Working in ICU on Weekends Only

  1. Okay, I have finally decided to work toward becoming becoming a CRNA (hopefully working in a pain clinic) after I complete my BSN. My school, UW-Milwaukee offers an accelerated BSN program (I already have a Bachelor's degree in something else) which is 2 semesters, 1 summer, and then 1 more semester.

    So this is the plan:
    1st yr: Fall, Spring, Summer- Completing pre-reqs
    2nd yr: Fall, Spring, Summer- Accelerated BSN
    3rd yr: Fall- Completing rest of Accerlerated BSN, take NCLEX and taking chem 102 (intro chem for pre-med). Spring- chem 104, trig, etc., Summer- work and research
    4th yr: Fall, Spring, Summer- More upper level sciences (organic chem, etc.) and doing ICU requirement on weekends.
    5th yr: Fall, Spring, Summer- More science (physics, bio chem, mircro bio, advanced stats, etc.), still working in ICU on weekends, applying to anesthesia school.

    So, as you see, I'm trying to work ICU on the weekends so I can do all of the upper level sciences (that most anesthesia schools require, especially Rush) during the week. Do you all think this will work out?
    Thanks for your opinions.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   TraumaNurse
    If you are motivated and do not have a lot of obligations such as children or a spouse, then go for it. It is tough going to work full-time and going to school full time, but plenty of us have managed to do it. THe hardest thing for you will be that you are going to be new to ICU and that in itself will require a lot of hard work and study as well as many courses and certifications. You will have your plate full, but dedication and time mangement will make things easier. Good luck.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    I worked every Saturday and Sunday in an ICU while I went to graduate school during the week. I worked days, so didn't get much time at work to study, but the night shift always had time to hit the books at work! It was a full schedule, and my social life pretty much went on hold for the duration, but it was definitely doable. I wasn't new to ICU, or to that particular job, so that helped.
  5. by   Repat
    This is a great thread for me - I will be working Baylor, days, while I go to grad school during the week (and yes, I have young children), The clinical is going to be the killer, but I keep telling myself "it's only 2 years"! Good to know it has been done....
  6. by   pnurseuwm
    Repat,
    When you say "graduate school" do you mean you will be doing nurse anes school pre-reqs or are you going to actually BE in anes school while working at Baylor?
  7. by   Athlein
    Pnurse,
    Holy cow! Just reading your post exhausted me. You have drive!

    It's terrific to have a well-though-out long term plan - just remember to stay flexible and open-minded so that you can alter those goals as time progresses. Five years is a long time to have everything go according to plan.

    Make sure you have person-to-person communication with the admissions directors at the schools you are considering as well as the unit directors in hospitals where you wish to work.
    Here's why:
    1. Anesthesia programs typically require 1 year of full-time study. You will need to ascertain whether working 24 hours per week is sufficient.
    2. Many new graduate ICU internships require a full-time commitment for a duration of time. Do not underestimate the energy and time it takes to transition from student nurse to bedside nurse. And, even if you can find a hospital that will place you directly into the ICU, there are often didactic days held during the week during your internship.

    By my calcs, you will have five long years of working and going to school by the time you start an anesthesia program. Add two and a half years of incredibly intense coursework on top of that. Seven and a half to eight years without a break is a very long time. Why not consider taking a year just to work, have fun, do some volunteering - in short, to live life?

    Best of luck with your plans!

    PS. The "Baylor" that Repat is referring to is another name for the weekend-option work schedule. Someone once told me that it was popularized at that hospital, hence the name.
    Last edit by Athlein on Aug 15, '03
  8. by   MICU RN
    How about completing your accelerated BSN program and then find a program that requires few if any other courses. Many that i looked at including the one I got accepted in required just a grad. level stat's course. So you could then go work full time in the icu WHILE YOU TAKE YOUR ONE PREREQ, over one semester. Instead of all that other classes you mentioned in your post. Believe me, they will teach you what you need to know once you are in a program. Sometimes it is better to take the easier softer path especially since anesthesia will be hard enough. I speak from my own experience, I went the ADN route and had to work full-time and go to school for the last 3 years to receive my BSN then the grad. stat's course I mentioned. That was a very long road, I wish I would have gotten my BSN out the way first. MAny of my nursing friends who wanted to go back and get their BSN so they could apply to crna school just pooped out. So the moral of the story is try to make it as easy as you can before you get to anesthesia school. Although, I wish you good luck whichever route you choose.
    Last edit by MICU RN on Aug 15, '03
  9. by   pnurseuwm
    Thank you all for your support and advice!
    With all of the upper level science courses I mentioned...... well...
    I guess I'm kind of scared that when I DO get in anes. school, the microbiology, physics, etc. will be harder for me to grasp if I haven't already had some classes similar to them (the old "over-prepare" syndrome).
    For MICU RN, and others who are already in anes. school, when you just did only the stats requirement (and whatever the school asks is the minimum) were the science courses in anes. school more difficult for you?
  10. by   badgernurse
    Wow! I go to UWM too! I am in the RN-BSN program. If I could advise you, see if you could take some of those nursing courses online. For me it saves so much time not having to drive, find parking, sit in lectures, etc. My program is totally online. Also, if you are good at independent study, try to CLEP out of some classes (history comes to mind). Will save time and money. Another tidbit that I liked to do was take classes at MATC such as Micro, Chem, A&P (pre-reqs). If you can work that out, the tuition is about half the cost and fully transferable if you take the right courses.

    Many hospitals have nursing internships for you when you have finished a semester of clinicals. They will pay you to learn as you go to school, then when you are done, you have a job and can start working on you experience right away. They will even pay your tuition if you make a service commitment. PM me if I can help you more. Good Luck!!
  11. by   MICU RN
    I officially start school tomorrow, however, I don't get to the hard science stuff until next semester.

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