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Chances? Wait 1 or 2 years to apply?

tsicuRN1 tsicuRN1 (New) New

I have a dilemma here! Considering applying for CRNA school next year for starting class of 2014 but I am not sure if I should wait one more year for the added experience and chance to gain better LOCs, CEs, volunteer work, shadowing etc etc...

Stats now:


1.5 years community hospital (300 bed hospital w/20 bed ICU, pt population included stroke & cranis/EVDs, PNA/resp distress/ARDS, lots of sepsis/septic shock, GI bleeders, s/p cardiac arrest w/ hypothermia, CABGs...)

Just starting at a level one trauma facility/teaching hospital >1000+ beds, will be working transplant & general surgical ICU, very sick patients, lots of CRRT, vasoactive gtts, etc.. (we do liver/kidney/pancreas/small bowel transplants... hearts&lungs go to CVICU)

GPA: graduated 3.6, nursing GPA 3.8 (cum laude)

science courses:

A&P1- A

A&P2- A









Committees: EHR council rep, shared govt. council member, Sigma theta tau, AACN member, AHA volunteer (teach cpr classes for community)

Have shadowed CRNA in nursing school, she is a family friend and could probably follow her again now that I actually know stuff!

havent taken GRE yet...

I dont know if I should apply next year in June for starting class of 2014... or wait one more year for the added experience. I don't feel that I really stand out anywhere. If I apply next year and by some miracle do get accepted then I will have had 1.5 years in the smaller ICU and 1.5 years in the large ICU...and a pretty typical application/resume... But I just want to do it right the first time!!!! Suggestions?

Absolutely apply now!

I had the same situation and decided to apply to three schools. Got interviews and accepted to all.


Specializes in ICU.

I don't think you have any reason to wait and apply later. Your experience, certifications, and GPA all sound more than adequate to be a good candidate. I think you should definitely apply. In the end, even if you don't get in you have lost nothing, and have gained valuable interview experience which will benefit you when you re-apply. So...go for it!


Specializes in Anesthesia.

If all u need is gre then apply now, buck up and take the test, then submit your results once they come in. Your application packets can be submitted in pieces as long as u get everything in by the deadline. That's what I did. I got accepted and I'm still finishing my BSN so anything is possible!!

I agree with everyone else. You should apply this year. Take it from personal experience, I was in your boat last year and decided to wait. I don't necessarily regret waiting another year and getting solid CVICU experience but as the saying goes, life happens while you are making plans. Good luck!

You all seem to have much more faith in me than I have in myself! Hah, thanks for the words of encouragement. I need that. I just want my application to be absolutely perfect before I submit it ...and the GRE test freaks me out...

Seriously though, congrats to all of you who have gone through this stressful and terrifying application process, you guys rock.

The GRE is not as bad as you might think. Just study hard for a month or two and you will be fine. It is a frustrating test to study for because you get bogged down in the technicalities of it. I would recommend getting the Kaplan books, particularly the main book (it has CD and an online access for additional practice) and the math workbook. The math workbook does a more thorough job breaking down how to solve the problems than the main Kaplan GRE book. For the Verbal portion, do not get hung up on the vocabulary. Study it some, but you will never memorize all of the vocabulary words in the GRE word bank. If english is your first language, you should be able to hobble through the vocabulary exercises on the GRE fine. Practice the reading comprehension portions more. Do a couple of practice essays, but don't go crazy on that section. That is my advice. Don't stress about it too much.

If all u need is gre then apply now, buck up and take the test, then submit your results once they come in. Your application packets can be submitted in pieces as long as u get everything in by the deadline. That's what I did. I got accepted and I'm still finishing my BSN so anything is possible!!

Congrats on getting accepted to CRNA school! Do you mind if I ask how you managed to get accepted while you were still in your BSN program (I'm assuming you didn't have any ICU nursing experience, either)? Also, do you mind posting what school(s) you were accepted to?


Specializes in Anesthesia.

I didn't bother to ask them why they accepted me! haha I think I got in because I had a good resume (maybe not even as good as the OP), good experience, leadership experience, good attitude and people skills, ability to communicate my knowledge (this was very important for my interview) and some luck. The fact that I don't yet have my BSN was irrelevant because I called the school beforehand to see if that was ok, or should I wait to apply next year. They told me as long as I had it before August I was cool so I just applied. Every school is different so call them and ask whatever you need to know or find out the admissions coordinator's name and email them. I found out everything I could from everyone I knew about their admission process. It helps that I work at a hospital with several crna's from the same school so I would ask everyone who would talk to me. We even get their students bringing us pt's to our unit so I would ask them too. Everyone was very helpful and seem like they genuinely wanted me to succeed. I knew I would get a lot of clinical questions so I studied everything involving my unit, pt population, drugs, etc.. I wasn't worried about other specialty areas. If I've never worked in neuro then they can't fault me for not knowing about ICP's and stuff. I knew my area like the back of my hand, and turns out I didn't get asked half of what I thought I would. It was more like an interrogation to see how I would handle tough questions and to see if I could reason my way through stuff I didn't know. Also, I have over 4 years ICU exp.

