FUTURE CRNA - page 2

by lynnjohnson13 6,669 Views | 56 Comments

I'm in nursing school waiting to be accepted, sorry for my repetition just wanted information specifically from one who's already done what I'm trying to Endure . My first question is, what are some classes I can take just to... Read More


  1. 0
    GOOD LUCK!!!! I want to hear all about it on AN

    I got to observe a CRNA Wednesday giving an epidural and I made the comment that I was going to get as close as I could without being in the way because that's what I want to do on the future. He was awesome enough to walk me though it all, took extra time to talk to me and answer my questions. It was an awesome experience
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    that's awesome future! yes, I will try to be pretty upfront about school. I am going to blog about it as well.
  3. 0
    Ok so I start nursing school soon, my goal in life is to achieve high and become a CRNA :-)

    I first wanted to know should i do a bridge program or just go full out??? I know I need to get my bachelors but is there anyway to skip to masters degree?

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
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    It might be tricky finding a master's for CRNA in your area now; I have no idea. I know the place I just graduated from is phasing out their master's and I think this is the last year a master's is offered. I just did some quick googling and one of the first results that popped up as far as RN-MSN (ECU) said "Students interested in the nurse anesthesia concentration must have earned a baccalaureate degree in a related field to be eligible for the RN to MSN option." It doesn't sound like there are many options to go straight from ADN RN to CRNA.
  5. 4
    Have you been accepted into your CC program at "Motlow Community College" or are you still waiting admission and completing prerequisites?

    CRNA programs are extremely competitive and take only the cream of the crop. BSN required for consideration for entry into a program, most if not all, require critical care experience at the bedside to be considered for entry

    Hve you check ed out How to Become a CRNA FAQ
    what are the prerequisites for crna?

    first, you must be a registered nurse, and you must have a bachelor’s degree. not all programs require a bsn. in many cases, being an rn with an unrelated bachelor’s degree is sufficient for admission. check with programs where you intend to apply for this information.

    next, most schools require an undergraduate degree gpa of 3.0 or higher. if your gpa is below this, check with the school that granted your degree about the possibility of taking more classes, or retaking classes to raise your gpa.

    most programs will look at applicants’ gpa from a few different angles. the first consideration is the overall gpa, which must be at least greater than 3.0. next, the applications committee will consider grades applicants received in the science courses, such as chemistry, microbiology, etc. finally, the committee will look at grades received in nursing school. there is a lesson in this. if you have a 3.5 gpa, but your science and/or nursing school grades are lower grades, this may hurt you.

    many schools will require you to take the graduate record examination (gre), and will have a requirement for a minimum score on this test. the test is administered at most sylvan learning centers. there are a number of books and computer programs available to prepare you to take this test. taking the test “cold” is probably not a good idea. you can retake it if you do poorly, but both scores will be reported to schools where you are applying. also, the test is fairly expensive, so if you can avoid taking it twice, you should.

    nearly all schools require one year of experience in an icu before an applicant will be admitted to the program. most will not accept er, or, or other experience (though a few programs are a bit more lenient). there is a good reason for this requirement. you will need experience with vasoactive drips, ventilators, and other things that you can only get in an icu. larger hospital icu’s are generally preferable to smaller ones.

    many students wonder whether one year’s experience is sufficient. generally, the answer is yes. however, some may feel more comfortable applying after two or three years experience in an icu. the bottom line is one year meets the requirement. after that, it is up to the prospective student to decide when they feel comfortable.


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    how do i apply for a crna program?

    application requirements vary from program to program, so for specific information check with the schools where you intend to apply. you will have to do this in any event, as you will need an application packet from the school.

    generally speaking, you will first have to send in a “paper” application that the school will send you. there will usually be a required non-refundable application fee that must be sent in with your application. check carefully that you meet the requirements of the school before sending in your application. if you do not, you will probably have wasted your application fee.

    some applicants consider sending out applications in “shotgun” fashion, sending out as many applications to as many schools as they can afford. this is not a good idea. beyond being expensive, scheduling interviews at all these different schools can become a real headache. it is better to pick out two or three schools that most interest you, and apply to those schools.

    once the application deadline has passed, the school will go over all the applications, and will select a certain number of applicants for interview. those applicants will travel to the school at their own expense for a face to face interview with the program director and the admissions committee. these interviews can be stressful. see the next question for more information on interviews.

