Dear Nurse Beth,
I am a 52 years old RN-BSN with over 25 years of experience in various nursing specialties, but have been working as a Mental Health Nurse for the past ten years.
I would love to return back to school to become a CRNA which requires at least a minimum of 1-2 years of Critical care experience. Currently, I reside in the New York Metropolitan, and would love to gradually ease back into a regular hospital for the appropriate experience in Med Surg /Critical care. Please kindly advise on how to achieve this goal.
Dear 52 Yr Old Wants to Be a CRNA,
Like you said, to achieve your goal of being a CRNA you will need about 2 years of ICU experience. CRNA programs require iCU experience for eligibility.
To get from outpatient mental health to ICU, your best bet is to first land a job in acute care just to get your foot in the hospital door. From there you can plan to apply and transfer to ICU.
After one year experience, you can start applying to CRNA programs. Once in a program, you will not be able to work and may need to take out loans to fund your tuition.
An optimistic estimate in terms of time would be about 7-8 years to complete your goal.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!