I have just applied to USC, SC CRNA porgram

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    I have just applied to USC, CRNA program and is wondering if anyone has any information on the program. I have a 910 on my GRE, gpa 3.5, 6yrs PICU experience and have been in the Adult ICU float pool for the last 5 months and am planning on taking my CCRN in a couple of months. Is this good enough to get in.
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    Are you talking about southern california or southern carolina university?
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    University of South Carolina.
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    I applied to the University of South Carolina's program last year and did not get an interview. I had a higher GRE score than you, had 5 years of MICU experience and a GPA of a 3.3 You are going to need a higher GRE score. Last year the avg GRE was 1150 for those that got accepted.
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    yankeesrn did you get an interview?
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    You'll need to bring those scores up somehow. Using a GRE prep book with a CD to practice can help. It helped me raise my V/Q scores. Also, what sort of shadowing have you done? What have you done to ensure that you will be able to successfully complete the program? If you have bad grades, why? Can you retake a class that you did not do well in the first time? I can tell you that academic ability is paramount. I literally study 50+ hours a week on top of class time, driving time and clinicals. Working is not an option...what have you done to prepare to move back into the life of a student?
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    I'm a junior in the USCSOM program.
    GPA 3.1
    GRE 1240
    2 years CVICU experience at time of program entry
    10+years as a RRT

    That said, my GPA after my 1st degree was 2.27. Since then I earned an AD in respiratory therapy with a 3.98 and my BSN with a 3.98. I made As in all my core science classes even when I was a 19yo partying idiot except for chemistry. I re-took the chemistry classes and added one and made As. They will weigh your chem, a&p, and micro heavily. While I'm not sure exactly what they will consider as far as experience, I know that they look favorably on adult ICU experience where you are dealing with high acuity pts and multiple vasoactive drips. CVICU and TSICU is where you want to be as often as you can get in there.

    The GRE, while not the end-all-be-all, is a wonderful opportunity to make yourself stand out. The GRE is about preparation and practice. You can take one or more GRE prep courses, pour three months of your life into achieving a great score, and achieve that great score.

    Then, there is the interview process. I truly believe that you can go into the interview (any school) and wreck your opportunity to get in fairly easily. I also believe that it would take a monumentally great interview to get in over someone with better grades and experience. Basically, the interview at USC is not a super high pressure affair where they are trying to put you on the spot and make you uneasy, so I doubt anyone is going to have a terrible interview. I truly feel that they are just wanting to get to know the prospects a little better and to make sure that what they see on paper jives with what they see in person.

    With all that said, you just never know what your competition will be, but you can pretty much count on it being very strong. You very well may get in with what you have, but if you don't, don't get discouraged. Start trying to upgrade your appeal asap and realize that you might get in now, but you will get in eventually.

    My suggestion for this school and any other is to get into CVICU or TSICU somewhere full time asap...even if it means changing hospitals. Next, sign up for the Princeton Review or another GRE prep course (PR worked well for me) and dedicate your life to blowing it up! While there is nothing more than 10th grade simple math on the GRE and a ton of vocabulary that you will quickly forget, you either must be very smart and QUICK thinking OR very dedicated and hard working to do well on the dang thing. Either way, a great score will make you stand out in a good way. I'm not someone who does well on crapola standardized tests like the GRE, so my score speaks volumes to a good prep course and many hours of studying and practicing.

    I hope you get in to USCs program, because it is a great school. Good luck.
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    I am interviewing on June 19, I appreciate the information you provided about the program. I am going to be out-of-state and relocating my family, so trying to determine if the program is worth the added expense. Are there any stipends available or anesthesia groups sponsoring SRNA in that area. How do the didactics work for those in Greenville? do they travel to Columbia, Video Conference or just separate traditional style course.
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    Cutter,

    Congratulations on the interview! From everything I have read regarding the Nursing Anesthesia job markets in Columbia and Greenville, they seem fairly saturated. So, I honestly doubt there are any stipends or anesthesia groups willing to sponsor SRNAs for either location. It is my understanding that the Greenville site uses video conferencing for the didactic portion. I have only heard positive things about the USC program.

    I also have an interview for the University of South Carolina NA program, but my interview date is June 4th. I am surprised that their two interview dates are so far apart. What date did you receive notification of your offer to interview? I also noticed that your questions seemed focused toward the Greenville cohort. Are you interviewing specifically for that campus?

    Best of luck!
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    Well, I graduated!!!! YEAHHHHH!!!! Now I'm back in the library studying for boards...Booooo! The Greenville group has a clinical coordinator, Richard, who gives some of the lectures in the Basic and Advanced Principles courses, and those are videoconferenced to USC SOM in Columbia. The Columbia group has a clinical coordinator, Kevin, who gives some lectures in the same classes and they are videoconferenced to Greenville. Winston "Tab" King is the program director now, and he gives most of the lectures in those classes from Columbia videoconferenced to Greenville. There are other guest lecturers at both sites throughout the program. All other courses are based in Columbia and are videoconferenced to Greenville. The Phys and Pharm are taught by SOM PhDs and are absolutely phenominal courses that will blow, as they expand, your mind! There is a Clinical Conference portion of the program that meets once a week and two students give presentations on a chosen topic, and these are vid-conferenced back and forth. This is a front-loaded/mixed program that will have you in the OR once a week starting the second month with another SRNA, and they wean you to be by yourself with a CRNA once a week after about another month. First summer is all full-time OR. Fall is back to the full time didactic with once a week and one or two weekends of clinical. Starting Spring of second year through graduation 15 months later, you are full time at various clinical sites throughout the state with the majority of your time at Palmetto Richland if you are in the Cola group, and ALL of your time at Greenville Memorial and its satelite sites if you are in the Greenville group. Throughout that last 15 months, you continue to have Clinical Conference/Seminar once a week, and another course per semester that meets once a week, but these classes are LOW STRESS and highly beneficial in keeping you in touch with what you will need to know come board time. It is truly a GREAT program. I was COlumbia, so I don't know Richard that well, but what I do know of him is all good. Kevin is an incredible resource and is ON YOUR SIDE! This means that you will be treated fairly even when you think you are not being treated fairly...in other words, he has your back, but is a great communicator of what you need to do to get yourself in line if for some reason you start to wander; I can not think of any way anyone could be a better clinical coordinator/clinicall bossman than him, as he is a truly dedicated person with incredible people skills. Tab is genuinely GREAT human being and teacher even though he tries to disguise this aspect of himself. He is professional and has to be "stern-ish" as the director, but he has a great heart and will bend over backwards to help you in any way he can. In summary, this is a fantastic program with great people who truly care about YOU; if you live up to your expectations, they will do everything humanly possible to help you through to success.

    The interview is very low stress, so don't freak out about it. Get good rest the night before, and go in there and be honest and confident. If you don't get in, it is not because you are not worthy, it is because this is a ridiculously competitive situation with a ton of great candidates. If you don't get in, contact them and tell them what you plan to do insure you get in next year and ask them what they suggest you do to improve your chances next time. Do what they tell you and be there next time if you don't get in somewhere else before then.

    Good luck to all of you, and remember that persistence, prayer, and constant and consistent effort will pay off.

    Sincerely, Eric


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