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Am I screwed?

Posted
by llamadan llamadan (New) New

I started nursing school with the intention of becoming a CRNA and have always viewed the years in between as steps on a ladder towards that goal. I just got hired as an RN at one of the highest ranked hospitals in the nation, will be completing my BSN by next summer, and I'm going to try to move into critical care as soon as I possibly can.

My problem is that my school record is abysmal. I dropped out of school once after failing all of my classes, started nursing school strong but let my grades slip, and have failed several classes in my current BSN program which I am now retaking. I am absolutely uncompetitive when it comes to academics. Even if I get straight A's in the rest of my classes, my transcript will still show all of those retakes and failures.

So my question is this: Do I have any chance whatsoever for getting into a CRNA program? Would completing a rigorous post-bacc program with a 4.0 help at all? Or should I just give up on my dream of being a CRNA and try to find something else to do?

Thanks in advance.

Garrett1987

Specializes in CRNA. Has 5 years experience.

I think the first step is figuring out why you are failing your BSN classes. Anesthesia programs are going to want to know what happened along with why should they put their trust in you to pass their program. If I were you, I'd retake the courses you failed in your bachelor's and make A's in them. If your GPA is still low once your BSN is completed, I would take 3-4 graduate courses and make A's in them. This will show prospective programs that you are serious about doing well in their program. You still have a chance to get in, you just have to work hard for it.

I agree with with Garrett1987. First you need to understand why are you failing these classes, and than you must score substantially higher in these courses the second time around. Unfortunately you are going to have a tougher time getting into a program if you don't have a competitive GPA ( 3.6 and above is what I refer to). I'm not saying you won't get in but you are going to have a tougher time than a student applying with a 3.6 with several years of experience. So stay positive work hard, retake classes and do the best you can do.

Going back to school once you are employed has challenges of its own. I agree with the above posts, but suggest you really think about why you want to be a CRNA. Is it possible some other aspect of nursing might be just as rewarding? For example, if you like the pace and atmosphere of the OR, why not think about working in the OR?

You still have a chance to get in, you just have to work hard for it.

So stay positive work hard, retake classes and do the best you can do.

Thanks for the advice. I've had such a hard time with classes this past year because of some unfortunate personal issues that I've been dealing with but I've got things under control now. I was really just curious if I still had a chance of getting into a CRNA program, or if I should give up on that goal and move on.

Going back to school once you are employed has challenges of its own. I agree with the above posts, but suggest you really think about why you want to be a CRNA. Is it possible some other aspect of nursing might be just as rewarding? For example, if you like the pace and atmosphere of the OR, why not think about working in the OR?

I understand that going back to school while employed has its challenges - I've always worked full-time throughout school so it's really all that I know. I may very well change my mind some years down the line but right now I still want to become a CRNA.

You have a lot of proving yourself to do. I would probably go the extra mile... take graduate classes, or even complete a graduate program (we have a couple NP > SRNA's in my class) to show you can handle graduate level work. Accel in the ICU and get a few years of experience - it might take you more than two or three or five. You will be scrutinized more than others due to your background. Get certified in anything and everything you can: CCRN, FCCS, Dialysis, any devices. Become a charge nurse, show leadership, get involved in organizations and committees.

It can be done, but no adcom is going to let you in a program just so you can add to their attrition rate. There are way too many qualified applicants that have great past successes and who will be able to contribute to the politics, policies and intricacies of the profession. These people put in many hard hours, went through their own hardships and came out on top. You need to become one of these people.

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It can be done, but no adcom is going to let you in a program just so you can add to their attrition rate. There are way too many qualified applicants that have great past successes and who will be able to contribute to the politics, policies and intricacies of the profession. These people put in many hard hours, went through their own hardships and came out on top. You need to become one of these people.

I think this is the critical point here. Getting into a CRNA School is so competitive, with more qualified prospects than there are available spots. Although posters are reticent to provide negative feedback, your chances at this point in time is slim to none. Yes, it is possible, but the probability is extremely low due to the competition. I know many individuals who wanted to attend CRNA Schools and did not make it for various reasons. I also know friends who have started CRNA programs and had to drop out for academic reasons. Two of my sisters CRNA Classmates completed their CRNA program and could not pass the boards and have given up on being a CRNA.

The fact that you have outright failed "several" (BTW, is that 2,3,4... Classes that you failed?) BSN classes do not look good. My recommendation would be to focus all your energy on completing your BSN with the best grades possible, instead of looking at options beyond your BSN. I know this might not what you want to hear, but that is the reality. Your academic credentials are rather poor.

Are you doing your BSN Online or at a brick-and-mortar institution?

Edited by SoniaReb

Da_Milk_of_Amnesia, MSN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

Sorry, but this is gonna be brutal. If you wanted to be a CRNA when you started nursing school then you would have known that most schools only accept the best of the best, with that being said you would have known that you would have needed to get the best grades. Truthfully, IMHO you're chances are slim to none. You have a seriously long and difficult road in front of you. Concentrate getting your BSN first and doing REALLLY REALLY well in them, but seriously if you do not get all A's I'm not sure how much of a chance you'll have. I mean when you have the critical care experience and certifications etc. in a couple years maybe you could apply and you may have a small chance, but i wouldn't get your hopes up.

Garrett1987

Specializes in CRNA. Has 5 years experience.

While I know everyone is trying to help, telling someone they have zero chance isn't going to encourage anyone into our field. Do your grades make it harder for you to get in? Yes. Does it eliminate you from getting in? No. So what, your transcript will show failures and retakes... This does not define whether you get into anesthesia school. Plain and simple. You must, however, take 1-4 graduate courses and succeed in them (make an A). Get your certs (CCRN, etc.), a good 3-4 years experience in ICU, either become a preceptor or find a leadership role within your workplace or nursing organization. Make yourself stand out. When it comes time during a school interview and they ask why your grades were low, you can explain that you did not necessarily prioritize in the past but as you've MATURED and GROWN, you excelled at graduate courses, are a leader in the workplace, etc.... It can be done because I've seen it.

Thanks again for the advice everyone. I'm definitely not going to get into a CRNA program right away so I need to come to terms with the idea that I'm going to be in the ICU for a while. This wasn't my initial plan, but I failed to keep my grades up so I really can't be upset about it. And I'm not upset, just determined!

Right now I'm going to focus on kicking ass in the rest of my classes and becoming the best nurse I can be. I'll worry about graduate courses next year when I'm finished with the BSN program. I was considering doing a pre-med bost-bacc after the BSN, but it seems like taking graduate level courses is a better idea according what I've read so far. I still have a year or two to sort out that plan.