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For those with a 3.0 undergrad who want to become a CRNA


Specializes in CRNA, DNP-A. Has 6 years experience.

I had multiple people tell me how hard CRNA school was and how "nobody" can do it. I received a bachelors of science in Exercise and Wellness, while playing football at a D1 school. I was on a full scholarship for football and my grades didn't end up being the best- I had a 3.0 After I graduated I knew I wanted to be in the healthcare field, but did not have the grades for medical school. I thought about PA school but it didn't seem like the right fit for me. My wife helped me research and we found CRNA jobs and it sounded just up my alley. I went to do an accelerated nursing program to become an RN with a BSN and I received a 3.8GPA. I then was hired on into an ICU Nuero-shock-trauma unit where I worked for almost 3 years. I have a wife and 3 kids, and I continued to work hard. I retook classes I didn't do well in while getting my undergrad degree, and also took the GRE and all other required classes and received A's in them. I applied to two CRNA schools the first year and was waitlisted at one, but then the next year got into 2 of the schools I applied to, and TCU is where I picked, and I have to say it was one of the greatest moments. I am in my last year doing my clinical residency and will graduate in January. I am here to prove that if you want it bad enough, and you work hard enough you can achieve it. I had a lot of friends who laughed when I told them this plan years ago, thinking me and my family were crazy for doing this, but now I'm starting to interview for jobs and I can say this was the right choice for me and I absolutely love this career. Message me if you have any questions. I wanted someone to read this to know that they can do it! Believe in yourself. I also have a 4.0 currently. Just because you didn't do great in your under grad, doesn't mean you can't become a CRNA.

Thank you so much for your story. I am currently holding a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and graduated with a 3.1 . Now I am currently in the process of applying to my ABSN maybe take some dual enrollment classes for CRNA school. After those 16-months I plan on working as a travel nurse, and gain as much experience/certifications as possible throughout that 1-2 years before applying to CRNA school. Thank you for your positive message and CONGRATS!

P.S. If you have any advice on what I could work on as Pre-Nursing I would greatly appreciate it!

Edited by NurseSilennyM

mbmathews, BSN, DNP, RN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, DNP-A. Has 6 years experience.


thank you! Just make sure to get good grades while in your nursing program. I retook Chemistry and organic Chemistry- you could even retake what you need to while waiting for nursing program. Once you become an RN or even now, make sure and shadow plenty of CRNA’s and ask lots of questions. I got my CCRN Certification and any certification that I knew would help. Ask questions and work hard! You can do this. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck.

DreameRN, BSN

Has 10 years experience.

14 hours ago, NurseSilennyM said:

After those 16-months I plan on working as a travel nurse, and gain as much experience/certifications as possible throughout that 1-2 years before applying to CRNA school.

Just for your planning, you should know that you cannot travel nurse until you have at least 1 year of experience in your specialty, and the better companies require minimum 2 years. As a travel nurse, you are expected to show up and be able to fully function in any assignment with any patient assignment the day you roll in the door. There is often zero orientation, you just show up to the hospital, go up to your floor, and start work on the unit. And since you want to do CRNA school, that unit would need to be ICU, and no travel nurse assignment will take a new grad in the ICU, I'm sorry to say.

You could find an ICU as a new grad and do your 1-2 years there and once you get accepted, take a travel assignment or two to bank some money until you start? Good luck!

WOW! thanks for that information. I really thought I could travel nurse right off the bat, but it makes sense why I would need at least some experience before traveling to any hospital. There will be no one to actually train me in travel nursing. Or is there?

But yes I definitely will be looking for an ICU because that's what CRNA school looks for and requires.

@mbmathews How did you handle the recommendations? Did you use the same recommendations when you applied the second year or did you ask for completely new ones? I often find getting the recommendations is the hardest part of the application because it is out of your control and you don't want to annoy your recommenders, especially if you are applying to several schools.

DreameRN, BSN

Has 10 years experience.

18 hours ago, NurseSilennyM said:

There will be no one to actually train me in travel nursing. Or is there?

Not really. That's why you need solid couple years experience and be comfortable with most types of patients, codes, all in a strange/new environment etc. Many times if they are short enough that they need a travel nurse, staffing ratios will not be good and instead of 1-2 ICU patients, you'll have 3 critical patients, and you'll need to be able to handle that workload and time manage.

There are some resources to check into--there's a travel nurse forum on here that you could read through and get most of the info you'll need. There are also some facebook travel nurse groups as well that has a lot of info and tips.

mbmathews, BSN, DNP, RN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, DNP-A. Has 6 years experience.

@chanuts I asked the same people each time for the recommendations. It was annoying doing that part, and if you're applying to several different schools you might want to ask different people, but you also want to have a good friendship with those you are asking that you know.

mbmathews, BSN, DNP, RN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, DNP-A. Has 6 years experience.

I'm not exactly sure how to edit my posts but wanted to added my stats.

I'm currently 31 years old. Undergrad bachelors 3.0 Accelerated BSN 3.4 (sorry earlier I posted 3.8 that was an error) CCRN, PALS, CMC, BLS, I retook Organic Chemistry and Chemistry and received A's (my grade first time I took Chemistry was a D-lack of effort on my part didn't try at all when I was younger). GRE score 310. Shadowed 3 different CRNA's. Worked 2 years 9 months in Nuero Shock Trauma ICU. I currently have a 4.0 in my CRNA program. I set aside a study schedule and that works well with my family. I would stay after each day at the library and study until 6pm when class ended. I'd go home, have dinner with my family, and back to studying 8PM-11Pm and then bedtime. I studied all day Saturday's. Hope these stats help! First year I only applied to one school and was waitlisted. Second year I applied to 3 schools and got into 2 of them.

Defibn', RN, EMT-P

Specializes in SRNA. Has 7 years experience.

@mbmathews Thanks for the post, man. I am a first year SRNA. I have a wife and two kids as well. Do you mind giving me some study tips. I see your schedule. Any specific study strategies you used?

Thank you for sharing your success story! It is always great to read things like this and to see SRNAs/CRNAs supporting the next generation of SRNAs.

I spoke with the program director of TCU a couple of years ago (Dr. Sanders) and I'm pretty sure she told me your story. It's memorable and unique - not many CRNAs went to college on a football scholarship. If you're who I'm thinking of, she spoke very fondly of you and loved it when you said "go frogs!"

I would like to hear about your experience at TCU and how you decided to attend that specific program. Congratulations on finishing soon!

mbmathews, BSN, DNP, RN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, DNP-A. Has 6 years experience.

@TheSameVein thank you! Yes I was always thinking football was going to be my life, but then reality changed that when I graduated college.

I love Dr. Sanders, we were all sad to see her leave she was the best. I have really enjoyed my time at TCU. I decided to attend TCU over Westminster because first of all it was a doctorate program, and Westminster was a masters at the current time. TCU when doing your clinical, for the most part you stay in one main location (I have 3 children and a wife and this worked best for us) Westminster you would travel around for 18 months to different locations. I still am traveling to different clinical sites for hearts, OB, peds, regional blocks but that's been it and they haven't been too far from my main clinical site. Fort Worth was a great place to live, and we really enjoyed it there. It's a difficult program, but if you take the time to study you will do fine. Let me know if you have anymore questions and good luck!