Upgrading application for anesthetist school

  1. I have a question or two. I have been reading the posts. I think it was Nilopec that referred to another post from last year. I believe he stated that sciences had to be strong.

    I interviewed an then talked with a director and stated that the chemistry that you have in the nursing education foundation is usually enough to succeed in school.
    I wondering if you feel that there should be more science.
    I was told that the organic chemistry you receive in anesthetist school is structured for the art of nurse anesthetist. Where as the organic chemistry course is broad spectrum chemistry for all majors, ie engineering, teaching and others.
    I have the general chemistry one. Do you recommend going on and doing more sciences ie inorganic & organic sciences? Do you recommend more biology courses and which ones. How much math ie calculus?
    For those of you have been accepted what did you application look like? How much math, how much science and types and any other things that you can think of. I understand the GPA, and high GREs. And larger ICU experience that provides aggressive froms of care and treatment variables. Understanding hemodynamics is a positive factor. I believe someone mentioned know the names, of drugs as well as generic names is important.
    If anyone can validate or reject these above ideas, please add your two cents worth. Kevin, wntermute, nilepoc and BRobinson and anyothers that can shed a light on this subject matter, please do.
    I call this making a road map to succeesful applicant acceptance.
    Setting the standards
    Sandy
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   AL bug
    Sandy, I have started CRNA school in May. Here are my thoughts on what classes/degree may be beneficial. I had an ADN and went back for RN-BSN. I actually wanted to get my bachelor degree in chemistry or biology, but it would have teken a year longer than the BSN. I thought while in the BSN program I wasn't getting any good out of it, only letters behiind my name. In hindsight, I wish I had gotten my degree in chemistry or biology. Here's why. I didn't have a clue in cellular phisiology when we started the class, so I had to study really hard, and that was just the basics. I suggest taking inorganic, organic, and some kind of cellular biology. None of these were required to get in, but I think it would be much easier if I had had the patients to take a few more classes. What I can say for the BSN is that I am acing the Health Care Administration classes I am in now. I can also use the computer and write papers and do projects, but these are the difficult part. To sum it up, I wish I had a stronger background in phisiology than in computer/writing skills.
    I know I'm babbling and this may not help.
    bug
  4. by   AL bug
    Obviously, I am having a little trouble with the grammer today.
    Patients=patience. The computer junk is not the hard part, the anesthesia and pharm and phisiology will be.
    bug
  5. by   ma kettle
    Well, I guess to sum up what your recommendations are: I have my BSN. since 1994. But I guess because of the stiff competition I need things to stand out. So I am planning on going on and starting in the math region. Then possibly taking some more chemistry. However, the computer skills you mentioned I haven't heard and really sound reasonable. I just don't to spend money and time on something that will have no barring on the goal of getting in and succeeding as a nurse anesthetist. Thank you for your prompt reply
    Sandy
  6. by   lgcv
    I can't think of any reason to take other math courses, unless you are weak in this area or had a low grade in a previous course.
    Chemistry is probably the best choice for an extra class, I would choose organic as we did not cover much inorganic in our class. Or a general chem II.
    The best thing to do would be look at the weak areas from your BSN program, then take a higher level course in the same subject (focus on sciences). That will show that you can do the work.
  7. by   nilepoc
    While class work is important, I think there is more to an application than what you have learned in a class.

    I personally have attended and completed classes in

    Chem. I, II (with lab)
    Physics (non calculus) I,II (with lab)
    Genetics, Immunology, (audits)
    Molecular cell biology
    Healthcare related special topic classes like parasites and Aids directed study
    More computer science than necessary, part of a degree

    I finished out my undergrad degree with greater than 200 credit hours.

    but where I think it is more important to shine, is to make yourself unique. I have said it before, and i will say it again.

    Get an ACLS instructor or PALS instructor cert. Obtain your CCRN, and or another national certification say the CPAN.

    Go out of your way to learn new skills, I learned to place PICC's specifically because I knew that it would look good to have central line experience on my resume. Teach mini lectures on your unit, on specific ICU related topics.

    Participate in research, I wrote a review article while in nursing school that was published. That alone was highly looked on by my interviewers.

    Do well on your GRE, My advice is, take the test once, you might surprise yourself, I did no prep for it and did well, thus saving myself the money a review would have cost.

    Get a variety of ICU experience, I worked in two different ICU's, one was a cardiac intensive care, and the other a trauma surgical burn intensive care. The variety of experience is a big bonus. Plus the cardiac ICU work made the CCRN a cinch.

    Learn about your program of choice before going there for the interview. This will help you ask more direct questions that will make the interviewers remember you.

