ccrn (and marriage)

  1. I know that CRNA schools look highly on the CCRN. Being realistic, how far into a person's ICU experience would they be best prepared for everything that getting a CCRN entails?

    Currently I have worked over a year in the ICU setting (mostly MICU). I hope to be accepted to a CRNA program for fall of 2005. (keeping my fingers crossed).

    One last thing, I'm getting married this May and was wondering how, perhaps the married SRNA's are doing. I'm freaked out that I won't have time to devote to my wife while in CRNA school.

    Please feel free to give tons of advice to this newbie.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   kmchugh
    First, see this thread:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16205

    Next, CCRN. If you meet the hours criteria required to take the test, study up and take it. There are study guide books out there that will help you. In any event, study first, because studying for the CCRN will help prepare you for your interview.

    I've said it elsewhere, I'll say it here. You want, as much as possible, not to be in competition for a slot in the school, you want to BE the competition for that slot.

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Kevin - good advice. Was wondering if I could ask a question too. It seems that right now CRNA is the hot job. We have a CRNA program near where I work and several of our nurses are in various stages of completing it. They are all smart, fun, and nice-to-work with people. What is your motivation for going into CRNA? Just honestly curious. The reason I'm asking this is because without fail, all the people I know that are in it (and many people on this board too) is talk about the money! Is that all there is? Thanks...
  5. by   Pete495
    Even though you didn't ask me, I thought I'd answer your question. I'm not a CRNA, but hope to start school soon as an SRNA.

    Many people have the perception that since they can be a nurse, then they can go ahead and become a CRNA, and then make a 6 figure salary. Most of the older CRNA's and a good portion of the younger ones will tell you they did not get into it for the money. Hell, 20 years ago, they paid CRNA's about half of what they are making now, if that. I'm not saying money doesn't factor into one's decision to become a CRNA, but one must make an informed intelligent and reasonable decision to go to CRNA school. If you go into it for the money, you will not be a happy camper. Anesthesia is probably the toughest nursing field to get into, and the nurses are paid well for what they do for a reason. The stress is unbelievably high. That's why many CRNA's nurse their sorrows after work with a little too much ETOH.

    Along with getting paid well, CRNA's are becoming a lot more respected in the nursing community. They are looked up to by ICU, CVSU, and the rest of the nursing field. The rigorous schooling is harder than medical school from my perspective at least. There is not a lot of room for error in anesthesia, and the fact that it constantly challenges and requires a hard degree of thinking is a reason I have chosen ther profession. That and I think it's amazing to put people to sleep and bring them back to life so they can lead a normal life again

    There is so much more to anesthesia which I could ramble on about, but I will let the real CRNA's answer your question. Just thought I'd throw in my 3 cents.
    Pete495
  6. by   BikeGurl
    What's up Salt Lake City!!! My new husband (as of 5 months ago) and I just relocated across the country so that I can start school this Fall. We are definately missing Salt Lake. We decided to move early so that he could get a job before school started, we could get settled, and start working for instate tuition. It's been pretty tough, the job market sucks right now if you're not a nurse. He did finally find one though. As far as CCRN goes, I didn't get mine and I got accepted to both schools I applied to. Most of my interview questions were personal...Why do you want to be a CRNA?...What have you done to prepare?...They asked me how long I'd been married, etc. One school didn't really ask any clinical stuff--they liked my experience on my resume. The program that I will be starting asked some hemodynamic questions (Swan numbers, what drips I would use for certain numbers). Good Luck! Great to see a Utahn on this site!
  7. by   cnmtocrna
    [QUOTE=Pete495]Even though you didn't ask me, I thought I'd answer your question. I'm not a CRNA, but hope to start school soon as an SRNA.

