Sorry I did not respond earlier to your posting. I just read it to be honest.
In my opinion, the best way to prepare for anesthesia school during your ICU nursing days is to suck up as much information as possible. Question everything. Read on your own. Research what is going on with your patients. Try and see the big picture. Part of this will come in time but alot of it has to do with your effort to learn. Don't be in a rush to get into NA school either. Spend your years (yes I did say years simply because in my opinion one year of ICU nursing when starting as a new grad is simply not enough), really learning about hemodynamic monitoring, patho, pharmacology, etc. You have to look for learning opportunities.
AS far as what I would have done differently during college, well, I worked in OB rather than ICU. I liked the laid back atmosphere, but the learning kinda stopped after a few months. I got a little bored in it. However, it made me discover that I wanted to be an ICU nurse, which then I came to the realization that CRNA is what I wanted to do.
We actually had a code on our OB unit one night. I totally got into it and was assisting (not anything major), but my head was on straight, I did not panic, I was able to focus and assist. Other nurses on my unit were getting all upset. That is what made me realize that I wanted to be in a high intensity, fast paced critical care environment.
My advice to you would be to maybe get some type of internship in an ICU and also to shadow an ICU nurse as well as a CRNA. See if it really is for you.
When it comes time to graduate, if you can, go to a larger hospital. There will be more high tech procedures, monitoring, sicker patient, etc. It will only helping your learning so that you can be ready for whatever!!!1
Good luck to you and I hope I have answered your questions. Sorry again about the delay.