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  1. First off, thanks to all the regulars, I have been lurking for a few years now and you guys have provided me with a wealth of information. I was wondering if any of you guys are at UAB in Alabama. When I apply it will be my school of choice just looking for info from anybody who has made it past the admissions hurdle. I am a new graduate, out for about four months now. I took a job in a ER and love it. I have come to the conclusion I want to make the move up I am looking for more autonomy in my work after reviewing a few options CRNA, MD, NP, PA. I feel that CRNA would be a better fit for me. I have talked with a few CRNAs, and spent the day with one during my OR rotation in school. It was a CABG so we had few hours to talk and she was able to show me what a day in her life was like. I need to take organic chemistry, and the GRE or MAT. Anybody have advice on taking one over the other all the schools I have looked at will take either. I understand to improve my package an ICU job would help, and with the area I live in, I feel comfortable I could move into any setting without much trouble. Any of you guys think one unit would look better than the next SICU, MICU, and CCU. Thanks in advance for any information you can help me with

    ps thanks for the faq sheet that was put together and leads of the board
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   loisane
    I took GRE many years ago. It was too long ago for my grad program, so I took the Miller analogy test. BIG difference.

    If MAT is the Miller analogy test, definitely go for it. No comparison to the GRE (at the least the one I took in the dark ages)

    loisane crna
  4. by   MICU RN
    I second a vote for the MAT. Although I have not taken the GRE, I did however just take the MAT a few days ago. While the test was hard it was only a hundred questions and takes 50 minutes to take. The test was also inexpensive, 65.00. However, I strongly urge you to at least do some practice test, since the testing format is different from any kind of test that I ever took. You can buy a practice book for less than 20.00.
    Now, in regards to the best nursing experience for your resume. I feel you will probably put yourself at a disadvantage if you stay in the ER. I have been a nurse for 4 1/2 years and have worked in the SICU, ER, and now in a MICU. ALL have been in a level one trauma hosp. and in an academic setting. I spent most of that time in a the ER, and we even had a 7 bed MICU annex within the ER, however, I only spent a small portion of the time in that area, we constantly got rotated throughout the ER. In addition, that ER was one of the busiest in the nation and very well known. Having said all of that, it is still a tough sell when explaining all this to an anesth. school, when trying to convince them that my ER experience is as good as an ICU. SO my point is, it would probably be best to get into a good ICU, I prefer The ER to the ICU, but I also want to go to anesth. school. Therefore, I went back into the ICU and by the time I hope to statrt ANesth. school next fall, I will have 2 yrs ICU and 3 yrs ER experience. I feel I learned to think on my feet and in a critical way in the ER, but I did not get enough vent. and vaso-active drug tit. experience, not to mention zero swan-ganz exposure in the ER, as I do in the ICU. In addition, since you are a new nurse you don't want another thing such as only having ER experience to weaken your resume.
    Good luck with your journey.
    Last edit by MICU RN on Dec 12, '02
  5. by   berry
    Thanks, I was checking out the websites for the GRE and the MAT and you hit the nail on the head about the millers test being a different kind of test. I have never been a fan of standardized test taken a few SAT, ASVAB (or whatever they called the one to get into the AF) and the state boards. I did not really enjoy any of them, but a book of practice questions can really help you out. You guys confirmed what I was suspecting about needing to leave the ER and go to a unit. I guess I need to start job hunting. Thanks for the opinions.
  6. by   Tia
    I took a job in a ER and love it. I have come to the conclusion I want to make the move up I am looking for more autonomy in my work after reviewing a few options CRNA, MD, NP, PA.

    Speaking totally from experience I would suggest getting into an ICU as soon as posible if you want to persue CRNA school. As a new grad I went straight into the ER and worked there for 2 years and applied for CRNA school last year. Basically would have been accepted but didn't have the ICU experience they wanted. In fact the panel asked me if I would consider moving to ICU and letting them put my application in for this year. It was my soap box that ER is a critical care area and that there was no reason why I should go to ICU. I finally bit the bullet because being a CRNA is so important to me and moved to ICU 9 monoths ago and it has TOTALLY changed my aspect on the subject. I am glad that they didn't accept me last year because it gave me the opportunity to see a whole new side of nursing and LEARN a ton of things. So I suggest transferring to ICU and ask a MILLION questions of both nurses and doctors..seek out ones that like to teach and pass on information. You will be happy you did. I have my interview on Sunday and can say that I feel 90 percent ready compared to last year. My goodness I am so sorry that it got this lengthy. Oh one last thing..do what I do if you can't give up ER continue to pick up on a weekly basis to get your adreline rush Good luck in whatever path you choose!!

    Tia Sophia

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