ACNP Transition to CRNA

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  • Specializes in Critical Care Medicine. Has 6 years experience.

Greetings All,

I'm an Adult Health NP with (approaching) two years of critical care medicine experience. Additionally from 2013 to 2015, I was a bedside critical care nurse. I'm also finishing up a post-masters certificate in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care with a graduation date in August this year.

I looked through old posts on the subject, but am looking for a little advice for my situation:

I'm privileged to have the opportunity to serve in the National Guard as an Army Nurse, but the Army does not utilize Adult Health or Adult-Gero Acute Care NPs. I'm assigned to a case management role.

I have read extensively of the need for CRNAs overseas and have been thinking of making the transition, but am having trouble finding any schools that offer a significant advanced placement for actively practice acute/critical are medicine specializing NPs.

Is anyone aware of any such schools? Any general advice is appreciated as well!

I've never taken the GRE, so I'm presuming that will be the first step in exploring this, but I thought I'd get some advice/feedback from the community at-large.

Thanks!

Bluebolt

1 Article; 560 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

I'm sorry but as an NP you'll have to start all over again and start the application process for CRNA school just like you would as a bedside ICU RN. There was another NP on here asking advice on a way to bridge and that simply isn't possible. The entire CRNA curriculum is completely different from CRNP. In my DNP CRNA program, we have a few online doctorate research type classes with the DNP CRNP cohort and they remark that they don't learn anywhere near the information or the in-depth sciences we're required to master. Not to mention all the anesthesia courses that all require years of structured clinical rotations to make you proficient in anesthesia practice. There simply isn't a way to bypass all that and just take boards through a fast-track.

The silver lining is that if you took a pathophysiology course in CRNP school and get into a CRNA program that accepts it, you may get to skip that class during the program. I have a classmate who did this and the lucky dog doesn't have to show up to lecture on Thursdays until lunchtime. It gives her a couple hours of extra study time that morning that the rest of us don't get the luxury of having.

If CRNA is your passion and dream I say go for it. It's a long process to get into a program, very competitive and once you're in it's 3 years of hell without being able to work at all and incurring probably $150,000 in debt, but worth it in the end.

CCNP-FL

1 Article; 58 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care Medicine. Has 6 years experience.
I'm sorry but as an NP you'll have to start all over again and start the application process for CRNA school just like you would as a bedside ICU RN...

Thanks for the response, Bluebolt. I kept looking for some post-masters programs and noticed a couple do exist. It would be nice not to take the theory classes all over again.

I have always been impressed with my CRNA colleagues and think that being dual certified would be helpful. Working as an intensivist NP has been very fulfilling and "filling in" for the anesthesia team during bedside ICU procedures got me thinking about CRNA.

I'll keep looking into some of the PMCs. Thanks for the advice!

Specializes in Anesthesia.

As long as you kept in the critical care field you should be able to find CRNA schools that will accept your experience, and since a lot of CRNA schools have switched to the consensus model you should also at least be able to transfer some of your NP credits.

Bluebolt

1 Article; 560 Posts

Has 6 years experience.
Thanks for the response, Bluebolt. I kept looking for some post-masters programs and noticed a couple do exist. It would be nice not to take the theory classes all over again.

I have always been impressed with my CRNA colleagues and think that being dual certified would be helpful. Working as an intensivist NP has been very fulfilling and "filling in" for the anesthesia team during bedside ICU procedures got me thinking about CRNA.

I'll keep looking into some of the PMCs. Thanks for the advice!

Yeah, the post-masters CRNA degree is ideal for someone who already has an MSN in another nursing specialty. The only downside is it's pretty much just the CRNA program reworded. All the ones I've seen are over 2 years of full-time study, with full clinical rotations, full tuition costs and the whole long tedious application process that takes interviewing, etc. I'm really not sure how it's any different than any of the other CRNA programs you could apply to. Good luck to you man!

Specializes in Anesthesia.
Yeah, the post-masters CRNA degree is ideal for someone who already has an MSN in another nursing specialty. The only downside is it's pretty much just the CRNA program reworded. All the ones I've seen are over 2 years of full-time study, with full clinical rotations, full tuition costs and the whole long tedious application process that takes interviewing, etc. I'm really not sure how it's any different than any of the other CRNA programs you could apply to. Good luck to you man!

Imagine how much easier your course load would be if you could have got rid of 3-6 of didactic classes though.

offlabel

1,466 Posts

You'd be a real rock star...hope you do it...

Bluebolt

1 Article; 560 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

I've had a few CRNPs reach out to me lately on my Youtube channel about going back to school to become a CRNA so I looked into these post masters certificate degrees to clarify. I think a lot of people get confused when they see these programs, imagining they are a quick fast-track to CRNA because they already have an MSN. I knew just from going through the curriculum in CRNA school and having many NP friends that it didn't add up because the curriculum is so different. Here is a link to a post masters CRNA certificate that I find represents most of what the programs are requesting.

Post Master's Certificate in Nurse Anesthesia | School of Nursing | UNC Charlotte

I would think a post masters certificate would be a quick hybrid/online 6 months to a year (maybe $10K to $15K in cost). I'm seeing here that it's typically greater than 2 years of full-time study, which indicates they will discourage you working, and will require you relocating to the school for the few years of the program. This also means if you already have an NP degree and are used to working, earning income and possibly paying back your CRNP degree loans, that will have to stop most likely. You'll take on more loans to support yourself and pay for school, probably at least $100,000 when it's all said and done.

The coursework that I'm seeing listed are the hard science courses that consume the 8-10 hours a day I spend on lecture and studying. The couple theory courses they filter in (usually one a semester) is what I consider my easy online hybrid class that is mostly busy work. It looks like they trimmed those out but like I said, those are the easy classes I really don't spend much time on.

Not to mention the requirements for application are just as tedious and frustrating as any application to CRNA school and I'm sure it's competitive. You have to fly to campus and interview in person, etc. My point being, it's a lot. Certainly not what you might think when you're imagining a post master certificate. In all fairness it's almost identical to any CRNA program for anybody who enters it.

I'm certainly not trying to discourage anyone from following their dream career, I'm just trying to make sure it's clear what they're signing up for.