Hello All! This is my first post on a forum I have lurked on for a long time!
I will soon graduate with a BS in neurobiology and a BA in Linguistics. Through school, I always assumed that I would end up an MD. It wasn't exactly my chosen career, but I was good in science, and I adored the medical profession, what else was there?
Ah-ha! Then my eyes opened. One fortuitous day I discovered Advanced Practice Nursing. The next wonderful discovery was CRNA. Finally, I could see myself there, standing proudly at the head of the table. I always new what I wanted to do, but I didn't know it had a name. MDA never quite seemed to fill the vision, but CRNA certainly does!
I am sure all you SRNA/CRNA have had a similar moment. Now that I have had mine, the question becomes, how do I get there? In my position as a soon-to-be science post-bac I have two basic options in my area:
1. Acute care MN direct entry (2-3 years) - RN after 1 year, MN after 2nd or 3rd. At the end of this program I would actually be eligible to be ACNP & APRN cert if I wished.
2. BSN (2-3 years) - RN after 2 years.
Since these programs are basically the same time/money commitment, the question then becomes, which will better prepare me for CRNA school (and beyond!)
My main concern about option 1 centers around the stated admission requirements for most CRNA schools. Most of them require, "BSN" and "Acute care work as an RN." After option 1, I will not have a BSN, although I would have a MN. I would hope that the advanced degree would trump the BSN, but in your experience would this be the case?
Plus, the acute care work that I do after option 1 (I don't even have any idea what it would be! I would think I could still work in an ICU with an MN,) would that experience be what the schools are looking for? I hope that the education that I would receive through the Acute Care MN program (it's packed with telemetry and vent experience) would put me in a good position for CRNA training. Would the admission boards agree?
Basically, I am looking for reasons not to do Option 1. I think it would be a wonderful educational experience that could only make me a better CRNA in the future. Please tell me what you think. Have any of you gotten an Acute Care MN or know someone who went this route? Do you know of reasons I should just go the traditional BSN route?
I could really use the benefit of your experience! Thank you for reading.
Mar 25, '04
If I were you, I would look for a third option...an accelerated BSN program for those students who have a previous bachelors degree. They are becoming more and more common and generally take about 18 months to get a BSN. You could then work in an ICU to get your experience and apply to any CRNA school since all schools will accept a BSN. If you do not have an accelerated program in your area and moving is not an option, you should then think about which CRNA programs you want to apply to and find out if they require a BSN or will accept a BS in another area. If you apply to a school that doesn't accept a BS in another area, I don't think you will get in just because you have another graduate degree. Personally, if you know you want to do anesthesia, I would just go for my BSN and learn as much as you can about the field of nursing while doing so. Also, you asked about working in acute care with your MS degree....you have to work as a bedside nurse in acute care (generally Adult ICU) to apply to anesthesia school...you will not be paid as an advance practice nurse to work at the bedside, so there is really no sense in getting your masters in acute care. That is just my opinion, of course, and some may offer different suggestions.
Mar 25, '04
Thank you for your suggestion Amik, unfortunatly, there is no accel-BSN program in my area, and moving at this moment is not an option.
If I went option 1 (Acute Care MN), I would have my RN in 1 year so I could begin working as a bedside ICU RN. Even after I graduated with the MN, I would keep this position if they left me. I am not concerned about the pay, that is not why I would go for the MN. I doubt that I would take the APRN, ACNP exams at this point.
My basic question is, do you really think schools would care that I didn't have a BSN if I have an MN? Don't worry, I have my list of contacts at schools to go through to ask them directly. I just wanted the opinions of seasoned CRNAs/SRNAs. From reading the posts on these boards, this forum is a scource of information I couldn't help but tap.
As a fan of learning as much as possible, I am having a hard time passing up a chance to learn new skills in the MN program. To ally your fears that I wouldn't learn about the nursing profession, this MN program is a 'sort' of accel BS program, it just doesn't stop there and they don't award you the BSN piece of paper. The first year compresses all the courses of a 2 year BSN. It is a highly rigorous program. All the nursing theory courses would be there and I would still take the RN-cert exam.
Thank you again for your post Amik, you bring up exactly the valid concerns I need. Since the time/money commitment between BSN v. MSN is virtually identical in my situation, I am still having difficulty passing up the MSN.
I just realized, if I do option 1 (MN program) and for some reason I can't get into CRNA school, I can do a RN-BSN one year program and still get the piece of paper.
Mar 25, '04
This was recently discusses on another thread. Your MN may actually hinder your getting into CRNA school (Can't get the same degree twice) unless they have a post-masters program, which few schools do. Your best bet, if you want the most options for CRNA school is to complete your BSN, get your ICU experience and apply to school. If the schools you are interested in do not confer a nursing degree for their CRNA program (ie: MS in biology or MS in anesthesia), then you can also go to an ADN program and get into CRNA with your BS degree. The BSN will give you more options. As usual, check with the schools you are interested in and let them know your situation/question and see how they feel about you getting your MN first.
Mar 25, '04
Thank you very much TraumaNurse. Can you point me to that previous thread?
Mar 25, '04
Definitely don't get an MSN if you want to be a CRNA. There are various reasons why. You will earn your MS or MSN as you complete Anesthesia school, which is the way the schools like to keep it. Since you don't have an accelerated 2nd-degree program where you live, then I highly recommend enrolling in a BSN program ASAP. Keep in mind that many anesthesia schools accept applicants with degrees held in the sciences. That means, if it would save you time, then perhaps you should consider getting just an ADN in nursing. With these aforementioned options, the least you would go to school would be 2 yrs. By the way, you sound like an excellent candidate!