Does prestigious univ + ACNP = NA program acceptance?

  1. Hi y'all-
    My story (which I see I am not alone!):
    Graduated from ADN program from a great program. I found what I wanted to do in nursing during this program, CRNA! Went directly into adult ICU/CCU from my ADN program just to improve my chances for CRNA school.

    Then a sag in the plans...I got married, got pregnant, had a baby, etc. I continued to work in CCU/ICU, but my school plans were placed on hold. After the baby had grown a bit, I decided that I was going to apply to a RN-MSN for ACNP/CNS program at a local, prestigious school just for kicks. I really didn't care if I got accepted or not. I figured it was the universe's way of letting me know if I should continue with school or not.

    And LOW and BEHOLD, I was accepted! Mind you, it is not my dream to be a ACNP or CNS. I went thinking I would do the BS and see from there. I had to take the whole chem series (just about killed me!) and the whole LS series. My freshmen and sophomore classmates consisted of the top 5% of US HS seniors, so it was really DIFFICULT! The joke between my RN classmates and I was, "How did we EVER end up as a science majors, because we sure ain't science people?" My final BS GPA: 3.1 Then came the crossroads...should I continue on for the MSN or start applying for CRNA schools? I agonized over the decision,"Should I stay or should I go now?" Ended up staying because it was a sure thing, easy to stick with the known then the unknown, etc. So now at this point I am almost done with my MSN. I think I am ready to start applying like a bat out of hell to every CRNA program I can! My graduate GPA at this point is 3.8. My academic confidence is 10/10, and my clinical confidence is about a 8/10.

    Would someone let me know if I am a viable candidate at this point? I can see there is some difference of opinion between y'all about ACNP vs not getting it. I kind of liken the ACNP to a extended CCRN with the added component of medical management.

    I don't need a "follow your heart" or "don't give up" pep talk. Believe me, I am one of the most determined, persevering people you'll ever meet (I had to be just to get through the BS portion of the program consisting of 5 grueling days of science core classes, 2 grueling days of work, and fitting in 2 kids + spouse for 1 year, AKA no days off!)
    I feel as though I have been in school FOREVER, and I would like to start living my life now. HOWEVER, if I have good odds at this point of getting into a NA program I am willing to stick it out for a few more years to get what I REALLY want. I guess my general question is: based on my information, are my odds good? Is my profile comparable to someone who is in a program already?

    My strengths:
    ADN from a reputable nursing program
    BS from a top, prestigious university
    Undergrad GPA: 3.1
    MSN in ACNP/CNS from the same university
    Graduate GPA: 3.8
    Critical care exp. x 4 years (not counting the year pregnant)
    ACLS/BCLS
    Critical care program completion c preceptorship

    Still Need:
    CCRN
    GRE
    PALS

    Questions I need answered:
    1) Is it worth getting the CCRN if I get certified as a ACNP? Much of my core AC classes consisted of identical content, with the added step of clinical management.

    2) Is it really a hindrance to have a ACNP? I would think the all the pathophys and pharn classes would be to my advantage. My GPA shows I can do grad level work, plus the commitment and study habits to succeed. But I haven't read or seen anyone who has a ACNP & CRNA! Please share if you are both!!! Any advise?

    3) Are schools in different states easier or harder to get into? eg. Location matter? California sun vs cold, snowy states?

    4) Does anyone know of a site that shares NA school stats (other than the AANA site).

    5) Based upon my profile, what are my odds for acceptance when compared to others who have been recently accepted into NA programs?

    Thanks for reading!
    ps: I am just happy to find others who also agonize over the whole CRNA journey as much as I do! I have exhausted my RN-MSN classmates with my incessant chatter on the issue for the last two and half years!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   gasmaster
    Sounds like you've been very busy and have made great academic achievements. My one question is....have you continued working critical care for the past couple of years? Every CRNA program is going to look at your recent ICU experience, and almost all require that it be within the past 2 to 5 years. Also, most require that you be a CCRN which of course requires that you work FT in ICU at bedside to take. So I think you have to look back at the clinical requirements and see if you meet them.
  4. by   COtraumarn
    I can speak only from my own exp. I know most schools don't require the CCRN, but there are some where it's highly recommended. It only helps though at all schools. As far as being an APN- I'd think that could only help. I started doing a NP program and took the patho and pharm and I'm taking it again b/c they weren't impressed with those types of classes for NP( and I did get an A). I do know a lot of schools look at the last few classes that you have taken to see how well you did. I'd assume that since you did real good in grad school that would only help your chances.
    I do think that some slots at certain schools are at more of a premium. The higher ranked schools, big name (USC, Duke) and big city schools. There will be TOUGH competition wherever you apply. I didn't get into wichita, KS but I got a slot in CA.
    I really don't know how well you compare w/ other people, but your BSN GPA is the same as mine( I also went to a very well known school) and 4 yrs of experience in a high acuity ICU is plenty. I do have my CCRN. I got interviews at the 4 schools I applied to and got into two of them. Some schools also like good GRE's while other just want a minimum (they might not even care if you get that min).
    I hope I answered a couple of your questions.
  5. by   ThePerpetualStudent
    Yes, I have been working in ICU/CCU. I have the hours needed to take the CCRN at this point in time.
  6. by   smileyRn96
    I am not so sure you have to take the GRE/MAT if you already have a MSN. This brings up another point though, how are you in a MSN program without taking the GRE or MAT?????? I have heard of MSN programs that waive the GRE/MAT requirement if you have a very high BSN GPA (>3.8)
    -Smiley
  7. by   ThePerpetualStudent
    Not all MSN programs require a GRE. If I was to continue on for a PhD at the school, I would need to take it at that point.
  8. by   gasmaster
    Quote from ThePerpetualStudent
    Not all MSN programs require a GRE. If I was to continue on for a PhD at the school, I would need to take it at that point.
    Both of the CRNA programs I've applied to require the GRE. In fact, all that I looked at did. Half of the programs I looked at required the CCRN and the other half STRONGLY recommended it.

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