CRNA reject... NP school here we come?

  1. I find it odd that in many posts include RNs heading to NP school if they can't get into a CRNA school. I am a prospective NP student who currently works in the OR. I have spent time with NPs (some even in the OR) and already spend everyday with CRNAs. The career choices are almost completely different with the only commonality being both are BSN rooted... I guess people think green ($$$) before what they'll actually be spending the majority of their life doing. Just venting.

  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Roland
    TMnurse, are not CRNA's actually considered an NP sub-specialty in many states? In addition, are not both areas involved with patient care? It would be like saying that becoming an MDA has nothing to do with being an M.D. . Also whats wrong with wanting to maximize economic rewards? Granted, it shouldn't be your only motivation, but our very nation was built upon the notion of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness (many don't know that there was a real debate when the constitution was drafted to make it life, liberty and PROPERTY rather than happiness because they were seen as largely one and the same). Granted, if you are going to be happy you should take more than financial reward into consideration. However, consider some of the things that are determined by your salary or economic wealth in no particular order:

    1. Where you can live. Warm places that are considered nice to live at are more generally more expensive than ones that are less so at least as a rule. Thus, if like me you would like to move to HA. from Indiana, money will play a large role in whether or not that can happen.

    2. Where your kids get to go to school. Even around here the better private schools are over ten thousand per year. I want my child to have the best education possible. Granted, I'm probably leaning towards homeschooling, but if this is not possible then I want to be able to afford a top of the line private school. In addition, what will be the cost of higher education in about fifteen years when my son is ready to go to school. Will I have to tell him that you don't get to go to college because daddy didn't become a CRNA (frankly I don't think CRNA's earn enough to pay for college, but at least it's closer to what's needed) when he had the chance?

    3. How late in life you have to work. Make more money and maybe you can retire at 55 instead of sixty five and do something besides work like a dog for a few years! Also how MUCH you have to work. I know people that never see their kids because they have to work a hundred hours per week just to pay their basic bills. In general earning a higher salary (such as what is earned by CRNA's relative to NP's) means being able to work a little less, and spend a little more time with your family. How much is an extra five hours per week with your kids worth if it is made possible by being a CRNA over an NP? Maybe being a CRNA instead of an NP means that one parent can stay home with the kids instead of even HAVING to work. How much is that worth? Most jobs today don't pay enough in order to make this even a consideration.

    4. How much (and if at all) you get to travel. I don't know about you but I would like to see more of the world some day. Europe, Asia and Oceania just to name a few of the places which aren't cheap. It would be nice to participate in groups like Nurses Without Borders, but I don't think that they pay much. Thus, to participate in projects like that SOMETHING has to be paying the bills when you are earning money.

    5. What you are able to accomplish with regard to charitable donations and initiatives. Even being relatively poor I have managed to buy our local volunteer fire dept a few things like automated AED's (okay alot of it came from family and friends). If I had more I could and would do more. Consider, that Americans donate more monies to charities than any other nation on Earth.

    6. The money you have affects the healthcare you are able to access. Try getting a heart transplant without money or insurance that will pay for the procedure (true there are examples of where it occurs, but there are others where it doesn't). Imagine your child or spouse needing healthcare not covered by your insurance and not being able to afford what was needed for optimal outcomes.

    7. The money you make affects what you get to eat! I love organic food, and believe it to generally be much healthier to consume. However, we just cannot afford it on our current budget. This could have ramifications for both myself and my family.

    8. Dental care, dental care, dental care, most insurance plans don't do a very good job of covering this and it is VERY expensive. Despite flossing, using Listerine (okay the Wall-Mart gernic version) and rinsing with Hydrogent Peroxide I STILL have to get root canals and crowns on a regular basis at about $1,500 per pop. MANY people end up with dentures because they literally cannot afford to KEEP their teeth.

