US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing - page 2

Please don't shoot me for asking but....... In order to go to the US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, do you have to join the army? Isn't that program in San Antonio, TX? :stone... Read More

  1. by   wtpooh
    Yes, you do have to join the army to be a part of that program. (My husband is in the army, but he is not a CRNA.) Yes, it is located in San Antonio. School there is free, but then you owe the army some time. I wouldn't advise it unless you want to travel overseas!
  2. by   barb4575
    When I commissioned into the US Army Nurse Corps in 1984, promises were made during recruitment and I am proud to say that they kept their word on all of them. I wanted an ICU course as I had only done Med-Surg prior to entering the Army...for six months, I had the toughest course ever and wow, did I ever learn. Giving up my Conditional Voluntary Indefinite status was the worst career mistake I made to date and I was fully aware of that on the day I gave it up too.

    Officer Basic back then was not difficult, but I did find it to be informative as I knew nothing about the military. We stayed in hotels except for three days in the field. Definitely nothing like the enlisted personnel endure and trust me, they know that too. The worst part of it was being separated from my husband during that long six weeks.

    Good luck in whatever you decide and you can write to me any time.
  3. by   marliz132000
    I just happened to come across your discussion about the program. It's probably a dead issue to you by now, but I just wanted to correct some wrong information you were given. To enter the program you can already be in the active Army. You have to have two years in before you can even apply to the program. Most people are Captains by this point. You can also go through a Army Health Care recruiter. Civilians apply to the program, get picked up and enter OBC (Officer Basic Course) It is not like the basic that you see on TV. I think almost 10 people in our class were civilians. Most people come in as first lieutenants, they are usually give time in service credit for their ICU experience. I was enlisted first so I have been through both sides. OBC is about 10 weeks long, almost all classroom. You do physical training 3 times a week. It' not difficult, running, push up, and situps. It keeps you in good shape. Then you have about two weeks to relax and get ready for the start of anesthesia nursing school. The course work is very rigorous, but it is on the outside also. Many people perfer this route because they get paid to go to schoo so their family doesn't suffer financially while they are in school. You don't get paid 90,000 unless you are a lieutenant colonel in the Army! I'm probably making about $65, 000 as a CPT and when I finish school I'll get a $6000 bonus a year which will increase to 12,000 a year when I finish my pay back committent. There are a lot of great things about being in the Army. I was stationed in Germany for 3 years and I got to travel all over the world. I took care of soldier that were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. As a CRNA you will deploy a lot. If you don't want to serve your country you shouldn't go into this program. You will be away from your family at times.
    Everyone keep telling us that this is the best job in the world. I can't wait until I'm through and can say that too.
    Anesthesia nursing is going to be difficult where ever you. Programs on the outside are very competitive to get into. I'm not saying that the Army program is easy. It's probably easier to get into, but harder to pass. You will fail out if you are not 100% motivated to becoming a CRNA.
    Hope this clarifies some things. Good luck.
  4. by   vaRN
    There is a way that you can go to the CRNA program in San Antonio without being in the Army. I am a Veterans (VA) ICU RN. They now have a program where they will pay for you to go to school there for 1 year then you do your clinicals in Augusta, Georgia for about 1.5 years. You do have to be employed by the VA for one year prior to applying. Upon graduation you owe the VA 3 years. I am awaiting their verdict for June 2004 class. I am praying every day that I will get in. For more info see their website at VA CRNA education
    Last edit by vaRN on Jan 28, '04
  5. by   ArmyCRNA
    Actually if you enter the Army first you will have to wait a minumum of two years to apply for anesthesia school, and after being selected wait another year to start school.

    However if you apply for direct entry into the anesthesia program you do not have to wait, you'll start with the very next class.

    Your rank upon entering will be determined by years of nursing experience and whether or not you hold a masters degree.

    With one year nursing you enter as a second lieutenant (2LT).

    pay would be as follows Base pay $2240.40 / month
    Food allowance 175.23 / month
    Housing (varies with dury location)

    All together less than $35,000 per year.

    Once you graduate you would receive a $6000 bonus once a year and another $166 /month for having a clinical masters degree.

