Just finished my first semester. Ask me anything. - page 3

by MeTheRN 89,742 Views | 248 Comments

Wow...I can't believe it's only been been 3 1/2 months! It feels like it's been at least a year. But finally, a few hours ago today, I took my last final and finished my first semester of CRNA school! I figured this would be a... Read More


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    Quote from goody07106
    Are you at Wolford? I've seen many reviews? Are they true?
    Here are my stats:
    GPA 3.0, GRE 900(taking again in March), Shadowed twice, one year of neuro ICU at the time of applying, nurse in other areas for 3years Taking grad level health assessment, and patho now. Took chemistry last semester and got a C. oops, Will take CCRN in April, Attending a Simulation Workshop in March(intubation, anesthesia machine, etc).
    What are my chances? Any suggestions?
    Also, did you apply to more than one school?
    Did you save a load of money or take loans?
    Sorry so many questions. lol
    Yes I'm at Wolford. I also read the reviews and have not been able to substantiate them. I just finished my first semester though, so I'm still looking out for the stuff I read about on here. So far so good though, and the upper classmen I talk with also say it's "so far so good" so I'm not anxious about it.

    I think your stats are great! You definitely show an initiative with the simulations and the graduate level courses. You would be a great candidate to apply to the school, I would just go ahead and do it already even with the low(ish) GRE score. Definitely put in your "purpose" paper about how you plan on taking the CCRN and are taking graduate level courses and etc.

    I applied to 9 schools all over the South East (mainly in FL where I grew up). I got into all of them, so it's definitely doable.

    I saved a few thousand dollars before school and took out the max amount of student loans. Working during this program would not be intelligent to do. I don't mind the loans though, I have a 7-year repayment plan to pay it back so I'm not having chest palpitations about having that much debt.
  2. 0
    Thanks. I will go ahead and apply. Are you able to live in the Orlando area? How long from the time you apply do you hear something back?
  3. 0
    Thanks for taking sometime between semesters to openly answer questions. Can you elaborate in more detail on your financial aid? I know there are a lot of forums about options, just looking for the most up to date information on this.

    Also I know many people ask is it really hard/time consuming as people say. Well that isn't my question, because I am preparing myself for it. But I just am curious what your typical day/week is like. I plan not to have a life, but I am more afraid about burnout and wondering it you have found ways to work other things in to prevent this as you get further into the program.
  4. 0
    Do you mind posting a follow up after you return from the Simulation Workshop? I am planning on attending in October. There's one held at Duke.


    It would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you
  5. 0
    Quote from goody07106
    Thanks. I will go ahead and apply. Are you able to live in the Orlando area? How long from the time you apply do you hear something back?
    Technically you could still live in Orlando, but I relocated to Naples. You only to class 2-3 days a week, but when the group projects start up or you need someone to show you how to do a problem in chemistry and physics, you won't be happy. Even people who live in Ft. Myers are annoyed that they have to commute for study sessions and etc.

    It took the school a few days to reply that they got my admissions package. I think they e-mailed me too. Over all it took about 2 weeks to get the interview!
  6. 0
    Thank you for starting this thread!

    How do you feel you made your admission letter and resume stand out?
    How early did you submit your admission packets?

    Thanks in advance
  7. 4
    Quote from jenwil52
    Thanks for taking sometime between semesters to openly answer questions. Can you elaborate in more detail on your financial aid? I know there are a lot of forums about options, just looking for the most up to date information on this.

    Also I know many people ask is it really hard/time consuming as people say. Well that isn't my question, because I am preparing myself for it. But I just am curious what your typical day/week is like. I plan not to have a life, but I am more afraid about burnout and wondering it you have found ways to work other things in to prevent this as you get further into the program.
    It's really important to find a school that has a realistic cost of attendance. Wolford estimates that the most a student will need a year is $65K. About $21K is tuition and books, the rest is room and board. I applied for the maximum amount and have about $3K left over every month for rent (Naples is NOT cheap), car payment, utilities, phone bill, and food. This cost of attendance can be (and should be) completely made up of federal student loans.

    So basically you do your FAFSA and it'll tell you that you're eligible for a Stafford and a Graduate Plus loan. You ask for the maximum amount on the Stafford (because it has the lowest APR) and then whatever you need extra from the grad plus. I maxed out both.

    School is definitely all-consuming. I'm in a front loaded program, so we just finished up 5 classes. Three were intense science and the other two were fluff filled with group projects and papers.

    My study habits were erratic. At first when I started class, I would wake up at 0800 on my day's off and sit and transcribe my notes and listen to pre-recorded audio sessions of the lectures. After a couple of good grades I backed off and just previewed my notes and made tons of flash cards.

    In all honestly, some days I spent 2-3 hours on class. Other days I spent well over 10 hours. Some days I just sat on my couch and played video games. I'm a procrastinator by nature, so of course I got about 6 hours of sleep total during finals week. There are certainly people in the program who spend 8-10 hours a day studying this stuff. I'm not sure if it just makes more sense to me or if it's my photographic memory, but I don't spend 8-10 hours on it. I have been to study sessions where we quiz each other for 7-8 hours though, like right before an exam.

    While the teacher is lecturing, I highlight the important stuff. When class gets out, I quickly make online flashcards (StudyBlue or Quizlet) and begin quizzing myself. These flashcards can be accessed on your smart phone, so I'll quiz myself everywhere on the go. Most instructors will give you a study guide of sorts, so when that comes out I make sure I've memorized everything about the topics listed. The exams are tricky, but you need to get a feel for the examination style of each professor.

    Burn out is a real possibility. After the finals, I had a little break down and couldn't stop laughing and crying at the same time! My parents were really worried. But some people have mentioned that working out is a good way to relieve all of this stress. Other people are just content with 80% = CRNA and don't really gun for the high grades. I heard that most of the students are on antidepressants by the time the program is over. It all depends on how you are as a student. You'll figure it out, we only lost one person due to low grades this semester.
    Last edit by MeTheRN on Feb 1, '12 : Reason: typo
    ICUman, on eagles wings, DIV-99, and 1 other like this.
  8. 0
    I will. No problem
  9. 0
    Quote from plantbasednurse
    Do you mind posting a follow up after you return from the Simulation Workshop? I am planning on attending in October. There's one held at Duke.


    It would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you
    Sure, no problem but the simulation lab is still under construction so I won't be in there for a few months. After I'm in, I'll definitely update on the experience.
  10. 1
    Quote from plantbasednurse
    Thank you for starting this thread!

    How do you feel you made your admission letter and resume stand out?
    How early did you submit your admission packets?

    Thanks in advance
    To make the resume pop, I wrote about my relevant clinical experiences. For example, titrating that NMBA's to the TOF twitches, using different vasoactive gtts, helping insert EVD's and spinal drains, things like that. Basically just put down my most impressive level 1 trauma experience.

    The letter is actually pretty easy. Just talk about how you're a bad ass and love to learn and get into complicated clinical scenarios. Talk about how much you respect the profession and etc. It's really just a time to highlight yourself and explain anything else (like planning on taking the CCRN or GRE at this date, etc).

    I submitted my admissions package a month before the Spring deadline. They contacted me and asked if I wanted to start in the Fall (which was 2 months away! !) So I quickly accepted and made my plans to quit my job and relocate to Naples. Being a single young guy definitely came in handy.
    scarcity21 likes this.


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