Nurse Anesthetists Seek Flexibility, Financial Rewards: Recruiting Firm Survey Shows Most CRNAs Would Repeat Career Choice

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CRNAs (certified registered nurse anesthetists) enjoy flexibility and generous compensation, according to survey results released today by recruiting firm LocumTenens.com. Seventy-one percent (71%) of the 417 full- and part-time CRNAs responding to the recruiting firm's recent on-line questionnaire said they have worked as a locum tenens (temporary) anesthesia provider, while another 28% said they would consider it. Based on its 2006 survey, LocumTenens.com pegs the average annual U.S. nurse anesthetist salary at $164,172, a 10% increase over the 2005 average of $149,147.

CRNAs (certified registered nurse anesthetists) enjoy flexibility and generous compensation, according to survey results released today by recruiting firm LocumTenens.com. Seventy-one percent (71%) of the 417 full- and part-time CRNAs responding to the recruiting firm’s on-line questionnaire in June 2006 said they have worked as a locum tenens (temporary) anesthesia provider, while another 28% said they would consider it.

Based on its 2006 survey, LocumTenens.com pegs the average annual U.S. nurse anesthetist salary at $164,172, a 10% increase over the 2005 average of $149,147. The recruiting firm’s 2006 survey results indicate that 97% of CRNAs earn salaries of more than $90,000 per year, while 40% earn more than $170,000 per year. More than a third of respondents (36%) earn between $130,000 and $170,000.

“An increasing number of surgical procedures and a continuing shortage of anesthesiologists in many areas of the country are creating more competition among healthcare organizations for qualified anesthesia providers,” LocumTenens.com Vice President Lisa Kaeck said. “Many CRNAs are discovering the locum tenens option lets them work when they want, go where they’re needed, and get paid well for it.”

Kaeck said the salary data also reflect the additional education and training one must receive in order to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist, including:

  •      A bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) or other appropriate baccalaureate degree
  •      A current license as a registered nurse
  •      At least one year of experience as a registered nurse in an acute care setting
  •      Graduation with a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program

Satisfied Professionals

LocumTenens.com’s survey results paint a picture of CRNAs as a stable and satisfied group of professionals, based on statistics like these:

  •      Two-thirds (66%) of respondents have been practicing CRNAs for more than 10 years.
  •      Fifty-four percent (54%) have no plans to change jobs.
  •      Ninety-one percent (91%) would choose to become a CRNA if they had their careers to plan again.

Only about a quarter of the survey respondents indicated they planned to change jobs within the next year, while another 20% envision a job change in the next two to three years. Forty percent (40%) of responding CRNAs said the number-one factor that would influence them to change jobs is the potential for higher compensation.

Top reasons for potentially seeking a job change:

Higher compensation                             40%

Better work environment                         23%

Better community for self/family             15%

Nineteen percent (19%) cited lifestyle-related considerations like location, work schedule, family concerns, retirement or benefits as potential motivators for changing jobs. For a copy of the survey results visit http://www.locumtenens.com/CRNAcomp-06.

Founded in 1995, LocumTenens.com is a full-service physician/CRNA recruiting firm specializing in supplemental placement of anesthesiologists, radiologists, psychiatrists, surgeons and CRNAs with U.S. hospitals, medical groups and community health centers. LocumTenens.com is part of the Jackson Healthcare Staffing family of companies. To learn more, visit the company’s web sites at http://www.locumtenens.com/crna-careers/main.aspx and http://www.crnajobs.com/.

Sample of comments from survey respondents:

“I have been a CRNA for 26 years and thoroughly enjoy my profession. I work in a university medical center, but also enjoy the autonomy of doing locum tenens work from time to time.”

"I am very happy as a CRNA. For the last several years, I have done locum work and find this very satisfying in my present stage in life. It allows me to have off when I want it, but also affords me a good pay scale."

“Great profession! Always in demand! Good autonomy! Can work anywhere anytime! Locums allows one to be in control of one's time/schedule. Excellent compensation."

"Tremendously rewarding career with tremendous flexibility: hospital or office based, able to select working hours/days."

"I believe that LT work is the best of both worlds, best compensation and retirement and time to work determined by yourself."

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Billie Wickstrom
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