Question about nurse anesthesia programs - page 2

I applied to Columbia university's anesthesia program. I did not think that i would get accepted because the interview panel was not thrilled about my lack of adult icu exp ( I have NICU). I am... Read More

  1. by   e14lopez
    If you are truly happy in the NICU, then stay there. I am not going to lie to you, it will be of tremendous help having the adult background, but I am NOT saying that it cant be don with only NICU experience. I have 1.5 years of NICU experience and i know many people who got accepted with only Peds ER exp, PICU, NICU. Believe me getting accepted will not be the problem if you have the credentials (GPA, gre score, great letters of recommendation...). If this helps, I spoke to someone who graduated from Barry's program 2 years ago. That person had 10 years of Adult ICU and they told me that they felt the experience did nothing for them. They felt that the concept of anesthesia is the focus and all of that info is new info that is being taught. I know someone who went through the program with Only peds ER experience. That person said that the only difference was putting in more study time during hemodynamic areas. It really all depends who you speak to. I am sure it will help having adult ICU experience, but if you are motivated you WILL get through it without it. (you just have to work harder, thats all).

    As for my GPA it was a 3.6 but the avg GPA for this entering class at Barry was a 3.4. So some people had higher than 3.4 and others had lower. Remember when you apply they look at the whole picture. GPA, gre, letters of recommendation, experience, and during the interview they even look at your personality. So dont let one thing bum you out.

    Good Luck to all and if you guys apply to barry, hopefully I'll see you next year. If you have any other questions let me know. I will be more than happy to answer any questions.
  2. by   Kat-nurse
    Thank you so much for all the info about your experience and Barry. It made me feel much better to know that there are a few people accepted with NICU/PICU experience, and even with ER. Thanks for sharing your gpa as well as the average for the class, this info is often difficult to get. You obviously must have been a strong candidate regardless of not having adult experience, because you got accepted at two very good universities. And even if Columbia was not thrilled with your experience, that didn't seem to hurt you.

    Did you work in Fl? And if so, would you be willing to share which hospital you worked for? I was thinking of going to Miami children's because of their acute cases, do you have any opinions about them?
    I was hoping to get some experience with open heart surgery babies; did you have that kind of experience?

    Hope to hear from you again, and then later in a few moths about how well you're doing in your program.
    If you have any other info to share about your experience or Barry, I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate that (including me )

  3. by   e14lopez
    Hello again,

    I was working in Hollywood Florida. Joe Dimaggio's Childrens' Hospital. Miami Children's hospital has great cardiac experience. You would probably get better expereince there. where i worked i got alot of great experience, but if our babies needed any type of cardiac surgery we would send them to PICU so i did not get much exp with cardiac. Miami childrens' would be great for cardiac exp. If you like PICU, this might be better than NICU. (but if you are happy in NICU stay there. let me know if i can help you with anything else.
  4. by   Kat-nurse
    Thanks again! I'm very confused right now because I have an opportunity to work either at Baptist Hospital in their level III NICU or at Miami Children's level III. I really like Baptist hospital, their level III training, and facilities are excellent, I also got a better "feeling" about their unit, staff, more organized etc. BUT they don't do open heart and only have about 7 level III beds and 20 level II., no ecmo etc. Miami Children's has more acute cases, ecmo, and do open heart.

    I spoke to Miami Children's and was told that babies after open heart surgery first go to their CICU and then they're transferred to NICU, so I'm not sure if this would give me good exposure to post cardiac cases, also their unit and facilities didn't seem as organized as Baptist's, but that is only my first impression which may be wrong. I like Baptist better but feel that Children's may give me better experience, have you heard anything about baptist's nicu?

    I know I asked you enough questions already, but if you have any suggestions/opinions about the two hospitals I would greatly appreciate it. I have to make a decision between the two VERY soon and I'm really torn.

    Thanks much!!!
  5. by   e14lopez
    Hey again,

    If you really want my advice, i would tell you NOT to go to baptist. Dont get me wrong it is a wonderful place to work at and they treat their employess well, but if you want experience Baptist is surely not the place. I did my rotations there. They have a childrens' section but they are not really a childrens' hospital. any tough patients get transfered to miami childrens. likei said, it is a great place to work, my husband works for baptist, but you wont get the experience you need there. i volunteered at miami childrens (PICU). i saw some pretty cool things. baptist will prob. be the better employer, but if you are looking for exp go to m. childrens. good luck with whatever you choose and let me know what you decide.
  6. by   zmile4hug4
    I am also a NICU nurse, I have an interview for CRNA school coming up. Could you tell me if in your interview the questions were based on NICU or more towards adult ICU? Thank you. Your reply would be greatly appreciated.
  7. by   SRNAMurse
    FYI: Canidates that sit for the cert. exam and have NICU experience have overall higher scores than do any other background.
  8. by   e14lopez

    you will have some questions about the type of experience at your NICU. Most schools will give a "test" and its all based on adult ICU, but i wouldnt worry so much about it. Both schools that i applied to gave a test during the interview and i did not do very well and got in to both. they do take into consideration that you only have NICU experience. interview questions are mainly about personality and scenarios (but not really medical related). They just want to get to know you a bit.

    hope i helped somewhat
  9. by   zmile4hug4
    Thank you for your reply. I am just concerned because I see that all the "hints" people give about the interviews are solely based on adult ICU questions. That is why I would like to know what to focus my studying on. THank you again. I really appreciate it.
  10. by   chantal101
    i have an interview at umdnj coming up any advice about the interview process
  11. by   e14lopez
    Just be yourself and try not to be so nervous. I know this is easier said than done, but truthfully, it will help if you are not so nervous. be prepared to take a 10-25 question test. all schools (from my experience) give you an ICU test, so that they can determine what you know or dont know. Dont let this bother you too much. I did horrible on my tests and i was accepted to all of the schools that i applied to. Look professional and just be yourself. Dont be afraid to ask them some questions. they are not only interviewing you, you are interviewing them as well. (if you ask questions it will look good).

    some questions that i was asked on both of my interviews were

    why do you want to be a CRNA?
    What do you know about the role of a CRNA?
    Give an example of a difficult situation that you have experienced with a coworker and how did you handle it?
    what are your strengths and weaknesses?
    what accomplishment are you most proud of?
    why did you apply to this school?

    if you have any other questions let me know
    good luck and let me know how it turns out
  12. by   jesset2
    Hi e14lopez!

    I just wanted to confirm that you said that Columbia University called you and the date of your post was early January. They told us during the interview that we wouldn't receive any notification unitl 1/17/07 (you posted 1/5/07) and the notification was via postal mail, not by phone. So, I'm just curious as to why they called you and why 2 weeks prior to the date they told us. Thanks!
  13. by   e14lopez
    this is because i was accepted to another program which started on january 8 and i needed to know ASAP so the director called me to tell me that i was accepted before the other program started.