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CRNA vs AA

Has 1 years experience.

I will be entering my last semester of my ADN program in fall. My ultimate goal was/is to become a CRNA. However, there is only one program in my state located about 5 hours from me. I have one child who I would love not to uproot, but I also don't want to be away from him since the programs are so rigorous and every minute I would be able to spend with him (even if just studying in his presence) would prove valuable. In November of last year a school about a hour away from me started an AA program. Not my ultimate goal, but along the same lines. From what I am understanding it's sort of the PA of anesthesia as opposed to the CRNA being the NP of anesthesia. Not that they are the same, but mirror the level of autonomy and what not. Prior to entering either program, I would need a bachelors which I hope to obtain rather quickly through the state college competency based program. I need to take a few extra classes for each such as biochem. The only real difference I saw for entrance requirements was the 1-2 years icu experience necessary for acceptance into a CRNA program. Ultimately, I would love 24 hour in house call shifts, but am not expecting this right out of either school. Also, there isn't a lot of job prospects for AA in my state. I am willing to relocate, but with a school age child I would rather not move him for 2-3 years for CRNA school and then again when I obtain employment. I am hoping someone here can provide some valuable insight as to pros and cons I have listed here and differences between the 2 programs and employment afterwards.

The job prospects are so limiting if you go the AA route. You would be eligible to work in less than a third of the states. You would never be able to be independent in any way. Your compensation would not keep up with a dynamic, independent CRNA. Your ability to actively pursue and work 24 hour shifts would be far, far more limiting as an AA. There is just no comparison for someone in your situation. AA is great for someone with no choices or options. You have both, and it would make no sense at all to choose the limiting path of AA.

fjluce

Has 1 years experience.

My other option is more expensive schools out of state (2 hours away). I'm sure these programs are much more competitive. Would it be feasible to commute via train? This would cut out wear and tear on a vehicle as well as adding study time, but adding commute. I know I am not the only one with these obstacles and I am dedicated to doing whatever needs to be done to achieve my goals. Just trying to weigh my options with the child and husband. My husband is open to relocating, but in the long run it wouldn't make sense for them to relocate and my husband find a new job for the duration of my schooling to turn around and do it again when I am done with school. Also the schools out of state are much more expensive. Requiring more student loans. That is also a concern for me. I realize my salary will be more when I am done with CRNA school so I will be able to repay them, but I do not want to have to take out living costs as well. Did anyone have luck with grants? Sorry for all of this, I am just a planner and would like to have my plan in place as much as possible after just graduating from an ADN program.

Some schools will offer a standardized scholarship to their anesthesia students to offset costs. Where I am from there is an expensive school who awards all their candidates who gain entry a scholarship. The school I was accepted to is much more economical and less expensive - but no scholarship. So it just depends on the school itself. I would contact the director of the program to find out what students typically do to make ends meet.

Some schools will partner up with facilities and are able to offer their students stipends throughout the duration of the program contingent upon an x number of years contract upon graduation with that facility.

In my personal situation: I am looking at around 35 K in loans upon graduation. Not bad considering what I stand to earn upon passing boards.

The rewards of being a CRNA (I have been told again and again) are immense. It's up to you alone what will or will not stop you from achieving that goal. Best of Luck!

fjluce

Has 1 years experience.

Thank you guys! After all of this, it seems ridiculous to go the AA route if CRNA is an option. I appreciate your help!

fjluce

Has 1 years experience.

One last question that I am sure is over asked. Since I need 2 years ICU experience and then can apply from there, any advice on making my application competitive? Something I can work on in this time frame maybe a little more depending on when I actually obtain employment in an ICU. I am starting to work on volunteer hours and will also need to boost my GPA which I plan to do with mostly science classes so it's not just fluff and might actually be useful in the long run. Provided I get a 4.0 in my BSN program it will put me at 3.6 Maybe a grad level Pharm class? Any other classes you guys can guide me on?

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Has 27 years experience. Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Moved to SRNA forum

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