Accelerated MSN ->CRNA

  1. Hello,
    I'm a newbie and I apologize in advance for being so green..
    I have been accepted to a M.S. of Radiation Therapy program but it was always my Plan B. I wanted to go into Perfusion (Open heart surgery- lung and heart machine) but after a lot of research, I am worried about job security. If I do go into the R.T. program, I would continue on and become a Dosimetrist, since I think I would get bored after 5 years as a R.T's. I also hear that jobs can be scarce. While I was shadowing a R.T., she told me that I should go into nursing instead as they have a lot more opportunities.
    I have my B.S.. I have taken Organic Chemistry, Micro an all the above in the last year but my A&P's were from 11 years ago. I've recently decided that I would love to be in the Nursing program, especially as a CRNA. Is it possible to go into a Direct Entry Master's Program to become an NP, then work in ICU and then apply to a CRNA program? I want to be able to prescribe medicine and if I don't get into the CRNA program, I would be okay being a NP. I just don't want to go into CNL.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    Well, all of those options require you to become a nurse first. (Even the direct entry MSN - the first part of it is spent become an RN and passing NCLEX).

    Most- if not all- CRNA schools require two years of RN bedside experience in ICU before you can even apply.

    I understand you 'want to prescribe medicine' but to get there, you have to get through nursing school FIRST. Consider that, and the fact that there is no guarantee you'll make it into the uber-competitive world of CRNA, before you give up the Radiation spot.
  4. by   mamiri2
    Could I work as an NP in an ICU or Cath lab to gain my two years of bedside experience? I realize that I must become a RN first. Many of these programs are three years with the first year as an accelerated BSN program and then 2 years of MSN.

    I realize that it's extremely competitive that's why if I never get into a CRNA program, I would like to continue working as a NP or even get my DNP.
  5. by   verene
    If you want to be a CRNA side-stepping to NP is not going to help you, not that no one has ever gone back to school for CRNA after NP (one of my faculty did so it is possible), but it is additional time and expense.

    The vast majority of direct-entry MSN-NP programs do NOT prepare students for for either ACNP or CRNA specifically because of the need for specialty experience as an RN (most require minimum 2 years ICU experience). There may be a few direct-entry ACNP programs, but they are rare and becoming rarer is my understanding.

    If this is the route you want to go down (and really research and think about it before giving up the RT option) work on becoming a nurse first, and look at all your options for this route to determine the most efficient and economical for your given situation.
  6. by   ThatBigGuy
    What is the timeline of your proposed graduation from an RT program?

    The CRNA route is going to take 8 years at least. You'll have a year of pre-requisites and then 3 years of NP school. You'll need at least 2 years of acute critical care experience, and then another 2 years for CRNA school. You're looking at a CRNA grad date of 2024 (8 years). That's assuming you are admitted into all the programs immediately upon application (a big if), and you find an acute critical care NP job without any experience (a HUGE if). If there are any hiccups along the way, the 8 years could easily be 10 years or more.

    The main hurdle in this plan is the assumption you will find an ACNP job in an ICU without prior RN experience. I do not think this is a possibility, considering the intensely incredible resumes of the ACNP applicants I've seen, many with decades of experience in big time ICUs as RNs prior to becoming NPs.

    The most efficient way to become a CRNA is to do an accelerated BSN program (ABSN), followed by the two years ICU experience, then apply to CRNA programs as an RN. If you ultimately find that CRNA isn't right for you, you can always go back to NP school after you've determined a more focused specialty.

    On top of all that, you have to consider the increased cost of pre-reqs, BSN or NP school, plus CRNA school. There's a possibility where you're a CRNA in 2026 with student loans of $250,000. Or you can be an RT with a decade of earned income in that same time frame.

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