Nurse Practitioner VS. Nurse Anesthetist

Both Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Nurse Anesthetist are advance-practice nurses.

However, education, job responsibilities, and salary differ for these jobs.


NPs and certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) have to complete masters or doctorate studies.

There is a set of essential studies in advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, health assessment, and other advanced practice roles.

The clinical rotations are also required for both certificates.

Some programs offer education for both of the programs and have a bit of cross-over.

It means that the pathophysiology course can focus on the anesthetics elements.

After you complete core studies, you will have to start the specialty courses.

In that case, NPs focus more on the pediatric or adult health care, or other fields such as acute care, psychiatry, etc.

For anesthetist nurses, the specialty courses include learning more about anesthesia and research.

The duration of both programs is approximately the same.

Job Responsibilities

A nurse practitioner’s job duties differ significantly from the job duties of a nurse anesthetist.

They start in the same manner – taking the complete history, but NP is responsible for providing care for a patient in a long-term care facility or acute care in other facilities.

NPs may focus on prevention as well.

On the other hand, the role of a nurse anesthetist is different.

A CRNA is responsible for administering sedation and introducing anesthesia.

Anesthetist nurses’ responsibility is also to monitor the patient during a certain procedure, inserting epidural or central lines.

Therefore, nurse anesthetists must know about anesthesia medication and adverse reactions to be able to adjust the treatment and react on time.


Nurse anesthetists earn a bit more than nurse practitioners.

The data from the Payscale showed that the average salary of a nurse anesthetist is $142.424 per year.

For comparison, the average yearly salary of a nurse practitioner is $92.433.

The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also showed a discrepancy between the salaries of nurse practitioner and a nurse anesthetist.

According to their data, nurse anesthetist earns $160.270 per year on average, while NP annually earns $103.880.

The location – city and the state affect the salary.

The top-paying states for NPs are different from the top-paying state s for nurse anesthetists.

For example, California, Alaska, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Connecticut are the top-paying states for NPs.

On the other hand, the top-paying states for anesthetist nurses are Montana, Nevada, California, Wyoming, and Oregon.

However, other factors affect the salary as well.

Those include professional experience, education, city, facility, etc.

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