Wanted to bounce some ideas off military nurses, USAGPAN

  1. Hi all!

    Wanted to float the idea of a terminal goal of army CRNA and the pathway to doing so. Currently a medic-firefighter preceptor in a (very) busy EMS system for 8 years. I stay fit and compete in endurance events such as triathlon. I'm 28 now and understand there's an age cutoff of 41.

    I'm wrapping up nursing school and am doing well, also scoring high on HESI mock NCLEX exams our school requires, passed every one (I think lowest was 84%). I'm going to try my darnedest to get into ICU; I think I'm a great candidate and have an extensive EMS resume, but not here to sell myself.

    Get a job in ICU, then BSN through a dime-a-dozen online school.

    Reserves in Army nurse corps, this should give me a leg up when applying to USAGPAN? At some point concurrent with, or after my BSN, my 3-4 chem classes required to end at orgo 2.

    Apply to USAGPAN.

    Not really looking to go active duty at this point, though I am single and it's possible, but not my first choice. It is my understanding that Army is the only branch in which I can enter into CRNA program as a civvy, and the other branches require some sort of active duty RN tenure.

    I come from an extensive military (Navy) officer history and would like to keep the tradition alive in my family, not to mention lack of debt is nice.

    I would love to hear thoughts and would love suggestions even more!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from babbylegs
    Not really looking to go active duty at this point, though I am single and it's possible, but not my first choice. It is my understanding that Army is the only branch in which I can enter into CRNA program as a civvy, and the other branches require some sort of active duty RN tenure.
    You can enter as a civilian, but once you enter you are an Army officer on active duty. They just allow direct commission as a point of entry for Army CRNAs. You will owe time on active duty when you are done (I think you know this and I think you mean that you don't have to be an active duty ICU nurse first. Army is not taking new grads right now anyway.). Not sure if being in the Reserves will help or not - sometimes there are issues going from Reserves to active if your unit doesn't agree to release you, etc. Hopefully someone will have some insight on that for you, but I have friends who have had to jump through 75 flaming hoops to go active.

    Make sure that dime-a-dozen BSN school has proper accreditation or your education will not suffice for commission as a nurse.

    You will definitely need solid ICU experience, preferably at a Level 1 where you see the sickest of the sick and have a lot of experience with invasive monitoring, titrating drips, etc. It is very competitive - check out the USAGPAN threads here for more info. Having your CCRN will also reflect well on your capabilities and achievements. USAGPAN is amazing, I deployed with and worked with awesome CRNAs when I was in the Army.

    Good luck in the rest of your program! Sounds like you are doing very well, congrats.
  4. by   babbylegs
    Thanks.

    Yeah, I have every intention of resigning my current job in EMS and working full time in ICU with ADN while obtaining my BSN. I have a connection with a local level 2 trauma center ICU and have a good chance of being hired as a new grad, but need XP and BSN for the level 1.

    I have a triple accredited BSN online program in mind already. Apparently, also Northeastern has an RN->BSN online course too. I'll look into that, as the USAGPAN is there.

    I plan on challenging the CEN test due to my ED and EMS exp and passing every practice test I've done and, of course, getting my CCRN credentials when ready.

    I was namely wondering how much of a benefit it would be to commission as a reserve nurse in regards to the USAGPAN acceptance.

    Yeah, I want this job and want to be a CRNA, you could say
  5. by   jeckrn
    Right now it is almost impossible to go from reserves to active even if your unit would allow it. Things can change and once you are done with your BSN you might be able to make the switch. If you are in the reserves and switch over you have to go through the whole board process again.
  6. by   babbylegs
    Perhaps I'm reading your reply wrong, but I'm looking, or was looking to commission in as 66 series hopefully S, in reserves AFTER I get my BSN, then apply to USAGPAN, using the reserves XP to make myself a better candidate for selection.
    So, this isn't a good idea then?
  7. by   zombie
    I dont see being in the reserves as being a leg up in my opinion, join the reserves only if you want to be in the reserves. Don't do it for USAGPAN, just be solid on your ICU experience and get the min requirements, have a solid GPA in your science courses.

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