Question!

  1. Hello. I'm a high school student and wondoring how long it takes to become a CRNA. I know that at least one year of experience in ICU is required by most CRNA schools, and here is my question. Is it possible to get a job in ICU setting immediately after graduating from 4 year college w/ BSN? ... or do I need an experience in some other areas before getting into ICU? If so, in what area and how long?
    Thank you in advance.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   New CCU RN
    I just graduated last May from a BSN program. I have been working since then in an ICU. I had prior experience as a nurse extern and a PCT. It is doable to start off in an ICU. But you definitely want to get some type of experience while you are nursing school bc it is not a good idea to enter the ICU environment with just clinical experience from school. Also you are gonna need to look for a hospital that offers a good orientation. There have been many threads dedicated to this. Try looking through the MICU/CCU forums as well as this one as it has been addressed many times.

    As far as time requirements,
    BSN 4 years
    At least one year ICU (average is more like 3-5) but required is one
    CRNA school is anywhere from 24-36 months...depending on the program.

    Good luck to you.
  4. by   pokey sn
    You may want to check out www.careers.iptv.org/enhanced/1038/
    It is great for high school students or anyone in general looking for more info on becoming a CRNA. It offers a video showing a day in the life, goes through the education requirements and gives you more of a clearer picture of what it takes to be a CRNA. Good luck! Also a note of advice, start with the BSN program first! It will save you a lot of time in the long run!
  5. by   OKIE-DOKIE
    Here in Oklahoma we are so short-staffed, especially in the ICU and CICU units that they have been hiring even new ADN grads (without a BSN) directly into the ICU. I have several friends who entered ICU right out of school and have not regretted the decision since. They say it's an awesome learning experience! So, to answer your question...no, you shouldn't have any problem entering the ICU environment right out of school. I'm planning on transfering to the ICU in about a year or so. I currently work on a general medical floor and carry a high patient load. I am very dissatisfied with my job at this point and regret that I did not simply go directly in to the ICU right out of school. I had thought about it, but it just seemed to intimidating to me right out of school. I was too afraid to take the plunge. On a lighter note, working on the floor has allowed me to gain a lot of organizational and prioritization skills. For that, I'm glad. Good luck to you!!
  6. by   dreamer616
    I'm currently a BSN student and my question is this: as a ~new graduate, what have you found to be the most challenging aspect of preparing for a career in nursing anesthesiology? Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your externship or during clinicals? Thanks in advance!
  7. by   CRNA, DNSc
    See if you can arrange an experience in your BSN clinical to shadow (or spend time with) a CRNA. You will benifit greatly by getting a first hand look at what CRNAs do and how they got to where they are and what they think about their profession! Good luck
  8. by   New CCU RN
    Hey dreamer,

    Sorry I did not respond earlier to your posting. I just read it to be honest.

    In my opinion, the best way to prepare for anesthesia school during your ICU nursing days is to suck up as much information as possible. Question everything. Read on your own. Research what is going on with your patients. Try and see the big picture. Part of this will come in time but alot of it has to do with your effort to learn. Don't be in a rush to get into NA school either. Spend your years (yes I did say years simply because in my opinion one year of ICU nursing when starting as a new grad is simply not enough), really learning about hemodynamic monitoring, patho, pharmacology, etc. You have to look for learning opportunities.

    AS far as what I would have done differently during college, well, I worked in OB rather than ICU. I liked the laid back atmosphere, but the learning kinda stopped after a few months. I got a little bored in it. However, it made me discover that I wanted to be an ICU nurse, which then I came to the realization that CRNA is what I wanted to do.

    We actually had a code on our OB unit one night. I totally got into it and was assisting (not anything major), but my head was on straight, I did not panic, I was able to focus and assist. Other nurses on my unit were getting all upset. That is what made me realize that I wanted to be in a high intensity, fast paced critical care environment.

    My advice to you would be to maybe get some type of internship in an ICU and also to shadow an ICU nurse as well as a CRNA. See if it really is for you.

    When it comes time to graduate, if you can, go to a larger hospital. There will be more high tech procedures, monitoring, sicker patient, etc. It will only helping your learning so that you can be ready for whatever!!!1

    Good luck to you and I hope I have answered your questions. Sorry again about the delay.

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