I have a few questions about CRNA programs. I notice that most, if not all, of them usually require at least 1-2 years experience in critical care (ICU, etc). However, for each program there are way more people applying than the school can accept. Thus, my question is how many years of experience should one have to be competitive? In other words, in general how many years of experience do people that get into the programs have? Secondly, how much weight do the schools give for GPA and other academic stuff. Lastly, what else should a nursing student do (while in school) to increase the chances of getting into a CRNA program?
Thanks guys, I really appreciate your responses!
Feb 1, '05
I am a member of the selection committee for a program in the midwest, and we just completed our process for the class to come in August. This is what we based our decisions on:
1. Education. GPAs averaged above 3.5, but most critical was science grades and especially current science courses. It's a concern if someone hasn't taken a course for 10 years and I'd recommend if it's been that long to take an upper division or graduate level chemistry or physiology course and get an A. Community college courses with a B will not help your cause. If possible, take the course at the school you want to go to.
2. Experience. At least 2 years of critical care are good, more is better. If your critical care was a while ago, go back to the unit before applying. If you won't give up a good job to go to ICU for a year before applying, it does not show much motivation. Any other experience is good preparation for you, but it doesn't really carry a lot of weight. We have taken people with just one year of ICU, but they are exceptional people. CCRN certification helps too.
3. GRE. For us, all we want is the minimum requirement. Otherwise, it's not really taken into consideration.
4. INTERVIEW. Definitely the most important part. Be prepared! Be early! Dress conservatively! Think ahead about the basic questions...Why you want to do this, What does a CRNA do, How are you going to make it through school, etc. Also be current in your drugs, physiology, lines, procedures in ICU. You may be asked to prove that your experience taught you something. Don't bring something up if you don't want to talk about it.
Remember that this is competitive and you have to make yourself stand out. We have a lot more good applicants than we have positions, so we get to take the cream of the crop. It doesn't hurt to keep trying, too. Good luck!
Feb 1, '05
Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate your insights and recommendations. It is so competitive and I am really scared.
Feb 1, '05
another option is the us army's program. unfortunately, because it involves a time commitment (4.5 years after graduation) to the active army we do not fill our seats. it has a great reputation (ranked 2nd behing vcu) and great training (as you will be "flying solo" upon graduation, especially if you get deployed). the link for application is:
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