Why CRNA

  1. 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 choice of specialty is Nurse Anesthesia. Unfortunately, I was put on wait list but was allowed to pick any other specialty.
    So, I am trying to decide if I should go for another specialty (e.g. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner), or should I somehow get into a CRNA program (wait and reapply, defer 2nd phase and work for a year then apply to other schools, or apply for post-master cert. after this program).
    I would love to know why you decided to become a CRNA, and what job satifcations you can get from working as a CRNA that other careers cannot offer. I know CRNA makes good money, but I don't want money alone to determine what I want to do.
    I would also like to listen to your honest opinion on any down side of being a CRNA.
    Thanks in advance for your reply.
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   athomas91
    i don't quite understand... you don't have a nursing degree and no nursing experience...yet you are wanting to be a CRNA or another APN?? do you plan on getting a degree for nursing or working as a nurse as these are requirements for either type of path??

    otherwise - not yet being a CRNA - but an SRNA - I can't tell you how enjoyable, fullfilling and intense a position it is...i can't believe they will pay me to do this!
  4. by   JoYang
    Quote from athomas91
    i don't quite understand... you don't have a nursing degree and no nursing experience...yet you are wanting to be a CRNA or another APN?? do you plan on getting a degree for nursing or working as a nurse as these are requirements for either type of path??

    otherwise - not yet being a CRNA - but an SRNA - I can't tell you how enjoyable, fullfilling and intense a position it is...i can't believe they will pay me to do this!
    I have volunteered in ER and OR, and also worked in a pediatric clinic as a medical assistant. Even though I am working as a scientist/chemist right now, I am also on call as an ER tech.

    I am certain that I want to take on nursing as my career, but not certain what specialty I should go into.

    There are master programs (usually three years) out there for people with a non-nursing BS/BA degree and wish to become a nurse. After the first year of the program I am accepted into, I will be given a second BS (i.e. BSN). The second and the third year is the second phase, for the master degree.

    So I am just looking for some advice from CRNA's to see if CRNA is a more interesting career than ACNP.

    Could you tell me why you find your work enjoyable and fulfilling?

    Thanks for the reply.
  5. by   athomas91
    well, i am of course biased....in that i do think that CRNA is the ultimate nursing career (if not career in general)
    however - you have one patient (at a time) that you can dedicate all your time/energy/skills into...and when anesthesia is done correctly and well - it is a true art - the outcome is a true art... there is no other nursing position that enables you to challenge both your clinical and critical thinking skills at one time on one patient...and that allows you to see it through till the end. IMHO it is the pinnacle of nursing
  6. by   meandragonbrett
    Josephine,
    I don't think there are any 3 year programs as you have described like the Vanderbil NP programs that are nurse anesthesia programs. If I were you and wanting to go the CRNA route, I would look into ADN programs since you already have a BS. Then, look at the few anesthesia schools that don't require a BSN. As far as CRNP vs. CRNA, that is only a decision you can make

    Good luck and welcome to the board!
    Brett
  7. by   MICU RN
    I think it is a very good idea that all crna's schools require at least one year of critical care as a RN; not just because you will need at least some background in being around sick people, but also you get a chance to see if critical care is for you. Believe it or not some people find it very stressful and once realizing that would never want the stress that comes with anesthesia managemnet. Most nurses who apply to anesthesia school have worked in critical care areas enough to know if they can or want to handle that kind of stress. However, I have met a couple of medical residents who were in anesthesia and switched and everyone of them cited the stress level was too high. Why is that? I think because most as medical students did not get enough exposure to really sick patients, much less have those types of patient's lives in their hands. So what I am getting at is I don't think it would be good to just jump right into anesthesia school with no critical care exposure. I aslo don't personally agree with the three year BSN/NP programs, however I have met one who graduated from one program and she seems to be doing well. However, I don't quite understand how they can teach a person how to be a bedside nurse and practice medicine in as little as 3 years. It takes at least 4 years of medical school and a three year residency to practice internal medicine or family medicine.
    And please don't take my comments as being directed at you in a negative way, I am just giving you my humble opion concerning these issues. I wish the best and hope you do try become a crna it can be a very rewarding career.
    Last edit by MICU RN on Apr 5, '04
  8. by   JoYang
    Quote from meandragonbrett
    Josephine,
    I don't think there are any 3 year programs as you have described like the Vanderbil NP programs that are nurse anesthesia programs. If I were you and wanting to go the CRNA route, I would look into ADN programs since you already have a BS. Then, look at the few anesthesia schools that don't require a BSN. As far as CRNP vs. CRNA, that is only a decision you can make

    Good luck and welcome to the board!
    Brett
    There are very few schools with a 3 year BSN-MSN in nurse anesthesia program. I am sure that Georgetown and Columbia both have this type of program. I think there is a third school which I can't remember the name of right now. That program requires students to obtain 1-2 years of critical care experience after BSN, the go on to the MSN phase.
  9. by   CougRN
    Something doesn't sound right here. The requirments for CRNA programs are standard across the board for students. A year minimum of critical care nursing experience is required and can't be waived. You may want to look closer at the program to figure out how you are going to get that experience.
  10. by   loisane
    I heard about the direct entry programs at Columbia and Georgetown on this board. I was skeptical too, but I found info on their websites that they do exist. Most practicing CRNAs do not know of these. I have been called an outright liar by some people, for even suggesting they exist!

    I have no personal knowledge of these programs. But these are respected institutions, with traditional CRNA programs. My belief is that they are being innovative, and are trying something "outside the box". These programs are accredited, so the COA must feel they meet standards.

    My personal "reading between the lines" on their websites, is that these direct entry programs are more geared to, and more successful with, the non-CRNA APN roles. I got the feeling from reading their website that it is pretty difficult to get accepted into their CRNA tract in the direct entry way. JoYang's experience validates this belief.

    I don't have any advice on this. Only an observation that this is an unusual approach. I would imagine it would take just the right kind of person to be the right "fit" for this kind of path.

    loisane crna
  11. by   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).
  12. by   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.
  13. by   athomas91
    there are no negatives if you know ahead of time that it is a long, hard, rocky, slippery slope to climb....some would see that as a negative - i see it as a challenge...
  14. by   Sheri257
    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.
    Wow. And I thought things all of these one year accelerated BSN programs were nuts. Now you can acquire an acclerated BSN and, essentially, an acclerated CRNA, where you don't even have to be a nurse or work in ICU first? All in just three years?

    Sorry to be blunt, but this is wrong. I assumed these standards were established for a reason. I'm committed to following them, even if it takes me another five to ten years. But if somebody else doesn't have to well, quite frankly, that's irritating, to say the least.

    Do they want me to follow the established standards, or not? Do they want me to obtain the appropriate education and experience, or not? Because if other people are allowed to take shortcuts, well, I will seriously question whether I should invest the time and money into this profession.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 7, '04

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