    9. I would like to be able to have a nice boat, telescope, mass spectromiter, particle accelerator and other lab equipment to pursue various scientific experiments that I consider worth-while and fascinating. It goes without saying that such things are not cheap!

    10. Things you would never even think about, but that can have literal life impacting influence. Consider, that some of the soldiers in Iraq ONLY had the ceramic, bullet proof vests because their families purchased them for the soldiers (there just were not enough of the governmental issued ones to go around). Now I haven't done a scientific study, but I will wager that many of the soldiers who got the vests for Christmas had families who tended to earn more money. I read about a police officer who lost a police dog to an accidental shooting. He indicated that he had wanted for YEARS to purchase a bullet proof vest for his dog, but couldn't afford the muti-thousand dollar price tag. For that matter imagine if policemen and women could afford BULLET proof glass? How many less widows, and childless father's would there be in America today?

    The bottom line is that economics affects virtually every aspect of your life in one way or another (and that of those whom you love). Most of the time we are not even conciously aware of its ever pervasive influence. This doesn't justify acting in an illegal or unethical manner in order to obtain wealth, BUT no one should ever apologize for placing a high priority on economic return. I sure many of you own stock as part of your retirement funds. Those corporations would instantly fire any CEO who indicated that their company wasn't in their business of choice in order to earn the best profit possible. All of the "wonder" drugs made by Liffy, Pfizer, Merck and others were created primarily not to help people, but to earn the BEST profit possible (and thankfully people are USUALLY helped in the process). Maybe it's my conservative, libertarian background, but I bristle whenever someone expresses hostility for being motivated by economic interests. It honestly strikes me as MORALLY wrong and often correlates with socialistic like beliefs.
    Last edit by Roland on Feb 24, '04
  4. by   meandragonbrett
    Quote from Roland
    TMnurse, are not CRNA's actually considered an NP sub-specialty in many states?
    No, NPs are Nurse Practitioners and CRNAs are Nurse Anesthetists. Both practitioners fall under the category of 'APRN' or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. CRNA, NP, CNM, and CNS all fall under APRN status. NPs can specialize in a myriad of different areas such as Family practice, acute care, oncology, peds, psych, etc.
  5. by   Roland
    In other words CRNA's and NP's are both a sub catagory of advanced practice nurses? What is the significance of this relationship from a historical and legislative perspective? In any case, it is in the interest of NP's, CRNA's, and just plain old RN's (be they diploma, ASN, or BSN) to STICK TOGETHER as much as possible in order to push for agendas that are in their MUTUAL best interests! You can BET that M.D.'s will work with MDA's and others to oppose agendas common to all in the nursing profession. It's nothing personal, just business.
  6. by   meandragonbrett
    Quote from Roland
    In other words CRNA's and NP's are both a sub catagory of advanced practice nurses? In any case, it is in the interest of NP's, CRNA's, and just plain old RN's (be they diploma, ASN, or BSN) to STICK TOGETHER as much as possible in order to push for agendas that are in their MUTUAL best interests!
    Yes, CRNAs, NPs, CNMs, and CNS(s) are all APRNs. As far as sticking've got the ANA but from what I've seen, nurses tend to not stick together to well. As you know, the AANA is a great organization and has a high percentage of CRNAs that are members. I know nothing about the different professional organizations for other APRNs.
  7. by   Roland
    One interesting question is why? Why don't nursing organizations do a better job a coordinating and cooperating on issues that would benefit everyone within the profession? My paranoid mind at first searches for simple explanations such as nursing schools acting as physician proxies (even without knowing that is what they are doing) to indoctrinate a subordinate, attitude into their students. However, this is not supported by any objective facts of which I am aware. Rather, I think that unlike many other professions nurses as a whole are simply not as economically "aware" as other professions which have tended to be more historically male dominated. I don't think that it can be argued (even by a libertarian, conservative such as myself), but that women have been historically "used" by men often in an unfair manner (and in many parts of the world are still so subjugated today). Given that nursing has been a traditionally, female dominated profession this aspect "economic utilization" has carried over into the field of nursing.

