BS to RN to CRNA...more difficult than I thought?

  1. 0
    Hello guys,
    I'm currently a sophomore undergrad studying neurobiology and neuropsychology. I want to finish out my undergraduate BS in biology, but I really want to pursue a career as a CRNA. All of the direct entry programs that I've found (not many) for non-nursing majors STILL require that the applicant be an RN. How would I accomplish my RN licensing with my biology BS and continue on to become a CRNA? And how long would all of this take? At least, that's the path of least resistance that I've been able to find. If anyone has any better avenues to take me from my BS in biology at Penn State University to my career as a CRNA, please inform me! I've discussed possible options with advisors, but few have any ideas for me. Thank you guys for all of your help!

    Sincerely,
    Shaun
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  4. 0
    Sounds like you want a BSN?

    An alternative route is what I did. I had a BS in general science, received by RN in two years, did my time in ICU and am now at Barry U in Florida. Many of the state schools want that BSN, but many don't, especially the private schools like Barry. You can also check out Samuel Merritt in CA, Georgetown's program, Memorial Hospital's program in RI, etc. There's enough out there that don't require the BSN that you will be fine!

    Hope this helps.
  5. 0
    Hi Smf5083,

    Welcome to the forum. Speaking as someone with a previous degree in Molecular Biology I have to say I think you need to do some soul searching. I know you have invested time in your current tract and that you must enjoy science, but the only thing you will gain from having a prior degree is the ability (in some programs) to take core master coursework while you are completing your BSN, (because truly when you have a previous degree it does not make sense to get an ADN because you have completed all (or almost all) of the prerequisites in your prior degree.

    You mentiond that even with a degree you "STILL have to be an RN", this troubles me because a CRNA is, first and formost a NURSE, and you will spend at least a year as an ICU nurse after you graduate before you are eligible to apply to NA school. I would suggest really researching what a CRNA is and does, call a hospital and speak to the anesthesia department about shadowing a CRNA (they are usually more than happy to do this).


    If you find that this is still what you want to do, my advise to you for the the most expeditios route to becoming a CRNA here is:

    As a sophomore this is the perfect time for you to switch tracts, not having had any upper division classes yet. I don't know when your University interviews for its nursing school, but if you have missed this years application/interview dates, there are still plenty of courses you can take.
    1. Take your A&Ps if you have not already done so
    .
  6. 1
    sorry... darn thing posted before I was ready..


    As I was saying:
    1. Take your A&Ps, Microbiology, Chemistry (organic too since you will need this for NA school.)
    2. Take whatever other prerequisite courses are needed for your nursing school
    3. Complete nursing school with as high a GPA as possible, to be competitive for NA school you really nead at least a 3.6
    4. Work as an ICU nurse in a surgical (preferably a cardiovascular) intensive care unit for at least a year and work with the sickies as much as you can (CVVHD, and IABP patients)
    5. Get all of the certifications you can ACLS, PALS, TNCC, CCRN, CEN
    6. Apply to NA School School.
    I feel that you don't want to let go of your current track, and I can sympathize, but if being a CRNA is something you REALLY want to do you have ask yourself to what end are you getting that other degree. In the long run (outside of the personal satisfaction you will have from completing a degree that you have no intention of using and spending alot of extra money) it will only delay your becoming a CRNA. If you follow my plan, and nothing catastrophic happens you could feasibly be a CRNA in about 7-8 years (2-3 years for your BSN, 1-2 years for ICU experience and then 2-3 years for the MSN in anesthesia) if you continue on your current path you are looking at 9-10 years (2-3years for your current degree, 2 years for BSN, 1-2 years ICU experience, and 2-3 years for MSN). The ultimate decision is up to you, but there is the reality of the situation.

    Best of luck.

    LonghornRN
    JDStarr likes this.
  7. 0
    Welcome to allnurses! There is a ton of info available here for folks who are interested in becoming a CRNA; I hope you will find it helpful.

    CRNA programs are a little different from other advanced practice roles that have direct entry programs as an option, because the governing/accrediting organization for nurse anesthesia programs requires that applicants for CRNA programs have (a minimum of) one year of clinical experience as a critical care RN.

