best units to gain experience on before CRNA school

  1. I am a new graduate who is contemplating becoming a CRNA in the future. I have an interest in cardiac nursing and will begin working on a cardiac step down unit in Noroflk,Va. I hope to advance to the CVICU when the time is right but I wanted to hear from SRNA's who are living the dream... where did you gain your ICU experience? Is the CVICU what schools want? Thanks so much in advance because I know you all have very busy schedules.
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    About jmunrs2010

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 24; Likes: 2
    Sentara Heart Hospital RN- Cardiac stepdown; from US


  3. by   milian7
    I have heard that CVICU is the best place to get experience... I was wondering if CCU ever counts as well ???
  4. by   AbeFrohman
    I think all types of ICUs are equally good in their own way, but If I had to rank them it would be CVICU, SICU, CCU, Trauma ICU, MICU. The order being based only on their helpfulness when studying material in school. This is just a generalization and not all inclusive. I think what is more important is being at a large level 1 teaching hospital.
  5. by   WolfpackRed
    I worked in medical and neurosurgical ICU prior to my acceptance into a program. The class I am starting with reflect all areas of ICU experience (medical, surgical, trauma, neurosurgical, cardiac). In talking to many of those who did the interviewing, having your CCRN augmented the applications more than where we worked.
  6. by   shandsburnRN-CRNA
    CVICU seems to be a favorite, however any ICU with high acuity patients is beneficial. I worked in a Burn ICU before CRNA school.
  7. by   meandragonbrett
    CVICU, SICU, and Trauma ICU are all good units. One large general ICU that admits every specialty would also be good. Regardless of the name on the door of the unit....acuity of those patients is what's important. If the patients aren't regularly on multiple gtts, regularly mechanically ventilated, frequent bedside emergencies, and frequently unstable....then it's not an ICU you want to work in for the experience.
  8. by   cgriffin12
    Disagree on large teaching hospital, I do say yes to CVICU and small/moderate sized hospital that does lots of open hearts that is not teaching. That way you get more experience managing the patients instead of having a million intensivists, residents etc. making all the decisions for you. I say this with experience in CVICU in both types of hospitals prior to becoming an SRNA. There is way more autonomy in a small/moderate sized hospital, given that it does lots of hearts, swans, iabs, vads, and lots of vasoactive/inotropic iv drug titration experience. Just my .02.
  9. by   AbeFrohman
    I agree there is more autonomy in smaller hospitals, but this has two drawbacks. 1) exposure. You need to see alot of different crap and the sick of the sick and these are usually transferred to bigger hospitals. 2) most importantly, perception. It is just assumed by adcoms that level 1 teaching institution is better. Not saying it is, just perceived that way. So on gaining acceptance to school the level 1 teaching is better. I know many friends that were great nurses that weren't accepted because the hospital they worked at was perceived as not being rigorous.
  10. by   AbeFrohman
    Sorry for the double post but I remembered something.

    Perception is obvious when you look at how many schools don't take flight nursing experience. It is obviously some of the best experience, but many don't take it because they have no idea what they do and think they just move patient from bed to stretcher and fly off.
  11. by   TJFRN
    This question is for anyone who is a SRNA, CRNA or if you have any advice for me. I have been a nurse for 6 years with 1 yr cardiac stepdown, 2 years PACU (MAC only), 2 years MICU/CCU (very aggressive and high acuity) along with working in an ER at this time as a pool RN, and currently working in a stress lab for less than a year with plans to move to our OP holding for cath lab. I have now decided to continue my dream of becoming a CRNA, which have been on hold, and that is why I accepted the job in stress lab (from the ICU) less than a year ago and regretting it. Do you see me being successful in the program? Should I go back to the ICU? I am currently studying with an appointment to take the CCRN. I have applications out there and both schools are keeping in touch with me waiting on my CCRN and/or GRE.
  12. by   WolfpackRed
    I think that most programs want you to have current ICU experience.