Non-nursing major to CRNA vs. Pre-Med

  1. 0
    I'm an undergrad student working toward a non-nursing degree. I was planning to take the required courses to be able to apply to accelerated BSN programs after undergrad, work, then pursue a nurse anesthesia specialty. However, I recently read that with the transition to DNAP (which would likely be the degree in place by the time I'd start), it will take longer and be more expensive to finish.
    I originally planned to be pre-health...Wouldn't it be more rational to be pre-health, apply to med school instead, and finish residency considering it would only take 1-2 more years? Thanks.
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    What do you want to DO? You shouldn't pick a track because its easier/cheaper/faster. If you want to be a CRNA, get your BSN and get into a critical care area. If you want to do anesthesia without going to nursing school, go the premed route and apply to anesthesia assistant schools (however you won't have the degree of autonomy that many CRNA's enjoy). If you want to be an MD then go to med school.
    tswim likes this.
  4. 0
    Nothing is certain with the DNAP requirement yet, at least not as far as I can discover. I have been doing a lot of looking around on this since anesthetist interests me too (though to be fair, I always planned to get a Doctorate eventually anyway). So I would choose what you want to do and go for it, and not allow what may or may not happen to dictate choice. Especially as the big changes with ACA get ironed out, nothing is going to be certain for awhile. The last I heard, the requirement kicks in sometime in 2015 but CRNA's with Masters will be grandfathered till 2025, and current programs will gradually expand to include the DNAP. Most people seem to feel the new requirement will only add another year or so the program and may even be a part of it in some schools.
    Last edit by JoseQuinones on Sep 28, '13 : Reason: clarification
  5. 0
    There is no guarantee that you can do an anesthesia residency after med school. It is competitive. The same can be said for CRNA. I would look into which opportunity is more competitive if anesthesia is truly your dream. I would also say you would likely get into CRNA before they all become doctorate. That does not have to happen until 2025. If big $ is your goal MDA's make much more than CRNA's.
  6. 2
    Quote from JoseQuinones
    Nothing is certain with the DNAP requirement yet, at least not as far as I can discover. I have been doing a lot of looking around on this since anesthetist interests me too (though to be fair, I always planned to get a Doctorate eventually anyway). So I would choose what you want to do and go for it, and not allow what may or may not happen to dictate choice. Especially as the big changes with ACA get ironed out, nothing is going to be certain for awhile. The last I heard, the requirement kicks in sometime in 2015 but CRNA's with Masters will be grandfathered till 2025, and current programs will gradually expand to include the DNAP. Most people seem to feel the new requirement will only add another year or so the program and may even be a part of it in some schools.
    The requirement is 2025 not 2015. The grandfathering part is not decided but if the past is any indication then the MSNs will be fine to remain MSNs. I worked diploma and BSN anesthetists who were grandfathered in as educational changes were made. I wouldn't go on what I heard when giving advice to potential anesthetists. Try looking at reliable websites like the AANA.
    Altra and wtbcrna like this.
  7. 0
    By my math, you've got 1-2 years of prereqs for med school, 4 years of med school, plus 4 years of total residency, and finally maybe 1-2 years fellowship (depending on what you're doing); 10-12 years for MDA. 1 year of prereqs, 2 years of BSN, 1-2 years of ICU nursing, and 2-3 years of CRNA (depending of MSN or DNP); 6-8 years for CRNA. Anesthesia assistant is 1-3 years for prereqs and required OR experience (varies by program), 2 years for Masters in AA: 3-5 years for Anesthesia Assistant.

    According to BLS for May 2012: MD anesthesiologists make $233,000 per year, CRNAs make $154,000 per year, and Anesthesia Assistants make $80,000-$95,000 (hard to get exact numbers).

    MDAs make the most but take much longer. Anesthesia assistants get to start practicing really quick, but don't make as much, don't have the same autonomy, and there are only 10 active AA schools in the U.S. It just depends on what your goals are.
  8. 1
    Just FYI:

    1. AAs can only work in some states. AAs must always work in an ACT practice under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist. CRNAs work in every state and can work independently without regards to anesthesiologists.
    2. CRNA average salary last year, per the AANA, was around 170k/yr
    3. Anesthesiologists salaries vary widely and a lot depends on if they are in practice where they are in a partner track or are a partner. A partner is going to usually make a lot more than 200k/yr.
    4. There is talk of extending all medical residencies since interns and residents work hours have been restricted.
    5. All CRNA schools are switching to an entry-level doctorate by 2025. All CRNA schools that offer an entry level doctorate will be at least 36 months in length.
    6. I am almost certain that grandfathering of non-doctorate CRNAs was approved by the AANA at the same time as the entry-level doctorate was passed.
    CPhT2RNstudent likes this.


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