    So, yes, you will have to become a practicing RN in order to be eligible for any CRNA program. There are a variety of options available to you -- ADN programs offered by community colleges, generic BSN programs (are you really bound and determined not to change to a nursing major before you complete your current degree?), or accelerated BSN programs (designed for those who already have a baccalaureate degree in something else (beside nursing). There are many individual variables to consider in deciding which would be the best choice for you.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  8. 0
    well i'm not a crna, but i have some good fishing buddies who are, and i'm prepping myself for interviews within a yr or 2.. i see the most obvious and pressing issue you need to take care of is to become a bsn rn. now this can be done in many ways, you can try to get into a bsn program right off the start, may take as long as 5 or so sem. or you can do a online bsn thing or do what i did goto a asn about 3-4sem worth then go through a rn to bsn upgrade program "all online" took about 3sem. the good thing about that is while you are doing the upgrade you can still be fully employeed in a icu somewhere getting your icu exp out of the way so as soon as you complete the bsn upgrade your ready for the interview and application process. i think the time frame issue is really up to you on how many pre-reqs you have in dealing with nursing the school may take some may not take any, just for your info nursing schools are famously noted to be hard asses on what they wont or will take in regards to transfer credits. the things to do may look long long list to you but it can be done, i started out as a army medic and emt nobody and now i can feesibly sit for any crna interveiw i the land next yr. hit the internet and contact schools, just remember you don't have to goto a world renowed learning institution to get a rn deg. you'll take the same nclex i took from graduating from a small local college here in mississippi. good luck.
  9. 0
    Finish your BS, and get into the shortest accelerated BSN program you can find. You should have nearly all of the prerequisites in your current undergrad program, may need to pick up a nutrition course or what have you in the summer. There are CRNA programs that will take someone with a relevant BS but they must still be an RN, and an associates degree RN program will be longer to complete than a second degree BSN. AND, you will limit the CRNA programs you can apply to if you don't have a BSN.
  10. 0
    Quote from smf5083
    Hello guys,
    I'm currently a sophomore undergrad studying neurobiology and neuropsychology. I want to finish out my undergraduate BS in biology, but I really want to pursue a career as a CRNA. All of the direct entry programs that I've found (not many) for non-nursing majors STILL require that the applicant be an RN. How would I accomplish my RN licensing with my biology BS and continue on to become a CRNA? And how long would all of this take? At least, that's the path of least resistance that I've been able to find. If anyone has any better avenues to take me from my BS in biology at Penn State University to my career as a CRNA, please inform me! I've discussed possible options with advisors, but few have any ideas for me. Thank you guys for all of your help!

    Sincerely,
    Shaun
    It needs to be crystal clear up front- You MUST be an RN with a minimum of 1 year experience as an RN. That is a requirement from the Council on Accreditation!! No program director would risk their accreditation status by accepting someone that is not an RN. That being clear you have several options- there are second career accelerated Nursing programs for those with a baccalauerate degree that would result in earning a BSN. You could go for an associate degree in Nursing but given the current demand for admissions to ADN programs you might be better off going for the accelerated BSN. The BSN is an acceptable baccaluareate at all CRNA program whereas the combination of non- BSN baccalaureate and ADN is not accepted at many. There are no shortcuts! Best Wishes:spin:
  11. 0
    Quote from smf5083
    Hello guys,
    I'm currently a sophomore undergrad studying neurobiology and neuropsychology. I want to finish out my undergraduate BS in biology, but I really want to pursue a career as a CRNA. All of the direct entry programs that I've found (not many) for non-nursing majors STILL require that the applicant be an RN. How would I accomplish my RN licensing with my biology BS and continue on to become a CRNA? And how long would all of this take? At least, that's the path of least resistance that I've been able to find. If anyone has any better avenues to take me from my BS in biology at Penn State University to my career as a CRNA, please inform me! I've discussed possible options with advisors, but few have any ideas for me. Thank you guys for all of your help!

    Sincerely,
    Shaun
    Shaun,
    Hi. I mean no disrespect at all but I see a fundamental contradiction in your post. I don't see why you want to finish a degree in a major that won't get you any closer to your RN, why not apply to the nursing programs near you and start on the only path to becoming a CRNA?

    While there are schools that do not require a BSN, and you can get in with your ADN and a bachelor's degree in another major, you still need to be a registered nurse. The ADN program I went to took two years, and that was after I had already taken the prerequisites. I graduated with my ADN, got a job in an ICU and continued working on my bachelor's degree in nursing while I worked.

    Decide your path. If you are determined to be a CRNA, then do what it takes to get into a nursing program. If your biology degree is important, then continue taking those classes too. It might be difficult to have a double major but some of the classes may overlap.

    And remember, there is the requirement of at least one year ICU/critical care nursing experience before you can apply to CRNA school. A lot of programs are now saying that they will only accept people with two years or more. That is up to the school.

    Good luck.
  12. 0
    Shaun- There is no quick route to becoming a CRNA. You have to be a RN with at least 1 year of ICU experience. It would probably take you 4 years or so to get your RN degree and then you have to get ICU experience before applying. I think your best bet would be to switch to a nursing program now, but that is a personal decision you would have to decide on.

    You have a couple of options that I can see:
    1) Finish your biology degree and then get a RN degree.
    2) Change your major now to nursing.
    3) Finish your biology degree and consider an AA program.


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