Trying to Navigate through conflicting advice

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    Hi guys, I need some help. I'm sure you are all pretty sick of questions like this, but I have done lots of research trying to figure out what would be my most logical course of action, and I keep finding conflicting, and often confusing results and answers. Let me start from square one;

    I earned a BS almost 5 years ago, and my ultimate goal of becoming a CRNA. My first step is obviously a BS to RN program, and from what I have read, it doesn't seem to matter from what school. By that I mean that I don't have to go Temple, a local community college will suffice. But then again, I could be wrong. The next step is a Master's Degree, but this is where I get confused. Before the actual program, I must be a practicing nurse for at least a year. I also read that it is best to work as a trauma nurse; in preparation for whats to come. Does the hospital that you work at matter? Is a busy city hospital more preferable to a small town one? Furthermore, what is the "ideal" Master's program? I have seen "Master of Science in Anesthesia", "Master of Science in Nursing", and "Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia". What are the differences in those programs? Does one prepare you more comprehensively than another? I started college as a nursing major, over 10 years ago, and after a roundabout way, realized this is indeed my true passion. Needless to say, I am ready to start my career, and don't want to make any mistakes that will wind up costing me more time.

    Any help you guys can give will be greatly appreciated! Also, if you guys know or think there is a program out there that is far superior to another, I would like to hear about that as well. This is my first time posting, and I look forward to your responses.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Sarah
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  4. 4 Comments so far...

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    Community colleges typically can't offer an accelerated BSN because it is a BS degree. It does matter where you get experience an an RN, more than where you get your BSN. The best experience that will make you a candidate for the most programs is a busy ICU in a large hospital. A teaching hospital usually is a good place to learn, and you want to learn as much as possible.

    There is no best program, or best degree. Look for a program that will allow you to gain a lot of experience in all types of patients and techniques. Look for exposure, and better yet, experience with independent practice CRNAs. You want to be able to practice independently after you graduate if you choose to. The clinical experience is the most important thing to evaluate when choosing a program. Need to talk to CRNAs to get the inside information.
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    go to *allnurses.com CRNA forum*. they have good advice.
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    Well first off, you need to become an RN. Doesnt really matter where you do that. An RN is an RN. Then you must get experience. You need critical care experience. Floor nursing wont cut it. Ideally, you will go to work in a busy ICU and get as much experience as you can. The minimum is 1yr but I would think most folks have at least 2 years. Once you have the experience to prepare you to enter CRNA school, you can apply to the program of your choice. I wouldnt worry about what degree they offer unless it matters to you. If you go to a school that offers an MSN it is within a school of nursing, then be prepared to do some research. Regardless of which school you go to, you will graduate with a Masters degree and you will be prepared to practice anesthesia.
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    You will probably get your best ICU experience in teaching/university hospitals in a large city. When looking at crna programs, I don't think the type of degree matters. You do want to get the best, or most extensive clinical experiences that you can. University-based programs usually provide a larger variety of clinical settings, whereas in hospital-based programs clinical experiences are generally restricted to what services that particular hospital offers.


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