    Other reasons MIGHT include a certain intrinsic "cattiness" that many women seem to often exhibit towards one another. There was an article published in the Journal of Nature just this month which seemed to conclude that women are often more hostile towards their co-workers around the time of their greatest fertility. The hypothesis was that this may be an evolutionary tool for maximizing one's chances for reproduction (hey it's just a theory published in the leading scientific journal of our time, I didn't come up with it). Men on the other hand are adapted to cooperate for "hunts and such" except when they are brutally killing one another in war.

    Or it could be that most nurses really don't care that much about money, and benefits. Instead, most simply want to care for people in best way and to the fullest extent possible often viewing efforts to go beyond this role (as exemplified by NP's and CRNA's) as contrary to this primary calling. If this is the case I would counter that M.D's also have a calling to practice medicine and care for their patients. However, this hasn't prevented them from aggressively advocating their professional interests.
    Last edit by Roland on Feb 24, '04
  8. by   MaleAPRN
    Quote from TMnurse
    ... I guess people think green ($$$) before what they'll actually be spending the majority of their life doing. Just venting.

    Hi TMnurse,

    I'm planning to go to CRNA school (once I get accepted). I am also a Family Nurse Practitioner (for 2 yrs now) and am employed as a per diem NP in a level 2 trauma center/ER where I have worked as a nurse for several years. I love what I do as an NP. I get to perform advance procedures that other NPs in other settings may not have dreamt of doing (such as LPs, suture, etc). I love critical care nursing as well. This is why I decided to pursue an advance training in anesthesia. The potential earning boost as a CRNA, although very attractive, was not my MAIN reason for applying to become a CRNA. I truely believe, that both roles (being different in all aspects) can be mended. This is exciting in my opinion. Being both an NP and a CRNA may help me serve communities that are "underserved" in these areas. Becoming a future CRNA is exciting for me. Being an NP has only made me a more well-rounded nurse provider. I applaud you in your future NP endeavors.
  9. by   Dave ARNP
    I just love that NP school is second rate to CRNA school.

    Perhaps we should post in our signature "I'm a NP, but not because CRNA school wouldn't take me".

  10. by   Roland
    Where did I say that NP school is second rate to NP school? It is true that at the present time experienced CRNA's earn double the income (and that could very well change over time especially if NP's are given a wider scope of practice as I advocate). I am simply defending taking economics into account when you make a decision of what to do with your life. I am asserting that their is no shame in so doing, that in fact it is the moral choice in many cases (when you consider the ramifications upon your family and loved ones).
  11. by   meandragonbrett
    Quote from Roland
    It is true that at the present time experienced CRNA's earn double the income (and that could very well change over time especially if NP's are given a wider scope of practice as I advocate).
    There are CRNAs who make less than 100K a year. On the other hand, there are NPs who make just as much or more than CRNAs make
  12. by   Roland
    What you say is true however I am speaking to averages. It seems that the average for CRNA's with a few years of experience is within the 120 to 150K range. On the over hand it would seem that the average for an NP with a few years of experience is in the 65K to 85K range. Do you disagree substancially with this accessment?
  13. by   usmc94201
    I may not have any business posting this but I would like to just ask a question. From my research into what kind of nurse I ultimately want to be I have found that CRNA's have more independence and are not required to be supervised by an MDA. However NP's are supervised by MD's. Could this be the main reason for the pay difference. It seems to me that if I were a hospital hiring, that it would make more sence to hire 2 CRNA's over 1 MDA. And the job expectations are equal. Does that make sence.......its
  14. by   duckboy20
    Actually in most areas CRNA's are in a sense supervised by MDA's. At least right now it seems that only in rural areas where MDA's would not go are there CRNA's on their own. It may be like that in bigger cities some as well but I just mainly see it in the rural areas