CRNA Colleges in Washingtonington: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re considering a career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Washington, it’s essential to explore the available CRNA colleges in the state. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to CRNA colleges in Washington, including information about the top colleges, their programs, admission requirements, and other relevant details.

What is CRNA All About and Reasons To Pursue A Career In The Field

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who specialize in providing anesthesia care to patients in a variety of healthcare settings. Here’s a summary of what CRNAs do and reasons why you might consider pursuing a career as a CRNA:

1. Anesthesia Expertise:

CRNAs are highly skilled professionals who administer anesthesia to patients before, during, and after surgical or medical procedures. They work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare professionals to ensure patient safety and comfort during anesthesia administration.

Education and Training: To become a CRNA, you must complete a Master’s or Doctoral degree in nurse anesthesia. The educational program includes rigorous coursework in advanced physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and anesthesia principles.

2. Autonomy and Responsibility:

CRNAs often work independently and have a high level of autonomy in their practice. They are responsible for assessing patients, determining appropriate anesthesia plans, administering anesthesia, monitoring patients’ vital signs, and managing pain during and after procedures. This level of responsibility allows CRNAs to play a critical role in patient care.

3. Versatile Career Opportunities:

CRNAs are in demand and can work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, surgical centers, dental offices, obstetric units, pain management clinics, and the military. This versatility provides opportunities for career growth, specialization, and the chance to work in different healthcare environments.

4. High Earning Potential: CRNAs are among the highest-paid nursing professionals. Their specialized skills and responsibilities often come with competitive salaries. Additionally, CRNAs may have the opportunity to earn additional income through overtime, on-call shifts, or working in high-demand areas or specialties.

5. Job Outlook and Demand: The demand for CRNAs continues to grow due to factors such as an aging population, increased need for surgical procedures, and expanded roles of APRNs in healthcare. This strong job outlook provides stability and potential job opportunities in various geographic locations.

6. Patient Care and Impact: Becoming a CRNA allows you to have a direct impact on patient care and outcomes. You are involved in every step of the anesthesia process, ensuring patient safety, pain management, and comfort during procedures. Being able to provide vital support to patients during critical moments can be rewarding and fulfilling.

Considerations for Choosing a CRNA College in Washington

When choosing a CRNA college in Washington, there are several important factors to consider. These factors include accreditation, faculty expertise, clinical opportunities, and alumni success.

Accreditation is a crucial aspect to consider when selecting a CRNA college. Accreditation ensures that the program meets the highest standards of quality and prepares students for the challenges of the profession. The COA is the accrediting body for nurse anesthesia programs in the United States. It is important to choose a CRNA college that holds accreditation from the COA, as it guarantees that the program meets the necessary educational standards.

Faculty expertise is another vital consideration. Look for colleges that have experienced faculty members who are actively engaged in clinical practice and research. Faculty members with extensive experience in the field can provide valuable insights and mentorship to students, enhancing the learning experience.

Clinical opportunities play a significant role in the education of CRNAs. Look for colleges that provide a wide range of clinical rotations at reputable healthcare institutions. The opportunity to work with diverse patient populations and gain exposure to different clinical settings will greatly enhance your learning and prepare you for the challenges of anesthesia practice.

Alumni success is an important indicator of a college’s reputation and the quality of its program. Research the achievements of alumni from the CRNA colleges you are considering. Find out if they have successfully passed their certification exams and secured desirable employment opportunities. Alumni success can give you confidence in the program’s ability to provide a strong foundation for your future career.

CRNA Education and Requirements:

Before we delve into the CRNA colleges in Washington, it is important to understand the education and requirements necessary to become a CRNA. To become a CRNA, individuals must first earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a licensed RN, gain experience in an acute care setting, and finally, complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with a specialization in nurse anesthesia. CRNA programs typically take between 24 to 36 months to complete

CRNA Colleges in Washington:

1. Gonzaga University – Spokane:

Gonzaga University offers a highly regarded CRNA training program in collaboration with Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The program is designed for nurses with a bachelor’s degree who wish to become advanced practice nurses in anesthesia.

Gonzaga University’s Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program provides a comprehensive education in anesthesia theory, pharmacology, and clinical practice.

Admission Requirements:

To be considered for admission to CRNA programs in Washington, prospective students typically need to meet certain requirements, which may include:

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a related field from an accredited institution.

A current and unrestricted Registered Nurse (RN) license.

Critical care experience, preferably in an adult intensive care unit (ICU).

Competitive Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Letters of recommendation.

A personal statement outlining career goals and reasons for pursuing the CRNA profession.

Program Curriculum:

The curriculum of CRNA programs in Washington is designed to provide students with a comprehensive education in anesthesia theory, pharmacology, and clinical practice.

The didactic phase covers topics such as physiology, pathophysiology, anesthesia principles, and research methods.

The clinical phase involves hands-on experience in various clinical settings, allowing students to gain practical skills in anesthesia administration, patient monitoring, and management.

Must-Know Highlights For Potential Gonzaga University CRNA Students

• Gonzaga University CRNA program boasts of an excellent employment rate since 1979. The consistently high employment rate is a great indicator of the employable training its CRNA graduates receive.

• Gonzaga University’s CRNA program, since 1979, has reported an excellent pass rate on the CRNA certification exam.

• Gonzaga University CRNA students have the advantage of practicing clinical skills without any competition from other nursing students. This means that Gonzaga’s CRNA students are provided with more clinical opportunities, having almost 95% of cases at any clinical site assigned to them. Also, here, the clinical learning starts in the second semester, earlier than most other CRNA programs in the nation.

• Gonzaga University’s CRNA program stands out for offering one of the smallest student-to-faculty ratios of 16:1 in the country. The small-sized CRNA class is beneficial in helping you reach your individual academic & career goals.

• Gonzaga University’s CRNA program comes with a competitive tuition cost compared to most other CRNA programs in the nation.

Other Considerations

Gonzaga University is currently the only school in Washington offering a CRNA training program.

Washington is ranked #30 in the total number of CRNA schools in the United States, indicating limited options within the state.

However there are other crna schools in neighbouring states like Oregon you can attend.

Crna Career Outlook in Washington

The career outlook for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in Washington is generally positive, with a growing demand for advanced practice nurses in anesthesia.

The healthcare industry in Washington, like in many other states, is experiencing an increased demand for healthcare services, including surgical procedures. As a result, the need for CRNAs to provide anesthesia care is also growing.

CRNAs in Washington can find employment in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, clinics, and private practices. Additionally, there may be opportunities for CRNAs to work in academic institutions, research settings, or pursue leadership roles within the field.

CRNAs in Washington typically earn a competitive salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage for nurse anesthetists in Washington is higher than the national average.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in Washington typically earn between $210,732 and $244,677 per year.

This is 20% higher than the national average salary for CRNAs, which is $202,470 per year or $97.34 per hour.

The career outlook for CRNAs in Washington is promising, with a growing demand for advanced practice nurses in anesthesia. CRNAs can expect a range of job opportunities, competitive salaries, and the ability to make a significant impact on patient care.


If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a CRNA in Washington, Gonzaga University’s CRNA program is a reputable option to consider. It offers a comprehensive curriculum, hands-on clinical experiences, and the opportunity to become an advanced practice nurse in anesthesia. Ensure that you meet the admission requirements and carefully research the program to make an informed decision about your educational journey towards becoming a CRNA in Washington.

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