Best type of ICU for pre-crna learning?


  • Specializes in Cardiothoracic ICU. Has 1 years experience.

Is there a type of ICU that generally gives the best learning experience or looks best on a crna school application?

I am interested in CVICU or CTICU but wondering if these are optimal?


25 Posts

I had a phone interview with a CRNA and she advised me to try and get into CTICU. She said that working at CTICU would help prepare you for CRNA school.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I would guess wherever vented patients might be


13 Posts

I would like to know the answer to this question also- as some schools only say "a critical care setting" on the requirement list. Does this exclude NICU, PICU, or PACU? Does it have to be only an adult care setting? I hope someone answers your question!

Rabid Response

309 Posts

Specializes in ICU/CCU. Has 5 years experience.

I think CVICU is best because you get patients straight from CV surgery, become familiar with a variety of vasoactive drips, and have many patients with Swans/PA lines. I prefer to work in our MSICU for the variety, but I get floated to CVICU about half of my shifts. I know several CV nurses who have been accepted to CRNA school after a few years in that unit. I don't know of any of our MSICU nurses who have even applied.

Perhaps the ideal situation would be to work in a CVICU and float frequently to MSICU. That way you would get experience with a little bit of everything.


240 Posts

Specializes in Cardiothoracic ICU. Has 1 years experience.

Many schools do not accept anything but adult ICU and PACU is would not cound either.


46 Posts

I work in a level 1 trauma ICU. Its a surgical ICU and we recover our own pts..they bypass PACU. We have tons of vents and hemodynamic monitoring. We see lots of shock, mostly hypovolemic and septic, but occasionally cardiogenic. We work with lots of pressors and Swan's and get way too excited when we hear LifeSaver landing on the roof above us! LOL... In my three years, every single coworker of mine who has applied to CRNA school has gotten accepted and Im talking about 6-8 a year given that the various schools start at different times of the year. Hope this helps! (I myself wanted to work with hearts when I graduated, but those ICUs werent hiring new grads...but I dont regret where Im at now)


100 Posts


I just migrated to the CVICU to get more experience with drips that I did not commonly use in my LAST ICU, which was a mixed icu and of course to get everyday experience with PA caths in relation to the drips. EXCITING! But the real answer is get into an ICU that will take you in...nowadays we can't be choosy, depending on the market.