Published Jul 11, 2009
I am interested in furthering my education and am really torn between ACNP and CRNA. Can anyone provide a little insight to either area of expertise? (for example, what is the schedule like for both, what is the pay for ACNPs like, what do you like/dislike, etc) Thanks everyone!
I use to want to do the CRNA training as well....that is, until I shadowed one of the CRNA I use to work with. As he said it so well, the job of the CRNA is 95% boredom and 5% pure panic!
I think it all boils down to your character and what you are looking for. If spending hours behind the drapes of an OR doesn't bore you to death, then it might be the right path for you.This is a simplistic approach on my part, because CRNAs are very knowledgeable professionals and their role is crucial. But the daily reality of the job is something you might want to look at up close.
In my case, one day with a CRNA was enough to convince me that I wouldn't be happy in that role because I can't stand being bored, nor having to deal with prima dona surgeons. I truly admire CRNAs as I have worked closely with many, and they regularly saved the situation (and the patient)in the post-op Open heart settings. But I think that the assessment of the CRNA I shadowed was dead on: You do get the critical situations 5% of the time where your skills and knowledge will or not save the day. But for the 95% of the time left, their role is very repetitive and a lot of "rushing then waiting" for hours on end.
I went for the Acute Care NP master because it offered a similar level of knowledge base practice while having a lot of hands-on and complex procedures. In my eyes, the added bonus is to continue to have busy and rich work days interacting with patients and colleagues.
On the salary level however, an ACNP doesn't make nearly as much money as the CRNAs. It is a question of personal priorities....In my eyes, no amount of money could make up for boredom (but I am an adrenaline junky, so no reference by any means!)
I hope this helps a little...
ghillbert, MSN, NP
I would have to agree with all of the above, except that I don't think I'd be bored in the OR, it's just not my favorite environment. I like to be out and about, seeing patients and hanging around in ICUs. Another consideration was that NP would be transferable when/if I return to my country, while we do not have CRNAs so it would be useless there. I do think I'd love learning about anesthesia though!
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