Can CRNA Students Sign a Contract with a Hospital or Anesthesia Group While Still in School?
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced-practice nurses who specialize in the administration and management of anesthesia. They are also one of the highest-paid advanced-practice nurse specialties. They are also in high demand- the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth of 16% by the year 2026.
Because CRNAs are in high demand, it is not uncommon for hospitals to begin recruiting students. Depending on the state, some CRNA students can sign contracts while still in school, and employment is contingent on becoming licensed. In other states, licensing is required first.
Many hospitals offer employment contracts with CRNA students, advertising student loan reimbursement, benefits packages, etc. It's a good idea to read these contracts closely. Sometimes students are dazzled by the loan reimbursement, but realize the pay or benefits aren't that great. Also, sometimes a length of time of employment is outlined in the contract, and the new graduate decides a specific work area or organization is not a good fit for them- and they are stuck. There may be a possibility to "buy out" of a contract, but it would take time and money out of pocket to do so.
CRNA students should read any contract carefully, and possibly have an attorney advise. Identifying the positive and negative aspects of a contract is a must to determine what component is of most value to the individual. Additionally, CRNA students are strongly encouraged to check their state's board of registered nursing to see if licensing is needed before signing a contract.