Anesthesia is one of the most important components of modern medicine. It can help sedate a patient, numb an area of the body, and make an operation much more comfortable for an ill or injured individual. Nurse anesthetists help doctors, anesthesiologists, and other medical staff keep patients safe and monitor their vital signs. So what does a high student have to do to become a nurse anesthetist? You need a four-year degree in nursing and a year or two of acute care experience before you can apply to a college to study as a nurse anesthetist. However, each school has its own requirements students must meet before applying for this master's degree program. Coursework includes a blend of classroom, lab simulations, and clinical practice. Some of these topics, like anatomy, physiology, and biology, will be familiar. However, you'll also study new topics like anesthesia, pain management, and clinical anatomy. Many states require that you be licensed and have the certified registered nurse anesthetist certification (CRNA) to work as a nurse anesthetist, so make sure you'll be able to work in the state in which you want to live.