    I don't mean to be patronizing, but a few points you made I must respond to. CRNAs twenty years ago probably were making 1/2 of what they do now or less.....Most also went to certificate programs and not Master's, and many do not even have their Bachelor's in nursing.....not that I think they are any less qualified, I'm just pointing out that things have changed...BUT even 50,000 a year was great money twenty years ago!!! My midwife salary doubled in 11 years, this is what often happens. I am making $20,000 more as a nurse now than I did 14 years ago....Point made.
    I don't know what basis you have for saying that CRNA school is harder than medical school. My husband is a physician and I have no doubt that medicine is the longer, harder haul than advanced practice nursing of any kind. 4 years of med school - the first 2 are generally hardest, not to mention getting there in the first place. Don't forget about the 3-4 years spent making minimum wage working 100 hours a week during residency.
    It does not have to be a competition, why even go there? What is the point? MDs get paid more, and I think they absolutely should get paid more than advanced practice nurses. Anyway, only someone who has been to both CRNA school and med school can proffer an opinion about the relative difficulties, and a sceintific study there will never be...
    I hope no one goes into anesthesia solely for the money, but there is nothing wrong with being attracted by the promise of good compensation. Nurses tend to be more critical of people being out for money, I don't know why. I bet most people would not rack up the debt and put up with 2-3 years of really hard work and no pay, much more direct responsibility, etc. for the promise of making a few thousand more than they could as a nurse...
    Basic human nature...money motivates people. It may seem impure or disturbing in the context of picking a career, but it is what it is. That being said, I believe it is only ONE factor of many. I left a job making what I can make as an anesthetist, with similar levels of responsibility, and hours that could be long and hard....no one can accuse me of going into it for the money, but if the money were not what it is, I'm not sure I would go there...I want a new challenge and anesthesia is up my alley, that is why I am doing it. The promise of plentiful jobs strewn about the country, with multiple practice options is a big draw too. Guess what? Midwife jobs are dwindling fast. My local midwifery program is actively recruiting for candidates...they cannot fill a program that was once inundated with applications and thus highly competitive. People won't go through that just to say they did it, they want a job at the end, a good job that pays well.
  8. by   duckboy20
    I am currently in my first year of CRNA school and have only one year of ICU behind me and no CCRN. That said, I know that CCRN does look very very good behind you and I think one reason is that they know how tough a test that is and you were motivated to get that then they know you will probably be motivated to do well in CRNA school. A lot of other factors play in as well, at my school probably 75% of you getting in is how well your interview went I would venture to say, so there are a lot of variables.
    As for getting in to CRNA school for money, I would lie to say that it is not one of the reasons for me getting in. I want to be financially secure as does everyone. I like to do the best I can for myself and go as far as I can. Don't take this the wrong way but I was not satisfied with just being an RN. I just knew I had more in me and while I am young I wanted to do it. I thought about MD school also but the only type of physician I would want to be if I didn't do anesthesia would be an ER doc and I didn't want to go through 6-8 more years of schooling with clinical for that. That is what lead me to be a CRNA. It is a huge challenge that I am loving. I would highly recommend going this route to anyone. But as for school I like how kmchugh put it, you want to be the competition so any way to make yourself look better attractive is a must I think.
  9. by   Roland
    Maybe, I've been listening to too much talk radio, but when I hear people say that they ARE NOT substancially motivated by money I believe that they are often not being sincere (or worse still that they are left of center). My uncle set on the board of admissions for a local medical school and he said that there was no WORSE answer to why you wanted to be a doctor than "because I've always wanted to help people." Not because it's a bad reason, but instead because it was the answer of seventy percent of applicants. He said just once he wanted to see a prospective student proudly stand and say "so that I can get babes when I'm forty five despite being fat and sport a fat wad of cash!" Seriously, our entire way of life is predicated on earning good money. Of course this doesn't entitle someone to break the law or engage in unethical activity to achieve wealth. However, any basic economics course (unless taught by someone like Robert Reisch) teaches that the amount which you earn is an approximation of your VALUE to society. In addition, it affects virtually every facet of your (and also that of your family) life. Those of you who say that you ARE NOT in it for the money, let me ask you one question. IF you won the Powerball lotto for say a hundred million (around 40million after cash option and taxes) would you still work full time as a CRNA? Personally, I would fund all kinds of neat hopefully SELF-SUSTAINING charities and initiatives. However, I would spend the rest of my time seeing the world and enjoying life. I believe that we work to live, not that we live to work. Having a job that you can tolerate (let alone one that you like or love) is a really great bonus and in fact helps to make you good at what it is that makes you your money. Our forefathers understood this simple concept when they almost made our constitution read the pursuit of "life, liberty and property" rather than happiness (there must have been a few closet liberals around even back in seventeen hundreds). My grandfather told me how grateful he was to find a job SHOVELING COAL during the depression, despite having a college degree and serving his country in WWI. He understood this concept as well.
  10. by   Athlein1
    1. CCRN. It's going to take effort on your part to get ready for the CCRN if your one year of experience is limited to MICU. Have a look at the exam blueprint on the AACN website. Many nurses have successfully passed it with limited experience in a specialty ICU, though. There are volumes of study materials available. If you have the time and motivation, why not?! Go for it!
    2. Love and marriage. Anyone who thinks that a CRNA program is not going to impact their relationships is, at best, in for a rude awakening. It's incredibly time-consuming and often stressful. To call it a roller-coaster ride is an understatement! You have to make choices and priorities, which family may not always understand. I made the decision long ago that my happy marriage is the most important part of my life. I do not study all the time. I have an active life outside of school. I'm making adjustments to do it (up by 0500 every day, and I'm using my school loans for housework help), and I am not at the top of my class. But you know what? I am progressing well and my sanity and marriage are intact. I'm meeting my own goals and having a pretty good time doing it! Your time with your spouse will be limited - period. This may be an issue if your partner does not have interests separate from you. It's tough to be the one "left at home" when your partner is always off and running, especially for new relationships that do not have the benefit of time and experience.