To the OP again, your stats are more than impressive. Get over 1000 on the GRE and your in for next fall. Only you know if you're ready. But what is one more year going to do but put you one more year behind your goal? All they can say is no...maybe

Thank you so much! They changed the scoring system on the GRE btw! But for the school I want to go to you actually have to get >1100 if you are looking at the old test... >302 on the new one. I took a practice GRE on the Kaplan website and realized I REALLY need to refresh my basic geometry/algebra knowledge, my quantitative reasoning score was not so hot! But I did get a 298 overall which almost makes the cut for where I want to go and thats without studying! But I definitely see what you mean about focusing on studying for that section of the test and not spending so much time on vocabulary. English if my first language and I read quite a bit but I'd say there were a large number of words on that test that I don't think I have ever seen in my life before! I think it would be much easier to memorize a few math equations than learn a new language in just a few months! Hah.

So if I do manage to do well on the GRE I guess I will aim at applying for next year. The school I want to go to is a DNP program... and application is due in July, you are notified in October and classes begin mid-jan. Is that sort of timing typical with most schools? I feel like thats going to be a long 3-4 months waiting on that letter! Also, how soon is too soon to submit your application? Or does it matter? I don't want to look like the procrastinator or who waited until that last minute to turn everything in.

Did you only work in one type of ICU before school? Going from a MSICU to a Transplant ICU has been challenging. I was starting to feel very comfortable and secure in the MSICU and it was a pretty easy transition since we use the same charting system, vents, pumps and cvvhd machines... but now that I am taking fresh transplants on my own I am starting to feel like an amateur all over again! I guess you can never know everything... Wouldn't it be nice though? :)

Thanks for your help again.

Here's my thoughts...you know what you want to do for sure right?

Every year you spend getting your application perfect is $100,000 in potential income lost. I KNOW this job is about more than income and TRUST ME I feel that way too, I'm just being practical here.

You have the credentials to go to school NOW and not wait 2 years. You most definately should apply now for school. You have a very strong application. If you don't get accepted, you will still be building your application in the process of applying. I applied to CRNA school with 7 months of ICU experience (8 yrs nursing experience) because I felt like I had nothing to loose. In the time of applying I got my CCRN, signed up for grad classes, and strive to take the sickest ICU patients possible. Go for it and I bet if you send out a couple of applications you will get accepted to at least 1 school!!! Good Luck!!

Hi! congrats on the stats!

I've a question for everyone though, my concern is the science courses/prereqs. I got a B+ in pharm and a B in pathophysiology, but still As in my other sciences and still working my way through my BSN. Will these grades hinder me in patho and pharm?

Question, do CRNA schools care in general if you worked in a level 1 trauma center vs. community hospital ICU?

you'll definitely get higher acuity patients at the level 1 trauma center. But in the end it all comes down to how knowledgeable you are in your specialty.

This thread is 2 years old now and I have been following this thread for a while. I'd like to know if there is something I can improve on as of now because I'm going to be applying this year. Figured that I got nothing to lose so yea.

Stats now-


Will have little over a year's good experience at a level one trauma facility/teaching hospital, working in transplant/surgical ICU


Overall/cumulative total 3.7

BSN/core nursing classes 3.6

Science 3.9

Last 60 hours/units/credits 3.6

pre-req courses:

Anatomy - A

Physiology - A

Chemistry -A

Statistics - B+ first time, retook it for an A

Pharmacology - B+ first time, took a graduate FNP pharm for an A

Pathophysiology - B first time, retook it for an A-

Research - A

Health/Physical Assessment - A

Will be taking org/biochem this coming fall semester.

Plan on taking physics and biology PRN.


BLS, ACLS, PALS, PHN (I'm proud to be a public health nurse too!)

Planning to take the CCRN and TNCC once I get enough hours.

Others: AACN member, and leadership/public/community volunteer. I Have shadowed CRNAs/MDAs too. Plan on taking the GRE too. Racked up letters of recs too.

I'd just like to know if there's anything else I can improve on. Like the OP I want to do this in just one shot and I feel that maybe I don't stand out as there are fierce and tough applicants. I even feel nervous about even applying just for an interview. :(

You look good on paper. Based on the information you posted I think you'd get interviews. However, half the picture is missing - CCRN, GRE and references. I think if you nail those three you won't just get into a program, you'll be able to choose where you go.

sweetdreame, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, Trauma ICU, CVICU.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! You have worked hard, you have good experiences, take the stinking CCRN and GRE and get your buns in CRNA school!

The interview can be rough, but just beef up on your CCRN stuff and fall back on the knowledge you already have. You are likely going to get in, but you can't tell me the chance isn't worth wasting $100 application fee if you don't! :) GOOD LUCK!

Scooby-Do! I tried to send you a PM but it won't let me since I don't have enough posts on this site. If you send me another PM w/ an email address or something I'll send it to you again


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