help? advice?

  1. 0
    I am a registered nurse interested in applying to a CRNA program. I have been a nurse for 5 years and have a varied experience. When I graduted, I obtained a commission onto active duty and became an Army nurse. I stayed on active duty for just over 3 years and then transitioned into civilian life. On active duty I worked on an in patient pediatric floor which I LOVED. After the Army, I decided to try something new and took a job in a busy 54 bed ER. Though this ER is not a trauma center it IS one of the busiest in my state. After working there for almost a year I went PRN and am now a full time elementary school nurse bc I really wanted to get back to working with children. Although I love working with the kids at the elementary school, I know school nursing is not for me.

    I want to go back to school and have always wanted to be a pediatric CRNA but have told myself I wasnt smart enough. I graduated from VCU's nursing program with a 3.3 gpa and passed my NCLEX on the first go around. I also have to mention I worked pretty much full time and went to school full time while in my nursing program. I also became pregnant my junior year, had my daughter the 1st semester of my senior year and spent my senior year commuting almost 2 hours each way to and from school in order to have my family help me with my little one.

    I am currently repeating A&P to obtain a better grade ( I got B's and C's the first time around) and need to take a statistics course as my undergrad program did not require one. Also may need some chemistry as VCU accepted my honors high school chemistry and I did not take a college level chem course. I will also apply for a job at an area hospital that is a level 1 trauma center and hope to begin working in their STBICU (surg, trauma, burn ICU) next summer.

    I have always had good relations with my managers and patients and am now forunate enough to be in a place where financially I could afford to go to CRNA school without working. (My husband has a great full time job and the Army reserves is currently offering a monthly stipend in return for reserve service that I was always planning on doing!). Fortunetly or unfortunetly, VCU is the closest program to me. it is also #1 in the country!!! This is what is so intimidating to me. Although I went here for undergrad, I am worried that I have no shot to get into their CRNA program. There is another program in my state and 1 more within driving distance.

    I have no yet taken my GRE's but plan to do so before I begin working in an ICU setting so that I can focus on the ICU and not get overwhelmed with GRE's and a new job. I also plan to obtain CCRN certification after experience in the ICU.

    As you can see this is a plan that is a few years in the future for me.

    Can someone out there give me hope that all my efforts are not going to be in vain??

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  2. 0
    anyone out there to be encouraging?


    Quote from usancrn
    I am a registered nurse interested in applying to a CRNA program. I have been a nurse for 5 years and have a varied experience. When I graduted, I obtained a commission onto active duty and became an Army nurse. I stayed on active duty for just over 3 years and then transitioned into civilian life. On active duty I worked on an in patient pediatric floor which I LOVED. After the Army, I decided to try something new and took a job in a busy 54 bed ER. Though this ER is not a trauma center it IS one of the busiest in my state. After working there for almost a year I went PRN and am now a full time elementary school nurse bc I really wanted to get back to working with children. Although I love working with the kids at the elementary school, I know school nursing is not for me.

    I want to go back to school and have always wanted to be a pediatric CRNA but have told myself I wasnt smart enough. I graduated from VCU's nursing program with a 3.3 gpa and passed my NCLEX on the first go around. I also have to mention I worked pretty much full time and went to school full time while in my nursing program. I also became pregnant my junior year, had my daughter the 1st semester of my senior year and spent my senior year commuting almost 2 hours each way to and from school in order to have my family help me with my little one.

    I am currently repeating A&P to obtain a better grade ( I got B's and C's the first time around) and need to take a statistics course as my undergrad program did not require one. Also may need some chemistry as VCU accepted my honors high school chemistry and I did not take a college level chem course. I will also apply for a job at an area hospital that is a level 1 trauma center and hope to begin working in their STBICU (surg, trauma, burn ICU) next summer.