    3. Money. I know a couple of nurses whose sole motivation for attaining their CRNA was income (and, arguably, a dislike of bedside nursing). All it took was a few months in clinical for them to realize that money isn't enough when you're not a fit for the job you're doing. Recently, I had two sphincter-tightening episodes in the OR that could have resulted in dire patient outcomes if my preceptors didn't know exactly what they were doing. You're dang right CRNAs make decent money. And if you're not behind the drapes, well, you just don't know how much they deserve it.
    Last edit by Athlein1 on Mar 13, '04
  11. by   loisane
    Regarding CCRNA-make sure you are ready for it before you take the test. The only thing worse to an admissions committee than an applicant that does not have a CCRNA, is one who took the test and FAILED it!

    I just have to comment on the money issue. Sure, we have a free market economy, we are all motivated by money, and nurses have historically been uncomfortable with demanding/proving what they are worth.

    However, as others have pointed out, it is all about balance. No amount of money will make this job worth it, if it isn't for you. And no matter how motivated you are by the money, if it isn't a good fit for you, you will not do well.

    I have worked with many, many physicians that were only motivated by the money. They do not enjoy their jobs, they make life living hell for the nurses and others that have to work with them, and they do not do a good job for their patients. I am sure nurse anesthesia is not immune to the same curse, but I will do my level best to keep these kind of people out of our profession. It is for the best interest of the profession, and for their own personal good as well.

    Would I continue to work as a CRNA if I hit the lottery? ABSOLUTELY!!!!

    loisane crna
  12. by   Roland
    I don't understand why being motivated by money means that you won't strive to do an excellent job or that you will some how hate your job. After all, doing a great job is what enables someone to keep earning good money. Many superb sports stars are extremely money motivated! Everyone raves about people like Peyton Manning who "love to play the game of football", but that didn't keep him from demanding a thrity million dollar signing bonus to stay with the Colts! I would argue that being motivated by money actually makes you better at whatever it is that you do. Loisane, you say that you know physicians who are motivated only by money and that they make everyone miserable. I would respond how do you truly know their motivations? People who are truly "bas****" seldom announce their motivations to others. Rather, they are apt to be the sort of people who say all the right things, but actually DO negative things to people when it suits their interests. Ted Bundy was described by most who knew him as a "wonderful guy" who really cared about people. Also, I was wondering if you took the CCRN exam and failed how would the admissions board for a CRNA school know this unless you told them?

