reconsidering becoming a nurse but still want to be a CRNA

  1. I was hoping I can get some opinions from you guys here on the CRNA board.

    I was really into the idea of becoming a nurse and was even more excited when I found out about the CRNA profession. I knew it was something that would be perfect for me. As I've been doing my pre-reqs for the past year, the more things I hear that discourages me from wanting to actually become a nurse. Truthfully, I'm now scared to death of becoming one. But I still, so badly want to become a CRNA.

    Now due to financial problems, I started looking into the shorter healthcare programs at my school. I've considered going the LPN route instead but with the waiting list there are for these programs it would be pointless, also the fact I'm unsure about nursing. So now I'm really considering doing the respiratory care program since it's a year shorter than the nursing program. I think I would rather specialize in one area first instead of being more generalized as in nursing.

    So my question is: If I went the RT route, do you think my experience as an RT would be beneficial to becoming a CRNA? Would it look good trying to get into a program? Will the knowledge and experience come in handy in nursing school and anesthesia school? I'm strongly considering becoming an RT and in a few years going back to nursing school.
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    About Cynthiann

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 404; Likes: 1


  3. by   shirleyTX
    Hello Cynthiann,
    Sorry, but I'm not a CRNA or even a nurse yet, My BSN program starts in the Aug.. I can relate to what you've said about what you've heard about becoming a nurse. It has also made me really think about what field I'm about to get into.
    My stance is this, I know my dream is to be a CRNA oneday, and no matter what it takes, no matter the amount of sh$t I have to clean or put up with-I'll more then happily do it and know I am working towards my future.. so screw what everyone says about nursing, cleaning crap, horrible working conditions... funny cause I haven't read anywhere on the site a CRNA complaining about their job.. To me, it says alot about the profession we both want to pursue, so if possible- don't delay your RN education because it just allows you more years to become bitter and burned out.
    IMHO Go for it and never look back..
  4. by   Cynthiann
    Thanks for the reply, Shirley.

    The main reason I was considering RT in the first place was because the program is 1 year shorter and the pay is the same between RN and RT in my area. Besides the horror stories, I'm scared that my already bad financial situation will just get worse and I will have to quit school to work. Which is the reason I'm looking to work sooner.

    But I figure, if I did that route, at least it will help give me healthcare experience and some knowledge that would be useful as a nurse.

    "funny cause I haven't read anywhere on the site a CRNA complaining about their job.."

    This is one of my biggest reasons I want to become a CRNA. With a job that pays so well and everyone just loves their job, that's what I want!
  5. by   yoga crna
    You will have to be a nurse first if you want to be a CRNA, so why take the longer route of respiratory therapy. There are many opportunities to work while in nursing school. Also, you may want to consider the military. I don't know about now, but in the past, they would pay for nursing and anesthesia for payback of a certain number of years. It would be worth talking to a recruiter.

    By the way, you are correct, this is the greatest profession, getting well paid for work you love. It doesn't get any better than that.

  6. by   KWebb

    I can't imagine what in the world has scared you so much from becoming an RN. If it has anything to do with responsibility and liability, then nursing, especially CRNA, isn't right for you. A simple answer to your question about RT helping: yes, of course it will help. Problem is, it is way over-kill and completely unnecessary. My opinion is that RT employment prospects and pay aren't nearly as good as nursing. I'm speaking soley from personal experience because my wife is an RRT.

    It certainly doesn't make sense to take the short (easy) way out now. You'll only lengthen the time to your ultimate goal of becoming a CRNA. I have an idea of what you're going through because I did too. I started off as a janitor, yes! Was then demoted to cert. nurse aid in a nursing home. Even worse!! Then was trained as an EMT-B and also in EKG monitoring. Went to LVN school and then bridged into an ADN (RN) program. Worked for two years while my wife went to RT school. Took a couple more yrs taking more "basics" (prereqs) and finally finished my BS via home study/internet. Now of course, I'm a second yr CRNA student with 40 sem hrs of graduate education behind me!

    If you want to know more about my experiences or what was happening in my life during these many years, then you'll need to personal message me. Trust me, it wasn't easy. I can't tell you what you need to do to survive. I'm sure you already know the answer to that, but might not have accepted it yet. Personally, I would consider ADN (RN) as the lowest entry level degree for you. If you can at all help it, don't take the amount of time that I had to take to get here. You can start making money with your RN while finishing your BS and gaining critical care experience for CRNA school. All of my experience was as an ADN because I didn't complete my BS until 30 days before CRNA school started. Yes, that means I was accepted as an ADN, with the condition that I complete my undergraduate degree of course.

    Let me give you a hint: take all prereqs for an entire BS(N) program first, then apply for nursing school. If you still arent accepted to a BSN program, I can almost guarantee that you'll find acceptance in an ADN program with all those sem. hrs. Then when you finish your 2-year RN, you'll be ready to immediately finish your BS degree. It is VERY easy to find and gain acceptance to an RN-to-BSN program. VERY, VERY easy!!

    This will take you long enough. I wouldn't do it any other way. Good luck and remember to "NEVER take the path of least resistance!"


