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Finishing up my first year of CRNA school. Ask me anything!

SRNA   (4,974 Views | 39 Replies)

SRNA1221 is a BSN and specializes in RN, BSN SRNA.

249 Profile Views; 17 Posts

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SRNA1221 is a BSN and specializes in RN, BSN SRNA.

17 Posts; 249 Profile Views

2 hours ago, johnsonks11 said:

Congrats on the success, I hope to be in your shoes in the near future and thank you so much for taking the time to respond to everyone!

I'm currently working on revamping my resume and was thinking about my past work experience. I've been a nurse for a little over 6 years, the first 1.5 years in rehab and neuro/tele, 1.5 years in PACU, and most recently a little over 3 years in the ICU.

For the sake of resume brevity I'm inclined to leave out the rehab and neuro/tele as it is not pertinent to CRNA school but I also don't want it to look like I didn't work at all for 1.5 years after graduating nursing school.

What do you recommend?

I would recommend including all pertinent nursing experience. I had just under a year of ICU experience when I interviewed at both schools I applied to. I included my nurse tech/intern experience In ICU on my resume. Not sure if it helped, but I was accepted into both programs. I think including all of your nursing experience would show that you’re a well rounded nurse with a vast background. Best of luck!

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SRNA1221 is a BSN and specializes in RN, BSN SRNA.

17 Posts; 249 Profile Views

4 hours ago, beachbabe86 said:

Just out of curiosity, how long is the typical program? Also I admire your foresight to save up your money for your house payments!

Thank you! I wouldn't consider it necessary to save this much, but it certainly helps. At the very least, I would make sure to have an emergency fund in savings. My program is a doctorate so it is 36 months in length. The other program I was accepted to was a masters program and was a few months shorter. Program lengths range from ~27 months to 36 months. 

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SRNA1221 is a BSN and specializes in RN, BSN SRNA.

17 Posts; 249 Profile Views

17 hours ago, SamICURN said:

Ok thanks now I don’t feel so bad since I’ll be out of state too. I don’t have a family it’s just me so hopefully loans will be enough. I start in May so I’m trying to say a good chunk from traveling. Good luck on the rest of your journey. I’m sure you’ll do well. 

You'll do fine. Loans should definitely be sufficient without a family to support. Keep your nose to the grindstone. The professors describe the course load as "drinking from a firehose", but I find the material interesting and enjoyable, so that helps. Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck!

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MillennialNurse95 has 1 years experience as a BSN.

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Is the information you’re learning hard, or just such a large volume to be responsible for, or both?

Is anesthesia what you  thought it would be so far?

Edited by MillennialNurse95

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SRNA1221 is a BSN and specializes in RN, BSN SRNA.

17 Posts; 249 Profile Views

4 minutes ago, MillennialNurse95 said:

Is the information you’re learning hard, or just such a large volume to be responsible for, or both?

Is anesthesia what you  thought it would be so far?

To be honest, both. Some concepts are easy to grasp, others are very difficult. I feel as though theres a good mix though. It is truly a massive volume of information, but not all of that information is difficult. It's doable, but takes a considerable time commitment. As I said in an earlier post, I still have free time, just not nearly as much as I had in my BSN program. 

Anesthesia is mind blowing. It's so much more than I even imagined. So much thought goes into each case and each patient will present with different variables that can alter your anesthetic plan. It's truly an art. 

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Hello.. I just want to ask, where school/state are you attending? I’m basically planning to pursue CRNA and absolutely lost how to start the process. And I have heard it is harder to get in in the program. 

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SRNA1221 is a BSN and specializes in RN, BSN SRNA.

17 Posts; 249 Profile Views

3 hours ago, swan_rn said:

Hello.. I just want to ask, where school/state are you attending? I’m basically planning to pursue CRNA and absolutely lost how to start the process. And I have heard it is harder to get in in the program. 

I've chosen not to mention which specific school I attend until I graduate. Many schools have different requirements. General requirements are usually: 1 year ICU experience, BSN, GRE,  and 2-3 letters of recommendation. Programs are highly competitive so any additional certifications you can obtain will make you a stronger candidate. 

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I want to go ahead and apologize for the length of this post. I've got a bit of a complicated background. I initially went to school for nursing at a university straight out of high school. I wasn't very committed, did not do very well, and made some seriously bad grades. I'm not even sure what my cumulative GPA is at the moment. I completed all of my prerequisites for the nursing program and applied to that school. No surprise, I didn't get it. 

I took some time off and got married, and shortly after had a child. I knew I had to get back in school and finish something to make money for my family. So I retook some classes, and applied to a tech school that considered things other than grades on their application (it was a weighted admissions process). I took the TEAS test and did very well, which gave me a large number of points, and also got points for having experience in a healthcare related field. I was a medical scribe in an emergency room for 3.5 years and I have been an ER tech going on 2.5 years. 

I was accepted into the tech school's ADN nursing program and have about 8 months left. So far I have made 2 B's and all A's in every other class. I plan to enroll in a BSN immediately following graduation, and I am interested in CRNA school, but I honestly feel like I have no chance because of my prior grades. I just want to know, is there any hope for acceptance considering my past? Is there anything I can do to augment my application? Does scoring high on the GRE help out a lot? What are your thoughts on obtaining a MSN prior to applying to CRNA school to show your ability to do well in master's level coursework?

I obviously want to get into an ICU right away and I know they like you to have CCRN.

I feel like it is a long shot, but just want to hear some advice from someone who is where I want to be. Thanks for your time!

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TPN1986 is a RN and specializes in SRNA CEN CCRN-CMC.

