I am currently earning my BSN and am anticipating that I will be applying to CRNA school by December 2020. I have a few semesters left before graduating and must maintain 15 credits for my university scholarship.
Each semester is only a maximum of 12 credit hours, leaving me with at least 3 credit hours open to fill. I have considered taking on courses towards graduate admissions.
Most schools are requiring General Chemistry (some w/ Lab), which I haven't taken, as I was only required to complete Organic & Biochemistry (one 3 credit course that involved both Orgo and Biochem) for BSN admissions.
Most schools have different requirements than what I have had, and will have, once I graduate. Some of these include Physics, Biology w/ Lab, Chemistry with Lab, Organic Chemistry w/ Lab, Biochemistry w/ lab (the CRNA school most proximal to me requires a minimum of 4 Statistics credits along with 3 credits of courses on research methods). However, other schools requirements align with my degree pretty well and will allow me to not have to take any more classes outside of what I have already taken and will take.
Any suggestions as to what I should do? Did anyone complete their graduate admissions during their undergrad? The small handful of CRNA's that I know on a personal level completed their Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Requirements that were not taken during undergrad while working as RN's after their undergrad.
I would use that time to network/volunteer/work and make sure I secure a desirable ICU position before thinking about pre-reqs.
If you have the intellectual horse power to clear out physics, o-chem/biochem, whatever, do it. Your BSN program, as you've already figured out, doesn't require the heavy hitting "weed out" science courses. There are generally two kinds of anesthesia school applicants these days (going to a very broad brush here). The first type is a smart, motivated RN that doesn't want to spend a lifetime at the bedside and is drawn to 6 figures without the back breaking work and schedule. Then there is the RN that could have been an engineer or a lawyer that chose nursing out of a (naïve) desire for a real intellectual challenge and helping people at the same time. If you are the latter, full speed ahead, I say. Bang out the pre-reqs, get your two years of critical care and begin a great career in anesthesia. If you're the former, you won't be able to do it anyway, so don't bother. Finish your BSN, get what experience you think you'll need and apply to the school that best suits you.
I would say go for it but also be careful -- some programs require that such prereqs be taken within the last 3-5 years (depending on the program). If there is a setback in your timeline for any reason, you may find yourself having to retake the courses!!
Taking on too much and doing poorly, will hurt you far more than talking on too much and doing well will help you. One step at a time!!!
It's not a bad idea if you have room in your block tuition rate to add on another class free of charge! Just make sure you're not over-reaching yourself - it's more important to absorb as much as possible from your BSN classes and maintain a high GPA. But if you can do both, go for it!
I took a 200-level Statistics course as a senior in high school through the community college (College Now program). That class was adequate for satisfying the requirement for my BSN, but when I had room in my tuition block during my BSN to take the 300 level Stats course offered by my university, I went for it knowing that the higher level Stats class would be necessary for CRNA school prerequisites. Likewise, my BSN required either Microbiology or Genetics in addition to the combo Nursing Chem course like your school. I chose Microbiology because it was a prereq for the CRNA school I was most interested in attending one day.
Don't stress yourself out trying to fulfill all of your prereqs - if you have to take some of them after you graduate, that's ok. I worked in the ICU at a major university medical center, and one of their benefits to nurses was several thousand in tuition assistance. So I took Biochem for free.
Anyways, good luck! As in all things in pursuit of the CRNA dream, focus on the stage you are currently at & do your best to learn as much as possible! The CRNA path from BSN to RN/ICU RN to CRNA school (and any deviations) all have their purpose in making you an excellent well rounded anesthesia provider.
I had all but two courses necessary for CRNA application completed upon finishing my ADN program (Chemistry, a program-specific research class). That was an easy slam-dunk of a semester during which my only other responsibility was working. I also saved money by returning to my community college for these classes.
I'd have to agree with the comment above and say proceed with caution. There are many other aspects to most CRNA program applications. In addition to making sure your GPA stays up, consider that you can be spending time studying for boards, getting involved in volunteer and other resume-boosting activities, looking for jobs, and even beginning to accumulate those CRNA shadowing hours. You could seek out CNA/PCT jobs in an ICU to better your chances of being hired straight into a critical care area on graduation, which is what I did to fill my extra (haha...) time during my ADN. Also take into consideration that you'll have AT LEAST a year in which you'll need to accumulate your critical care experience, and that's if you get into an ICU straight out of the gate. Taking one or two classes at a community college once working as an RN will be a lot more manageable (IMO) than trying to juggle them with your nursing school demands, the stress of boards/job hunting, etc. HOWEVER, you know yourself and your limits best, so do what feels right! Best of luck!
I did all of my pre-reqs while completing my undergrad. If you can do it while keeping your gpa high you would be silly not to! Why waste time and money later on something you could do now... just as long as you keep your GPA high!
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