    The upside is you get a good education while earning an income, travel/deployments.

    The downside, the lowest pay in the entire industry, deployments, work weeks ranging from 50-100 hours/week depending on your assignment and current staffing levels.

    I hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions.
  6. by   macanes
    I went the route you are discussing. Most of the comments by "Mariz***" and "ArmyCRNA" have already corrected the information you have been given so far. Let me throw in my two cents:

    * The US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing is top rated for a darn good reason.
    * You will work hard in the Army. However, as someone who just finished my obligation to the Army and is now a civilian, as of January, trust me: YOU WILL WORK YOUR BEHIND OFF IN CIVILIAN HOSPITALS. I have done both. You might work for low pay as an Army CRNA (until you get up in ranks, then the gap narrows, depending upon where you settle), but you will also work long hours in civilian practice. The difference, of course, is the pay. I didn't get out because the pay was low. Higher pay is just a (really nice) bennie of being a civilian. I didn't get out for the pay, but I did happily choose to contract at the same Army hospital where I worked for the past four years, because of the wonderful work environment, wonderful colleages, and great patients.
    * I got a fantastic education and I was paid to go to graduate school. If you think you'll be spending time with your husband simply because you attend a civilian program, think again. He will be working his butt off to support both of you while you will not work while you go to school, civilian or military. Several of my colleagues in the Army program were able to have stay-at-home spouses, if they chose. You will NOT find a civilian program that will pay you officer's wages while you go to school.
    * You do not have to join the Nurse Corps first. I had 18 months CCU/ICU experience when I entered the Army for three months of (cakewalk) officers basic course in (party town) San Antonio, then phase I of the anesthesia program (San Antonio for a year). Following this, you go for 18 months of clinical training at an Army medical center or (now) a VA medcen if you are a VA student, or an Air Force medcen if you are Air Force. YOU WILL NOT BE DEPLOYED WHILE YOU ARE IN SCHOOL. Although they can theoretically -- by the rules -- put you out in the field, in desperation, after . . . I can't remember, six months or a year of training . . . you would not be doing your own cases in my OR (you would be an anesthesia aide for any CNRA or 'ologist with any sense, if that happened). When you graduate, your bonus is $6,000/year while under obligation (payback), after which it is $15,000/year (which obligates you through the end of that one year) or $20k/year if you sign for two more, I think.
    * I put in my application for direct commision into the Army anesthesia program when I had less than six months experience as an RN (I went straight into the CCU/ICU, where I had been working for three years as an aide) -- processing took the rest of the time.
    * You might be deployed. I wasn't. Some of my classmates and friends have not been. Most were. I wish I had had the chance. Think of it as a chance to do more for your country than simply pay taxes. You won't be "warfighter" (you still are in some danger, but you could be killed in your SUV on the highway, or robbed on a trip to Mexico, too). You will have the opportunity to take care of some soldiers. It is an honor.
    * You might travel. You will experience living in a place only the wonderful way you can when you have the opportunity to say "Let's got to Paris/Beijing/Hong Kong/the North Shore/Maui/New Orleans/D.C. . . . for the weekend (or, it might be: ". . . Joplin, MO." -- take the good with the . . . maybe not as good)

    I am far, far, far, far from being a cheerleader for the Army or the Nurse Corps. But, I got a great education and the Army got its pound of flesh from me. We're even. Now, four years later, I'm earning great pay for the same job. The difference between my program and a civilian-trained CRNA graduate I heard from a former president of the AANA. This gentleman runs an anesthesia group of several dozen CRNAs. He, and his peers, hire military-trained CRNAs for a couple of reasons. For example, we are well trained, especially with a wide breadth of experience, such as regional anesthesia, L&D -- things you will only taste briefly in many other programs. I was bemoaning my recent years of bread-and-butter cases, having not done big cases for a while. He said, "But you did them. You have already proven that you can be trained up. I'd hire you tomorrow."
    Don't discount the email from the person waiting for word on the VA program. Beginning this year, I hear, they will be in the same classroom as the Army folks (which also includes Air Force folks, by the way). Then, you do your clinicals at any VA and owe them four 1/2 years . . . at any VA. How much cake can one person eat? Heck, sign me up for another round!
    Just kidding.