79 Posts; 1,006 Profile Views

11 minutes ago, jeebanks93 said:

I want to go ahead and apologize for the length of this post. I've got a bit of a complicated background. I initially went to school for nursing at a university straight out of high school. I wasn't very committed, did not do very well, and made some seriously bad grades. I'm not even sure what my cumulative GPA is at the moment. I completed all of my prerequisites for the nursing program and applied to that school. No surprise, I didn't get it. 

I took some time off and got married, and shortly after had a child. I knew I had to get back in school and finish something to make money for my family. So I retook some classes, and applied to a tech school that considered things other than grades on their application (it was a weighted admissions process). I took the TEAS test and did very well, which gave me a large number of points, and also got points for having experience in a healthcare related field. I was a medical scribe in an emergency room for 3.5 years and I have been an ER tech going on 2.5 years. 

I was accepted into the tech school's ADN nursing program and have about 8 months left. So far I have made 2 B's and all A's in every other class. I plan to enroll in a BSN immediately following graduation, and I am interested in CRNA school, but I honestly feel like I have no chance because of my prior grades. I just want to know, is there any hope for acceptance considering my past? Is there anything I can do to augment my application? Does scoring high on the GRE help out a lot? What are your thoughts on obtaining a MSN prior to applying to CRNA school to show your ability to do well in master's level coursework?

I obviously want to get into an ICU right away and I know they like you to have CCRN.

I feel like it is a long shot, but just want to hear some advice from someone who is where I want to be. Thanks for your time!

So my experience is similar but a bit different then yours. My first degree 15 years ago wasnt for me so I dropped out of college with a few F's in a computer science program. When I returned a few later I completed my nursing degree with a 3.7 GPA and virtually all A's in my sciences/nursing core classes.

My first year applying to CRNA school I definitely felt like that earlier degree was hurting my applications, and really the only thing I could do was continue to improve my resume after getting wait listed and continue applying. You might not get in your first year trying, so just be prepared for that and keep improving your resume. I mean the honest truth is I had to get rejected like 6 times before I was finally accepted by two programs this year. Fortunately I was also accepted to my number one choice so I'll be going there.

As for advice I'd say the most important things you can do early on would be retake any undergraduate sciences you scored less than a B in such as micro, A&P 1/2, chemistry. If all of those classes are B's you could take some extra science classes such as biochemistry or a graduate pathophys class and make certain you're able to obtain at least a B but shoot for an A. You honestly are going to need to work really hard and take classes or certifications that are going to make you stand out as an application. And no that doesnt mean CCRN, because honestly everyone in that interview room already has CCRN. It's definitely doable, but it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. 

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42 minutes ago, SRNA1221 said:

I've chosen not to mention which specific school I attend until I graduate. Many schools have different requirements. General requirements are usually: 1 year ICU experience, BSN, GRE,  and 2-3 letters of recommendation. Programs are highly competitive so any additional certifications you can obtain will make you a stronger candidate. 

I have my BSN, required ICU and can obtain references. I’m still planning to take CCRN, GRE if needed maybe I’m willing to take it if it is really desired. However my chemistry and statistics are over 10 yrs. I only hope, I would get a feedback first in a prospect school if i need to retake them so as to save time and $$. 

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TPN1986 is a RN and specializes in SRNA CEN CCRN-CMC.

79 Posts; 1,006 Profile Views

1 minute ago, swan_rn said:

I have my BSN, required ICU and can obtain references. I’m still planning to take CCRN, GRE if needed maybe I’m willing to take it if it is really desired. However my chemistry and statistics are over 10 yrs. I only hope, I would get a feedback first in a prospect school if i need to retake them so as to save time and $$. 

I've found the most important things programs are going to look at are first your GPA while you were in school. And second your direct nursing experience. Nursing certifications are important, but honestly they're a minimum. Everyone that applies is going to have their CCRN. Most people I met interviewing had multiple certifications and > 3.5 gpa's. GRE scores are program specific, most programs do not require them and most programs will not require you to retake classes. 

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10 minutes ago, TPN1986 said:

So my experience is similar but a bit different then yours. My first degree 15 years ago wasnt for me so I dropped out of college with a few F's in a computer science program. When I returned a few later I completed my nursing degree with a 3.7 GPA and virtually all A's in my sciences/nursing core classes.

My first year applying to CRNA school I definitely felt like that earlier degree was hurting my applications, and really the only thing I could do was continue to improve my resume after getting wait listed and continue applying. You might not get in your first year trying, so just be prepared for that and keep improving your resume. I mean the honest truth is I had to get rejected like 6 times before I was finally accepted by two programs this year. Fortunately I was also accepted to my number one choice so I'll be going there.

As for advice I'd say the most important things you can do early on would be retake any undergraduate sciences you scored less than a B in such as micro, A&P 1/2, chemistry. If all of those classes are B's you could take some extra science classes such as biochemistry or a graduate pathophys class and make certain you're able to obtain at least a B but shoot for an A. You honestly are going to need to work really hard and take classes or certifications that are going to make you stand out as an application. And no that doesnt mean CCRN, because honestly everyone in that interview room already has CCRN. It's definitely doable, but it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. 

Congrats on your acceptance! I see what you mean by a lot of hard work and perseverance. Glad you didn't give up! Thanks for the advice and encouragement!

So, what other certifications would you recommend to help one stand out? Also, would you recommend varied experience (e.g. STICU, Neuro ICU, CVICU, MICU) or do you think they prefer one over another? Would it help at all to have some experience in another area, like ER? I know they want critical care and a lot of schools don't consider it critical care, but do you think it would be appreciated because it's different and help an applicant stand out? What about something like PICU or NICU in addition to an adult ICU? 

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