by 2025.  

Staffing shortages can also be attributed to a variety of other factors, including: 

  • Fewer students enrolled in CRNA programs 
  • Intense educational and clinical demands (7-8 years) 
  • All CRNAs graduating from accredited programs after Jan. 1, 2025 must receive a doctoral degree 
  • Aging populations increasing the demand for anesthesia services 
  • Burnout and fatigue 
  • Shortages in rural areas. 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 45,000 CRNAs nationwide – and the national unemployment rate for this specialty is consistently lower than 1 percent. 

It should come as no surprise that with CRNAs ranking at the highest paying nurse specialty at $97.64/hour, new nurses are entering the pipeline and shortages should be remedied in the future. But for now, hospitals and healthcare providers are feeling the crunch, with patients experiencing increased wait times and cancelled procedures and facilities looking to fill gaps in care by outsourcing CRNA duties with on-demand staffing models and locum tenens positions. 

Nurse anesthetists have been providing care to patients in the U.S. for more than 150 years – first on the battlefields of the American Civil War and almost exclusively on the front lines of World War I. This profession has continued to grow and will continue to evolve by integrating cutting-edge technology into their practice, enhancing patient outcomes and expanding their scope of practice with more autonomy than ever before.  

In a profession that demands precision and skill, CRNAs are uniquely suited to the task – and are standing ready to bridge the gap in areas where patients need them the most.

Click here to search for CRNA jobs and more with SUMO Staffing!