I was wondering what people thought of the one year ICU experience required to get into CRNA school? I have recently been acepted to CRNA school and always found it strange that one year is all that is required. I came from a flight nursing background where I couldn't hire anyone without 5 years of ED/ICU experience and all of the alphabet soup that comes with the position (most of the requirenments were State mandated). I didn't even get looked at for my first flight job till I had 7 years of critical care experience. 14 years later it seems odd that an individual who has one year experience can train to function in such a advanced role. I think we can agree the CRNA functions in a role as autonomous or more so then a flight nurse. I am not taking anything away from CRNA's as I believe they are some of the smartest advanced practice people I have been associated with and it is the main reason for my career change. Just wondering what people's thoughts are?
Apr 10, '04
I think there are many reasons why there is one year of ICU experience required by CRNA schools. Being a CRNA is so very different from being an ICU nurse. It is important to get down the basics of hemodynamic monitoring and some people can get a grasp on swans/a-lines/cvps in just a year. Some don't and they are weeded out in the interview. Having years of nursing experience does add to your knowledge base but when you start CRNA school you will realize it is nothing like being an ICU nurse. I think that you need a good background to build on but many years isn't required since anesthesia nursing is completely different than what you have done in the past. They are going to teach you everything you need to know in school while you train to become a CRNA. So years of ICU experience isn't required. As for being a flight nurse you use everything you learn in the ICU plus more. You also don't get 24 plus months of schooling to become a flight nurse. There aren't clinical rotations, just what you learned during your certifications and ICU/ER experience. So you really can't compare the two. Having a only a year under your belt may make CRNA schooling more difficult but many have done it and succeeded. Just look at it as you have a lot more knowledge to draw upon in school but that doesn't ensure that you will have an easier time in CRNA school either. It's completely different from what we have done in the past and it will be a tough road for all of us. No matter what our past experiences are. Have faith that the interview process puts the best candidates in the classes and feel fortunate that you were selected. We are all in this together. Best of luck.
Apr 10, '04
I believe that Flight nursing does not require so much experience anymore. I know a nurse that became a flight nurse after one year of ICU nursing (one year of nursing total). Also, I think that ICU nursing is a broad term. One year of Critical care ICU that requires frequent GTT titrations, etc. is worth more than one year in a small community hospital ICU that sends other hospitals their sick patients.