Hi everyone, just joined and I have a few questions on the specifics of my situation as related to going to CRNA school. First off, I have no medical credentials and I have heard you have to become a Registered Nurse and work in the ICU for at least 1 year before even applying for CRNA school. Which leads me to my next question, as an RN, how much would student loans cost? The least expensive to the most? I live in Vermont and will relocate to a good school if necessary. Do I have to work in the ICU one full year before even trying to apply for CRNA school? Or can I apply and hopefully get into school after one year is up? After RN school, could I just jump into ICU work or will I generally have to wait a year or more? Is RN school 2 or 4 years? If I get a B.S. as an RN, will I need to do 4 more years at CRNA school? I don't have a lot of money saved, but if there were schools right here in Rutland, VT area, I could live with parent or maybe in Poughkeepsie, NY area, living expenses would be very low. I have no outstanding debts, and everything is paid off. No GF and no kids or mortgage. I can be extremely frugal when needed. I took a sustainability course in college and got about 3 or 4 credits, but never full time. My weaknesses are math and English,everything else I can do. I know I can pass math, but I may need tutoring. English too.
Now, judging from my situation, are my prospects good, bad or ugly? Thanks so much everyone, S
Apr 4, '13
Yes, you must be a registered nurse in an ICU for atleast one year to become a CRNA. I will say, I know some schools (very few) do take ER exerpience or PACU (depending on what kind of hospital you work at......mainly the large teaching hospitals). This is rare though! You could apply to CRNA school with less than a year experience in an ICU with them knowing that you will have atleast a year experience once CRNA school gets started. But the more experience you have in an ICU, the better your experience will be in an anesthesia program. Get as much under your belt as possible. Also, you must have either your 4 year nursing degree (BSN) or some schools will take a Bachelors in some sort of science (B.S.) but you would have to go into an accelerated nursing program to become a nurse. You could also become an RN with an associates degree and work as a nurse in the ICU while obtaining your BSN. There are a few different options to approaching it. CRNA school is not 4 years. Most programs are anywhere from 27 to 36 months long. Some schools are also going to be changing from a Master's degree to a Doctorate degree (so this will make the program longer).
The cost of going to college to become an RN sort of varies on the approach you are going to take (for example......going for an associates degree in nursing may be around $35,000 and then you could work as an RN while paying to go back for your bachelors in nursing.....which may be another $15,000). My student loans for my BSN were around $70,000 and most of my friends range anywhere from 40 to $80,000. Seems about normal if you don't have the financial help from parents.
I will say, if your weakness is math, CRNA school may not be suitable for you. There is quite a bit of math involved (knowing how to calculate dosages, drip rates based on the patient's weight, maximum infiltration for local anesthetics, having to be quick to know how to figure out how many milligrams or micrograms of a drug you are giving in an emergency situation. It's not too bad (you don't have to be a genius at calculus or trig). Sciences are also very important! I would suggest shadowing a CRNA for a few days if you haven't already. This will be the best way for you to decide if this career field is something you are interested in (not just the money aspect of it). Good luck!
Apr 4, '13
Thanks so much for the info Rd2CRNA! Very helpful! S
Apr 8, '13
Have you considered anesthesia assistant? No nursing background, handful of pre-req's, might be a shorter road for you.