CRNA vs ACNP- experience needed~

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    Hey everyone!
    I am a trauma ICU nurse interested in going back to school! I have just had a little over a year experience and have decided to begin thinking about the route I want to take. I am fairly certain it will be CRNA or ACNP. The unit I come from is known for cranking out CRNAs which has made me very interested in the field. I am planning to apply for next fall so I need to begin studying for GRE, CCRN, etc. Mainly, I love the ICU setting, I don't mind 12 hour shifts, or the occasional holiday. I am used to working nights with 2 on call every 6 weeks, and mandatory summer/winter holidays so it can only get better. I love challenges my favorite part of the job is having an unstable/crashing patient and having to rapid infuse, titrate drips and collaborate with doctors to stabilize and regain homeostasis. I feel like CRNA has my favorite aspects of my job but I also can see the field being a bore (sitting through 4 hour orthopedic surgery documenting vital signs) I would LOVE an honest opinion of both fields: why did you chose one over the other? what do you like/dislike about the field? was the amount of school / clinical experience enough to prepare you for the job? how stressful is your job and do you feel you are you compensated monetarily for the amount of stress?

    YES I plan on following both and I am so excited and hope this helps as well, thank you so much for the help!
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    I think its great that you are planning ahead, but most programs want 2 years of critical care as a minimum, but in reality, many applicants have 5+ years before applying. Most CRNA schools also want recent classes in physics, biochem, organic chem, they vary on what they want, but if you don't have these advanced science classes, maybe try taking them first and see how you do.

    You will get there, just take your time. 1 year of nursing is a drop in the bucket, you are just starting to get your feet wet. The more experience you get, the better clinician you will be, trust me.

    Good luck!
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    EmTrauma is planning on applying for next fall. At that point he/she will have about 2.5 years ICU experience. Sure more is great, but that fulfills requirements. For all we know EmTrauma has excellent grades and can handle tough science courses. I agree that experience is important but the question isn't really "should I pursue CRNA now or not?" It's "what drew you to be a CRNA and do you love it?"
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    Quote from hoplite07
    EmTrauma is planning on applying for next fall. At that point he/she will have about 2.5 years ICU experience. Sure more is great, but that fulfills requirements. For all we know EmTrauma has excellent grades and can handle tough science courses. I agree that experience is important but the question isn't really "should I pursue CRNA now or not?" It's "what drew you to be a CRNA and do you love it?"
    The OP is putting the cart ahead of the horse IMO, and if you have been looking at admission requirements and stats of accepted applicants, having the minimum requirements doesn't cut it in reputable schools. Yes they say that 3.0 and 1 year is needed to apply but the reality is probably closer to 5 years, although there are exceptions, and if you are saying that more clinical experience isn't going to help someone, then that is ridiculous. Making rookie mistakes is going to cost someone their life, the goal is to be a competent, well rounded anesthesia provider, not a way to get in and out of school fast.
    ou are assuming that this person has great grades in tough science courses, maybe he/she does, but the fact is many nursing schools only require basic bio and chem (not science major level) so unless he/she has taken a course like organic chem, biochem, physics or cell physiology they would have no idea. I have taken all of these advanced courses over the past few years and they made the pre-nursing requirements look like a cake walk. Think you don't need them? Look at the curriculum for CRNA programs, many have a physics and chem componant for anesthesia course.

    EMtrauma if you really want to go for it, you should. Make yourself a competitive applicant by scoring high on the GRE, take an advanced science class like biochem or cell physiology at the very least, and try to gain further experience by floating or take an agency job outside of your home unit.

    If you like the crashing/unstable patient aspect of it, ACNP is also a good choice. We use them in the ICU I work at, and they handle that stuff on a daily basis as well.


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