New Grad interested in CRNA

  1. I just graduated with my BSN and passed boards this month. I have already been accepted into the graduate school in my hometown (to get core classes done) and plan to do the nurse anesthesia concentration. What I need is anyone's oppinion on whether or not you think one year of experience is enough if I apply and get accepted. I am working in a Burn ICU at a level 1 trauma center, which gets overflow Medical and trauma ICU patients. I will also float to other ICUs- SICU, CCU, NNICU, etc. I am planning on getting my CCRN as soon as I have enough hours and can study enough to pass it.

    I know that anesthesia school is more and more competitive, so that is why I am thinking about going ahead and applying after a year. I figure if I don't get in the first year, I will know even more the second year and be better prepared. What concerns me though is whether I will be struggling with my anesthesia classes if I do get in. Let me know if any of you have any suggestions about the pros/cons of applying as a new nurse.

    P.S.- Since I know many of you are going to ask, yes I had OR in clinicals, and I have gotten the opportunity to shadow CRNAs so I really am interested in the job and not just the pay. I knew I wanted to get my MSN, it was just the question of FNP or CRNA. Since I like the hospital environment and not the office setting of healthcare I think anesthesia will be better for me.
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   gravitycure
    hey - first off congrats on the BSN.

    Deciding when to apply to crna school is different for everyone. a buddy of mine finished school 2 years ago, and is doing very well. he had 6 months on tele, and 1 year in ICU. it is up to the individual and you know yourself. this is full time commitment. for me, i did 3 years on various floors, cath lab, then 3 years in sicu and dialysis.

    how you deal with anesthesia classes depends on you. how prepared are you for the total commitment. it's not like studying for the BSN. you could spend a year or two in the icu. there is so much to learn. the slots will still be there, so will the jobs.

    my advise is not to rush it. take some time and let what you just spent 4 years working on set in a bit. take an advanced patho class or pharm. big difference from undergrad stuff.

    also - take (if you have not yet) ACLS, PALS, 12 ld EKG. and pick up a copy of The ICU Book by Paul Marino. it's a great learning tool for any nurse at any level.

    good luck - gc.
  4. by   Kiwi
    If you don't get accepted the first time, at least you'll have your foot in the door... If you know what I mean.
  5. by   sonessrna
    Quote from TennRN2004
    I just graduated with my BSN and passed boards this month. I have already been accepted into the graduate school in my hometown (to get core classes done) and plan to do the nurse anesthesia concentration. What I need is anyone's oppinion on whether or not you think one year of experience is enough if I apply and get accepted. I am working in a Burn ICU at a level 1 trauma center, which gets overflow Medical and trauma ICU patients. I will also float to other ICUs- SICU, CCU, NNICU, etc. I am planning on getting my CCRN as soon as I have enough hours and can study enough to pass it.

    I know that anesthesia school is more and more competitive, so that is why I am thinking about going ahead and applying after a year. I figure if I don't get in the first year, I will know even more the second year and be better prepared. What concerns me though is whether I will be struggling with my anesthesia classes if I do get in. Let me know if any of you have any suggestions about the pros/cons of applying as a new nurse.

    P.S.- Since I know many of you are going to ask, yes I had OR in clinicals, and I have gotten the opportunity to shadow CRNAs so I really am interested in the job and not just the pay. I knew I wanted to get my MSN, it was just the question of FNP or CRNA. Since I like the hospital environment and not the office setting of healthcare I think anesthesia will be better for me.
    Congratulations on graduation!! Personally, I worked for 3 years prior to applying to CRNA school (that is a one year process). I had 4 years prior to starting and My CCRN. (By the way, I'm the only one in myclass with myh CCRN...probably not the most important prerequisite..but impressive no less). There is one girl in my class with 2 years and another in my class with 12 years plus she is a PNP. You need to apply when you feel you are ready. For me I"m glad I had 4 years of experience.
  6. by   EmeraldNYL
    When is the school you are interested in accepting apps for? I just got accepted to a school for start date 2006!!! If the program you are interested in interviews this far in advance, you may need to apply as soon as possible.
  7. by   TennRN2004
    Hello everyone. Thanks for all your oppinions. I know I sometimes get a little ahead of myself, but I want to do everything I can to up my odds of getting in. I'm sure you all understand that! Anyway, the school I am planning on applying to is UT Chattanooga, which is where all of my family is (very important since I have a 4 year old son). I am hoping it will be a help that I got my BSN from this school as well. The earliest I will apply is next November, which if I get accepted would put me entering CRNA school the following May 2006. I figure by then I should have enough experience but I guess I just wanted affirmation from others who know how rigorous grad school is. The 3 core classes I will take before anesthesia are graduate research, theory, and patho. I definitely plan on getting ACLS, BCLS, etc. since I will being doing night shift and ICU nurses at my hospital frequently run the codes if no ER doc is available. I know it a long road and I am just getting started, but I my goal when I decided on CRNA was to be finished by the time I am 30. Hopefully in 6 years I will done or almost done with my education.
  8. by   Spoiled1
    Quote from TennRN2004
    I just graduated with my BSN and passed boards this month. I have already been accepted into the graduate school in my hometown (to get core classes done) and plan to do the nurse anesthesia concentration. What I need is anyone's oppinion on whether or not you think one year of experience is enough if I apply and get accepted. I am working in a Burn ICU at a level 1 trauma center, which gets overflow Medical and trauma ICU patients. I will also float to other ICUs- SICU, CCU, NNICU, etc. I am planning on getting my CCRN as soon as I have enough hours and can study enough to pass it.

