Quote from Air Force RN
Hi Older than dirt,
It's nice to see that you have such high regards for the Army program. I know the Army is ranked #2 in the nation but you also fail to mention that the Army has an attrition rate >20%, which is higher than than the national average for CRNA schools. I also know the Army program has been slapped on the wrist by the Council of Accreditation for Anesthesia programs as a wake up call to fix their attrition rate. I am an Air Force nurse and was stationed at an Army base and have heard how the Army treat their students in Phase I. So even though the Army is ranked #2 in the nation, their attrition rate does not help them out. I know friends that were doing their Phase II at Madigan and their were several issues related to staff CRNA's and how they were training students. Basically, they weren't teaching the students but were making themselves look good at the student's expense. I have applied to USUHS anesthesia program this summer even though they are ranked around #6, the faculty actually takes the time to work with students to ensure they are successful in the program. I know the Army program has a new director this year and hopefully he will be able to turn the program around.
No one will argue that Phase II is difficult. And you certainly have inside information regarding the program, but 20% attrition rate is not correct. Regarding attrition rate......many factors are involved in "attrition", such as family issues, not just student/instructor difficulties. The Army has a policy of "Recycling" those who need to stop Phase II clinicals for valid reasons. 2 people in my class are "restarting" their training......so Attrition rate is misleading. I can tell you many, many counselling session happen before a student decides to stop.
Regarding training, the Army does not mistreat their SRNAs, infact a current SRNA at Madigan has "requested" to stay there as an Army CRNA after his Phase II training, but that is discouraged. I think if Madigan was so awful to it's students, he would be "counting the minutes to leave", but he is not (and this is current information). It is true that Phase II directors vary in their approach to SRNAs so "generalizations" are dangerous. I can say, I visited Madigan and observed the staff CRNAs with the SRNAs, they were inpeccible with their instruction and I am requesting Madigan as my Phase II site.
You are correct, we do have a new Director and he is very protective of his students. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is not my first rodeo with graduate school. I have 2 other Masters of Science and was 2yrs into a PhD program when I stopped to attend USAGPAN. I can say from experience, you will not find the attentativeness, or devotion to each individual student (that USAGPAN provides) at a Civilian program. I don't know about USUHS, other than SRNAs have classes with PA, and medical students. This is not the case for USAGPAN, where we have a dedicated (only to us) staff and we have a strong bond between our classmates. Our facility is brand new and we have a choice of 7 different Phase II sites, where USUHS has 2 I believe.
We have 5 Air Force students in our class, perhaps you would like to email them about your questions/opinions? They sit very close to my desk and appear very pleased with this exceptional program.......as we all are! Everyday that goes by, I think of how fortunate I am to be a part of this program.......again, I speak from experience.
good luck in your CRNA pathway,