Do I have the innate characteristics of a potential CRNA?

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    Before I start off, I just want to say - yes, I know I'm not even an RN yet (I am pre-nursing.. I'm not even in nursing school yet!), but now that I'm 25 years old, and mommy to a 5 year-old, I am just trying to find a path in life. I do understand that a lot of my talents will become apparent to me during nursing school, clinicals, and years of on-the-job experience - but I believe that some people are just naturally able to handle more challenging things than others. I just am afraid to dream and hope and strive to become a CRNA, just to find out years down the line that I don't have what it takes. Did any of you CRNA's have this fear, or were you confident from the beginning?


    Right now, I am taking full-time prereq courses for the ADN program, working full-time at a health insurance company, and as previously mentioned, a mother (and loving wife). I am making straight A's in school and I think I am handling the school/work/family/life balance pretty well for the circumstances (alright, I admit, the housecleaning has kind of fallen to the wayside). I certainly am feeling a new vigor for life now that I am back in school. I like to learn, I like to make A's. However, those A's don't come naturally like they do for some people, they come with a lot of hard work. I worry especially about the science classes, I was taught at a young age that math & science were hard and it was expected that I not perform well in those subjects, so I never gave them much thought until now. Chemistry and Algebra have been challenging but not unmanageable, but I know it's only getting more difficult from here. I do think Chemistry is interesting though (as far as the subject material; my professor is making it a bit boring because all she does is read off slides and doesn't know the answers to any questions that aren't on the slide), Algebra, not so interesting as far as the material - but I really like my professor, he explains everything in such a manner that makes the material seem logical and easy.


    I guess what my question is, is it enough to want it? When I get my experience in as a nurse, when I explore my talents and discover who I am... If I still want to be a CRNA, will putting in the WORK be enough, or do you think to be a CRNA you have to have some natural born gifts for science and medicine? Basically, do I need to be a genius?


    Also, on a different note, if any of you CRNA's also did the RN to BSN to CRNA track all while being a mother (or father), please share your success story as I definitely could use the enouragement.
  2. 6 Comments so far...

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    I would not worry about it. As you pointed out, it is a long way off.... if you are becoming a nurse ONLY to be a CRNA.. find another major.

    I applied to a CRNA program on a whim, with no prior planning, submitted my application, got an interview and was admitted.... 19 years ago... Never regretted it.

    Today there are an overabundance of CRNA programs with more opening every day... has nothing to do with supplying a need, It has to do with making money.. people will do and pay anything to get into this profession... as a result, unless you're a convicted felon with a GPA around 2.0... you should have no problem getting in.... keep in mind quite a few of us do not think the future looks very rosy in terms of job availability because of the over production of CRNAs.. We may very well end up like the NP profession...Few jobs opening and not making much more than a staff RN.
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    No way to know at this point. Don't be discouraged. Try us again when you have completed your BSN. You will be able to kow if you can handle the stress of critical care and response with quick critical thinking skills and not panic.
    Good Luck!
  5. 0
    Quote from remifentanil
    unless you're a convicted felon with a GPA around 2.0... you should have no problem getting in.... .
    Remi; That's pretty harsh and completely untrue. My class had 800 applicants, they accepted 30. (and that was 7 years ago) The "old timers" are retiring at a pretty clipped pace; therefore they need for CRNAs will be EXPANDING, not shrinking. Along with states governors who are signing the MediCare Op-Out clause allowing CRNAs to practice without anesthesiologists supervision there will be a big need. The Master degreed professionals that are graduating now will are dynamic and talented. They will find jobs. (after this recession cools a tad). IMHO.
    I agree with the statement:... if you are going to be a nurse only to become a CRNA... Maybe you should look elsewhere, there is no guarantee you will be accepted into a program or that you will qualify. you must be the best of the best to even get into the schools.
  6. 0
    I started out as a CNA in 1997. The December 1998 I got my LVN, and then in Dec 2000 I finished my BSN. I just finished my MSN in nurse anesthesia in Dec 2009, and have been a CRNA since 2009 also. I did all this with 3 children, and then a grandson the last part of MSN.

    Ninety percent of getting through your CRNA is motivation and persistence.
  7. 0
    Quote from Qwiigley
    Remi; That's pretty harsh and completely untrue.

    The quality of students cannot help but be lower now considering the plethora of programs that have opened... When I graduated my city had one school turning out 8 students/ year.... now.. three programs turning out 60/ year... to the schools it's all about making money. I sat on more than a few AdComs over the years and I can tell you, in order to fill the increased number of openings...quality suffers... be it GPA, experience etc.

    My class had 800 applicants, they accepted 30. (and that was 7 years ago)

    OK... so? Number of applicants means nothing...Ask a nursing student...Almost all of them would like to be a CRNA

    The "old timers" are retiring at a pretty clipped pace; therefore they need for CRNAs will be EXPANDING, not shrinking.

    Again, not true.. my I call your attention to the economic crisis of a few years ago...our 401K/403B, etc etc lost a BUNCH of money...I think I lost 400K... we are NOT retiring as soon as you think. This job can easily be done well into one's 60s.

    Along with states governors who are signing the MediCare Op-Out clause allowing CRNAs to practice without anesthesiologists supervision there will be a big need.

    This has NOTHING to do with indy practice... Opt Out is a MEDICARE term only...private insurance can and does pay for CRNA only services.
    The Master degreed professionals that are graduating now will are dynamic and talented. They will find jobs. (after this recession cools a tad). IMHO.
    I agree with the statement:... if you are going to be a nurse only to become a CRNA... Maybe you should look elsewhere, there is no guarantee you will be accepted into a program or that you will qualify. you must be the best of the best to even get into the schools.
    Once true..... now not so much.

    Google CRNA employment market projections... I think you might be surprised.
  8. 0
    Thank you for all the feedback. I am realistic in the fact that I have a long way to go, a lot to learn, and no doubt I will encounter experiences that may or may not change my mind. However, at this point, I have always wanted to pursue a master's degree and anesthesia is by far more interesting to me than the other APN fields (though CNM looks interesting too).

    I live in Durham, NC and the nearest BSN to MSN-CRNA program is at Duke University, they say they receive ~100 applications per year and accept 30. I'm always going to keep that in the back of my mind through this process, although I will always try my best, no matter what I end up doing (My type-A personality has been taking over ever since I started school! Needless to say I have a 4.0, and am going to hold on to it for dear life!).

    My current f/t job is at a major health insurance company, and way back when we used to take a percentage off of the anethesiologists reimbursement rate for CRNA services, but about 3 years ago we ended that. The company (has a primary color 2x in the name...) now reimburses anesthesiologists and CRNAs exactly the same. I just wanted to throw that out there. If all insurance follows that model, my personal opinion would be that there would be a greater demand for CRNA's in the future, but I guess there is no way to know for sure.

    Anywho, I'll check back with you guys in a few years


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