I finished my first year of undergrad this year. I have been preparing for premed, but discovered the crna profession this fall and have been reading up on it ever since. The job is very interesting to me and is very appealing from everything that I have found out so far.
There are some specific topics that I have been having trouble finding exact information on, and I was hoping to get these questions addressed. I know some of these things vary by school, but I'm just looking for some extra opinions...
First, I have have read that a statistics and organic chemistry courses are often required for crna programs. My school offers multiple versions of these classes, and I wanted to know if one type of class is preferred over another. For statistics, I could take either intro to statistics or applied statistics for the life sciences, and for organic chemistry there is the 2 semester version mostly for premed/vet students or a one semester ochem course. Also, for schools requiring ochem, is the lab also required?
Second, is it difficult to get into an ICU immediately after graduating undergrad and getting an RN? I was considering volunteering getting a position as a CNA in an ICU to make myself a better applicant and get some experience in the ICU environment (already have 2.5 years cna experience). I know many people have gotten ICU positions after graduation and were accepted to school with 1 year experience, and I was hoping to get some advice on how to get into an ICU right away. Getting into CRNA school after one year sounds great, but I know I may change my mind and get more experience first.
Third and last-just trying to get an idea about odds of getting into crna school with 3.8-3.9 undergrad gpa at a top 20 ranked undergrad nursing program and 1 year ICU experience. (mostly wondering about needing to get more experience)
I know some of these may be hard to answer, but any help from those of you with experience and knowledge on this would be amazing!!
Jul 8, '10
Seems like you are on the right path. I would not suggest volunterring in an icu. You can apply for a extern position once you graduate and get paid while learning about the icu. Of course your main goal is to pass the NCLEX-RN so you can be one day a CRNA. Yes it is possible to have one year in the icu and end up being in CRNA school- scary, but it is possible, I have known people who have done just that and a brand new RN . I'm not sure if you are even in nursing school, if you are not, then you need to be applying there first. Then there is the GRE, CCRN, ACLS,PALS and other minimal criteria in order to apply to CRNA school. I wish you well, this site is golden and you will be pleased. Take care.
Jul 12, '10
I will first tell you that you should look at the programs you might be interested in to see if they require statistics and/or organic chem. The program I am applying to requires neither, but they do require you to have a chemistry course (Intro to Chem is all you need). I have heard that if Organic isn't required then don't put yourself through the agony. So check out some programs in your state, or ones that you would be interested in first before signing up for those electives.
To answer your second question, I would say go ahead and get a job in the icu if you can as a CNA. I did that where I currently work, and I also did my last semester preceptorship in the PICU where I currently work. The manager saw how interested I was, and by interviewing me, and my preceptor she saw that I would be a good fit. So if you think you know where you want to work as a nurse then go a head and try to get a job there as a CNA. If nothing else you will gain valuable experience that will only help you throughout nursing school.
Your third question is a crapshoot! It all depends on your total package as far as getting in or not. I read questions like this all the time (will I get into CRNA school with a gpa of 4.0?), and the answer is I don't know. It certaintly helps to have a good gpa, and do your best to keep that up. However, they also look at your nursing experience, resume, letters of rec, and your interview (which I've heard will make or break you). The last poster said something that I absolutely would agree with, and that's getting your ACLS, PALS, CCRN (certification you can get when you've worked in the icu for a certain amount of time, and it looks very good on your resume), and your GRE if it's required by your school of choice.
If you go to nursing school then you will hane to make your priority to pass the NCLEX (nursing board exam), and keep your grades up. Don't worry about the certifications until you become a nurse, and work in the icu.
I wish you the best of luck in which ever path you take, and keep looking at this site for answers to your questions.