What to do CRNA or NP decision time!

  1. Hello, I am currently an RN working on my BSN. I have found that at the BSN level I can take some courses that double as graduate level courses for NP. I am at the point where I need to make some decisions of what I want to do, and I can not figure it out. I am confused and really am thinking I want an advanced practice Nursing degree but can not decide between NP or CRNA. I have talked with many NP's who are burned out. I have not found this with the majority of CRNA's. I see in my area that many of our NP's work long hours. Personally I am a people person and when I was a Hospice Nurse enjoyed the ability to prescribe medications and have a very important part of my patients life. I have worked in Surgery and found a very hostile environment by physicians towards the Nurses not CRNA's. Going on this my first idea of CRNA has been dampened a bit after the surgery experience, and I am now thinking I may want NP. NP is an easier pathway for me right now and CRNA has no pathway in the Bachelor's level at my school, although I have some elective that I can fill with physics, biochemistry to appeal to the schools selecting me. Anyone out there have any advice on what you have seen in the field and which route to go with CRNA or family practice NP. I am clueless on this and the plus and negatives are about the same on my list, the only thing I am sure about is advanced practice. Plus now with the Doctorate becoming the new IOM standard should I just go another year and be a medical Doctor??? Or maybe a PA its less school salary is same as NP just no independent practice, but most Hospitals I deal with do not allow the NP to practice independently anyway so why the extra two years for NP. What to Do?
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   ghillbert
    Honestly if you can't decide between medicine, NP, or CRNA, you need to work as a nurse longer and see what areas you like. If you want to be a doctor, do medicine. Otherwise, shadow and NP and a NA and see which job you prefer.
  4. by   4263people
    Thanks, I have done both and been Nursing for 5 years. I am just at a point in the education, and I am tight with a buck so I do not want to waste money. You know honestly I guess I am just trying to prove I can do it and get advanced practice. You know I was a truck driver with just a high school eduction for 13 years. Everyone told me I was a "dumb truck driver" my whole life. I went to Nursing school and got a 4.0 no problem, it was easy plus I excelled in every job in Nursing. I now feel confident like I can do more, thats all it is. As a truck driver I worked for a company in 2006 where I made 110,000/year worked 12 hours a night 5 days a week, weekends off, holidays off, 7 weeks paid vacation, 30 years and out with 4,000 per month I would have been 50 and retired, health insurance, and I did not pay 1 copay or any premiums. So of course working as a salaried Hospice Nurse with 100+ weeks getting paid for 40, I wonder at times, why I did this and feel in my experiences with Nursing, the only way to control the employer abuse is to get more education, or go back to trucking, such a waste of an education. But when all is said I went into this not for money but to help people. So I know I have to get more education helping people, making better money, and hopefully working 60 or less hours a week. This is my hope with advanced nursing. I have experienced surgery, medical/ surgical, long term care, Hospice, and best yet private duty homecare nursing. All are very fulfilling but financially and employer abuse of me as a nurse do not hold a candle to trucking where we were treated like Gods next to how I have seen Nurses are treated. Nursing has been a real let down except for the patients which keeps me in it.
  5. by   canchaser
    Wow. You made what I made as a RN breaking my butt giving up holidays and weekends. I've often thought about switching to a CDL and traveling , getting glad to see the US. A glorified happy go lucky idea I know cause driving can be stressful in its own right. Congrats on proving em wrong!
  6. by   ghillbert
    Well don't get further education to show someone that you can.. they probably don't care.

    If you want better hours and work/life balance, FNP is probably a good choice. You'll sacrifice some money but get good hours and no call if you want. If you want big bucks but some crappy hours, do CRNA. Just make sure you actually like the job you'll be doing at the end of it.
  7. by   Murse77878
    First, I want to congratulate you on your accomplishments. You achieved your RN, your BSN, and are looking forward to post graduate degree. That is a great accomplishment in itself. I realize that I'm posting this a few years late; but the reason I am still posting it is that I'm in that boat right now. To answer your question first though (in case you are still undecided all these years later), you stated "I have experienced surgery, medical/ surgical, long term care, Hospice, and best yet private duty homecare nursing." This statement sort of limits your options. As of right now, CRNA schools require a minimum amount of bedside critical care nursing. And if you found a school that does not require it, I would recommend against it. I've been a critical care nurse for 3 years and feel like I can always gain more experience before venturing into CRNA.
    Having said that, I'd like to repost this question for discussion for myself. I'm about to make a decision real soon (within 2 months). I am undecided between both options. On one side, ACNP would be simpler to accomplish, cheaper, I can continue to work while I go to school (Which is huge). The CRNA programs are much more expensive (Moving is not an option for me right now so I have to stick with the CRNA schools in my area). After the first 6-8 months, I will not be allowed to work while in CRNA school, apparently that's because the program is very intensive. After graduation, as a CRNA, I would probably have a better schedule than an ACNP. I will probably make a lot more money. The job itself seems kind of a tossup between the two. Any advice? any input?
  8. by   WestCoastSunRN
    My sister told me to do CRNA due to my years in the ICUs -- and it's the best value for the money in APN degrees, but at the end of the day what I value about my job is being able to engage with my patients. CRNAs do engage with patients, and sometimes in really meaningful ways ( I had an awesome experience with a CRNA who made a HUGE difference in a procedure I had done), but not in the same ways I'm used to. Plus, I'm simply not fond of the OR, and I thrive off variety. So if I was in your shoes I would be looking at ACNP. But there's a lot you need to know --- what is the ACNP job market like in your area? Can you move after school?
    Can you shadow a CRNA and and ACNP in your area? You said 3 years in the ICU-- are you young-ish? If I was young-ish I'd be all over the acute care thing --- just so many cool opportunities I think. But its HARD work -- very demanding, and not sure it'd be right for the 'older' me for very long. You gotta do what's right for you ... those are just my thoughts. Good Luck!
  9. by   prelift
    At your age I would try management opportunities. Having outside experience with other types of work is often more useful than the career nurse in nursing going up into management.