Becoming a CRNA - From One Who Did It - page 4

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   whipping girl in 07
    I am currently working in a combined MICU/SICU at a medium sized hospital. I was hired as a new grad (started in January). I got some experience with fresh hearts in orientation as we are so short handed on nights that the experienced nurses who precept also have to take the fresh hearts, even though it's not the best learning experience for the novice nurse. In any case, the policy in our unit is that you will start training to take fresh hearts after about a year of experience out of orientation. Until then I probably won't get much experience with swans or a-lines, although I do get to deal with a lot of cardiac drips. Do you think that I will need a year or so of experience with fresh hearts to look better to a CRNA program?

    BTW, thanks for this thread! It's good to hear from someone who's been there and isn't afraid to share their knowledge.
  2. by   kmchugh

    I'm not too sure I'd worry about this. Certainly, experience with fresh open hearts is helpful, since part of the AANA requirement for graduation is that you perform anesthesia for at least 5 open heart cases. However, if you want to be a CRNA, I personally would not wait to get two years experience before applying to a school. In any event, you will get some experience with swans and art lines (I would think), since these are not reserved for open heart patients alone. I've said this to others. Research the schools you might be interested in attending, and contact the directors of those programs. Ask them your questions. They are always willing to help.

    In any event, even if you apply for next year's classes, you should still get some experience with open heart cases before beginning school. The application period starts somewhere around September or October (though most programs will accept completed applications anytime before the deadline), and classes don't generally start until August. If I read your letter correctly, you should have one year next January, and should orient to hearts then. Even if your interview occurs before that, you will be able to tell the board when you start working with open hearts, should that become an issue (and it probably won't).

    Retelling a story here, but I know one CRNA who worked in an MICU that did not get open heart patients, who had only five or six months experience as a nurse when he applied to school. He was accepted, and finished his one year requirement waiting for his class date. So, in short, go for it.

    Kevin McHugh
  3. by   csojet
    Hi. I am a recent graduate of the University of Miami School of Nursing. I have always wanted to become a CRNA. I already have all the applications and requirement information for all the programs in my state. I have already been hired to work on a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. My question is, I have a few bad grades from when I started college. I was young and irresponsible. Instead of withdrawing from classes that I couldn't attend, I just wouldn't go to class and of course I would get an F. Later I would retake the class and get an A so obviously it wasn't because I couldn't do the work. This was years ago. In my last four semesters and the University of Miami, 75% of my grades were A's and only 1 C. I am proud to say that I am finally working at my potential and do not plan on reverting to previous behavior. Will my past mistakes hurt my chances or can I impress upon the admissions committee that I am no longer irresponsible,
    that I am a dedicated hard worker with a great deal of potential that is reflected by my last four semesters at the University of Miami?
  4. by   nilepoc

    you can get in and probably will. Do well on your GRE and you will have a better chance. If you go back and find some of my earlier posts, you will see that I was much like you. I left my first college with a 1.95, and doubled my GPA in nursing school.

    good luck
  5. by   meandragonbrett
    What was your major in nilepoc? a 1.95 ???? wow! *no offense*

  6. by   nilepoc
    Rock Climbing with a minor in computer science. I did very well in my rock climbing and never went to the classes in my minor. Thus the bad showing. I should not have gone straight to college after high school.

  7. by   freethnkr
    LOL nilepoc. I often say I went to college when I should have been going to school. I have since brought my GPA up from less than a 1 to a 3.5. It's amazing what a little maturity will do for a person.

    What a great site this is! Just wanted to let everyone know how inspirational it is to talk to people who are following/have followed/want to follow the same path and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Thanks to all.
  8. by   alansmith52
    Well, I have to admit I am a little slow, I did not realize there where three pages to this thread. I keep getting emails but whenever I checked it was the same. so I get it now.
    I noticed there was some talk about where the best places to work are to prepare to become a CRNA. I am not a CRNA only a hopefull canidate. but, I would like to put a plug in for Neuro specific Critical Care. You don't hear of them much because there aren't many. (True ones) aside from the pure Neurological knowledge that comes from it. you have the world of technology swan, art,ICP ect and pharmacology (we mix our own dripps) the down side would be that its all neuro with a mix in trauma. so we tend to be a little weaker in heart. I have not even had an interview and if I don't get in this year I will surley move to a diffrent unit maybe SICU. but there have been several guys before whom it worked for so I am crossing my fingers.
  9. by   Kim S.

    Re: Your concerns for you GPA. Someone told me as I was applying to CRNA school that it all depends on the selection in the pot. One year a school could have a big selection of applicants with high GPA's and GREs and little experience. The next year they could be very experienced and lower GRE scores. It basically boils down to the competition of applicants that year for each school and who appears the most well rounded. When I applied I think I had a 3.5 GPA from 1995, My first Gre score I was worried about so I retook the test. On the second test I only got a 1040 (with analytical I had a 1600 but the schools I was applying to were really only interested in Math and Verbal- analytical could however push them towards one person or the other all other things equal). I had worked ER for 6 years and CCU/CVICU for 1 year come this August and I got in!
    So don't be discouraged over your early years - you must have had some fun - good for you, you need that too! It is difficult to recover after just few low grades but it can be done and it sounds like you are on the right track. Keep plugging away and don't loose focus if this is what you want!
  10. by   csojet
    Thanks guys for all the encouragement. I will let you guys know if I get in. I won't be applying till January of 2004, but I like to get things going from early on.
  11. by   alansmith52
    well on sat I took my first pracitice GRE it was a diagnostic since I am in a GRE prep class. I had just worked all night. I had a quad yyyeeesh,, the worst. so I wasn't at my best. I got a 1240 all sections. I know nothing to post publicly I got a 540 on each of the verbal and quant. I did better than I though I would. the guy said I should easiy be able to get a 1500 by time the class ends.. natutually I will do my best but what do you think is a 1500 competetive enough for most schools...?
  12. by   braden74
    where do you find out about GRE prep courses? i looked on the gre site but everything they had was for self-learning. i was hoping to take a prep class that is taught by an instructor. can someone point me in the direction. Thanks.
  13. by   ma kettle
    Kaplan offers some course in some cities. There are Universities and Community Colleges that are now offering these prep courses for all different test. Contact local Universities for informaiton.
    Also maybe inquire with some students of graduate courses, most graduate disciplines require GREs. Including : Education, Social Workers and of course CRNA perspestives.
    Kaplan I might add was very pricey.