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Do I Measure Up? CRNA Application

by GoldenPups GoldenPups (New) New

Hi all,

Looking for some constructive criticism here regarding my experience on paper:

5-year staff nurse at large level one trauma center generalized adult ICU - MICU, SICU, Neuro, Trauma, CICU. Currently do charge, precept, clinician, and am involved in several unit-based committees

B-code in nursing supervisor role

Taught critical care courses to newly hired ICU nurses

Currently enrolled in FNP program, plan to apply to CRNA schools within the next year

Undergrad GPA 3.0

Graduate GPA 4.0 (5 classes, 15 credits)

GRE Scores: Quan 156 Qual 153 Total 309


I was on the fence about both critical care and the CRNA profession, however after a recent 16 hour CRNA shadow I was pushed over the fence. I loved the environment, the hands on critical thinking, and just the experience in general. Do I sound competitive at all? My undergrad GPA worries me, however I've taken many steps in my professional career to augment that. Just looking for some general criticism here. Is there something I can be doing within the next year to help stand out a bit more? All posts are appreciated!

An online FNP program? Graduate degree? Sounds like you're on track to finishing that? If you're far enough invested, that'd be a good idea. The anesthesia students I've come in contact with invariably have some sort of significant experience outside of a brick and mortar hospital like over seas mission work (not necessarily medical), the military, something along those lines.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

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

Moved to SRNA forum


Specializes in CRNA.

You are competitive, depending on the program. How are your science grades? That's important-maybe more important than the graduate course grades. Your experience sounds strong, and your GRE scores are strong. Be prepared for the nurse anesthesia program to be significantly more difficult than your current program. I've known more than 1 student who had a prior graduate degree who withdrew from a nurse anesthesia program. You need to be strong in science to do well in a nurse anesthesia program.

My hard sciences are good - mostly A's a few B's. I had some stumbles early on that really affected my overall GPA. I greatly appreciate your time and insight here!

Hey Everyone!

I have been a Neuro ICU nurse for two years and just started applying for schools this fall for next year start dates. I have 5 years of OR experience as a surgical technologist, assistant, and circulating nurse. I worked full time in the OR during my BSN, therefore my stats are not where I'd like them to be. I am very confident in my ability and will be retaking a couple science courses to boost my GPA. I just received a rejection letter from National University, which was the first school I applied to. My stats are listed below. Has anyone had any luck with interviews for schools with lower GPAs?

BSN 3.1

Science 3.2


2 years ICU

5 years OR (tech)

Thanks everyone!

I believe that GPA is crucial. IF you are seriously considering CRNA school, in order to be competitive, YOU MUST have at LEAST a 3.6-3.7 GPA. Of course, if your science GPA is good, that helps. If you want to raise your GPA, I suggest retaking a couple of science classes. Mainly your anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics. In my opinion, a lot of schools don't even care how much nursing experience you have. I am a current SRNA and I know people who have less than 3 months of ICU experience.

Not to be a debbie downer but National's requirements are pretty low and if you got a rejection letter from them, then it is hard to find other programs to apply to and be successful. Instead focus your money and application time on GPA then try again. Even then, other things to think about is maybe leadership roles on your unit, becoming charge nurse, maybe try putting out a publication by coordinating with your state's nurses association. I applied to many schools and even though I have many interviews, I did not get accepted to many (with a 3.9 GPA). However, I also know people who got in with a 3.0. A lot of it is luck, and just trying to schools that fits/ are close to your "met requirements" Dont give up if this is what you really want to do! GOOD LUCK!

Edited by Whistleblower1234


Specializes in Neuro-Trauma ICU. Has 6 years experience.

Not to sound like a jerk, but for someone to have all of 90 days worth of ICU experience and be selected for a CRNA program sounds fishy to me. That's hardly enough time to be familiar with any vasoactive drips, sedatives, control of the crashing patient, understanding what steps need to be taken clinically, etc. A previously experienced nurse, maybe, but highly doubtful. It is explicitly clear at almost all accredited programs that at least one year or more of ICU experience to even be considered. GPA doesn't mean squat if you don't know how to take care of the human life under your care. That's just my opinion though. I was accepted to a program without having a 3.7-3.9 GPA. Most programs look at the whole person. I feel like committees are looking for more than just book smarts. Again, just my opinion.

I was just accepted to a program after having had 4 interviews with different programs, one alternate spot and three no's prior to the interviews. My GPA is 3.5, Science gpa is 3.7. if you didnt receive an A in science classes such as Ochem, gen chem, anatomy and/or physiology, I would recommend retaking those courses. I spent the last year retaking classes, increasing my leadership experience, and trying to take every sick patient I could get my hands on. CCRN is a must, CMC or csc if you are able. Although my program's interview was very laid back, I have interviewed at schools whose questions are very clinical and knowledge based (whats a dromotrope, what receptors does precedex act on, what is the generic name of precedex. One interview specifically (UT Houston) was very clearly trying to make me feel like an idiot, which is sad. Anyway, hopefully I helped somewhat. Good luck!


Specializes in CRNA.

It is a COA accreditation requirement that all SRNAs have a minimum of 1 year critical care experience. Most programs prefer at least 2 years. Someone may interview with 3 months experience, and then begin the program with a year because interviews are often around a year prior to the program start.