Is a Locum Tenens Job the Right Move for You as a CRNA?
One of the oldest positions in Nursing today is the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). This career path requires more advanced training than most other nursing roles but is correspondingly rewarding, with opportunities for employment and advancement in medical facilities throughout the United States.
Most medical professionals that put patients under anesthesia in rural settings, smaller practices, and in the military are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Multiple studies done by the American Society of Anesthesiologists show similarities in the care offered by Anesthesiologists and CRNAs. Since these findings, 15 states have voted to do away with the rule requiring that CRNAs must be supervised by a doctor.
There are a myriad of opportunities that exist for CRNAs after the successful completion of their CRNA program. Many locum tenens positions provide exciting perks and opportunities for a more simplified work-life balance. Earning your CRNA qualification is hard work; you deserve to enjoy all the perks a locum tenens role offers.
Below we delve into the reality of taking a locum tenens position as a CRNA and what steps you need to take to get there.
Different Locum Tenens Positions For Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists To Explore
Many different fields offer career paths in locum tenens work, including:
Female Pelvic Medicine
A Physician practicing Female Pelvic Medicine typically works with/also practices Reconstructive Surgery. Physicians practicing Female Pelvic Medicine also are referred to as Urogynecologists. These doctors specialize in the patient care of females with pelvic floor disorders and other reproductive system disorders.
Critical Care Medicine
Critical Care Medicine is also referred to simply as CCM. Physicians in Critical Care Medicine cover all significant components of emergency patient care and treat critically injured and critically ill people.
Complex Family Planning
Complex Family Planning is a field that covers the different methods of pregnancy termination, diagnostic procedures that confirm uterine and tubal pregnancy, ultrasounds, complex contraceptive services, sterilization services, gynecology-related surgeries, pain control, and more.
Physicians in Gynecologic Oncology focus on diagnoses and surgical management of conditions within or regarding female reproductive systems. Common cancers that a Physician in Gynecologic Oncology may see include cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, and more.
Physicians working in reconstructive surgery typically spend their days with patients with physical defects in the face, body, and reproductive systems. Reconstructive surgery is often compared to cosmetic surgery, but it is not the same. With reconstructive surgery, patients only see the operating room when defects need to be fixed for medical reasons.
A Physician working in Reproductive Endocrinology has special training in diagnosis, treatment, and patient care regarding infertility. Reproductive Endocrinologists typically perform surgeries, prescribe medicines, and consult on procedures like in vitro fertilization.
The Pros And Cons Of Locum Positions For Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
For Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, there are many perks that come with taking on a locum position. Let us explore some of these benefits, as well as some potential pitfalls that can arise when you are pursuing this career option.
Pro: Flexible Schedule
Many Physicians and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists take on locum tenens work to help them exert more control over their schedules. After all, Physicians in locum tenens positions have the final say over their hours during the contract negotiation phase, allowing them to take on only as many shifts as they want for each contract. This is especially beneficial as healthcare worker burnout has increased during the pandemic.
Pro: Create More Professional Connections
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who only accept permanent positions limit themselves in the number of connections they can make throughout their careers. By taking on more frequent locum tenens positions, CRNAs can create more professional relationships, giving them valuable networking opportunities to lead to more lucrative and fulfilling jobs.
Pro: Take On Opportunities At A Higher Rate Of Pay
There are many factors that go into the rates of pay for locum tenens positions, including the specialty, location, skillset, and the number of shifts required. However, on average, the overall salary for locum tenens positions is higher than permanent positions. This gives Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists the opportunity to earn more money while working in a job they love. Plus, you do not have to negotiate your contract alone - a locum tenens agency specializing in CRNA roles can help.
Pro: A Locum Tenens Opportunity Can Minimize Burnout
Healthcare professionals are experiencing burnout in record numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. While certain realities of working in medicine will always be from medical school to retirement, taking control of your schedule is a great way to minimize burnout. By exercising control over their hours, certified registered nurse anesthetists can regain more time for themselves and stop burnout before it takes over their life.
Additionally, the control offered by locum tenens contracts means that you have more say in the type of work you do. This increased control can potentially lead to increased job satisfaction overall.
Con: Location Choices May Be Limited
Usually, the hardest locum tenens positions to fill are the ones in less convenient locations. Taking these contracts can lead to a bigger boost in pay, but often involves taking a role in a more rural setting, or one that's less accessible. This may not be ideal if you do not drive, don't like to commute, or cannot get access to a car. Rural settings can provide unfamiliar challenges when it comes to your comfort of living and connectivity to your family.
Con: Finding Your Own Health Insurance
You are responsible for handling your healthcare insurance coverage if you are a Physician working locum tenens. While it is not extremely challenging to seek out your own health insurance, it is one more responsibility you have compared to Physicians in permanent positions.
Locum Tenens Average Salary for CRNAs
On average, locum tenens positions pay $32.45 more per hour than the equivalent permanent full-time role. The mean annual wage for a locum tenens CRNA is often considerably higher than one of a CNRA with a permanent position. When factoring an increased average salary/average hourly pay into locum tenens work, CRNAs can save time and work less while maintaining their lifestyle.
Suppose you are willing to travel and take on less-desirable contracts like those offered in rural areas. In that case, you could be looking at an even larger paycheck. Also, more challenging specialties can bring in even more money depending on the region.
There are a wide variety of locum tenens contracts available. Many CRNAs can also opt to add supplemental contracts into their existing schedule, maximizing their income even further.
Steps To Taking On A Locum Tenens Role as a CRNA
As you can see, there are many benefits to a locum tenens CRNA job and lots of opportunities to try it out throughout your career. However, getting started can be intimidating.
First, you will need to find a job, then fill out the application. If you are accepted, you will need to arrange everything from the licensing paperwork for that state to an apartment, rental car, and transportation to your new place of employment. You will also need to arrange for malpractice insurance, which most locum tenens workers must provide rather than being covered by their clinic or organization.
While it is possible to do this yourself, many people find the required paperwork complex and frustrating. Instead, why not partner with a locum tenens agency that can help?
At Health Carousel Locum Tenens, all our clients have full access to our technology-led recruitment tools, which can help them find the correct position and apply for it in minutes. Then, we offer a variety of credentialing, verification, and onboarding help as well, making it simple to ensure you are set up for success in your new role.
This assistance with logistics and paperwork allows you to put all your efforts into learning your new role, getting to know new colleagues, and settling into your latest workplace.
Let Health Carousel Locum Tenens Help You Find Your Next Locum Tenens CRNA Role
If you are interested in pursuing a locum tenens CRNA role, reach out to the recruitment specialists at Health Carousel Locum Tenens today. We can help you with all the details and logistics, allowing you to concentrate on what matters most – offering your patients the best possible care.
Get in touch today to learn more about how Health Carousel Locum Tenens can help you enter the exciting and challenging world of locum tenens work.