    I know that anesthesia school is more and more competitive, so that is why I am thinking about going ahead and applying after a year. I figure if I don't get in the first year, I will know even more the second year and be better prepared. What concerns me though is whether I will be struggling with my anesthesia classes if I do get in. Let me know if any of you have any suggestions about the pros/cons of applying as a new nurse.

    P.S.- Since I know many of you are going to ask, yes I had OR in clinicals, and I have gotten the opportunity to shadow CRNAs so I really am interested in the job and not just the pay. I knew I wanted to get my MSN, it was just the question of FNP or CRNA. Since I like the hospital environment and not the office setting of healthcare I think anesthesia will be better for me.
    Well I am FAR from CRNA school, but if I were you, I would take my time and become very familiar with ICU nursing, etc before moving on. I know that you want to acheive all of this before you are 30, but in the big picture that is not significant. Don't worry about how fast you can get through, but focus on your skills.That is what I think is most important. If you feel comfortable after a year, then go for it. Honestly I would at least wait 2 years. But that is just my 2 cents...
  9. by   CRNAwannabe
    Do you have to have one year experience at the time of application or just by the time you enter CRNA school? E.g. if I graduated in May 2005 could I apply in the fall of 2005 to enter CRNA school the Fall of 2006?

    I had a school tell me that across the board all CRNA schools did not accept applications until you have completed 1 year critical care. I didn't think that was accurate. Does anyone know?
  10. by   EmeraldNYL
    Quote from CRNAwannabe
    Do you have to have one year experience at the time of application or just by the time you enter CRNA school? E.g. if I graduated in May 2005 could I apply in the fall of 2005 to enter CRNA school the Fall of 2006?

    I had a school tell me that across the board all CRNA schools did not accept applications until you have completed 1 year critical care. I didn't think that was accurate. Does anyone know?
    I applied at 6 mo. experience, was accepted at 8 mo. experience, and will have almost 3 years by the time I start.
  11. by   TennRN2004
    My plan is to apply next November. By then, I will have about 18 months experience. If I get accepted for the May 2006 class, I will then have 2 years when I start. I do believe the school I am interested in would let me apply this November, which would give me 5-6 months, but they prefer for you to wait until you have a year before applying. The reason I was asking how long everyone usually waits is bc I know in my area some of the nurses here have 5+ years of experience when they get in CRNA and I have heard they have an easier time with classes, clinicals, bc of more exposure to drugs, vents, invasive lines, etc.
  12. by   CRNA, DNSc
    In response to CRNAWannbe- The schools are absolutely telling you the truth. THe Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs mandates that a program accept only those applicants that meet minimum requirements. Those requirement include graduation from an accredited program of nursing, hold an RN license, and have a minimum of one year experience as an RN. THe program may set more rigorous requirements such as the type of experience or length, GRE or MAT scores, GPAs etc but may not set lesser requirement under risk of losing accreditation. If the program is not accredited it's graduates may not take the certifiying exam or earn the credential CRNA.
  13. by   jwk
    Quote from CRNA, DNSc
    In response to CRNAWannbe- The schools are absolutely telling you the truth. THe Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs mandates that a program accept only those applicants that meet minimum requirements. Those requirement include graduation from an accredited program of nursing, hold an RN license, and have a minimum of one year experience as an RN. THe program may set more rigorous requirements such as the type of experience or length, GRE or MAT scores, GPAs etc but may not set lesser requirement under risk of losing accreditation. If the program is not accredited it's graduates may not take the certifiying exam or earn the credential CRNA.
    Is the national requirement just 1 year as an RN or is it a year of critical care nursing?
  14. by   CougRN
    The national requirement is at least one year of critical care experience as an RN.

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