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March 15, 2023
Healthcare Professionals

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) play a crucial role in our healthcare system. They provide essential anesthesia services in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, including Surgeons, Dentists, and Anesthesiologists. Today CRNAs are in high demand to meet the healthcare needs of a wide range of patients. CRNAs who work as locum tenens can fill roles in areas where healthcare access is limited or providers are not currently available to meet patients' needs.

The demand for CRNAs

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists practice anesthesia services in any setting where necessary. Your expertise may be put to good use as a locum tenens employee in the following facilities:

  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Critical access hospitals
  • In-office surgical and medical procedures
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Military bases
  • Prisons
  • Public health facilities

The opportunities for these positions also cover a wide range of specialties. For example, CRNAs have the opportunity to work in clinical settings, from dental clinics and plastic surgery to obstetrics delivery rooms and small rural hospitals where other medical procedures are practiced. The demand for CRNA locum tenens workers is highest right now in rural and critical access facilities that may lack medical advancements. These areas are where a Nurse Anesthetist can provide essential services that otherwise would not be available in a smaller hospital outside large metropolitan areas, granting job satisfaction. For example, the highest paying CRNA positions right now are in rural areas of upstate New York and smaller cities like Duluth, MN, Ann Arbor, MI, and Green Bay, WI.

Trends in the CRNA job market

In addition to full-time jobs at one facility, there are also many opportunities for certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to work in locum tenens positions. These positions are available throughout the U.S. in a variety of different settings such as outpatient care centers, hospitals, public health facilities, and many more settings where Nurse Anesthetists’ work is needed. They allow CRNAs to explore different areas of practice, live in new cities, and provide healthcare services where it is most needed. Locum tenens agencies can help Registered Nurses interested in this type of job search.

Critical providers in rural healthcare settings

Many of the jobs available for CRNAs today are in rural communities. These communities are often designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as medically underserved areas because they don’t have enough qualified healthcare professionals to meet the population's needs.

Since Nurse Anesthetists have the skills to provide critical anesthesia care, many limited care and rural healthcare facilities desperately need these skills. They may also need the skills of Nurse Practitioners and nurses that can provide other medical procedures in their rural healthcare facilities. CRNAs are the sole anesthesiology service provider for about two in three rural hospitals across the U.S. In some states, they are the only provider for 100% of rural hospitals.

Broader job opportunities without supervision

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) compiles a report every year looking at trends in providers throughout the U.S. Their 2021 report predicts a shortage of up to 77,100 specialty Physicians by 2034. Some occupations that face a shortage are nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, medical doctors, and more. As many as 30,200 of those shortages are predicted in the surgical specialties.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, like many other advanced Practice Clinicians, can fill a critical role as locum tenens workers. There are currently 19 states where CRNAs can practice Nurse Anesthetist work without a Physician supervision requirement. This is especially helpful in rural communities or areas with healthcare professional shortages since it can be difficult to find enough Physicians to meet supervisory requirements. States that opt-out of the requirement increases access for patients who need it most.

Best places for CRNA jobs

There is a high demand for Nurse Anesthetists all over the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the demand for Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse-Midwives will grow by 45% over the next 10 years, which is significantly higher than the average job growth for other professions.

Demand for Nurse Anesthetists’ work is very high in states with large rural populations, including:

  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

Locum tenens agencies can help CRNAs find the right job listings in the location(s) where they want to practice. Whether you prefer to move around the country or you want to stay in your local area to provide care, it is easier to find locum tenens jobs when you work with a well-connected locum tenens agency.

The average pay for CRNA locum tenens providers

The BLS lists the average CRNA salary nationally at $189,190, or about $90 per hour. Locum tenens CRNA positions average between $100 and $120 per hour, depending on the location and facility type where you practice. However, there are many areas in the U.S. where the annual salary for CRNAs is much higher. That is especially true in rural areas without enough qualified Nurse anesthesia providers, and the locum tenens pay in these areas can be as high as $165 per hour.

Where and how to look for CRNA jobs

There are several different ways you can look for jobs as a CRNA. The specific method that works best for you will depend on the type of CRNA career you want, your salary needs, job satisfaction, and where you want to work.

  • Professional organization job boards: Organizations like the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) have job boards on their website where you can browse for open positions throughout the U.S.
  • Networking groups: Organizations like the AANA also have networking opportunities to connect with other Nurse Anesthetists and healthcare professionals through committees, events, workshops, and more.
  • Online job boards: Find open positions by searching for CRNA by location or company with online job boards like Gaswork.com and Esthesia.com.
  • Locum tenens CRNA agencies: A locum tenens agency can help you find Registered Nurse positions all over the U.S., including temporary or short-term positions in areas with the highest need. These locum tenens positions can also result in permanent placement as a CRNA if that’s what you prefer for your career.

How to find a locum tenens agency to advocate for you

A locum tenens agency can help you find the perfect CRNA locum tenens placement or help current working locum tenens find better assignments.

Do your research to find an agency that helps with:

  • Finding and notifying you about the right jobs based on the location, hours, or type of work you want as a CRNA. There are many different options, including temporary postings, short-term positions, long-term positions, and permanent placement for full- and part-time jobs.
  • Getting paid the maximum pay rate. Nationally, CRNAs make an average of between $100 and $120 per hour, but the highest-paid Nurses will likely be in areas with the highest demand. Your locum tenens agency can help you find the opportunities that pay the best and have the shift schedules you want.
  • Negotiating benefits on your behalf with a future employer. Benefits, call schedules, and other details of CRNA locum tenens positions can vary widely. It is important to have someone on your side who knows how to negotiate to get the position that best meets your needs.
  • Filling out all the appropriate employment paperwork and explaining pay, benefits, and other essential employment details.
  • Completing all the necessary steps to get credentialed in your new position. Job positions may require you to take the national council licensure examination or have a specialized graduate education. Licensing and credentialing can be long and frustrating processes that could delay your ability to start a new position for weeks or months without the right help.
  • Anything and everything else that goes along with finding a new job in a new town, such as relocation, housing, and transportation.

You can also look for third-party affiliations, like a membership with the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO), to confirm that a staffing agency is going to provide you with quality referrals and assistance for top CRNA locum jobs.

Advance your career as a CRNA with help from Health Carousel Locum Tenens

Finding a top locum tenens agency like Health Carousel Locum Tenens can set you up for a rewarding career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in places where patients need you the most. We are a top 10 agency that advocates for the highest pay rates and best benefits for our candidates. By working with our specialty-specific team, we can help you find the positions that best fit your personal and career goals.

Talk to us today to learn more about CRNA jobs.