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    how do i prepare for my interview?

    admission to anesthesia school is highly competitive. if you have reached the interview phase, you have passed a major hurdle, but you are not at your goal yet. most schools will interview something like two to three applicants for each available seat. you will want to avoid giving the selection committee a solid reason to choose someone else over you.

    -be on time! if you are late, even if the committee waits for you, you have given yourself a black mark that may be impossible to overcome.
    -wear conservative business attire, such as a suit or conservative dress, to your interview.
    -insofar as possible, be relaxed during your interview. the committee will expect nervousness, but if it makes you incoherent, that’s a pretty good sign you don’t handle stress well.

    it is impossible to predict what kinds of questions the application committee will ask, but be prepared for certain “stock” questions:

    -why do you want to be a crna?
    -what do you know about what a crna does?
    -what have you done to ensure you really want to do anesthesia?
    -what steps have you taken to prepare to get through school (generally, though not always, a financial question)?
    -also, most interviews include a question or two on vasoactive drips (i.e. dopamine, nitroglycerine versus nitroprusside), or some other aspect of nursing you should have learned working in an icu.

    be prepared for questions to which you don’t know the answer. most interviews will try to find such questions, to discover how you handle that situation. when these questions arise, don’t waffle or try to “bs” your way through. stay composed, and admit you do not know the answer.

    one other note: every school has its criteria in looking for students. it cannot hurt you to contact the directors of the programs you are considering and asking them what you can do to make yourself a more attractive student. admission to crna programs is very competitive. give yourself every advantage.


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    where are schools that have a crna program?

    the american association of nurse anesthetists maintains a website with a link to all schools currently accredited by the council on accreditation. this site can be found at: accredited nurse anesthesia programs


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    what are the “best” crna programs?

    there is no “ranking” of schools. the term “best” has little meaning, because it means different things to different people. rather than worrying about finding the “best” school, it is probably better to find a school that is the “best” fit for you. in your considerations, you should include geographical location (is the school close by, or in an area you are willing to relocate to), length of schooling, and program cost. if a school is accredited, it will provide you with the education needed to pass the certification exam and become a crna.


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    what are the differences between crna schools?

    as mentioned above, schools offer a variety of different options. length of school varies from 24 months to 36 months. some schools grant masters of nursing (which require some core nursing classes, such as nursing theory) degrees, while many others grant masters of nurse anesthesia degrees, which are not strictly speaking “nursing” degrees. while there are a certain number of core clinical experiences all students must get, clinical experiences vary as well. at some schools, clinical is slowly phased in while in didactic education, while in other schools, the didactic education is “front loaded.” some schools have clinical education in the same area as the school location, while others offer clinical education at “satellite” locations. the point is there are a number of different options that must be considered when selecting a school.

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    can i work during school?

    generally, the safe answer is no. nearly all crna programs are full time programs that require an enormous amount of study time to be successful. some students manage to work on a prn basis, but are very limited in the actual number of hours they work. working full time while attending a crna program is nearly impossible. not to worry; see “how do i finance crna school?”


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    how do i finance crna schooling?

    many of the same government no interest and low interest loans for undergraduates are available to graduate students. additionally, there are a number of companies that offer loans to students in medically related fields. these loans may all be used to pay for tuition, books, and other school related expenses. these loans may also be used for day-to-day living expenses. most crna’s graduate programs with what seems like a pretty heavy debt load, but remember, a crna will earn two to three times the annual salary of a staff nurse. provided you don’t go overboard, the debts are easily managed.

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    where do crna’s work?

    the short answer to this question is that crna’s work in hospital operating rooms, labor and delivery wards, and anywhere there is a need for anesthesia services. in the more urban areas, crna’s generally work for the hospital or the anesthesia groups under the supervision of the anesthesiologist. in more rural areas, there may be no anesthesiologists. in these locations, you will often find an anesthesia group that is owned by crna’s. as a general rule, crna’s at these locations are more independent, and have less back-up available for assistance. new graduate crna’s are often more comfortable working in locations where there is more readily available assistance.

    there are also crna’s who work for travel agencies. these may look attractive at first, since these type positions generally pay considerably more than other positions. the thing is that these positions are straight pay. there are no benefits connected with most of these positions, and you are responsible for your own taxes.


