Many CRNAs Expect Universal Healthcare to Lower Salaries
LocumTenens.com Nurse Anesthetist Salary Survey Finds
Eight-Percent Drop in Average Salary
This year's presidential election has sparked considerable
discussion about healthcare reform and decreasing the uninsured
U.S. population, but how do those on the frontlines of patient care
view the issue? More than half (52 percent) of certified registered
nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) responding to a recent nurse anesthetist
salary survey conducted by physician recruiting firm
LocumTenens.com said universal healthcare would negatively affect
their personal incomes.
Among 412 nurse anesthetist salary survey respondents, 37%
indicated the policy would have no effect on their earnings. Only
11% thought universal healthcare's effect on their personal incomes
would be positive. However, this is not to say that CRNAs generally
oppose universal healthcare.
"Based on the healthcare provider comments we've received
through several recent surveys, the term 'universal healthcare'
prompts visions of greater government control and bureaucracy,"
LocumTenens.com Senior Vice President Pamela McKemie said.
"However, a number of providers seem to think it's a policy whose
time has come, regardless of how it affects them personally."
CRNA comments related to universal healthcare included
"Willing to make a little less to help more
"(Universal healthcare) would increase the
demand for care and exacerbate shortages."
"Our country is long overdue for universal
healthcare. I don't care what it does to my pay. I would give up
substantial salary if our country would finally provide health care
[sic] free for everyone."
Nurse Anesthetist Salary Trends Identified
Forty percent of CRNA salary survey respondents said their 2007
income was about the same as (25%), or less than (15%), their
income in 2006. However, 37 percent reported an income increase of
2 to 9 percent and 23 percent reported an increase of 10 percent or
Overall 2008 CRNA annual compensation averaged $163,467.30,
roughly 92 percent of the average $178,084 for 2007 CRNA
respondents to the LocumTenens.com nurse anesthetist salary survey.
While 54 percent of respondents were employer-based, 42 percent had
worked as a locum tenens provider and 32 percent reported working
on a locum tenens or contract basis exclusively.
Like 2007 survey participants, this year's rural nurse
anesthetist salary survey respondents reported the highest salary
average relative to the metro or suburban CRNA salary averages
Twenty-five percent of 2008 CRNA salary survey respondents
reported practicing in rural areas; the rest of this year's CRNA
respondents were almost evenly split between major metro areas
(38%) and suburban areas (37%).
More than half of 2008 CRNA respondents (54%) said they had no
plans to change jobs. However, a quarter of respondents said they
planned to change jobs within the next year. Higher compensation
was the top reason for making a job change, as identified by 41
percent of respondents. Twenty percent said the top reason was to
seek a better community for themselves and their families, while
17% would be seeking a better work environment.
Most 2008 CRNA respondents (84%) said they would choose medicine
as a career again if given the choice.