Experience length requirement

Specialties CRNA


Hi everyone,

I'm a Nursing student (in an accelerated BSN) and I'll graduate next year in May.

I plan on working for exactly 12 months in an ICU and then enter an Anesthesia school.

In your experience, would I encounter major hurdles if my experience is only 12 months? Let's assume that all the other components of the application process are in place (GPA, GRE, etc).

Also, since I have a family, I'm looking at any scholarship opportunity. I can't find much out there for CRNA's. Any thoughts on that?



297 Posts

Setting a goal of EXACTLY 12 months may be setting yourself up. It can certainly be done there are quite a few schools that will accept with one year of experience. But, there are a growing number of applicants to all programs and you will be going up against people with more experience etc.. I am not trying to discourage you by any means, I just don't want you to set a goal and then become frustrated if you don't meet it.

You will do fine if you start with 12 months of experience. There may be some areas you need to study a little more than others, but it is all very doable.


70 Posts


The main reason for my plan is to start "putting bread on the table" ASAP, as I have a family and I'm a career switcher ...

What is a "safe" GPA and GRE score? Is there a place on the Internet that tracks them?

I wanna do my best to overshoot them to be on track with my plan ...

I saw that AANA does not rank schools. How do the employers know which graduates are better prepared than others?


47 Posts


You seem like a real go getter, but need to look into CRNA more as a career to be fufilled than a means to make money - at least that is how your inquiry comes off. As many of these postings have said, application screeners/ interviewers can see right through it. Shadow some CRNA's and talk to some schools to see what makes a good applicant. Otherwise, I've gained a load of information by entering searches for this site of pre-reqs etc. Hope it all works out for you!


70 Posts


CRNA is (will be) my career. If there's one thing I learned in my previous life, it's to do due dilligence. My elder brother is a physician plus, I did shadow a CRNA before making this decision.

But I see nothing wrong in executing a plan with efficiency -again, my former life ... :)

If only I could find GPA and GRE target numbers, I'll be elated ...


297 Posts

The schools that post requirements for GRE generally do not put them very high (avg. is combined math and verbal of 1000). The GRE and GPA get you interviewed, the will not get you in. You could have a 4.0 with a perfect GRE and still not be accepted.

Average listed requirement for GPA is over 3.0, quite a few prefer a GPA > 3.5. If your weak in any area do NOT let it be sciences.

Again, scores will only get you the interview.


422 Posts

I would suggest you get a 3.5 or better in your accelerated program. You didn't mention your grades prior or what your science grades were like either. Your science GPA should be a 3.0 or greater. As far as GRE an average of 1100 or better should do you just fine.

Brenna's Dad

394 Posts

I also did not find many scholarships. AANA does give out a few.

Many people seem to do well in anesthesia after only a limited ICU experience. I think more experience gives people a greater ability to notice the subtle differences in situations, but I could be wrong.

I think the greatest hurtles you might encounter will obviously be related to your length of experience. The fact that you have "real-world" experience in another career is a plus. The fact that you are so determined to succeed in anesthesia is another bonus.

Like others have said, concentrate on your grades and you should do fine. The GRE is probably secondary to the interview, but you should put some effort into doing your best. I think it's probably the easiest to increase your math school out of all the catagories. Perhaps you were an engineer in your other life?


410 Posts

>>What is a "safe" GPA and GRE score? Is there a place on the Internet that tracks them?

I wanna do my best to overshoot them to be on track with my plan ...

I saw that AANA does not rank schools. How do the employers know which graduates are better prepared than others?

First, about school rankings. I'd like to share what employers said to me as I interviewed and asked if they'd like transcripts. "No, you graduated from an accredited program and we'll find out what we need to know from your references". What I'm trying to say about yor question about school rankings is that they only matter to those students trying to figure out where to go. They all have their strong and weak points. I believe finding the one where the people seem to like you and you like them (during the interview and other contacts) is important. You can get a feel for a place in just a few minutes.

Second, keep in mind that ALL potential students are trying to overshoot the criteria. By being strident and overly intense you just blend in with the crowd. My belief is that a well rounded, candidate with experience in a teaching institution that demonsrates leadership and confidence and can enjoy the interview experience will have a better chance at landing a spot than the one who just demonstrates with their clenched teeth their determination to get that slot. I interviewed at 4 schools and had a good time at each (don't ask me how) by the end of tall the interviews I had the feeling they wanted me as badly as I wanted them.

The OR environment demands flexibility on your part only, the CRNA, MDA, surgeon and OR staff will do what they want and you need to adapt, learning to be flexible early in the process will serve one well.

Try to learn to relax, this goal is better won by the slow steady focus on learning and experiences rather than the jack-rabbit white knuckle approach.


58 Posts

I'd second the general theme of 'chill out' and add that after working in an ICU for the past 6 months (the first 6 of my nursing career), I can't imagine being ready to start CRNA training in another 6 months...but that's just me. I'm restraining myself here, as I feel strongly about this.

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