Need a simple answer!

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    After having completed a BSN program. How long until one becomes a crna? 2 years?

    Please and thank you!
  2. 20 Comments so far...

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    There is no simple answer to this question I'm afraid.

    It depends on a lot of different things. If I were you I'd start by going to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists website and searching through accredited programs. If you already meet most program specifications by having excellent nursing and science grades, ACLS, (lots of schools really like CCRN), great GRE scores, and at least 1-2 years of high-acuity ICU experience you are well on your way. If any of these things are missing, you need to add on the time it will take you to complete them. Some schools have much more specific requirements and want certain biology or chemistry courses completed within 5 years to be eligible.

    Every school has a different program length. The shortest one I know of is 24 months.

    So, how long would it take to become a CRNA after completing your BSN? That depends entirely on you and the program you are accepted to.
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    Longer than that. You will need ICU experience of at least one year to get accepted to a program. That being said the majority of applicants have several years of ICU experience usually the least is around 2-3. I have heard of people getting in with just one but they usually work at large level 1 trauma teaching hospitals. It takes the right kind of person.. In addition, many ICUs do not hire new grads and it may be difficult to get ICU experience right off the bat. You may need to work on a step- down floor to get experience first.
    Getting accepted to a program is difficult. I had to take extra science classes like biochemistry while working full time to meet the entrance requirements. It is competitive and GPA and years of experience are huge parts of the decision process. The majority of CRNA programs that I have seen are 27-36 months. I do believe there are some that are only 24 months but most are longer. So, you're looking at at least 3 years. I just got accepted to a program that is 27 months and have 3 years ICU experience. I am 25 and will likely be the youngest member in my class. The majority of people have many more years experience.
    Everyone's road to becoming a CRNA is different but they are all difficult paths. I hope that answers your question.
  5. 1
    2 years ICU then ~27 months for CRNA
    Esme12 likes this.
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    Quote from Topher53
    After having completed a BSN program. How long until one becomes a crna? 2 years?

    Please and thank you!
    The program that I attend is 28 months. 2 years and 4 months seems about average for most schools. That is after a few years in the ICU of course.
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    So I'm looking at a good 10 years of schooling. An MD would only require 2 more years of school. I'm definitely at a crossroad here.
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    Quote from Topher53
    So I'm looking at a good 10 years of schooling. An MD would only require 2 more years of school. I'm definitely at a crossroad here.
    Not 10 years of straight school, but about 7. It will be about 10 years total if you include your time working in an ICU.
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    Quote from Topher53
    So I'm looking at a good 10 years of schooling. An MD would only require 2 more years of school. I'm definitely at a crossroad here.
    But an MD would give you much less of a life for a long time and much more student loan debt. CRNA's love their jobs, get paid great (more than some MD's) and don't have to work long hours like anesthesiologists.
    jtboog2003 likes this.
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    Quote from Topher53
    So I'm looking at a good 10 years of schooling. An MD would only require 2 more years of school. I'm definitely at a crossroad here.
    Two more years of school? Are you already a M2? You would be looking at four years of med school, then four years of residency, and a year fellowship. You also need to apply to match anesthesia, which is very competitive.
    KelRN215 likes this.
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    Quote from Topher53
    So I'm looking at a good 10 years of schooling. An MD would only require 2 more years of school. I'm definitely at a crossroad here.
    For nursing you do 4 years undergrad, then do ICU work 1-2 years (or longer) then start school and attend for about 2-2.5 years or so. You are looking at 7-10 years or so let's say, depending on time spent in ICU, and whether core courses are taken before hand. The bare minimum would take 7 years.

    For MD, you would be in undergrad for 4 years, and take all the required sciences for medical school (which are not what the nursing curriculum is, so you should make a decision fast because doing nursing classes and a bunch of sciences would be extremely hard.) Most people choose and easier undergrad major because you need a great GPA. Then you have to take the MCAT, apply and hopefully be accepted to medical school, do 4 years there, and then to become an Anesthesiologist 4 years residency.

    So it can be anywhere between about 2-5 years difference in length between the two. For the CRNA bare minimum it's 7-8 years to complete. For anesthesiologist, it will be 12 years regardless , unless you were in an accelerated medical program, which combines undergrad and medical school into about 6 or 7 years. If you want that title of "I'm a doctor" then go to medical school and be a doctor. Being a doctor and being a nurse no matter if they are in the same field are two different things.

    I like the nursing side more than the medical side of healthcare which is why I chose nursing. I didn't settle for nursing, I wanted to do this. I prefer the field of nursing over the medical after what I saw personally and what I learned about each. It's not just the length of time someone goees to school that is different about nurses and doctors.

    You should try and shadow both a doctor and a nurse and see what interests you. Most usually are drawn to either one, not both, when they really learn what each is about. It would be a shame to go through a bunch of schooling to find that you don't like what you do. (which I have seen in doctor friends and nurses as well)

    Are you interested in anesthesia specifically or just thinking about CRNA (highest paid nursing specialty) or doctor because of the pay? If that's it then you must weigh the pros and cons of the cost of tuition, loans, and salary. Med school isn't cheap and it's loans. You do not make a whole lot when you are doing your residency for those 4 years. People think they will come out after med school or even after residency making big bucks, but that isn't always the case. You are paying back a lot, and for a lot.

    It's cheaper to become a CRNA, (generally, but of course there may be some exceptions) and you may not always make as a much as an anesthesiologist, but you may not have to pay for things they do either. But keep in mind that CRNAS can make as much and sometimes more than some doctors depending on their specialty.

    I say all that, but money should never be the main motivation for any job. If you hate it, you hate it, no matter what your salary is. Also, it's not always as simple as it's two years more so I might as well become a doctor. There is a lot more to it.
    Last edit by jtboog2003 on Jan 10, '13 : Reason: error
    janhetherington likes this.


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