    I am simply advocating sincerity. Most people ARE motivated to a great extent by money but are reluctant to abmit the truth. Instead, they go around like "politicians" saying things that make them look good rather than what is really in their hearts. My wife who is even more conservative than am I, remarked how funny it was to her that NO ONE but her would admit when she started nursing school that money was a big consideration. Now, after two years almost half the class has admitted in private what she proudly announced in public on the first day of school. What is more all of these "paragons of caring" in her class are almost to the last person pro-choice (they talked about partial birth abortion in class and she was the only person in class that believed the federal law bannng this procedure was a "good" thing) It's like guys who say they don't care about "looks" in a girlfriend and instead care about character and personality. Give me one hundred of these "saints" and set them up on a blind date with someone who looks like Janet Reno, but who has the personality of Mother Theresa, and I would wager all that I own (a small wager) that ninty percent wouldn't ask for a second date!
  13. by   Roland
    Quote from Roland
    I don't understand why being motivated by money means that you won't strive to do an excellent job or that you will some how hate your job. After all, doing a great job is what enables someone to keep earning good money. Many superb sports stars are extremely money motivated! Everyone raves about people like Peyton Manning who "love to play the game of football", but that didn't keep him from demanding a thrity million dollar signing bonus to stay with the Colts! I would argue that being motivated by money actually makes you better at whatever it is that you do. Loisane, you say that you know physicians who are motivated only by money and that they make everyone miserable. I would respond how do you truly know their motivations? People who are truly "bas****" seldom announce their motivations to others. Rather, they are apt to be the sort of people who say all the right things, but actually DO negative things to people when it suits their interests. Ted Bundy was described by most who knew him as a "wonderful guy" who really cared about people. Also, I was wondering if you took the CCRN exam and failed how would the admissions board for a CRNA school know this unless you told them?

    I am simply advocating sincerity. Most people ARE motivated to a great extent by money but are reluctant to abmit the truth. Instead, they go around like "politicians" saying things that make them look good rather than what is really in their hearts. My wife who is even more conservative than am I, remarked how funny it was to her that NO ONE but her would admit when she started nursing school that money was a big consideration. Now, after two years almost half the class has admitted in private what she proudly announced in public on the first day of school. What is more all of these "paragons of caring" in her class are almost to the last person pro-choice (they talked about partial birth abortion in class and she was the only person in class that believed the federal law bannng this procedure was a "good" thing) It's like guys who say they don't care about "looks" in a girlfriend and instead care about character and personality. Give me one hundred of these "saints" and set them up on a blind date with someone who looks like Janet Reno, but who has the personality of Mother Theresa, and I would wager all that I own (a small wager) that ninty percent wouldn't ask for a second date!
    I AM primarily motivated by money, but there isn't enough money in the world to make me "spin" my motivations to a CRNA admissions board. The truth is that I would rather spend the rest of my life in abject poverty than play some sort of perverse game where I have to pretend to be Florence Nightingale dedicated to alleviating the pain of mankind.
  14. by   loisane
    Roland,

    I think maybe the distinction between "job" and "profession" might help explain my opinion. A person can spend 8 hours a day at something they hate, and strive to be excellent because that is how they provide for their family.

    But I think it is very difficult to carry that same level of enthusiasm into a profession, something that you carry with you all the time, you can't leave it at work when you punch the time clock.

    I think the ideal situation is for us all to have a passion for what we do. That fire in the belly will keep you going more than any amount of money. Sure, it is idealistic. I am sure there are plenty of people in anesthesia that don't really have a passion for it. But the ones who are really good, the ones that I would want at the head of the table if my family needs surgery, they have a passion for the profession that no amount of money can buy.

    I use the same criteria to pick a physician. Yes, I believe you can tell the ones who are motivated by a genuine love of medicine. It shows, the same way it shows in anesthesia care.

    Maybe I am assuming about some people's motives. But I know of more than one instance in which a MD has shared these feelings with me. That he regretted his investment in medicine, but was too far in to back out. Was pressured into it by family and others who needed his financial support. These are unhappy people.

    Your sport analogy is a good one. There are players who love the game, but there are ones who love the money and fame. We can all tell the difference, which ones are more entertaining?

    Sure, we all have to be realistic about money. I have a much better lifestlye than if I had to pay the bills on a basket weavers salary. I don't donate my paycheck to charity. I think it is fine to be motivated by money. But it is not enough-it is about balance.

    About the CCRN-no the admissions committee won't know you failed unless you tell them. That was my point.(well, actually the more important point, is that if you don't pass the CCRN exam, you aren't ready for anesthesia school!) You may not believe it, but I have heard of that very thing happening.


    loisane crna
    Last edit by loisane on Mar 15, '04

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