    Sincerely,

    John Zitzelberger, CRNA
    formerly CPT Z
    Columbus, Georgia

    Quote from seewhiterabbit
    Well, thanks so much for all the information! The whole things sounds like it definately does not float my boat....no way! But that is how I figured it was....I just saw on a list that the US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing was number two on the top ranking anesthesia schools...oh well, this information from all of you has really helped me know that this is definately not right for me....it might have been if I wasn't married...but I am so...I would rather stay with my husband than be away from him all the time....
    Thanks again.
  7. by   deepz
    Quote from JJFROG
    .......Don't forget your main purpose is to be ready for war.
    http://www.gaspasser.com/CRNAinIraq.html

    deepz
  8. by   septicwad
    I am a former Army medic, and I will receive a commission upon graduation from nursing school in 2005 into the Army Nurse Corp. You will not be considered for CRNA school until you have served four years or reached the rank of Captain (O-4). If you are accepted to anesthsia school you will incur another 54 month obligation to the Army. You receive full pay and benefits while in CRNA school. If you choose the Army your initial obligation will be four years or six years depending upon whether you accept the signing bonus. The Army will repay up to about $27,000 in student loans with your initial four year obligation. You can choose three stations of duty and you are highly likely to get one of your top two. Upon entrance into the Army your first year will be doing rotations among the different clinical specialties. My brother served in the Army as a nurse. His experience greatly influenced me, and I was prior service.
  9. by   septicwad
    Quote from seewhiterabbit
    Well, thanks so much for all the information! The whole things sounds like it definately does not float my boat....no way! But that is how I figured it was....I just saw on a list that the US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing was number two on the top ranking anesthesia schools...oh well, this information from all of you has really helped me know that this is definately not right for me....it might have been if I wasn't married...but I am so...I would rather stay with my husband than be away from him all the time....

    Thanks again.
    by the way, what was the number one program?
  10. by   N2bate
    Quote from septicwad
    by the way, what was the number one program?
    Virginia Commonwealth University
  11. by   marliz132000
    Quote from septicwad
    I am a former Army medic, and I will receive a commission upon graduation from nursing school in 2005 into the Army Nurse Corp. You will not be considered for CRNA school until you have served four years or reached the rank of Captain (O-4). If you are accepted to anesthsia school you will incur another 54 month obligation to the Army. You receive full pay and benefits while in CRNA school. If you choose the Army your initial obligation will be four years or six years depending upon whether you accept the signing bonus. The Army will repay up to about $27,000 in student loans with your initial four year obligation. You can choose three stations of duty and you are highly likely to get one of your top two. Upon entrance into the Army your first year will be doing rotations among the different clinical specialties. My brother served in the Army as a nurse. His experience greatly influenced me, and I was prior service.
    If you have any questions just go to the Army CRNA program site. People are talking about things they don't know anything about. I'm in the program right now. I got in as a 1LT. You only have to have 2 years in before you apply, but there are waivers for everything. And as far as the 3 duty stations you pick "dream list", keep dreaming. The Army will send you where they need you!
  12. by   vaRN
    Quote from marliz132000
    If you have any questions just go to the Army CRNA program site. People are talking about things they don't know anything about. I'm in the program right now. I got in as a 1LT. You only have to have 2 years in before you apply, but there are waivers for everything. And as far as the 3 duty stations you pick "dream list", keep dreaming. The Army will send you where they need you!
    I will start the program in June. What is the average class size? Do you have any free time?
  13. by   marliz132000
    Quote from vaRN
    I will start the program in June. What is the average class size? Do you have any free time?
    The first year hasn't been bad. We have a lot of 4 day weekends. We usually have one test a week. Somedays you get out at 1030 or 1130. We never have class later than 1630. We do PT 3 days a week at 0500. I have a lot of free time right now. We started with 46 students and we're down to 36. I don't think we'll lose any more students this year. We've made it through most of the really hard test. They told us at the beginning of the year that you typically lose 25-30% of your class over the 2 1/2 years. We're a little ahead of schedule.

Must Read Topics


close