    P.S. Please send a personal message. The board prolly doesn't want to be flooded with this conversation.
  7. by   ainz
    You have to be an RN to be accepted into a nurse anesthetist program. RT's can't go straight into CRNA programs, they must become RNs. Most CRNA programs (if not all) require a BSN since the CRNA program is a masters of nursing degree. So any shortcut (or seemingly shortcut) is actually going to be the LONG way since you will have to have a BSN, the ADN will not even work.

    Go for the BSN right off the bat, get it over with and you can then explore the many options an RN has. If you are really creative, the sky is the limit with what you can do.
  8. by   bigwavedave
    Very well put K! Cynthiann, please let me reiterate what K said. Keep your eye on your goal and do what is necessary to achieve that goal. I am not a CRNA, not even a SRNA yet (desire to be though). I am getting started with my last year of nursing school though here in a couple of weeks, will be completing a BSN program next spring. As much as 1 more year seems to be a long time, it would take even longer going RT, then getting a nursing degree. There are lots of opportunities for employment in healthcare while in nursing school, of course a lot of them are comprised of the tasks like bathing pts, cleaning up, vital signs, etc. good ole basic patient care stuff. whatever you decide though, best wishes and God bless. Let us know what you decide.
  9. by   Cynthiann
    Thanks for all of your replys.

    The biggest factor right now is finances. I don't see how we can survive for 3 more years when my husband makes less than $9/hr and I can't work because we have small children. We bought a house a couple of years before I decided to go to school and we are struggling to make the payments. Ever since we bought this house we have gone deeply into debt and only continue doing so even more. I just can't see doing this for 3 more years. Our financial situation is what made me start looking into shorter programs.

    I'll have a lot to think about and see how I can work things out.
  10. by   KWebb
    When I started writing the first time, there were not any responses. By the time I finished, there were three in front of me. I was obviously wrong abou the board's interest. After reading the reply from Ainz, I hope I didn't imply that you could go to CRNA school as an ADN. However, not all programs require a BSN, nor are they all MSN program. But, you will be able to apply to all the programs with a BSN. This is why I would recommend the BSN degree. With my experience and numerous college hrs, I just happened to be in a fortuitous position. You shouldn't bet on such luck! Again, if you have all prereqs for the BSN then get yourself into a BSN program. But, you will have the ADN to fall back on if not accepted to the BSN program.

    I certainly would NOT take the fastest, easiest way out. I would do as Ainz suggested, and take the fasted way to the top!
  11. by   Cynthiann
    I definitely can't go straight for my BSN. It would take me 3 semesters to finish all the pre-reqs. I would be finished with pre-reqs in December but cant start until August. It would take me another 4 years to finish school. I don't see how I can survive that many more years without any income.
  12. by   Cynthiann
    Let's say I decide to go ahead with nursing. If I go for my ADN it would take 3 years, BSN would take 4 more years. It would be possible for me to finish the BSN in 3 years if I take 18 credits/semester the next year but I don't see how I can take that many credits with two small kids and still maintain my 4.0 GPA.

    Now my big obstacle is finances. At the moment my husband doesn't even make enough money to pay the bills and I can't work because daycare would cost as much as I would get paid. I only see two ways to be able to survive nursing school financially. Either to file bankruptcy or do the HRSA nursing scholarship since they give stipends. The only problem with the latter choice is that I would be committed to work for two years at selected hospitals. I'm scared to do this for two reasons: that I might hate the hospital I work for or there is no hospital in my area which would be a problem because I'm not in a position to move right away.

    Any suggestions? ...comments?
  13. by   manna
    Originally posted by Cynthiann
    The biggest factor right now is finances. I don't see how we can survive for 3 more years when my husband makes less than $9/hr and I can't work because we have small children.
    I can completely relate to your feelings. I had to turn down acceptance to an allied health program this fall because of a financial situation.

    Why not take a part-time or evening job while your husband is home with your children (assuming he works a normal 8-5 type job)? Or try to get an aide job and just pick up a shift or two on the weekends? You could also look into scholarship programs - I know there is one that pays your tuition plus a monthly stipend in exchange for your agreement to work in an underserved area (most of my state is underserved LOL!) for 2 years after graduation.

    If you're worried about being in school for a long time and away from home - why not take classes at night or online? Hon, if I can take 13 hours a semester, work 40 hours a week, and practically be a single mom to two boys under age 4, anybody that wants to go to school bad enough can! (I want it - BAD!)

    I know it's not easy, but where there's a will there's a way! Nothing good comes without sacrifice!
  14. by   Cynthiann
    My husband doesn't work the normal 8-5 job. He works from 1-10pm. So all morning I busy with school. There is no time to work unless I sacrifice sleep or just work weekends. If I work weekends, which is the majority of my time to study, I know for a fact I won't be able to maintain my 4.0 GPA which is very, very important to me. I guess you can call me a perfectionist because if I don't get A's I would get so disappointed in myself because I know I can make As.

    Manna - I just don't see how you can do it between fulltime school and work and your kids. How do you afford the daycare? How do you have time to study?