First, welcome to this board. I just wanted to tell you that I think it's great you are considering a change in careers. To me, being fulfilled and satisfied with what I'm doing is what it's all about. I thought it was interesting what you said about corporate control of your working options. I have always wondered about that kind of thing. When I was a kid, pharmacists all had their own drugstores, you know? And then came the day when Walgreens came to town, followed in short order by pharmacies at Walmart, the supermarket, etc., etc. And today, well those corner, privately owned pharmacies are few and far between, and I always think to myself how sad it is that a person would have to go to school for so long to end up having to work for Walmart. A small business just can't seem to compete. Sounds like it's the same type of thing for folks in your profession.
Now, to address some of your questions:
Once done with school how difficult is it to find a position especially in the cities (Cleveland/Columbus if anyone knows)?
I can tell you that I am about to graduate from anesthesia school (in less than 3 weeks now
), & the recruiting from employers began as soon as I was accepted. There are many, many jobs out there. In the Cleveland area, Cleveland Clinic put on a big shindig at our national AANA meeting this past year, and they were recruiting hard! If you want to get a picture of the jobs that are out there, try visiting GasWork.com Anesthesia Employment Resource
How difficult is it to get into the program? How do they select their students? Senority, appitude, who you know? How long are the wiat lists?
It is competative to get a spot in an anesthesia program, but really impossible to qualify how difficult, since much depends on the program, the pool of applicants that year, etc. Students are selected based upon each school's individual criteria which all must meet or exceed the minimum requirements set up by the AANA (for more info you can visit www.aana.com)
. Experience (in years, as well as quality of experience) in critical care, academic ability, and references are all taken into consideration when you apply. Who you know can be a factor, though admissions are decided upon by committees, so this may not be as big a help as a person might hope.
I have seen the big salaries for the travling positions, do you still do well in the permenant ones?
Again, I'll refer you to GasWork.com Anesthesia Employment Resource
For you moms out there, how easy is it with a family?
I'm a wife to a wonderful man, and a mother to 4 children (10, 8, 6, 3), and I can tell you that it is not easy. It has been extremely difficult balancing family & school demands. That said, I did it. My husband is a hero, and took on so much of the burden, but it was difficult.
I read in one post about a program of having a garanteed seat in CRNA school if you go through their BSN program at Columbia, are there programs like that out there?
I have heard that there is a program out there like this, though for the life of me, I don't remember which program it is.
What are the worst things about the job?
Well, I don't start my first job as a nurse anesthetist until Feb (assuming I pass my boards, God willing), but to me, nurse anesthesia is the perfect career. Of course, what is gourmet to one is absolute slop to another. I would definitely encourage you to shadow, not just a CRNA, but also a nurse in critical care because you can't go straight to CRNA without that type of experience, and it would be important to see what you think of that job too.
Good luck in whatever you do,