2nd Degree BSN or Direct Entry MSN for ultimate goal CRNA?

  1. This is my first post and first off, I just want to say how impressed I am with the level of posting on this board.

    I am a career changer (I have a J.D.) at the age of 29. I realized for many reasons that the kind of work I want to do for the rest of my life has to do with health care as a provider. I am at the beginning of starting the 5 or so prereqs I need to enter into a 2nd degree BSN or direct entry MSN program and will probably enter into a program in 2009. I have been volunteering and shadowing physicians, PAs, NPs, and RNs at the local hospitals. After thorough research into avenues into health care as a provider, I would like to work as a CRNA because it is a fascinating field and it compliments my interests.

    The question is should I persue a 2nd Degree BSN work in ICU for a year or two then apply as a CRNA, or should I get an MSN in acute care as nurse practitioner and then go for CRNA. I realize that the MSN would take three years and then CRNA would take another 2 or so afterwords. Since I am 29 with no experience as a nurse so far, I feel like time is a factor (I feel old!) and maybe I should persue a nurse practitioner route as that would get me into the provider position that I am looking for faster as I am worried that many of the CRNA programs require many more years of ICU and nursing experience instead of just rigourous nursing course work and experience as a lawyer. But then again I should persue my dreams.

    I would very much appreciate any advice. A nurse at one of the hospitals was accepted to a CRNA programs (she has 20 years experience in many hospital units) advised me that I should just get a BSN, save time, and then apply to CRNA program after a year.

    Advice? Thoughts?

    Thank you!
    •  
  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   free2dream
    Ok, this is what I did. I switched my career in my 30's I was an IT professional. I went and got my MSN (entry-generic) and then I worked for an year in an ICU and now I hav been accepted to CRNA program. I like it this way since I am done with all my theory classes and will be working on just Post Master's in anesthesia. I will continue to work in ICU part time for the first year though which may not be hard at all..

    Need more info.. PM me
  4. by   EpiphanyXI
    Quote from free2dream
    Ok, this is what I did. I switched my career in my 30's I was an IT professional. I went and got my MSN (entry-generic) and then I worked for an year in an ICU and now I hav been accepted to CRNA program. I like it this way since I am done with all my theory classes and will be working on just Post Master's in anesthesia. I will continue to work in ICU part time for the first year though which may not be hard at all..

    Need more info.. PM me
    I have PMed you some more pertinent questions. This goal that I have seems so daunting and hearing that someone like me is successful in this task gives me heart and courage. I hope that I am up to the task. Thank you so much!
  5. by   japaho41
    It makes sense to go the fast track MSN program. I wish that I would have done that considering that I had a degree prior to getting my BSN. I think that if I were in your shoes I would not go the NP route but just the a basic MSN especially if it only takes three years. You will have the advantange of having the core courses out of the way when you get to into a CRNA program. The only advantage is going the BSN route is less time and more time that you can be getting experience in the ICU while taking some MSN courses.
  6. by   EpiphanyXI
    Quote from japaho41
    It makes sense to go the fast track MSN program. I wish that I would have done that considering that I had a degree prior to getting my BSN. I think that if I were in your shoes I would not go the NP route but just the a basic MSN especially if it only takes three years. You will have the advantange of having the core courses out of the way when you get to into a CRNA program. The only advantage is going the BSN route is less time and more time that you can be getting experience in the ICU while taking some MSN courses.
    That is great advice. I have to tell you that even volunteering at the hospitals around here and talking with PAs, NPs, and Physcians let's me know I am on the right path. I am very excited and can't wait for my first prerequisite class to begin this summer so I can move forward in my new career.

    How has your experience as a second degree nurse been so far?

    Thanks!
  7. by   UCDSICURN
    Quote from EpiphanyXI
    This is my first post and first off, I just want to say how impressed I am with the level of posting on this board.

    I am a career changer (I have a J.D.) at the age of 29. I realized for many reasons that the kind of work I want to do for the rest of my life has to do with health care as a provider. I am at the beginning of starting the 5 or so prereqs I need to enter into a 2nd degree BSN or direct entry MSN program and will probably enter into a program in 2009. I have been volunteering and shadowing physicians, PAs, NPs, and RNs at the local hospitals. After thorough research into avenues into health care as a provider, I would like to work as a CRNA because it is a fascinating field and it compliments my interests.

    The question is should I persue a 2nd Degree BSN work in ICU for a year or two then apply as a CRNA, or should I get an MSN in acute care as nurse practitioner and then go for CRNA. I realize that the MSN would take three years and then CRNA would take another 2 or so afterwords. Since I am 29 with no experience as a nurse so far, I feel like time is a factor (I feel old!) and maybe I should persue a nurse practitioner route as that would get me into the provider position that I am looking for faster as I am worried that many of the CRNA programs require many more years of ICU and nursing experience instead of just rigourous nursing course work and experience as a lawyer. But then again I should persue my dreams.

