Why CRNA - page 2

Hi everyone, My name is Josephine and this is going to be my first post on this board. I have a BS in Biochem and was accepted to Columbia's master program for non-nursing BS/BA holders. My first... Read More

  1. by   CRNA, DNSc
    Look at it as a deferred or conditional admission. You can bet that if the person doesn't do well in the BSN portion or complete the critical care experience they won't be allowed to start the anesthesia portion. The anesthesia portion is not accelerated just the BSN (which is not unlike other second degree programs for the person that already has another bachelors degree- length varies 15-18 months). Relax- they are not short-cutting the standards just mapping things out waaaaaaay in advance.
  2. by   jemommyRN
    I just would like to know, WHY IS EVERYBODY TALKING ABOUT THE ROUTE TO CRNA WHEN THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION HERE? All the op wants to know is what made you all choose CRNA. Why do you like it? Why don't you like it?
  3. by   meandragonbrett
    Quote from jemommy
    I just would like to know, WHY IS EVERYBODY TALKING ABOUT THE ROUTE TO CRNA WHEN THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION HERE? All the op wants to know is what made you all choose CRNA. Why do you like it? Why don't you like it?
    We have contributed to something that was mentioned by the original poster. Direct-entry CRNA programs. What have you contributed other than yelling?
  4. by   smiling_ru
    Quote from JoYang
    Thanks everyone for the reply.
    I still haven't decided if I want to become a CRNA, following traditional path or not. The purpose of my post is to find out the pros and cons of being a CRNA. Could any of you CRNAs/SRNAs let me know why you initially decided to go for it and why you stayed with it? and are there any negatives in this profession?
    Columbia, the school I applied to, told me there is an intern period after BSN to let the students get some acute care experience. I was surprised when I first found out unlike other programs I found, one year nursing experience wasn't required. Unfortunately, there are only 8 spots per class.
    I think that it is harder to respond to this question from someone who has not worked in nursing yet. This is because once you have worked for a little while in the profession you get a feel for the types of patients/care that you want to provide. Those things determine which route people end up taking.

    Some generalizations would be that nurses who like technology, one on one care, CONTROL, and a little adrenaline tend to gravitate toward CRNA. As for the other ARNP roles I am not sure...as I did not take that route. I am very happy with the choice I made, but that does not mean that someone with different preferences would be.

    Do you have the option of choosing your specialty after your clinical training? Could you still choose the anesthesia option then, as you would not begin that portion until after the clinical time? If you can delay declaring a specialty until you have a feel for the fields that would be the best route.
  5. by   Kiwi
    Here are some cons:

    1) Health care is a 24/7 business, and surgery is certainly in that category. This means that all surgery/anesthesia departments have staff working or on call 24/7. You and your family have to realize that there will be family events that you will not be able to attend. You may not make it to a child's concert or game. The amount of on call time will depend on the size of the anesthesia department you work with.

    2) Anesthesia can be a stressful job. It is said that any job you are well-trained and prepared for is not stressful. This is true to a point, but in anesthesia bad things happen to people. They may be no fault of your own, or anyone else's, but in anesthesia you get involved in caring for these people. You need to be prepared for these events. Some practitioners handle this better than others.

    3) Politics is a part of any job. Anesthesia and health care is no different. Nurse Anesthesia is a very autonomous position - you are expected to be on your toes. There is some jealousy, so it objectively seems. I'm a NS working part time in ICU, and many RNs get annoyed with CRNAs. To put it bluntly, many nurses view earning a CRNA = leaving nursing. This profession seems estranged in a way from others healthcare, but very devoted to one another. To get a better view of anesthesia politics in action, go to www.studentdoctor.net and look at the anesthesiology board.

    You seem well qualified. My boyfriend is a biochemist (going into hand surgery), so I can appreciate the knowledge that comes along with that major. You already have the brain for science. Anesthesia really is a calling though, and you must enjoy working with the clients. Good luck in your decision
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from CRNA, DNSc
    Look at it as a deferred or conditional admission. You can bet that if the person doesn't do well in the BSN portion or complete the critical care experience they won't be allowed to start the anesthesia portion. The anesthesia portion is not accelerated just the BSN (which is not unlike other second degree programs for the person that already has another bachelors degree- length varies 15-18 months). Relax- they are not short-cutting the standards just mapping things out waaaaaaay in advance.
    Why do I always read on this board that most CRNA programs require ICU experience, preferably a lot of it. Don't most CRNA programs prefer substantial ICU experience, even beyond the one year minimum?

    This link to the acclerated Georgetown program says they only require "work experience in a clinical setting."

    http://snhs.georgetown.edu/content.cfm?objectID=1470

    Assuming they only have "work experience in a clinical setting," how much critical care experience can anyone obtain in a three, maybe three and half years, while they're also obtaining their BSN and CRNA? Especially since they have to become an RN first?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the point of the ICU requirement was to obtain substantial critical care experience as an RN in the real world of nursing BEFORE you could even be considered for a CRNA program. Isn't that the standard? And, even if some critical care experience is built into this acclerated program, there doesn't seem to be much time for it.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but it sure looks like a shortcut. The AANA always screams about AA's lack of experience, but if programs like this become more popular, I wouldn't be surprized if CRNA's eventually expose themselves to similar criticism.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 7, '04
  7. by   smiling_ru
    I believe that we discussed both Georgetown and Columbia some time ago. In that discussion, somone pointed out that they still had to obtain 1 year of critical care experience to enter the anesthesia program. This was obtained during the program, after the minimum requirements for licensure were met, similar to working while going to school.

