CNM to CRNA...

  1. Greetings all,

    This is my first time posting, and for those of you who subcribe here and have answered my personal queries, my greatest thanks.

    Along with many, I too am interested in becoming a CRNA. My background, however, appears significantly different from the majority considering pursuing this goal. As such, any thoughts you may have are greatly appreciated.

    Currently, I am a certified nurse midwife, having graduated in 1990 with an MSN from Yale University. I practiced full-scope nurse midwifery for ~ 6 years prior to beginning a research career. I find myself with a desire to return to clinical care, but to a profession which might reward hard work and skill. I am researching post-master's certificate programs in anesthesia, but was looking for an insider's view before I launch full force into this. Have you known others who have moved from one area of advanced practice nursing into anesthesia? Any thoughts on post-master's programs? I live in the DC/Baltimore area and am hoping not to move to attend school.

    As I've been on the admin/research end for about 5 years, my clinical skills clearly need updating. Any thoughts on how I might gather that all important adult critical care experience?

    This board has been a wealth of information, and thought it would continue to be so ;-)

    I do indeed thank you for your time and your thoughts.

  2. Visit babycatcher profile page

    About babycatcher

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 11


  3. by   lgcv
    The post-masters certificates are for current CRNA's who do not hold a masters degree, so you would have to go through another masters program, there are a few PHd programs but I believe they are also for students who are already CRNA's.

    That being said, there is such a shortage of nurses now, that it should not be any problem to find a job in an ICU. Just apply. Good luck to you!
  4. by   babycatcher
    It was my understanding that post-master's meant exactly that. I know, for example, that Villanova University (reasonably close to home) offers a post master's certificate to those who already possess an MSN and wish to become a nurse anesthetist. I thought post master's certificates were directed at those who already possessed a master's degree (usually an MSN), and that the point was to eliminate repetitive course work in an effort to focus on anesthesia.
  5. by   lgcv
    Your right, I was confusing it with the degree completion programs. If you go that route are you still required to complete at least 24 months in the program?
  6. by   babycatcher
    While I have not yet researched the majority of post-Master's programs, my guess is that the programs are indeed at least 24 months in length. Again, I'm not entirely sure, however.
  7. by   nilepoc
    I think I read somewhere, maybe at that the minimum length of any program is 24 months. I believe you will have to get in there with the rest of the applicants, and do the masters thing again. We have one student in our class with credit hours from a prior masters that is haveing to take everything again. They might get out of ethics. You may be able to skip a few more classes in a MSN oriented program.

  8. by   WntrMute2
    In my program there is little to shorten. Most of the classes from anatomy to pharm are really geared toward anesthesia. I would guess you could get out of stats, possibly research (not in ours), maybe biochem if you have recently done those. Thats about it though. Also, it doesn't shorten the program any, you have to move thru each semester as it comes. You just may have a class less.
  9. by   TexasCRNA
    Babycatcher, dont forget that the schools will want you to have ICU experience and alot of them want recent experience, this is not to undermine the valuable experience that you have but it is a way to keep the bar up.

    Bridgeport has a 24month program, the university used is Southern CT, this is near youre old stomping grounds!! (Yale)
  10. by   babycatcher
    I agree completely. My plan is to head to hospital soon. I'm concerned about finding an ICU position as I've been out of clinical care for about 5 years. I'm taking a nursing refresher course this fall and hope that will help. I feel a bit like I'm going in reverse to move forward ;-)

    I think the one of the valuable experiences I will bring to the table (when it's time) is the ability to fully manage and accept liability for patient care (X 2).

    In any event, recent ICU experience is clearly necessary and that is at the top of my to do list.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
  11. by   nilepoc
    You should have no problem finding a position in the ICU. I would say that if you play your cards right, you could even swing a sign on bonus for your trouble. If you would like to relocate to my old place of employment for example, you could probably start at over $22 and hour, and get the mentioned bonus. Plus up your pay through participation in the clinical ladder.

    Good luck. Remember, the ICU's you will be applying to probably need you more than you need them.
  12. by   Qwiigley
    Nil... $22/hour??? That's not so hot. Is that what nurses make in MD? I'm in Los Angeles and we are looking at 32-35/hr. Clin III critical care.
  13. by   kmchugh
    Yes, Qwiigley, but the cost of living on the "left coast" is roughly 475 times greater than anywhere else in the US. Any chance, at that salary, you would ever be able to afford a decent house where you are?

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA
  14. by   kmchugh
    Just realized, I hadn't answered the question. Babycatcher, I'm not aware of any post-master's certificate programs for MSN prepared CRNA students. Not to say they don't exist, just I am not aware of any.

    As already pointed out, there are not many anesthesia related classes that you "already have." Even the pharm and anatomy courses have a specific anesthesia stress. I would recommend that you look into programs that offer MSNA (Master's of Science in Nurse Anesthesia) degrees rather than MSN's. The biggest difference in the two types of programs is that to obtain a MSNA, you don't need the coursework required by the NLN and ANA for a MSN, specifically, the nursing theory and some other foolish course. Since you are already involved in research, talk to the program director about perhaps not having to take the research course that most programs require.

    The program I attended at Newman University, in Wichita, Kansas, is such a program. Check out their website:

    A bonus is that this program is only two years, which is the shortest length program out there.

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA

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