My path to becoming a CRNA... am i doing it right?

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    Hi all! I am fairly new to allnurses.com and to nursing altogether. I have found myself in a predicament. Let me explain my situation, I am 19 years old, im a south african living in the U.S (California), i am not a citizen but i have a student Visa. My family and i had immigrated to the country 2 years ago as there is a shortage of pharmacists and my dad was recruited. This seemed like a good way for us to get our green card. The problem is that my father passed away 2 weeks ago, meaning that my mother might have to move back to South Africa along with my sister, but i can stay along with my brother and study with our student visa's. My priority is to stay in the U.S. We no longer have an income, but can still afford some college education. None of us can work.

    This is my plan of action: i want to study to become a CRNA, as there is a big shortage of nurses. This will allow me to get sponsored to work, and then i can get my green card and sponsor my mom back into the states. From what i have researched, i plan on becoming a LVN, as it only takes a year, and then i can start working. From there, i want to become a Rn by getting a ADN, so that i can start working for a higher salary. at the same time, i can work with an ADN while i study for a BSN (ill do an ADN to BSN program). With a BSN, i can attend a crna school and viola!

    I think the path is good because it is the cheapest path, and ill also be able to work and earn some income (which we dont have right now) while i study to become more specialized. Any comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated! Tips are also welcome, anything to help me become a crna in a cheap way. thanks!
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  4. 12 Comments so far...

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    Moved your post to the Pre-CRNA Inquiry Forum. Good luck with your plans!
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    You have a bigger problem than becomming a CRNA. You have a student visa and will need to change that to a work visa. You need to talk to an immigration lawyer, which none of us are. Good luck in making it.
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    Well, i cant work yet, because i am not qualified at all. so i will have to stay on a student visa for my studies, and while i do that, search for a company to sponsor me. and that brings up another question. Could I get sponsored for just being a LVN? Ill look that help, but guidence will be helpful. Thanks!
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    I think you have an excellent plan. It shouldn't be too hard to get your visa status changed once you get a job as an LPN. The path you have in mind is exactly the way I pursued it. I have a few tips though....If you plan to start with an LPN program, be sure you can carry those credits to a ADN program that will accept your work in the LPN program or else you will spend a lot of time and money becoming an ADN when you could be a BSN for almost the same time and money. I spent a year in LPN school then had to start from scratch in a ADN program. The only benefit was being able to make decent money after only one year of school. It may be more time/ cost effective to go straight into an ADN program and bridge to BSN while you are getting your ICU experience. You will just have to decide if you are willing to take more time in school in order to start working sooner. You are probably also eligible for many grants and loans. Good Luck!
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    This thread should probably get moved to the international forum for the best answers.

    If you are on a studen visa, and F-1, I would HIGHLY suggest you do an RN program first and NOT the LPN program.

    As an RN graduate it is much easier to find a employer sponser and get the green card from USCIS (formerly know as INS or US Immigration and Naturalization Services).

    It is almost impossible to find a sponser as an LPN. LPNs do not get the same benefit as RNs in the US immigration process. You could do directly on to and LPN-RN bridge, but you would need to keep your full time studnet status to maintain your F-1.

    Get the RN first. By the time you graduate, retrogression will be over. Finding a sponser and getting a green card for a US trained foreign RN should not be too difficult
    Last edit by sunnyjohn on Apr 19, '07
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    To be considered for immigration status change, need highest degree required by profession: that is RN in US. You will not be able to legally work in US without immigration status change. Please seek immigration lawyer advice to protect your interests.
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    Hi. Welcome to allnurses.com. I think sunnyjohn is right. I will be moving your thread in the Int'l forum.

    There are lots of stickies in the Int'l forum to guide you through. I recommend reading them. Try to start off w/ reading Suzanne's 'Primer' sticky.

    Unfortunately, LVN is not enough. To be petitioned as a nurse, you have to have at least a BSN. LVN, ADN are not qualified currently and prob. will not be for a long time. You need at least a BSN.
    Last edit by lawrence01 on Apr 19, '07
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    Just to put my spin on things for you, concerning immigration:

    You cannot work with the LPN license, the US government requires the RN after your name to get a green card. Suggest that you go straight for the RN, and since you are just starting, the best route would be the BSN if you can get into a program that has that. With the F-1 status, you do qualify for the CPT that will permit you to work a limited number of hours during your training.

    There is not one thing that any employer can do for you as an LPN, so take that out of the equation.

    I would focus on getting the RN first, and then you will need to get at least one year of experience in the ICU before being able to get into a CRNA program. Please take things one step at a time or they will seem too numerous to handle. Please check out the International Forum for much that you need to know on this subject.

    A US citizen can petition for their parents, but it takes usually about ten years, not the same that would be if you were petitioning a spouse or your children. It can be done, but it will take years.

    And sorry about your loss of your father.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Apr 19, '07
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    Another thing that you may wish to consider, depending on your funds, etc: You can still complete your RN training back home with your family and then apply to come to the US with a green card. That may be a more cost effective way for you to do things.

    The other thing to consider is that there is a shortage of nurses, but not that extreme in some areas. It is very difficult as an RN to get petitioned in the Bay Area. There is not a shortage of CRNAs the same way that there is a shortage of RNs. Two very different areas. It is currently more difficult to get into a CRNA program then it is to get into medical school because of the number that wish to attend.

    Also highly recommend that you actually shadow a CRNA to see if it is truly something that you think that you may like to do. But focus on getting the RN after your name and then go from there.


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