Applying to Carolinas Healthcare/UNC-Charlotte program. SEEKING ADVICE

  1. I am applying to Carolinas Healthcare System/UNC-Charlotte program for the January 2008 class. Although I live in North Carolina, I work in South Carolina in a coronary care unit (CCU) in a community hospital for almost three years now (since June 2004). I have gained a lot of experience in caring for mechanically-ventilated patients, titrating vasoactive drips, hanging various fluid and blood products, interpreting ECG's, and working with arterial and CVP lines. Because of the community-based setting, I have limited experience with Swans. I have taken care of only two patients that had Swans but with the guidance of an experienced nurse. I understood and felt comfortable with the mechanics, theory, and application of doing cardiac outputs. And since then, I have continued to augment my knowledge on Swans with continuing education and self-study. WHERE I FEEL DEFICIENT IS WHERE I WILL BE SCARED during the interview if I were granted one. It really is scary to me to know that I have a high potential of being looked down upon by the interview committee members because of this limited experience, when other applicants are more trained and experienced. But my gut feeling tells me to GO AHEAD AND APPLY ANYWAY. In other words, to GO FOR IT. I hope that my other qualifications will help with the application process and increase my chances of getting accepted:
    Overall GPA: 3.65
    Science GPA: 3.80
    GRE Verbal: 620
    GRE Math: 780
    GRE Writing: 5
    I have received three recommendations, which came from immediate supervisor, former nursing professor of pathopharmacology (where I obtained 'honors' credit for it), and a physician (internal medicine) with whom I work at the hospital. I made an "A" in statistics, shadowed a CRNA four times, and have ACLS, PALS, and BLS. I WON'T LET THE LIMITED SWANS EXPERIENCE PREVENT ME FROM APPLYING. Please give me feedback or advice or encouragement--I REALLY NEED IT.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   shang36
    Quote from jackielou
    I am applying to Carolinas Healthcare System/UNC-Charlotte program for the January 2008 class. Although I live in North Carolina, I work in South Carolina in a coronary care unit (CCU) in a community hospital for almost three years now (since June 2004). I have gained a lot of experience in caring for mechanically-ventilated patients, titrating vasoactive drips, hanging various fluid and blood products, interpreting ECG's, and working with arterial and CVP lines. Because of the community-based setting, I have limited experience with Swans. I have taken care of only two patients that had Swans but with the guidance of an experienced nurse. I understood and felt comfortable with the mechanics, theory, and application of doing cardiac outputs. And since then, I have continued to augment my knowledge on Swans with continuing education and self-study. WHERE I FEEL DEFICIENT IS WHERE I WILL BE SCARED during the interview if I were granted one. It really is scary to me to know that I have a high potential of being looked down upon by the interview committee members because of this limited experience, when other applicants are more trained and experienced. But my gut feeling tells me to GO AHEAD AND APPLY ANYWAY. In other words, to GO FOR IT. I hope that my other qualifications will help with the application process and increase my chances of getting accepted:
    Overall GPA: 3.65
    Science GPA: 3.80
    GRE Verbal: 620
    GRE Math: 780
    GRE Writing: 5
    I have received three recommendations, which came from immediate supervisor, former nursing professor of pathopharmacology (where I obtained 'honors' credit for it), and a physician (internal medicine) with whom I work at the hospital. I made an "A" in statistics, shadowed a CRNA four times, and have ACLS, PALS, and BLS. I WON'T LET THE LIMITED SWANS EXPERIENCE PREVENT ME FROM APPLYING. Please give me feedback or advice or encouragement--I REALLY NEED IT.
    hi jackielou,you have awesome credentials.I am positive, you would not only get i nterview,but, would get in.just be confident in your interviews. you can do it!