    I would very much appreciate any advice. A nurse at one of the hospitals was accepted to a CRNA programs (she has 20 years experience in many hospital units) advised me that I should just get a BSN, save time, and then apply to CRNA program after a year.

    Advice? Thoughts?

    Thank you!
    Don't sweat the age thing bud....let's say you finish up in your mid 30's..you'll still have 30ish years to work. Plenty of time if you ask me. You did pique my interest with leaving the law field, at least for the time being. How come? Feel free to PM me if ya like.
  8. by   Summitk2
    I'm confused. What would be the benefit of getting an unrelated MSN? You'll be doing 3 years of school and still required to work a min. of 1 year in an ICU as an RN. Yes, you'll have some core grad courses done, but it doesn't seem you'd be much ahead of an accelerated BSN student who will have far more time at the bedside and getting certifications in the same amount of time.

    Free2be could've been getting their bedside experience 2 years earlier with a 1 year accelerated BSN. Even though you're post-masters, you're still in anesthesia school for 2-3 years. An applicant with an unrelated MSN (and a whole other prior career) may also appear to have less direction in their NA school application.

    Am I missing something?
  9. by   free2dream
    Not really. It took me only 2 years to get my MSN. While I was taking my pre reqs for MSN I was still working.
    After 2 years of MSN (full time and no job held) and 1 year ICU experience, I got accepted. Now I will be working full time for 1 more year as RN. ( altogther I will have 27 months nursing experience by the time I quit my job!!)

    If I'd gone BSN route, I would have graduated in 12-15 months (depending on the school) and 2 years experience and full time MSN for anesthesia.

    It all works out the same as far as time, but while in anesthesia school, I wanted it to be less stressful. Besides, If i had not gotten accepted to CRNA, I would have gone back to school for 9 months to get my (any) NP certification.\\It is just a preference and palnning my future with a few options :spin:
    Last edit by EricJRN on May 23, '07 : Reason: Broken link removed
  10. by   jls485
    Free2Dream,

    Do you think having a MSN or NP would give one advantage accept to CRNA program? I just want to hear some opinion, I'm sure some would say no, some would say yes. For me, I think it would be. In addition, I thought about get the NP while working as a RN because the hospital would pay for it since it's a teaching hospital, second, it would take 2 to 3 years part time, that's about the amount of time I want to work before I apply to CRNA program. So again, do you think it would be an advantage or disadvantage.

    Quote from free2dream
    Not really. It took me only 2 years to get my MSN. While I was taking my pre reqs for MSN I was still working.
    After 2 years of MSN (full time and no job held) and 1 year ICU experience, I got accepted. Now I will be working full time for 1 more year as RN. ( altogther I will have 27 months nursing experience by the time I quit my job!!)

    If I'd gone BSN route, I would have graduated in 12-15 months (depending on the school) and 2 years experience and full time MSN for anesthesia.

    It all works out the same as far as time, but while in anesthesia school, I wanted it to be less stressful. Besides, If i had not gotten accepted to CRNA, I would have gone back to school for 9 months to get my (any) NP certification.\\It is just a preference and palnning my future with a few options :spin:
  11. by   free2dream
    It worked out as an advantage for me. I know a few CRNA who are NPs. But why would you want to be in school for so many years (although someone is paying for it!!)?
    YOu can use the time to get CCRN and other certifications that are pertinent to anethesia.
    But it would be a good back up plan if you do not want to do bedside nursing anyway after a few years...
  12. by   jesset2
    Getting your NP does not give you an advantage to getting into CRNA school. The only thing it might do is show that you can handle grad school work, but remember that CRNA coursework is much tougher than NP coursework and if you want to prove you can handle grad school work, just take a class or 2.
  13. by   blkgurlwithwings
    what about a AASN with a bridge to BSN or MSN. DO I have a chance at getting into a CRNA program? I have been accepted to an ABSN, but not sure when I'll go for masters and if it will be in CRNA. I thought I'd save money and time, get experience, and then decide while I work. Are there CRNA programs that accept ASN's? Also, how long are most bridge programs and can I do them online?
  14. by   nurse4lf1
    epiphanyXI,

    Listen, go through the second degree BSN program work for a year in the ICU apply to CRNA school before you complete your 1 year's experience. This is what I did have a BS in chemistry, a MA in education, and a BSN I got into a CRNA program and while I will have my year before the program starts I do not yet have it. What state are you in? One of the instrctors only had one year's experience as well and was obviously very successful in the program. Good luck to you and don't waste your time with NP unless that's what you want to do. I am also getting up there in age so I understand the need to not waste time.

close