According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, a person aspiring to become a certified nurse anesthetist must have a bachelor's degree in nursing or an equivalent. The individual must also have a registered nurse license, at least one year of acute-care experience and ahve successfully completed an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program as well as the national certification examination, as of 2014.
In addition, aspiring students must have at least an overall GPA rating of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in chemistry, microbiology, human anatomy and human physiology. The length of time that it takes to become a certified nurse anesthetist is of significant importance for a number of reasons, according to Health Careers Network. The four years a degree course takes allows students to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.
Becoming a nurse anesthesiologist often requires a master's degree as well, which can take an additional 24 to 36 months. To some students, this is a lengthy process, and many resort to less stringent requirements. The undergraduate program also prepares students to face the rigorous postgraduate study. Additional post-graduate training mostly involves more focused coursework in anesthesia and in monitoring for signs and symptoms while the patients are unconscious.