CRNA Training

  1. Here is the issue: I am a 2-year RN who has returned to school for my BSN which I get on May 3rd :roll Now I want to go to school to become a nurse anesthesist. I have no critical care expereince so I would need to get onto a critical care unit for at least a year then apply. I may or may not get in. But if I enlist into the Army and take their critical care course I can expect to be enrolled within 18 months. The recruiter told me that of the 35 people that applied last year 34 were admitted. Those are darned good odds. I think I have a better chance getting with the Army. Plus the Army has told me that I can retire in 20 years with a pension of half my salary for my lifetime. No hospital can offer that. Plus the medical and dental benefits can't be beat. If it sounds like I've made up my mind I haven't I would like your honest opinions.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   sgtmedic
    You do realize the weight of signing up with the US Army, don't you. If you go Active duty they can send you where they want to. It may not be in a combat zone, but neither are barracks! Don't get me wrong, if you believe in doing your part for your country, go for it. They do pay nicely, and the experience is great, recognized nationwide. I ought to know 15 years in the MN Army National Guard. Have you looked into Guard or Reserve programs for the same? Also, to apply to CRNA you need to have one year in CCU by the time of enrollment, not application.
    Best of luck. Not an easy decision.
  4. by   Teshiee
    Maula, go for it but make sure they have it in writing. Military will say anything to get you in there.
  5. by   ma kettle
    I understand that at the end of your career and education, hospitals and others like the experience of an military CRNA. GO FOR IT. I agree get it in writing. I trust no one.

    Sandy
  6. by   Maula, RN
    Thanks for all the replies. And yes I will have it in writing. But I have 2 questions? 1) if I enlist and I am in school can they send me off to active duty disrupting my school? 2) Will the reserves or the national guard offer the same schooling active duty will offer? Thanks for your replies!!!!!!
  7. by   James Huffman
    Hate to repeat the earlier posts, but get everything imaginable in writing. Yes, given the right (or wrong) circumstances, they CAN disrupt your school to send you to active duty. In their view, you are there to serve them, and education is merely a carrot to entice you. I am not a big fan of attorneys, but I would engage one to review all of the written assurances, because the military has -- at least in the past -- been not-so-great on honoring even written promises.

    The way the US military advertises, it is easy to forget that active, combat duty can be a very real possibility. Make sure that you are up to active combat duty before signing on. This is no game.

    (I speak from some experience. About 1989, I was facing one of many early mid-life crises. I thought about joining the reserves, never even pondering the possibility of active duty. I thought: one weekend a month, a couple of weeks in the summer, officer rank, etc., etc. My Dad talked me out of it: "You'd hate the authority." He was right. Lo and behold, a couple of years later, Iraq invades Kuwait, and several nurses I know spent 2 years in sunny Kuwait. I would have been among them ... My wife said that if that had happened -- with 4 small children around the house! -- she would have gone ahead and killed me, and saved someone else the trouble. She pointed out that no woman on a jury would convict another woman under such circumstances. She was probably right).

    Jim Huffman, RN

    www.networkfornurses.com
  8. by   Harleyhead
    I see the word enlist. With a BSN you do not want to enlist. That equates to enlisted meaning non officer. You must insist on a Commision before joining. The military can promise stuff but they do not have to deliver. It all boils down to the needs of the service so keep that in mind. Good Luck
  9. by   Maula, RN
    Again Thanks for all of your replies. It is helping keep my options in perspective. I thought I couldn't be taken out of school to serve but I guess I was wrong. Also the recruiter did tell me that I would be an officer after I completed ROTC, which is 11-13 weeks. Actually he told me after I was done with officer training he would have to salute me. His rank is staff sergeant. I don't know what mines would be. Again thanks--all the replies are helpful.
  10. by   sgtmedic
    Yes, he would have to salute you. You would be a lieutenant. The schooling that you would go to would be OBC ( officer basic course ) not ROTC. Check everything that your recruiter says to you if this is indeed what he said, he may be new or just not know what officers go through. Most deal with enlisted members only. There should be an officer in charge of AMEDD officers. I know this is true in the National Guard. In the reserves, if they need someone of your specialty they will call on you regardless if your unit is going or not. If you're in the Guard you will go only if your unit goes. It is possible that as an officer you may be reassigned, I'm not sure. You can check to see what status any unit holds for being mobilized. Some units are much higher on the list that others. It is possible to get into a unit with lower priority and take your chances. If you're still interested check it out. It could be very worth your while. Especially at building your career after you get out. I got my current job mostly because of my background.
    David
  11. by   Maula, RN
    Thank you sgtmedic
  12. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    i thought i'd borrow this post from kevin from the specialty bb, nurse anesthetist; he offers a great site for information...i hope he doesn't mind me quoting it here ...good luck to ya. :kiss
    originally by kmchugh thread titled:current crna programs
    for those of you interested in becoming a crna, this site is excellent. links to many, if not all of the current schools of nurse anesthesia.
    http://www.anesthesia-nursing.com/school.html
    there is a ton of great information on this site. spend some time perusing - kevin mchugh
    p.s., there's a few military school link on this site...if you click on it, follow the anesthetist links on either the army or the navy sites...they spell-out the requirements & commitments if you go through their program as either an commissioned officer or as a civilian student.
    Last edit by SKM-NURSIEPOOH on Apr 21, '02
  13. by   kmchugh
    Maula

    As a 14 year US Army veteran, I have a thought or two. Based on what you said in your initial letter, the recruiter has promised you nothing. He just told you of very good odds of getting in, if you meet the US Army standards for application. Unfortunately, what he did not tell you was what the standards were. How many people wanted to apply, but couldn't because they did not meet the standards for application? What are the standards for application?

    Since I was not a nurse in the Army, I don't know what the standards are, but there are things you need to think about. For example, they may require one year critical care experience. Will you be assigned to a critical care unit? Once you go active duty with the Army, the post to which you are assigned will send you the unit where you are most needed. If that unit meets your desires, great, but if it does not, too bad. If they want on on the peds floor, to the peds floor you go.

    Bottom line: Make sure you get what you want IN WRITING before you sign anything. If there is ANY doubt, don't sign. You could very easily waste three years of your life getting no closer to your goal. Check with the other branches of the service as well. All are short nurses and CRNA's.

    The up side to military training is that you will go to school, get your master's degree, and get paid full salary while you go. Also, you will graduate debt free from the CRNA program with national accreditation. That's no small perk. Just be careful.

    One other thing to look into with the military is the possibility of attending a civilian school while on active duty. Generally, if there is a shortage of a type of skill, the military may "outsource" for some of its training. In other words, they may keep you on active duty, allow you to apply to a civilian school for CRNA, and pay for that school while you attend. You also receive full active duty pay while you attend the school. Maintaining standards of appearance and physical fitness are your responsibility while at school. And, of course you incur additional time obligation at the end of your schooling. I knew an RN in Korea who was leaving to attend a masters program at the University of Penn (I think) in public health nursing. I just am not sure if they do this for CRNA or not. Something to consider, anyway.

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA

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