    Take on the role of charge in your unit. This will show that you have an inherent ability to lead, and to take charge of situations that are difficult. this is pretty much the reason I was willing to accept the permanent charge position in my ICU.

    I hope this helps.

    let me know if you want more specific info. I will be glad to give you my opinion.
  8. by   alansmith52
    I think for your own sanity that you should relize that nilpoc has been accpeted to gorgetown. he is so highly qualified (more so I hope than neccesary) that any school would have welcomed him with open arms. the fact he has pulblished in relation to research has got to floor any interviewer.
    so I have tried to take his advice at much as possible but not to the point of beating myself over the head with it. also wintrmute has a 4.0 and an 1800 on the gre.
    I belive that it takes experince and other scholastic qualities to get accepted but reason tells me that these two gentlemen maybe the exception and not the rule.
    matt (not accepted and not a crna)
  9. by   WntrMute2
    I agree Alan, there are a number of students in my class that don't look as good on paper as I do but are doing great in both class and clinical. Keep up the hard work.
  10. by   adnstudent
    I work for Kaiser right now and am curious to know if working at Cedars Sinai or UCLA would affect my entrance into a CRNA program. I'm only starting the RN program this Fall but am planning my future hopefully with a masters to do anesthesia. Kaiser actually has amazing benefits, ie 10,000 in forgivable loans for RN's who stay with them for four years.
  11. by   ma kettle
    shadowed many nurse anesthetists. Very nice and well planned out experience. There was one lady who made sure I was always seeing something new. All the CRNAs seem very interested in what they were doing and very happy of their choices in proffession. I have yet to hear just one say a negative thing. Most talked and thought outloud as they did their cases. One seemed very interested in teaching and asked a few questions to aid in the thinking on my part. Although the heart was cancealed, there was alot of cases to see. I was disappointed to learn at this particular hospital they (crnas) only start their own A-lines. CVP, swans, most inductions and all the regionals are not done yet by the staff CRNAs. They have made arrangements for the University of Pitt students to get the regional experiences they need. They are however, trying to get some things changed so they can do more .
    I didnot feel any bad vibes between the CRNAs and the MDA or the surgeons. All seemed to go smoothly.
    I do have to share with you though, by the end of the day, many people from the ICU (where I work) had already started a rummor that I was transferring to the OR.
    If anyone is considering going to school for anesthesia, I have to say without a doubt, give advanced notice, and it seems that the staff CRNAs will do all in their power to provide a well rounded experience.

    Sandy
  12. by   AL bug
    Sandy, What is latest in your application process. Weren't you taking some more classes?
    Just curious. You seem really dedicated to reaching your goal.
    bug
  13. by   ma kettle
    Iam in a holding pattern. I have a GRE score of only 1380. so I need to go back and study, study and more study. I was hoping to remain around the Pittsburgh or western Ohio region for school. St. Elizabeths now requires a PALs certificate just to apply.
    I have been working two different hospitals and trying to maintain schedules for both. It gets interesting to say the least.
    Some weeks I work 58 hours. But I needed the more aggressive trauma experience,(ICU level one trauma) . But I have been working at another hospital since 1988. Even though I have been in the ICU/CCu there it is not considered to be aggressive enough critical care experience. So Iam desperately trying to juggle family, 6 kids and two jobs and trying to keep everyone happy. All this just to gain acceptance to CRNA school. Things at this time look slim to none but I'll keep trying until they all say "go away".

    I was very much hurt with a GPA of 2.86 from 1987. Even though I went back and repeated all the course that were poor. The orginal GPA still haunts me. These redue courses are seen as "adds ons" . So I have been able to make it to interviews. I believe that the applicants are well equipped for school with wonderful GPas and wonderful GREs that a mom with 6 kids and a orginal gpa that has questionable ability, is no match for the better well rounded applicant. I guess, it is not meant to be at this time. ,For what ever reason.
    I have been consumed by a family tragedity of a sister-in-law hitting & killing a 13 year old girl on a go kart. It turned out to be the kids fault, but this doesnot help some one get over the guilt she now feels.
    I am trying to do all that will help. But at this time all I can do is redue the GREs with the hope of a better score. Moving is not a possibility at this time in my life. Causidity laws and a husband with a wonderful tenured career. So I will have to be content watching and cheering you all on. For me it is like looking through the Sears catologue for a wish list.
    I was so excited to be able to just shadow someone for the day, the night before I had trouble sleeping and I awakened every hour to make sure I would not be late for the big day... I even took a very short lunch break so I wouldnot miss anything. Very fun day.
    Thanks for asking and caring. Good luck to you
    Sandy

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