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A Guide to Locum Tenens for CRNAs

If you’re considering becoming a locum tenens nurse, it’s never been a better time to start.


A Latin phrase meaning “to hold the place of,” locum tenens is all about filling in temporary roles across the country to help medical facilities in need of staffing. Since its inception, locum tenens has exploded in popularity, and now more than 80% of hospitals in some way rely on locum tenens clinicians.


At the same time, the position of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) has enjoyed a simar rise in popularity. Because they fill a function that’s in higher demand, CRNAs have access to a wide range of permanent and locum tenens opportunities.


Read on for a full picture of what the current employment landscape holds for CNRAs who might be considering a future in locum tenens.


CRNA – A Healthcare Position on the Rise

The  US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the job market for CNRAs will grow by a rate of 13% from 2020 to 2030.  This means that the number of nurses working as CNRAs will increase from roughly 44,200 in 2020 to roughly 49,800 in 2030.


Due in large part to the great demand for CNRAs, the compensation offered for open positions is generally quite good. In fact, Nurse.org ranked the CNRA position at the top of its list of the highest paid nurses of 2022 with an average annual salary of $181,000.


In addition to commanding high salaries, CRNAs are generally widely respected for their work. This comes from no less an authority than US News & World Report, which ranked the CRNA position eighth on its list of the “Best Health Care Jobs in 2022.”



Primary Benefits of CRNA Locum Tenens Work

Nurses who enjoy a great deal of autonomy are drawn to the CRNA position for the freedom it affords them in the operating room, surgical facility, or intensive care unit. CRNAs can further this professional freedom in other ways by choosing a locum tenens position.


Locum tenens work is particularly popular among people who don’t want to be tied to a specific geographical location for an extended period of time. If you have a passion for travel, you can use your vacations to scout out places that you would like to explore more fully. Then you can look for work in these places to get paid while you explore.


Beyond giving you the freedom to travel, locum tenens positions tend to pay considerably more than others in the CRNA field.


It is also generally easy for CRNAs to qualify for locum tenens work. Unlike other medical clinicians who might face significant licensing barriers when trying to work out of state, CRNAs can typically work across state lines with a minimum of red tape.


Other benefits of locum tenens CRNA work include….

  • Broad professional exposure – By traveling to different practice settings, locum tenens CRNAs not only get the opportunity to prove themselves in these settings but get a far more complete picture of the CRNA position and its various modalities.
  • Broad destination choices – Locum tenens CRNAs work in all kinds of communities across the United States. You can choose to locate to a wide range of rural or urban environments in areas of relatively low or relatively high population density.
  • Schedule flexibility – Locum tenens positions for CRNAs are widely available on either a part-time or full-time basis. By scheduling your locum tenens work on your own terms, you can make sure that you can get the time off that you want or need.
  • Fewer administrative duties – Although administration may play a prominent role in certain locum tenens job descriptions, CRNAs who want to avoid administrative duties can often do so by working locum tenens. Because they only work in the same place for a few weeks or months, locum tenens CRNAs are generally left free to concentrate strictly on clinical matters and patient care.


Is Locum Tenens CRNA the Right Career Path for You?

It is impossible to determine for certain if locum tenens CRNA work is right for you without a great deal of personal thought and professional reasoning. Although there are many factors to consider, you can get a better idea of its various benefits as well as its drawbacks by continuing your independent research. When you’re ready to do so, make sure to reach out to an agency recruiter (or a few!) to learn more.

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