Thank you all for such consistently informative posts. It is very fortunate that we have such a congregation of clinicians as resources in our professional endeavors. I would like to share with you, and divulge my journey to CRNA school.
I would appreciate input, criticisms and advice from all sources; I would like to know if I am on the right track toward anesthesia school.
Warning, this may be slightly long-winded.
Early in my undergraduate education I became interested in health care, having MD's and a CRNA in the family I feel as though this was a welcomed and natural path for me to take toward my professional goals. I attended a medium-sized university in MI, and pursued a degree in the allied health professions while simultaneously completing my prerequisite coursework for nursing school, affording me the adaptability of applying to either PA school, or an Accelerated Nursing Program.
In 2011 I graduated with a Bachelor of Integrative Studies, and made the decision to pursue nursing instead of PA school. I was accepted, and completed an Accelerated BSN program in 2012.
I currently hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Integrative studies, and a Biology Minor.
Throughout my undergraduate coursework I volunteered in the local community assisting with food drives, parades and a few community projects. I finished my first degree with a 3.5 GPA cumulative, then immediately started my ASDN-BSN where I was elected student representative for the student nurse association, and organized multiple fundraisers. I graduated with honors from my BSN program, and sealed a cumulative GPA of 3.8.
While still in school I secured a preceptorship in an SICU at a large, level II trauma teaching facility in a major metropolitan city here in MI. To which I am eternally grateful. I spent three months precepting on this unit, and was offered a GN position upon graduation, which I accepted, very happily. I then passed the NCLEX and have been working as an RN on this unit for 8 months.
My plan before nursing school was to pursue nursing with the intention of going to CRNA school. I became interested after I had the opportunity to shadow a CRNA while working as a patient sitter a three years ago. Since then I have shadowed two more times as an RN, including during a prolonged organ procurement. I am absolutely fascinated with anesthesia, and I do not think there is a day that goes by where I am not thinking about, or reading about anesthesia nursing.
In my current SICU clinical setting we routinely care for a surgical patient population that includes neuro, septic shock, trauma, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, neurovascular and the occasional ortho patient. We use a lot of invasive hemodynamic monitoring including.. A-lines, CVP's, the occasional swan and resulting PCWP/PAP/Cardiac profile, we also routinely see and are responsible for the monitoring and management of extraventricular drains and ICP monitoring ranging from intraventricular catheters to fiber optic camino placements, ventilator management and associated ABG/etCO2 interpretation (obviously), massive transfusion, as well as a variety of critical care measurements that I am probably not remembering at this moment.
We routinely have patients requiring drip titration, fluid resuscitation, vasopressors, and sedation along the lines of Epinephrine, neosynephrine, levophed, dopamine, vasopressin, fentanyl, versed, propofol, nitro, etc. (not in any particular order or combo).
If you have read this far, I ask you, when was the point that you felt comfortable enough to apply to CRNA school? After 8 months in this SICU, I have been truly humbled. I cannot possibly imagine applying at this point, and am going to give it at least another year before consideration. Although I have experience with the above, I feel that to be a successful clinician and CRNA I need to be absolutely seamless with my drip titration, and more experienced with my pathophysiology. I read about ICU RN's wanting to apply after a year, and I used to have that mentality, but I do not any longer.
My plan for right now is to gain more experience and obtain a more advanced knowledge base, and work on admissions requirements for the time being. As of now I am 23, and would like to set a goal of starting anesthesia school by 25 (not set in stone).
I am open to any and all suggestions regarding my path to CRNA school, where to go from here, and I look forward to your replies.
This is my path to CRNA school.