tracks to become CRNA

  1. My question is what tracks are there for nurse anesthesia? The more I think about my career prospects, the more I wonder if obtaining a generic masters in nursing, or an acute care nurse prac. degree and then consider a post-graduate certificate in anesthesia, might be a better route for me. (as opposed to a MSN anesthesia program)

    Are there any of you who have taken this route, or could suggest more info about this?

    Reasons for this are that I am comfortable and happy in the general critical care role and provided anesthesia is in my future I like the idea that I can start off on a more generic track but still be within my field of critical care; I like idea that I *might* be able to work a bit more during school than I could in MSN anesthesia school. Frankly, I am the primary breadwinner in my family of two, and I get nervous when I think of hitting the sidelines and making considerably less or no money for the next three years. Perhaps if I obtain an generic MSN degree or advanced practive (ACNP) degree I can prove myself academically, become more confident at practicing at the graduate level, get back into the swing of the academic rigors college, have great job prospects when I get out, and *maybe* have a bit more of a chance to get admitted to CRNA school with this background.

    Also how have any of you found that your CCRN has helped you in your admission process and/or comfort level in CRNA school?
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    About kevagonia

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 45; Likes: 11
    FNP; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience


  3. by   TraumaNurse
    Completing an MSN and then going to CRNA school for a post-masters certificate would be taking the long way around. CRNA school is 24-36 months regardless of whether you have a previous masters or not. It will take 4 semesters to complete even a generic MSN full time and then still another 24-36 months of CRNA school. You can do the MSN part-time which would take longer or you can simply take a couple of graduate classes as a non-matriculated student and then transfer them into your anesthesia program.

    A friend of mine is a NP. She is completing a post-masters cert in anesthesia but she has almost the same workload as the rest of us for the 27 months. There are only 5 courses that she does not have to take that the rest of our class is taking (although some had taken 1-2 of these as non-matriculated students). Otherwise, she is in the same 27 month program as us. She has not been able to work any more and is just as stressed as anyone else.

    I'm not trying to discourage you because you must find whatever works for you and your family. I just wanted to point out that CRNA school is just as hard and time consuming whether you come into it with an MSN or not.

    As for CCRN, it certainly does not hurt to have it. IMO, anything you do that improves yourself professionally is a bonus during the admission process. There are plenty of people who get into CRNA school without it, but it could be the thing that tips the scales in your favor. Also, studying for the CCRN gets you to review some important material that is helpful to know for both the interview and for clinical practice.