  4. by   jackson74
    jackielou,
    I was just accepted to CMC/uncc starting in august of this year. I think if you want to seal the deal you should get a job at a large teaching hospital (like cmc) in SICU/CVICU/NEURO icu etc, and take and pass the CCRN exam. Your grades are similar to mine, and your gre score is better than mine. However, although I don't necessarily agree, small hospital icu experience is often looked down upon by anesthesia schools. Those are the only 2 suggestions I could give you. You sound like you'll be a great candidate! Good luck!
  5. by   skipaway
    Quote from jackielou
    I WON'T LET THE LIMITED SWANS EXPERIENCE PREVENT ME FROM APPLYING. Please give me feedback or advice or encouragement--I REALLY NEED IT.
    jackielou, the use of Swan-Ganz catheters are on the wane in surgery. I think it's actually getting harder to find patients for Swans except in CVICUs and maybe CCUs. Your credentials are impressive and I agree with the above advice for you. Good luck.
  6. by   jackielou
    Shang: Thank you for the hopeful encouragement. --jackielou
  7. by   jackielou
    Congratulations for getting accepted into the program!! Thank you for giving solid advice. I wish I knew three years ago that a large teaching hospital with areas like CVICU, CVRU, NICU...would benefit me in my candidacy to NA school. However, I was not so fortunate with applying to area hospitals like CMC's NICU (neuro), Mercy Hosp's CCU and MICU, Presbyterian Hosp's CCU and CVRU, CMC-Pineville's CCU/ICU, and Piedmont's CVICU. They were all honest to tell me that one, I needed 1-2 plus years experience and two, a "new RN graduate" would be a better choice to select, and I did not fulfill the criteria. Prior to considering critical care and applying to the above hospitals, I worked in the in-patient OR as a circulator for two years at Presbyterian Hosp Main, and here is where I befriended 2-3 CRNA's who inspired and encouraged me to pursue nurse anesthesia. I finally landed myself in a hospital in Lancaster, South Carolina, after taking a tour of a new 10-bed CCU that was being built. Speaking with the director of CCU, I initially thought I would get the same reply as the other hospitals gave me. Instead, she was willing to hire me without the experience and train me for six months under the supervison of experienced critical care nurses. I took the offer right away, and here I am now, getting ready to apply to CMC/UNCC and one year away from possibly starting in the program. The "one year way" may seem like a stretch and therefore, consideration for applying/transfering to a large-teaching hospital like CMC is "there" with me, but the changes...the orientation...the transition...in one year just really feels overwhelming. I thought about taking CCRN but not so deeply yet. And I am almost ready to submit my application materials. I know there is no perfect equation, and I sure hope I'll be granted an interview and gain admission acceptance. By the way, CMC/UNCC is the only program I am applying to. I have recently read some of your 'threads/replies', and I can tell your determination and perseverance is sky-high. THE BEST OF LUCK TO YOU. If you have any other advice or wisdom, please share. Thanks a whole bunch.--jackielou
  8. by   jackielou
    jackson74, I just sent you a long message of thanks (if I didn't mention your name). --jackielou
  9. by   shang36
    Quote from jackielou
    jackson74, I just sent you a long message of thanks (if I didn't mention your name). --jackielou
    hi jackielou, getting your CCRN would make your admission inevitable.I was able to take CCRN exam and pass it after studying for 5 wks. and I have two little ones at home. I bought LAURA GASPARIES VONFROLIO dvds. I also switched to trauma 1 SICU.only saw 3-4 swans during my year there.surgeons are turning away from it .get a letter of reco.from an anesthesiologist .It weighs a lot.With almost same credentials like yours,I applied to 4 schools and got in at 3.no matter what happens ,donot let your coworkers know of your plans.There's a lot of jealousy.GOOD LUCK!
  10. by   mmc-rockstar
    Wow, you rocked the GRE!!! My grades are a little higher, but you killed me on the GRE. I am sure you will get in. If you have trouble, I agree, get urban, teaching facility BIG ICU experience.....See you @ boards in a couple of years!!!

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