    The AANA/COA requires that candidates have acute care experience, while there is some debate about what constitutes acute care, most schools consider it ICU, some will also accept ER or higher level PACU (those are where the debate comes in)
    At any rate, while that website states clinical experience, the anesthesia site is specific to ICU. You can bet those standards will be held for all students.
    http://snhs.georgetown.edu/content.cfm?objectID=1482
    Last edit by smiling_ru on Apr 7, '04
  8. by   zacarias
    Quote from ether
    You already have the brain for science. Anesthesia really is a calling though, and you must enjoy working with the clients. G:
    I love the sciences, I'm already an RN and love working with people. I think CNRA would be perfect for me. However, I want to work in primary care in rural areas I think even more. If only there was a dual CRNA/FNP program out there, I would do it in a heartbeat.
  9. by   Sheri257
    Quote from smiling_ru
    I believe that we discussed both Georgetown and Columbia some time ago. In that discussion, somone pointed out that they still had to obtain 1 year of critical care experience to enter the anesthesia program. This was obtained during the program, after the minimum requirements for licensure were met, similar to working while going to school.

    The AANA/COA requires that candidates have acute care experience, while there is some debate about what constitutes acute care, most schools consider it ICU, some will also accept ER or higher level PACU (those are where the debate comes in)
    At any rate, while that website states clinical experience, the anesthesia site is specific to ICU. You can bet those standards will be held for all students.
    http://snhs.georgetown.edu/content.cfm?objectID=1482
    Thanks for the clarification, but I assume we're still talking about a three, three and a half year time frame. If that's the case, I still don't see how this measures up to the AANA's claim that CNRA's have a minimum of 7-8 years of education and experience, directly related to health care and anesthesia.

    Assuming the acclerated BSN portion takes one year, that only leaves two or two and half years for both the one year of ICU experience and the CRNA portion of the program --- when most CRNA programs alone usually take 24 to 36 months.

    This is not a shortcut? Not to mention, is such an abbreviated time frame a good idea? You say the ICU portion is "similar to working while going to school." But as the FAQ's on this site point, it's not a good idea to "work" even during a traditional CRNA program, since it's so demanding. Perhaps this is why most schools require ICU experience first. How can you effectively do all of this in such a short time?

    Unless the time frame is actually longer than what's been mentioned on this thread, this doesn't seem to measure up to the AANA's claims and standards, even when you give some consideration for the previous science degree, etc.

    :uhoh21:
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 8, '04
  10. by   pnurseuwm
    Okay, so now that the original poster's plans to get into anesthesia have been hashed and re-hashed, can anyone tell her/him their personal opinions of pros and cons about the CRNA profession?
  11. by   smiling_ru
    Quote from pnurseuwm
    Okay, so now that the original poster's plans to get into anesthesia have been hashed and re-hashed, can anyone tell her/him their personal opinions of pros and cons about the CRNA profession?
    I have already done that.

    Lizz,
    The ICU experience is before the nurse anesthesia portion. So when I talked of working and going to school, I did not mean during the CRNA portion.
    Look at it this way, you go and get your BSN, your year of experience, your MS in anesthesia and your looking at 7 years.

    You have a BS (4years) you go through an accelerated program 3-4 years = 7-8 years. Same time (maybe a little more) different route.
  12. by   gugal
    Having actually graduated from Georgetown's CRNA program, I can actually attest to the fact that you cannot enter the CRNA portion of the BSN-MSN program without having fulfilled the requirement for ICU experience. What happens is that you take non-anesthesia courses to complete the BSN portion (some of the non-anesthesia classes eventually transfer over and apply to the msn requirements) and then have to apply/obtain approval to enter the MSN/Nurse Anesthesia program phase. You may get accepted to the BSN/MSN track but that doesn't guarantee admission to the Nurse Anesthesia program. However, some other advanced practice nursing specialites do not require any actual clinical practice as an RN prior to admittance (such as family nurse practitioner programs--I have friends who went straight from obtaining a BSN in nursing to attending MSN programs for FNP).

    Quote from Cherish
    Georgetown does have a program like that. So yes it is TRUE that you can be in a CRNA program without having been a nurse first. As long as you have a Bachelors they then train you to get a BSN. Which takes about a year. Then its 2-2 1/2 yrs to get the Masters to become a CRNA. You do clinicals like everyone else. But after you get your bsn its required to have a years worth of CC. THEN you start your masters. So don't get confused that its joint. It's a break after your BSN of a year then you start your masters. MANY people do not know this. Just thought I should let y'all know. My aunt happens to work in there nursing dept. So she knows and told me about it (my goal is to be a CRNA but have to finish my BSN first lol...step by step).
  13. by   kdst
    joyang, i think the best way to find out if crna is for you is to spend as much time as you can shadowing several different crnas. seeing as how you will need icu experience, i also suggest shadowing in a few different icus so you can get an idea of what you will be expected to do. trust me it is very different than med assisting or ER tech-ing. (those jobs are great for getting a little exposure to the hospital but not specific enough for what you need to know.) then you can ask these people the questions you want answered on the board and get a direct answer. i am in the middle ground: 11 years intensive care nursing and just accepted to crna but don't start til august. the reasons i got hooked were: i love to learn and there is so much science, the autonomy (gets old being a peon), i love to focus on one patient at a time and give them everything i've got, i like being part of a team, etc etc not in any order. i guess what i'm getting at is that you have to find out if the job and you are a good fit. if it is and you can get there in an accelerated program then more power to you. don't be surprised if after that 1 year in the icu you don't feel ready. i know i wouldn't have, but then everyone is different and there is more than one way to do it.

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