Becoming a CRNA

  1. 0 i would like to dispel some of the myths that icu nursing is a requirement to become a crna. here is the excerpt directly from the aana website:

    education and experience required to become a crna include:
    • a bachelor of science in nursing (bsn) or other appropriate baccalaureate degree.
    • a current license as a registered nurse.
    • at least one year of experience as a registered nurse in an acute care setting.
    • graduation with a master's degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program. as of february 1, 2004, there are 92 nurse anesthesia programs with more than 1,000 affiliated clinical sites in the united states. they range from 24-36 months, depending upon university requirements.
    • all programs include clinical training in university-based or large community hospitals.
    • pass a national certification examination following graduation.
    i am a cpt in the us army and a military trained crna who has performed roughly 150 battlefield anesthetics (some of the worst trauma you have ever seen)......i never worked in an icu. now that will depend on the school itself, but the aana does not stipulate that icu experience is necessary. i was a labor and delivery nurse for 4 years (all i ever did) before becoming an anesthetist. i had no difficulty with school ( the second ranked in the nation this year behind vcu) or my boards (my score 600/600). if anyone has any questions please email or post to this thread.

    cpt michael bentley
    us army
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  3. Visit  mwbeah profile page

    About mwbeah

    From 'In the greatest country on Earth'; 45 Years Old; Joined Oct '04; Posts: 562; Likes: 19.

    20 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  rn29306 profile page
    0
    You are correct, the AANA simply states that one year experience is needed. You are also correct, the school act as the gatekeeper. MOST do specifiy at least one year critical care. The individual school makes the determination, at least in the civilain sector, what critical care compromises. In addtion to ICU/CCU/MICU/SICU, some say that level 1 ED is accepted, others accept non-level 1 ED and also PACU nursing.

    Persons wanting to attend CRNA school need to clarify the specific school's acceptance of prior experience and also the acceptance of the MAT vs GRE, or both.

    Feel free to share some of your exciting stories. I was reading with enthusiasm about the Forward Flight Surgical Teams and how they 'chute in with 2 CRNAs and can operate, if needed, on 4 patients at a time with the CRNAs sitting back to back, each with two heads in their laps. Our M/M meeting on Wed is by a speaker who provided anesthesia coverage for Special Ops in Afgani. Thanks for sharing your story.
  5. Visit  mwbeah profile page
    0
    Thanks for the response, I bring this topic up only because my ire rises everytime I hear this misinformation. I provided my background only to lend credence to my statements. As a community we are at critical shortages throughout the nation and by telling motivated (potential) candidates that ICU is a requirement limits our pool of applicants into the field. I do feel the candidates should be thouroughly interviewed to assess their potential but a blanket statement that ICU is required is not the answer. The AANA says that the experience need is 1 year of ACUTE care nursing with ACUTE being defined as a stay of less than 30 days in the hospital setting (this fits for several units within a hospital).


    Thanks,
    Mike
  6. Visit  CRNA, DNSc profile page
    0
    I had 6 years of L&D and 1 year of ICU (yes I went there because it was a requirement) prior to anesthesia school. As for limiting the pool in the face of shortages by a requirement of ICU (or similar experience) that is not happening because the pool is already larger than can be accommodated. Most of those without ICU experience will go and get that experience just like taking additional classes or repeating courses if needed. Any one that uses "I don't want to go to ICU" as their complaint for not getting an interview is probably not the student that directors want in their program. Especially when there are hundreads of other applicants out there that will do ANYTHING(course work, repeat GRE, get additional expereince, take the CCRN etc) in order to be considered for the limited number of slots available.
    You (mwbeah, as an individual) did well and are to be commended for your accomplishments. Please save your "ire" for the multitude of other challenges facing the profession because we can sure use it in participation in the organization of nurse anesthesia.
  7. Visit  athomas91 profile page
    0
    i agree with all of the above posts... "acute care" unfortunately is not accepted by most SCHOOLS to be anything other than a type of ICU - i have always been an ER nurse - it used to absolutely pi$$ me off when i was told that wasn't "acute care" experience.. if that isn't acute care - i don't know what is...
    on my interview i was asked why i thought that my ER experience was enough - i simply told them there wasn't many things i hadn't seen and there was no better place to learn grace under fire.... which we all know anesthesia requires.
  8. Visit  mwbeah profile page
    0
    Unfortunately, the US Army's program is always lacking qualified applicants (will fill roughly half to 3/4 of our quota yearly), so there is an avenue for people who are motivated to become CRNA (and its paid for). However, most people do not want the committment that comes with accepting a position in our program. So the statement that there is not room for applicants (at least in our program) is not valid.

