Pursuing CRNA as a minority

  1. Hello,

    I am currently seeking to become a nurse with a long term goal of becoming a CRNA. I currently have a BA in another science related field and am not sure if I should pursue an ADN to get my foot in the door and then work my way to a BSN in an accelerated program in Dallas, TX.

    My second question is a little sensitive and I hope that I will not offend anyone.

    My friend and I were taking about our long term goals in nursing and two nursing professors over heard our conversation about wanting to pursue CRNA. The two professors immediately starting telling us how competitive and challenging it is to get into a CRNA program. She also began tellling us how this is the most stressful area in nursing and that most nurses lose their license in this area. Now to play devil's advocate, my friend and I was wondering if she was telling us that because we are minorities. Personally, I have been told that anyone who wants to have a CAREER vs a JOB then it takes hard work and dedication to succeed. I am not a stranger to hard work and I would hope that this shows with me pursuing another degree, so I feel that I will not have a hard time in this area. Now I do appreciate being told the negatives over the positives, but it seems that when I mention CRNA and wanting to get more information about this area in nursing I usually get discouraging feedback. From what I have researched thus far, there are not many minorities in this area and I was wondering is it because of this situation. I was wondering if anyone else have experienced this and how have you been able to continue to pursue your dream. I am just a little discouraged about what was said but I am not going to let this be the deciding piece in my future. I am just seeking advice from others.

    Again, I do not want to offend anyone about this sentitive subject but I just needed some encourgement and seeking advice from others who are closer in obtaining this career choice.


    Thank you in advance,
    Nola
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   sunnyjohn
    I used to live in Dallas. As a surgical technologist I meet quite a few Black, Latino and Asian CRNA's in DFW operating rooms.

    The coolest was a Filipina who had been practicing for some time and a AA dude that was a straight hoot!

    It is a stressful career. It is also competitive. It often seems that every pre-nursing student is a CRNA's wannabe.


    As to your nursing professors motives- Maybe its just sour grapes..... But they are being truthful about the stress.

    As long as you are willing to work hard, bust your butt and put in your time you can make it.
    Last edit by sunnyjohn on Dec 15, '06
  4. by   elkpark
    Although I am not a CRNA myself, I've been in nursing and in nursing education a long time. It is v. true that CRNA program admissions are extremely competetive; many people will tell you that, these days, they are more competetive than medical school (because there are so many more people trying to get into CRNA programs than there are trying to get into medical school). It's also true that CRNA school and practice are extremely demanding and stressful.

    As to your concern about being told this because you are a member of a minority group, my personal experience in nursing over the years has been that nursing is v. sensitive about how low the minority representation is within the profession, and every nursing program I've had an association with has been bending over backwards to recruit more minority students. So, while I cannot speak to the motivation of that particular instructor, I feel pretty confident saying that you needn't worry that institutionalized discrimination would keep you from pursuing your dream.

    The university nursing program I teach in now has an extensive graduate program (including a CRNA specialization); we have students of all ethnic/racial backgrounds, and are v. agressive & committed about pursuing a diverse student body.
  5. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from nola04
    Hello,

    I am currently seeking to become a nurse with a long term goal of becoming a CRNA. I currently have a BA in another science related field and am not sure if I should pursue an ADN to get my foot in the door and then work my way to a BSN in an accelerated program in Dallas, TX.

    My second question is a little sensitive and I hope that I will not offend anyone.

    My friend and I were taking about our long term goals in nursing and two nursing professors over heard our conversation about wanting to pursue CRNA. The two professors immediately starting telling us how competitive and challenging it is to get into a CRNA program. She also began tellling us how this is the most stressful area in nursing and that most nurses lose their license in this area. <snip>
    Nola
    Nola -

    From what I've seen, a lot of CRNA programs require a BSN, though some might accept you with the Associates + plenty of experience. I'm going for the accelerated BSN, and have been accepted at the University of Cincinnati.

    Look at the wait list time for ADN programs in your area. Here in the Dayton, OH area, there's a 2-3 year wait list to even start the 2+ year nursing program. So 4-5 years down the road, you'd be starting out as a nurse. Add another 2-3 years to complete your BSN, and you're looking at a lot of years.

    With the accelerated programs, you'd have your BSN in a bit over a year. Yes, the programs have set challenging standards for admission, but it's doable.

    It sounds like the nursing profs have a hidden agenda in telling you what they did. Yes, from what I read, getting into a CRNA program is very difficult, and you've got to have a good GPA, good GRE scores, good interviewing skills, and a good background in nursing. OK, and their point is???

    Yes, I'm sure that CRNA practice is stressful. So what. Deal with it by knowing your stuff (and being willing to ask for help when needed). So "most nurses lose their license in this area", huh? I guess that's why so many people (such as you & I) are attracted to it in the first place, huh? It must just be that the CRNA programs attract people who are slackers, sloppy, don't have their patients' well-being in mind, and just don't know what they're doing. Uh-huh. Not like exalted nursing professors, who always know what they're doing, treat their students with respect, and are willing to "go the extra mile" to help you out. Right?

    If you want to do it, then do it. Research into your choices, decide what's best and "doable" for you, then do it.
  6. by   ucarn
    Hello Nola,
    I just started CRNA school in August and I'm a minority. I never had any negative feedback from anesthesiologist or CRNA's when I spoke to them about school. They were nothing but encouraging. Getting into school is very competitive but I don't believe it is because of race but based on your grades, GRE and years of experience. In my case. There a lot of people trying to get in to very few slots around the country and the schools are very selective when choosing candidates. They want the best of the best. School is very stressful and the time committment is enormous. However , school is awesome. I was on call last nite/this morning until 1am, and when I got home couldn't go to sleep due to the adrenaline from the cases we had done. I'm not sure about the percentage of CRNA's or MDA's who become addicted but abuse is a prloblem. I personally knew of one CRNA when I worked in the OR as RN who had a drug problem. I suggest that you pursue a BS in nursing and skip the ADN route because after you finish your BSN you have to work in critical care before getting into CRNA school. You've got a long road ahead but don't be discouraged by people who probably have no clue about the profession anyway. Talk to CRNA's, ask to shadow them in the OR one day and see first hand what they do.
    Good luck,
    UCARN
  7. by   TexasGas
    First, I have an ADN and a BS in related science and I am in CRNA school in Ft. Worth (TWU).

    We have people of all races, and every on eof us works very hard to learn the material. But the one thing I can tell you is that it doesn't matter what race you are. I am white, but I've been told for years how hard things are and that I should just stop wasting my time since things are so hard. if I listened everytime somebody said that to me, I would still be working at Tom Thumb Supermarkets.
  8. by   jls485
    Well said Texasgas, don't ever let anyone tell you what you can't do!

    Quote from TexasGas
    First, I have an ADN and a BS in related science and I am in CRNA school in Ft. Worth (TWU).

    We have people of all races, and every one of us works very hard to learn the material. But the one thing I can tell you is that it doesn't matter what race you are. I am white, but I've been told for years how hard things are and that I should just stop wasting my time since things are so hard. if I listened everytime somebody said that to me, I would still be working at Tom Thumb Supermarkets.
  9. by   Nitecap
    I know several AA, Hispanic and Asian CRNA's as well. 40% of my CRNA class is non-White. There are plenty of Minority CRNA's.
  10. by   nola04
    I just wanted to thank everyone for their posts.

    Nola:spin:

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