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    how many hours does a crna work on average?

    again, this varies with position and employer. in some places, crna’s are offered contracts that guarantee no more than 40 hours a week. some of these places will allow you to work overtime if you want it, but will not require it. in other locations, you may be expected, depending on your position in the call schedule, to stay until cases are finished for the day. in some of these locations, it is not uncommon for crna’s to work 50 to 70 hours a week. these are all avenues that must be carefully explored before you sign a contract.


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    what does a crna do?

    crna’s do anesthesia of all types. in school, you will learn about general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, and spinal and epidural anesthesia. you will also spend time performing obstetric anesthesia. you will learn to manage the anesthetized patient with various co-morbid diseases. you will learn skills such as intubation, arterial line placement, central line and swan-ganz catheter placement, spinal anesthesia, and epidural catheter placement.

    in short, you will learn the science and art of anesthesia. what you do after school will depend on your preferences and what is expected of you by your employer.


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    other sites for crna information:

    questions and answers: a career in nurse anesthesia


    AANA Online
    Please visit the CRNA forum.......post moved to pre-CRNA inquiry for best response.
  6. 0
    Thanks guys @esme12 I'm doing pre-reps and other required college courses. "Acutely ill" meaning long term so where would be a great start? And would volunteering help?

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  7. 0
    Quote from calivianya
    It might be tricky finding a master's for CRNA in your area now; I have no idea. I know the place I just graduated from is phasing out their master's and I think this is the last year a master's is offered. I just did some quick googling and one of the first results that popped up as far as RN-MSN (ECU) said "Students interested in the nurse anesthesia concentration must have earned a baccalaureate degree in a related field to be eligible for the RN to MSN option." It doesn't sound like there are many options to go straight from ADN RN to CRNA.
    Yeah, I should stop worrying about time and rushing. I'm 21 my fiancÚ wants me in school instead of day to day dead end jobs which is fine.

    Should I get in a bridge program any way so I can go straight to my baccalaureate degree?

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  8. 1
    You can't skip right into CRNA, if thats what you mean. And secondly, by the time you get into school they will probably have already switches over to the doctorate requirement. What does that mean ? Well nothing, you do not get paid anymore or do anything more than you're already allowed to do. If you want to become a CRNA then you are better off going right into a BSN program. Going to get your ADN is a waste of time, effort and money as many hospitals are switching over to hiring BSN only. You have a long time to go before you can even think about CRNA school. First you gotta get through Nursing School and then you still need to be an ICU RN for 3-5 years in a highly-acute ICU/CCU/CTICU/SICU to be competitive. That means you gotta get yourself into a big teaching hospital if you want to stand out, and also get whatever certifications you can to look good. You have a long way to go, focus on the little steps now which will all help you get to where you want to be. To become a CRNA you need to be the best of the best. It's highly competitive and it's the specialty that everyone wants to do and not everyone gets to do.

    And also just to note, in a couple years the job market for CRNAs may be entirely different. If things continue to go at the rate they are now, you're going to see that new grad CRNAs will probably have hard times finding jobs due to a high numbers of CRNAs
    Esme12 likes this.
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    1. There is no direct entry CRNA programs.
    2. You have to have at least one year of critical care experience, your RN, and your Bachelors degree to be eligible for admission into nurse anesthesia school.
    3. Many schools are switching to a Doctorate degree. This means very little to the overall length programs though since all nurse anesthesia programs are being required to go to a minimum of 36 months.
    4. There is no predicted shortage of anesthesia jobs in the future. Anesthesia providers are predicted to be in short supply in the future. The average age of CRNAs is 49 years with many CRNAs retiring in the next few years. There is regional overcrowding of anesthesia providers in areas with an over abundance of nurse schools such as Pennsylvania that has 13 schools.
    Esme12 and bigsick_littlesick like this.
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    Getting your ADN is in no way a waste of time. If you get your ADN in 2-3 yrs and start working on your 1-2 yrs of experience, then you can complete your BSN while earning an income. Even one year of full-time income while completing your BSN could cut your financial problems down significantly compared to another yr of paying full tuition and not earning any money.
    applewhitern likes this.


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