Experience for NP vs. CRNA

  1. Hi all,
    I'm sure there are many threads covering similar topics but I'm looking for some guidance...
    I am an RN with my BSN, PHN, CNOR with 6 years experience. I have worked in the OR my entire career in addition to per diem positions in pre-op/PACU. I would really like to continue my education and go on for my NP or CRNA. I still haven't decided which one to pursue... any advice? NP seems to have a wide spectrum of patient care and many job opportunities, while CRNA makes almost double the salary but jobs on the west coast are not as common? What do you think? In addition I am trying to transfer to the ICU for my required experience if CRNA is the route I take. What experience should I aim for at this point that will cover me for NP or CRNA? Does the ICU give me the needed experience for both? Thank you for your advice
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    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 7; Likes: 3


  3. by   Ruby Vee
    since i am neither an np or a crna, my advice may not mean anything to you. since i work with both, perhaps it will.

    if you've worked in the or for six years, you have a far better idea than most nurses who start anesthesia school what exactly a crna does. if it isn't calling to you, it probably isn't for you. graduate school is expensive in time, money, work and sacrifice. if crna isn't something that you really, really want, maybe it's not worth it.

    icu experience is valuable whether you ultimately decide to go to anesthesia school or decide you want to go the np route. any icu -- ccu, micu, sicu, etc. -- will give you experience, but if there's an option go for a cardiac sicu. you get much more hands on experience with central lines, swan/ganz catheters, balloon pumps, cardiac devices, arterial lines, etc.

    but here's another thought that isn't on your list: once you leave the or and start caring for awake patients at the bedside, you may find that you love that and don't want to leave. and that's ok, too. we need bedside nurses, especially good ones.