ICU experience to become CRNA

  1. Ok, obviously the more ICU experience the better before applying for CRNA school... Many programs that I know of need a minimum of 1 year of ICU, but has anyone actually been accepted into a program with this minimum? And in reality what are the ideal/average years of experience that SRNA/CRNA's have?Just curious, thanks
    Last edit by LeeBee on May 25, '04
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   jbro
    i got in with 1.5yrs, and two people in my class got in with 1yr
  4. by   Toby's mum
    Quote from jbro
    i got in with 1.5yrs, and two people in my class got in with 1yr

    Jbro, how many years and what specific type of nursing experience did you have in addition to your 1.5 yrs in the ICU? Do you believe this also made a difference in your competitive profile/confidence level in your nursing ability? Thanks, Steph
  5. by   jbro
    i had no other nursing experience, i went to straight to icu directly after undergrad. i took open hearts though and i feel this may been a factor
  6. by   susanna
    Quote from jbro
    i had no other nursing experience, i went to straight to icu directly after undergrad. i took open hearts though and i feel this may been a factor
    Does "you took open hearts" mean you worked in CICU?

    I've been reading this forum for more info and it seems like cardiovascular ICU gets you more experience than regular adult ICU. This the general opinion?
  7. by   CougRN
    Working in a CICU does not give you better experience than other adult ICU's. Everyone has their favorite ICU to work in and they generally believe theirs is the best. Any adult ICU in large hospital will provide you with the experience you need for school. As long as you are working with gtts on a daily basis, monitoring CVP's, A-lines, and Swans then you are getting the experience you need.

    As for the original question posted. I interviewed after having only one year of ICU nursing experience and was accepted. I will have two years by the time my classes start though. This was my first job as a nurse too and I worked in a med/surg icu. Personally I love the med/surg icu because of the large variety of patients. Open-hearts can be fun but I wouldn't trade taking a really sick septic patient for anything.

    Just find out what area interests you most and go with that one. You will be happier for it in the long run.
    Last edit by CougRN on May 27, '04
  8. by   jbro
    cv/trauma/neuro, we took everything
  9. by   CRNAStudent
    Six months experience by the time I applied...will have 14 months experience when classes start. My experience was in a surgical heart failure ICU (heart & lung transplants, VADs, ECMO) and regular open heart ICU. I have heard that CTICU experience is preferred, but then again I know a ton of people who got in from other areas as well, like MICU, Neonatal ICU, Neuro ICU, SICU, CICU, etc.
  10. by   Nitecap
    I am applying this nov to several programs. If you have a choice do cardiothoracic. I work in a 41 bed CTICU in a major teaching hospital. Dont listen to the poster above. I have taken care on many very sick septic cardiothoracic pt's in CTICU. Just cause your not in MICU doesnt mean your pt cant get septic. Bottom line is programs want you to have experience with vasoactive drips both initiating and titrating, hemodynamics, and fluid resecutation and well as dealing with both chronic and acute organ failure and the mgmt of these pt's. In CTICU you get all these things plus your dealing with more acute pt's, you get more experience weaning mech. vented pt's and it's a way more fast paced and intense environment. All in all CT is the way to go, esp. in a major teaching hospital where you will see balloons, vads, echmo, transplants ect. I bet that many practicing CRNA's out there have never taken a fresh post-op transplant that comes out with a balloon and echmo. It's all what you like and what your in to I guess. Best of luck.
  11. by   CougRN
    Nitecap, are you serious. That was pretty rude to say don't listen to me. I have been researching and studying how to get into CRNA school for 4 years. Now that I have been accepted and have many friends in CRNA school I feel like I can offer good advice to others. Not to mention having friends who are practicing and on admission boards. I was trying to give an honest opinion. Any ICU is going to be great experience. Like I stated many people have their preferences on which ICU they enjoy. But admission boards for the most part don't. So please don't assume that I don't know what I am talking about and tell someone to ignore my post. I am speaking from my experience. That was just rude.
  12. by   Nitecap
    No Way.
    Last edit by Nitecap on Feb 6, '06
  13. by   louloubell1
    Quote from Nitecap
    Hey cough chill, no rudeness intended k. I to was giving my opinion. I was simply stating the fact that there are also sick septic pt's in CTICU's. I in no way intended to offened you so please dont take it that way. I guess I could have used different wording. I work in a major teaching hospital with a 41 bed CTICU and a 38 bed MICU. The CT unit is far busier admitting 12-17 pump cases /day, 3-4 of those being T-AAA's with carlins double lumen ett, just this moment we are a full house. 41 pt's, 8 iabps, 7 pt's on CVVHD, 5 vads and 2 fresh transplants one with open chest and echmo. Our micu which in 38 beds and very busy doesnt have the kind of pt acuity that we have. Maybe yours did. Again no rudeness intended I was just speaking from my experience too. Have a great night.
    I'm sorry, it's petty, I know, but its ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation), not echmo. I do agree though that the implication that CVICU is without septic patients is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. I work CVICU, and we absolutely have our fair share of septic patients. The other thing is that where I work we get patients from each and every service: trauma, medicine, abdominal transplant (plenty of those), neurosurg, etc. If there's an open bed on our unit and a patient in need of that bed, it just doesn't matter what service the patient is. But a heart or a vascular case will never ever ever go to any other unit but ours. Though I don't believe that CVICU is the only acceptable experience, I have loved it and would have chosen no other route.
  14. by   Nitecap
    Yes that's what ecmo is. We only use it maybe for a lung or heart transplant or someone in total RV failure that cant tolerating going back to or for a RVAD or BIVAD.

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