    Mike
  9. Visit  CRNA, DNSc profile page
    0
    Quote from mwbeah
    Unfortunately, the US Army's program is always lacking qualified applicants (will fill roughly half to 3/4 of our quota yearly), so there is an avenue for people who are motivated to become CRNA (and its paid for). However, most people do not want the committment that comes with accepting a position in our program. So the statement that there is not room for applicants (at least in our program) is not valid.

    Mike
    It's a shame if that is the case, but I can assure you that in the civilian world the opposite is true- often 5-10 applicants for every slot.
  10. Visit  Jetman profile page
    0
    Quote from mwbeah
    Unfortunately, the US Army's program is always lacking qualified applicants (will fill roughly half to 3/4 of our quota yearly), so there is an avenue for people who are motivated to become CRNA (and its paid for). However, most people do not want the committment that comes with accepting a position in our program. So the statement that there is not room for applicants (at least in our program) is not valid.

    Mike
    Mike,

    Just curious if you know if the Air Force has the same problem filling their yearly quota. I am prior enlisted Air Force and now have 3 yrs ER experience and have researched going to CRNA school on my own and going back to active duty. Appreciate any info you might have.

    Thanks,
    James
  11. Visit  BigDave profile page
    0
    The Air Force does not take direct admits to CRNA school. Their quota was 8 slots this year (but only 7 were funded). All were filled. Note, this is down from 25 slots last year (only 23 qualified applicants after 2 boards, including wavering the GPA/GRE requirements of 3.0/1000 on the second board). Air Force students go to the same Army program at Ft. Sam or to USHSUs in Maryland.
  12. Visit  kmchugh profile page
    0
    CPT Bentley

    First, thanks. I spent 14 years on active duty with the US Army, and I know what you are doing is tough. So, thanks.

    Second, what you say about the AANA requirement is correct. However, that I know of, the only CRNA program that accepts applicants without ICU experience is the one offered by the armed forces. Most civilian schools have decided that ICU experience is critical preparation to understanding the matierial that must be taught in their program. Therefore, most civilian schools won't even talk to an applicant with the experience you had, except to recommend what type of ICU they should get their one year's experience in. A few schools have decided that ER or PACU experience is sufficient to meet the requirement, but I've generally heard that given two candidates of equal qualification, one with ICU and the other with ER experience, they will generally take the candidate with the ICU experience.

    So, technically ICU experience may not be required by the AANA, but realistically, outside of the military you won't get into a program without it.

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA
  13. Visit  kdst profile page
    0
    Kaiser School of Anesthesia/Cal State Fullerton does accept students without ICU experience. My class has several ER nurses.
  14. Visit  Tony35NYC profile page
    0
    Hoping to get into CRNA school in fall 2006 and already putting my app together. Even though the AANA may not require ICU experience, just about all the CRNA schools I looked into require at least a year of CCU or ICU experience. Some of them say they won't accept acute care (ER, flight nursing, or military nursing) as 'critical care' experience and they are also real strict about GPAs and the GRE scores. I'm sure all this is because of the tons of applications they get every year for the few available spots. There are no waivers, and the competition is fierce.

    A military recruiter once came on our campus to talk to nursing students about education opportunities in the army, and I recall receiving information about their CRNA training program. There was almost no interest in joining the military and most people walked out, choosing instead to accept $$$, scholarships, and employment offers with very attractive salaries from the local hospitals. Not that I'm criticizing them because I took the hospital cash and scholarships, too. I seriously considered the military route for a while but decided I couldn't handle the commitment either.
  15. Visit  91CRN profile page
    0
    Quote from kdst
    Kaiser School of Anesthesia/Cal State Fullerton does accept students without ICU experience. My class has several ER nurses.
    Samuel Merritt in Oakland CA also accepts the ER as critical experience; so does the program in Charleston, West Virginia.----Hey to all you Army folks, I am prior enlisted --a long time ago, but had about 8 years. I am 45 years old and will be done with my BSN in about 18 months. I would consider the Army program but every time I make a contact they tell me a nurse recruiter will be in contact with me--AND ONE NEVER IS. I know it's the best training, maybe I'll just wait till I graduate and then approach a recruiter myself. I think the commitment is 4 years after CRNA graduation; Is that right?


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