So I started out in an ICU at a smaller hospital. Finished my GN internship and worked there for about 10 months. I had an opportunity to transfer to the ER and took it because I had so much fun in the ER in school and thought I would love working there...I went back and forth on doing CRNA school (which was my original plan and the reason I went into ICU to begin with) mainly because I didn't know if I wanted to put my life on pause again for school after I had just busted my butt in nursing school for years! Well, I stayed in that small ER for about 6 months and I transferred to a level 1 trauma county hospital and I've been in the ER here now for another 6 months. My problem is now I'm really thinking I made a mistake and I should have stuck to ICU and gotten that experience because I could have been applying and/or starting CRNA school by now. Now that I'm positive that CRNA is what I'm going to do, I'm not sure what my next step should be. I hate to just hop jobs so frequently and I would like to find a unit and stay in it for a while but I feel like being in the ER just isn't going to get me the experience I need to do anything for the future. I know that TCU accepts ER experience from what I hear...but I'm not entirely convinced that I would be successful in the program since I haven't worked with vasoactive gtts or vents etc. in a year. I contacted one of our ICU team leaders who directed me to HR and reminded me that there's new grads wanting the positions too (which I'm not taking as a good sign) and I can also apply for a level 2 hospital ICU that is nearby. I just feel like I need a solid year of experience in ANY unit (but especially good at a level 1 trauma ER) before I make any more career moves!! Can anyone give me any advice? What would you do?
Apr 23, '13
If you really want to become a crna you should get icu experience I don't think tcu accepts ER experience. You can call and ask them. But you are limiting your options tremendously. P.s. it doesn't really matter what kind of icu you work at as long as you know your stuff and get ccrn.
Apr 24, '13
you already got 10 months in an icu and have level one ER experience...you will be just fine in crna school. Remember, you don't have to be some bad ass icu nurse to do well in crna school...crna school is not nursing anymore...yes, you do need to know your drips, hemodynamics, ect. But, that's why you're going to school. jump back in an icu, if you like, or do float icu/ed if you love the ER. I know ER nurses that kick the hell out of an icu nurse in a nurse off and vise versa. If you got the will power and mind set, you will do good in school despite what others will say about your experience and years being a nurse.
Apr 24, '13
You should remember that the COA/AANA has changed the entry level requirements for SRNAs to 1 year of critical care experience instead of 1 year of acute care experience. You may see some schools start to change their admission criteria based on that change.
Successfull completion of nurse anesthesia school has more to do with your motivation than anything else IMO. A good background in ICU will help you, but so will ER. It just a different knowledge set and neither one is the perfect background for nurse anesthesia school.
Last edit by wtbcrna on Apr 26, '13
May 4, '13
I agree with the other comments and want to add one more. If you like the ER for the adrenalin rush you get, understand that in anesthesia, if you do it right, you shouldn't have many adrenalin rushes. Anesthesia can be boring, but it beats out anything that is second best.