Becoming a CRNA - From One Who Did It - page 2

Looking over this bulletin board, I noticed that there were few CRNA's posting, and a large number of people interested in becoming CRNA's posting. There seem to be a lot of questions. I had a lot... Read More

  1. by   bubba
    Hi everyone,
    I'm new to this site and I really like it. All of the tips and info is great. I graduated with a BS in Biology, then went on to get my AS in Nursing. From what I can tell, I can apply for CRNA school even though I do not have a Bachelors in Nursing, because biology is a closely related field. I graduated 6yrs ago with my Nursing degree and 8 years ago with my Biology degree. Also I still need ICU experience. By the time I get a couple of years experience in ICU, it will have been 10 years since finishing my first degree. Will this pose a problem for me getting into CRNA school?
  2. by   kmchugh

    This will pose no problem in most programs that I am aware of. Most programs require a nursing degree that makes you an RN, and a bachelor's degree, not necessarily in nursing. An interesting note: The program director of the school I attended had obtained his RN and CRNA both from diploma programs. I don't remember what his bachelor's degree was in, but I'm pretty sure both his masters and PhD were in adult education.

    An exception to this might be the programs that have MSN degrees. They may require a BSN, but I don't know. Many (if not most) programs end up granting an MSNA (Master of Science Nurse Anesthesia). The big advantage to me of these programs is that there are a couple of courses required for MSN that MSNA programs are not required to have (nursing theory, for example).

    One other thought: Most programs only require one year of ICU experience. That's plenty of time to learn what you will need for the CRNA program. If you want, or feel you need more, fine. But there is no real need to exceed the requirement before applying.

    Kevin McHugh
  3. by   Steved
    Kevin, thanks for taking the time to post. Such a great resource, greatly appreciated.

  4. by   bubba
    Thanks for the reply. I have another question. I know some CRNA's have a deal with the military or with an anesthesia group before they go to school. What about those who don't? Where is the best place to start looking for a position after getting out of CRNA school?
  5. by   kmchugh
    Sorry this reply took so long. I've been having computer problems. Don't worry about finding a position. There are literally positions all over the US. Start looking on the internet, you'll be suprised at how many jobs there are. The best part is sorting out where you want to work, according to location, pay, and benefits.

    Also, once you start anesthesia school, you will be literally bombarded with offers. If there is a shortage where you attend school, there will be competition among the anesthesia groups to get you signed. Also, you will receive 2-10 mailers a week, from anesthesia groups and headhunters for positions nationwide. The only thing I would say about this is to be careful dealing with head hunters. They get paid (by the anesthesia group) after you sign the contract, so will likely tell you anything to get you into a position. I've seen that more than once.

    In short, for the foreseeable future, don't worry about finding a good position. There are lots of them out there.

    Kevin McHugh
  6. by   nilepoc
    I have to totally agree with Kevin, I have already been aproached once by a head hunter. I am guessing that she found me by searching on the internet somehow. She found my photo website and contacted me through it.

    The funny part, is I have not even started school I just got my paperwork today to register.

    I was considering the military, but now feel that I will be able to pay off any loans I incure and therefore, don't want to tie myself down with a military commitment.


    BTW I am experimenting with an online journal about my SRNA experiences. Let me know what you think. It is short on content as yet, but that is understandable, since I have not started yet.
  7. by   Othcakotcha
    Just read your journal and must say it is very intresting following your moves. Seems you'll be ok now that you're wife got the position--good luck and keep us posted. I start CRNA school at Virginia Commonwealth University in August and can't wait. I'll stay in touch so we can compare experiences.
  8. by   SERENAde
    loved your journal nilepoc, i will be following you.....the best of luck to you! and kmchugh you are the best.... : )

  9. by   grouchy
    Kevin, thank you for taking the time to write such informative posts. Your efforts are truly appreciated! Grouchy
  10. by   Sunjo
    Hi please remember we're not all in the USA?
    What does CRNA stand for?
  11. by   kmchugh

    Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

    Kevin McHugh
  12. by   lauralew
    Hi Kevin, thanks for the informative posts. There are many reasons one does not get through a CRNA program. As one who left a program, let me share some general reasons that I did what I did. I certainly was expected to not only get through a program, but excel, since I was a CCRN with 8 years' ICU experience, an asst nurse manager, excellent grades in undergrad, etc. The program I attended was front loaded with academics for 12 months with 15 months of clinical. The 15 months clinical was sponsored by the military, while the academics took place at a civilian institution in the south. I did very well in academics but totally floundered in clinical, due to having very thin skin as far as my instructors' comments were concerned. The timing of when I went to school was horrible, looking back--I had just gotten out of an extremely abusive marriage immediately before starting the program and was not healed enough emotionally to deal with the head games many of the instructors played. I think had I been able to wait a year or two prior to starting the program, I would have been fine.

    I guess my take home message is that besides being strong academically and having the financing in place, make sure you as a person are emotionally stable and strong. Then you should do well.
    Last edit by lauralew on May 2, '02
  13. by   pauly

    First I would like to thank you for putting yourself out there to help others who are interested in becoming a CRNA. It is all to often now a days that people won't make time or are not interested in making time to help others.

    A little about myself. I am a first year nursing student with a goal of being a CRNA. I have talked to a couple recruiters, and all have mentioned the one year experience in ICU. My question is will I be able to get into ICU right out of college? Most nurses I have spoken to have said that I will find it very hard to get placed in that environment right out of school due to my lack of knowledge and experience in the field. If you don't mind me asking, what was your GPA when you graduated from undergrad school? How old were you? Thanks again for all you help.