    I have always had good relations with my managers and patients and am now forunate enough to be in a place where financially I could afford to go to CRNA school without working. (My husband has a great full time job and the Army reserves is currently offering a monthly stipend in return for reserve service that I was always planning on doing!). Fortunetly or unfortunetly, VCU is the closest program to me. it is also #1 in the country!!! This is what is so intimidating to me. Although I went here for undergrad, I am worried that I have no shot to get into their CRNA program. There is another program in my state and 1 more within driving distance.

    I have no yet taken my GRE's but plan to do so before I begin working in an ICU setting so that I can focus on the ICU and not get overwhelmed with GRE's and a new job. I also plan to obtain CCRN certification after experience in the ICU.

    As you can see this is a plan that is a few years in the future for me.

    Can someone out there give me hope that all my efforts are not going to be in vain??
  3. 0
    You have a solid plan. The only problem I see is VCU. You should plan on applying to more than one school, if VCU is your only option then you run the chance of never getting accepted to nurse anesthesia school.
  4. 0
    I agree with wtbcrna. Your plan sounds great however VCU is an excellent school that accepts, in all honesty and as cliche as it sounds, the best of the best! I would seriously plan on applying elsewhere to increase your likelihood of getting accepted. If VCU is the only option I would encourage you to make an appointment with their admissions counselor or dean to get a detailed list of what you need to do to get in. I will say that if you do apply and do not get in, inquire about what would make you a better canidate and do EXACTLY what they recommend you do. Then apply again and hopefully they will recognize your efforts and reward you.

    In the mean time, i would gather as much ICU experience you can as well as take a lot of graduate level courses. CRNA admission committees, i would argue, would rather take someone with great grades and minimal experience over someone with average grades and lots of experience. If you can get both then you would be above the game. Seriously consider applying elsewhere though. But above all else, make sure you do well in your graduate level courses....That is a must. B's really don't cut it, especially when applying to VCU ( I would imagine).

    Good luck....
  5. 0
    I agree too, that you should apply to a few programs. There's a healthy balance between applying to too many schools "just to get into CRNA school" i.e. getting into a "crna farm school", and having options available. Research the other schools you might consider... who knows, you may find it's a better fit for you. Just because a school is #1 doesn't necessarily mean it will be the best program for you. Some things to research:

    1. Find out class size, usually smaller means less students per instructor
    2. Same with clinicals, I know of a few friends who are in large programs, and have 2 students per OR for clinicals... not ideal when you are trying to learn how to be an independent practitioner.
    3. Clinical locations: do they offer a variety of experiences i.e. rural vs non rural vs academic center etc. What about peripheral blocks, epidurals, central lines, etc. Some schools only offer exp w/peripheral & spinal blocks in sim labs only.
    4. Cost
    5. Faculty- check out the schools in person, make an appointment to meet the director, see if you can speak to staff. Checking out the schools in person will give you a good feel about how a program fits for you.
    6. Front loaded vs integrated program- there's isn't a clear benefit with one or the other, it's more about how you learn best and what suits your learning needs.

    If VCU is the closest school to you, I can think of a few good programs in the vicinity. You might have to relocate a few hours, but if you find the program that best fits you, wouldn't you want to be at the program? I applied and got accepted to a few programs, in the end I feel like I picked the school that works best for me! Good luck and hope the info helps!
  6. 0
    thanks to you all for your words of encouragement. There are 2 other schools that are a reasonable distance away from where we are now. I just have to see what will work best for my family as I am not sure how uprooting them will do..Thanks again!
  7. 0
    just wanted to say good luck! I am applying to VCU for 2013 start and a school in Minnesota. I went through the whole program list on the AANA website to narrow down my choices, since I knew that I was going to move as I didn't really prefer the schools near me. I come with family as well, however I am the only income earner so am totally freaking out about that.

    I did the CCRN, a year of gen chem, then organic chem as well as physics. I figured it could only help with my knowledge in the classes as well as look good to the adcoms.

    Good luck!


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