Air Force to cut CRNAs by 1/3

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    Our nursing "call to candidates" for grad schools starting next year came out yesterday. Oddly enough, there were only 7 funded nurse anesthesia slots (compared to the 25 for the last two years). I asked my chief nurse what's going on? She stated that they were recruiting more MDAs so that they can head CCATT (crit care air transport teams--consists of a crit care MD, ICU nurse, and a RT tech).

    Personally, I think that their solution to an unbeatable chronic shortage of CRNAs is to just cut slots so that we are "fat" all of a sudden. The actual slots go from 170-something to 120-something (sorry, I left the exact numbers on my desk at work).

    We are fixing to send 25% of our anesthesia folks to Iraq (half are CRNAs cause the MDAs are "on profile" due to injury, asthma, pregnancy, etc.). I'm not seeing where we are headed?? Anybody out there have any insight?

    If any of you are thinking about joining the AF for eventual CRNA school, look very carefully...competition all of a sudden got real stiff. Funny, I had a CRNA tell a room full of folks just last month that "if you are breathing you can get accepted." (Last year they had to have a second selection process with the 3.0GPA/1000/1500GRE waivered...and they still only ended up with 23 total out of 25 slots!

    Here are the real numbers for those who are interested:

    Graduate Education

    Application Procedures for Graduate Education

    Nursing Practice Specialties

    Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

    Critical Care (3 Funded)

    Perinatal (Obstetric) (1 Unfunded)

    Emergency/Trauma (2 Funded)

    Medical-Surgical (Adult Health) (2 Funded)

    Perioperative (3 Funded)

    Neonatal Intensive Care (1 Funded)

    Pediatric (1 Unfunded)

    Geriatric (1 Unfunded)

    Nursing Education (MS) (1 Unfunded)

    Nurse Anesthesia (7 Funded/1 Unfunded) Nurse Practitioner Programs Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner Masters Degree (3 Funded)

    Women’ Health Care Nurse Practitioner Post Masters Certificate (2 Funded)

    Family Nurse Practitioner (4 Funded)

    Nurse Midwifery (7 Funded)

    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (4 Funded)

    Prevention-focused Specialties

    Community Health Nursing (5 Funded)

    Leadership Specialties

    Masters in Health Administration/Army Baylor Program (1 Funded/1 Unfunded))

    Combined Masters in Business Administration/Masters in Nursing (2 Funded)

    Doctoral Programs

    PhD Nursing Science (1 Funded)
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

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    "If any of you are thinking about joining the AF for eventual CRNA school, look very carefully...competition all of a sudden got real stiff. Funny, I had a CRNA tell a room full of folks just last month that "if you are breathing you can get accepted." (Last year they had to have a second selection process with the 3.0GPA/1000/1500GRE waivered...and they still only ended up with 23 total out of 25 slots!"

    Are you saying that this years class got in on the waivering of the above? I start at the AMEDD program on Monday as one of 3 civilian VA students, and our admission criteria was pretty steep. Do you know how many of these students will be in the San Antonio program? I know the AMEDD is #2 in the nation at this time. I also know that it is a very difficult program with a great deal of students not making it through. I could not see how someone who was just "breathing" could make it through Christmas. I know the class that started in 03 had many casualties. Do you know how many Air Force students are starting Monday in San Antonio? Just curious.
    Been in San Antonio long? I got here 2 weeks ago and the weather is crazy!!!!
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    My best friend graduated from there in 2001 (top student out of 42?). Was plenty tough, 3 AF folks (out of 12?) washed out (1 academic, 2 medical). I had a discussion about the point that you made with LtCol Bruce (in charge of nursing education in the AF). I think your observation was correct. It does no good to lower your standards just so that more people can wash out and ruin slots that others may have succeeded in. The big question is (and I don't think there is any real data out there), as whether the people with the lowest GPA/GRE scores coming in are the ones washing out. A friend of mine a few years ago had to get a waiver for her 850 GRE, yet came out of the program in first place. Sometimes it is better to be driven to succeed more than to have red hot grades. It has always been known that the GRE/SAT, etc. are poor predictors of performance.

    The Army program is an excellent program. I was just talking to one of their instructors over at our simulator center last week. They have some high-tech Medi simulators for your use. The program is all didactic for the first 12 months (a format that I prefer).

    There is a Capt Mills from our SICU that will be in your class. She is pretty cool. I really don't know of anybody else. There are a lot of folks from our ER that just headed off for school. I'm sure some of then will be in your class as well.

    San Antonio is great is some ways (lots to do locally, inexpensive, friendly) and not perfect in others (hot or hotter for seasons, Texas drivers, a lot of driving to get anywhere else). We have enjoyed out 3 years here. Have one to go, then off to VCU's CRNA program next year....hopefully!

    Good luck,
    Dave
  7. 0
    no message
    Last edit by alansmith52 on Jun 13, '04 : Reason: sobriety
  8. 0
    Interesting Post....I just separated from the Air Force, (had to go the civilian anesthesia route b/c of my spouse's military career) but had heard the same thing about "if you are breathing....". CRNA's were used extensively in all the bases I have been stationed at, I was surrounded by CRNA's. I wonder if this will last though, the military has built their medical community with CRNA's made easily available.....they need them, and Im sure this "cut" will not last.

    As for "alansmith".....dude, get off the bottle, or the syringe, or whatever the hell you are hitting...you can't even think straight. :hatparty:
  9. 0
    I think that my view on the people with good grades is that there are various roads to the same end. In high school I ended up with a 2.5 GPA in non-college prep work. I considered myself smart, but lazy. My wife on the other hand graduated #3 in her HS class, with hard classes, but it was more due to hard work more that being academically gifted (don't tell her that I said that!). In college we got roughly the same GPA (her 3.5, me 3.8). I think I finally matured enough to work hard for what I wanted.

    I think a lot of folks have less than stellar grades because they are not really willing to put out what it takes, have poor study skills (a result of our fine public school system?), or they have too many conflicting priorities (trying to feed a family, single parent, the party life, or in my college kid--to busy on the internet goofing off.

    My son told me last night that he is considering law school. I said good luck with your 2.8 GPA. (Don't us medical folks love lawyers!)

    Anyhow, maybe that is why so many of you say that the interview is a very important part of getting into school...looking beyond the GPA/GRE scores??
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    As far as the AF goes, Gen "Peach" Taylor (AF Surgeon General) has put our orders to draw down the AF medical community by 8500 prople. There are new rules for retirement of folks who can not deploy rather than keep them with a "C" code (permanent profile). Also O-5 and O-6 time in grade requirements have been lowered for retirement, also other discharge incentives. There is a new program to cross over into the Army. Evem talk about bringing back the 15-year retirement program. I think this is the real deal!
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    I'm a civilian in my first semester of my CRNA program and I'm waiting to hear back on the HSPS scholarship. The board is meeting this month and I should know by the end of the month.

    You mentioned that the AF is reducing its number of CRNA's. Would this effect the scholarships for civilian students that would be commissioned after graduation, as in my position?

    Also, are not CRNA's more equitable for an employer as they do the same job for less cost?

    Thank you for your input,
  12. 0
    Quote from jbomar
    I'm a civilian in my first semester of my CRNA program and I'm waiting to hear back on the HSPS scholarship. The board is meeting this month and I should know by the end of the month.

    You mentioned that the AF is reducing its number of CRNA's. Would this effect the scholarships for civilian students that would be commissioned after graduation, as in my position?

    Also, are not CRNA's more equitable for an employer as they do the same job for less cost?

    Thank you for your input,
    You are a little late to the party that post is from 2004, and is not applicable right now.


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