May I get your opinion plz?

What do you feel is the current and future impact of CRNA’s on Anesthesiologists? With regards to their employability and salaries I mean.

I have nothing against nurses (my dear, sweet mother was an RN, RIP) but nowadays I hear a few ANP’s saying they should be paid like the MD/DO because they can do just as good a job. Not just the CRNA’s either. NP’s in family practice want more cash too. I think it’s fueled by the $160k+ the CRNA’s are raking in.

When I hear that I feel like the ANA is slapping doctors in the face. Now, I know there are people on both sides that see no gray area. I speak for nobody but myself. As much as I respect and love nurses and nursing, from a practice and clinical standpoint they’re not physicians. They’re mandating now to have all NP programs be at the doctorate level by 2015 (CRNA’s by 2025 I believe).

I can see the congressional argument now: “We are doctors as well with DNP degrees. As such our salaries should reflect that. The growing need for primary care providers can be met with a NP just as well with a physician.”

While I can see that is partially true, where does this end? My mom used to tell us as kids if given an inch some people want to take a mile. If something like this is agreed upon it won’t be long before the ANA affixes a tag on surgical procedures (just say it’s in the NURSING model and not the MEDICAL model). Nurses have a level of autonomy & prescription authority and they now want the mile.

This is going to infuriate some and I understand that. I know that CRNA’s will jump up to say they had a BSN, 2-3 years in an ICU & 36 months of CRNA school for a total of 10 years of perceived nurse training. Remember, this is nursing in the NURSING model not the MEDICAL model. Their words not mine. A doctor can get into medical school with a degree in liberal arts, go to med school & do a residency of 4 years in anesthesia. Total relevant medical experience: 8 years.

Hold on Mr or Mrs CRNA. I know a few BSN curriculums. Only the last TWO years are in nursing. Science pre-req’s are General Bio, A&P and Micro (and Intro Chem for a year). The work schedule in an ICU as an RN is 3 (maybe 4 if short staffed) shifts per week at 12-hrs per shift. Then you take the GMAT for admission. CRNA school I must say is pretty cool-looking though. Can’t say anything about what I really haven’t seen, been around or experienced. National certification exam after school. After that the six-figure jobs flow like the mighty Mississippi.

An anesthesiologist that was a History major has general med school pre-req’s. A year each of Bio, Gen Chem, Org Chem, Gen Phys & at least a semester of Calculus. The MCAT: 'nuff said. Four years of medical school (first two are didactic, last two are clinical rotations for full calendar years). Residency? Four years. while a nurse (from the nurses I know) often works 72 hours every two-week pay period, a resident Anesthesiologist is going to put in 80+ hours WEEKLY. Did I mention the USMLE (or COMLEX for DO’s) exams? Then after residency, board certification exam.

Make your money and to each his own. But please don’t say the two are equal. They are not. At least to me.