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Any advice on preparation for CRNA future?

Hello,

I'll be graduating from Nursing School in May with my BSN and would like some insight on the path to becoming a CRNA in the future. I'll start with some generic information about myself, discussing my activities, qualifications, grades etc,. Talk about my hopeful plan, and after that I will welcome any ideas/comments/questions, good or bad.

I'll be 21 at graduation, turning 22 shortly after I begin practicing. I started working as a per diem Student Nurse Patient Care Tech at a local Magnet Certified hospital last January. I worked full-time this past summer, working overnights, handling anywhere from 7 patients to the whole floor, but averaged 13 patients per assignment. Here learned how to perform phlebotomy, ADL assistance, and EKG's. The unit itself has 28 beds, primarily general med/surg patients, with the specialty population of bariatrics making up approximately 25% of the floor at any given time. I have been offered a job on this floor after graduation, and plan on staying here for 1-2 years to get my fundamentals down.

I originally was going to go into the ICU, but my most respected clinical instructor, an ACNP, advised us that he thinks all student should get some med/surg in before moving to a specialty. I originally did not want to do this, but eventually realized maybe I should, in order to get basic skills down and be positive the ICU would be for me.

About me:

Student Nurses' Association President of my school's chapter. Attended NSNA Annual convention.

3.82 GPA including nursing

95th percentile in all standardized test, "99% chance of passing NCLEX"

Scholarly Publication in my college's undergraduate review

Nursing School Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

Student Ambassador that spoke to state accreditation board when school was being re-accredited

Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society

With my 5 minute soapbox pitch, what do you think I should do next as I work towards CRNA school? I want to be more marketable by the time I make that decision.

Do you think I'm selling myself short going Med Surg or is it a good idea prior to doing the ICU?

When I decide to do ICU, I'm going to transfer to the Level I trauma hospital affiliated with my hospital, what specialty should I do? I was thinking SICU or Cardiovascular, but there is also burn/trauma, neuro, and MICU.

Volunteering? I've never done it but would consider it when I have more time. Would this help?

any comments/questions/concerns, good or bad, are welcome and I thank you in advance!

micurn0126

Has 2 years experience.

If you have an offer to jump into ICU I highly suggest you take it.

I understand the willingness to heed the advice of someone who knows you well and has experience where you have none. I also faced this same decision as a new grad (I have been an RN for just under three years now).

All throughout my undergraduate study I heard the same mantra: New grads should start out in med/surg to gain necessary skills before jumping into specialty areas.

Maybe true for some; definitely not true for all. Upon graduation I immediately took a position in a MICU in the local level-1 facility.

I have not regretted that decision for a moment. Through solid nurse preceptors and an eagerness to learn and the patience to be safe, I was up and running as a confident and safe ICU nurse in three months.

I start anesthesia school this summer.

Bottom line: Some nurses need to start out in med/surg if confidence and adaptability is something he/she struggles with. I personally feel that most new grads do quite well in ICU because of the eagerness to learn.

Only you know which path is better for YOU. Best of luck.

GeauxJoe

Has 3 years experience.

Agreed only you know which path is better for you. I'm currently in CRNA school. I started on a telemetry unit and transferred to the ICU after 1.5 years. I did get a lot of good experience on the floor but I would have preferred to be in the ICU thinking back now. I interviewed for CRNA school with 7 months ICU experience and got in. I find myself having to look up some things my classmates don't but I'm far from the bottom of my class! So my lack of experience, compared to some people who have 15+ years, isn't hurting me but it would have helped to have all my nursing career be in the ICU.

Now as far as type of ICU for CRNA school. It doesn't matter, my class ranges from strictly NICU to CVICU to a mixed unit where you got everything. As long as you get good experience, and at a level 1 trauma center you will! Go into whatever interests you the most and learn it like the back of your hand! Now will CVICU help you when you do the cardiac portion of CRNA school...yes! But what about when you get to peds or trauma/burn??? Crna schools only expect you to be good at what you do and be eager to learn about every other speciality. Figure out what will interest you the most and go for it.

Again "only you know which path is better for you".

Good luck!

buspar

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in ICU/CCU.

Ur in the the right track ! I'm not a SRNA yet. I will be applying by the end of this year. Please go straight to ICU if having an offer. Don't let anyone saying that u should have Tele/ MS experience before going to ICU. Yup, it will be challenging going straight ICU as a new grad. Some will welcome u, teach u; some may be like..." That's not fair, u should start in MS first " If ICU (and CRNA) is what u really wanna do, never take NO for the answer. Take Critical care courses, keep learning, be humble, respectful to senior RNs, they will teach you. U may start with a smaller hospital first, then eventually transfer to Level I, level II hospitals.

Trauma/ surgical ICU or CTICU, CCU, MICU, SICU, ect are most encouraged.

Volunteer/ committee/ charge RN/ shadow Crna ...

Take some Chem classes, CCRN..

Work really hard for it, It will pay off I'm sure ... Gluck

Hi-

I think that it is a great idea to work in the med/surg world for a year. When I graduated nursing school I started on a cardiac step-down and I felt like my first year there was like another year of nursing school as I learned so much. However after a year I quickly plateaued and I wanted to go someplace else where I could continue to learn more stuff. When you do transition to the unit you want to be successful and build on what you already know and not try to master the fundamentals and learn critical care at the same time. My personal experience is that I went from step-down to ER to the unit and I though each was a great experience. Many unit nurses don't know or don't remember what it is like to work outside of their own little world and having a year to learn and ask questions in the med/surg world is a great place for a new nurse to grow, develop your practice, and start mastering the things that will be expected common knowledge when you move to the unit. While you are in the med/surg world try studying for your certification, ask to become charge, spend time on a committee or unit based council. Look for things you can do now that show you are one of those nurses who are always looking to learn new things and go above and beyond. This time is not wasted for when you apply to CRNA school. During my CRNA interview the committee asked me many questions about my time in each of the different areas that I have worked. Being able to talk about my experiences in all areas of nursing was beneficial and you might have opportunities to do something such as be a charge nurse in the med/surg floor that may not be available to you when you move tot he unit.

Good luck it sounds like you are on your way.

Spine_CRNA, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in CCU, MICU, and GMF Liver.

Agreed only you know which path is better for you. I'm currently in CRNA school. I started on a telemetry unit and transferred to the ICU after 1.5 years. I did get a lot of good experience on the floor but I would have preferred to be in the ICU thinking back now. I interviewed for CRNA school with 7 months ICU experience and got in. I find myself having to look up some things my classmates don't but I'm far from the bottom of my class! So my lack of experience, compared to some people who have 15+ years, isn't hurting me but it would have helped to have all my nursing career be in the ICU.

Now as far as type of ICU for CRNA school. It doesn't matter, my class ranges from strictly NICU to CVICU to a mixed unit where you got everything. As long as you get good experience, and at a level 1 trauma center you will! Go into whatever interests you the most and learn it like the back of your hand! Now will CVICU help you when you do the cardiac portion of CRNA school...yes! But what about when you get to peds or trauma/burn??? Crna schools only expect you to be good at what you do and be eager to learn about every other speciality. Figure out what will interest you the most and go for it.

Again "only you know which path is better for you".

Good luck!

Hi!

I'm starting my ICU career after 2.5 years M/S and I'm curious.. What school accepted you after just 7 months of being in the unit? TIA!

John

GeauxJoe

Has 3 years experience.

UAB MSN of Nurse Anesthesia

University of Alabama at Birmingham

I did have 14 months of ICU experience once I started the program.

Edited by GeauxJoe

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