front loaded didactic vs mixed


I am currently looking into the University of Minnesota but it starts clinicals the first semester. It is only a 24 month program which would be nice but I am a little worried about having clinicals so soon. I like the idea of front loaded didactic programs but the timing at U of M is right for me and my family. Does anyone have any input on programs that throw you right into clinicals. I would especially like some first hand experience if anyone has it to offer. Thanks.


12 Posts


I am currently in my first semester in anesthesia school which is similar to what you are describing. We have clinicals only once per week and you will not be thrown into anything you don't feel comfortable with. There will always be a MDA/CRNA with you at all times. They won't let you screw anything up. And it is nice to start putting all your book work to use right away.

On the other hand, it does add an additional amount of stress that you really don't need in your first and second semester. These are the heaviest didatic semester's and your life will suck, I promise you!

So far I absolutely love the clinical part of it and have learned ALOT both didactically and clinically. Don't let that aspect of the program make up your mind, if other people are doing can you!



104 Posts

Specializes in Critical care/ER, SRNA. Has 11 years experience.

I am in a combined program and I love it. We started out 2 days in the operating room starting with the second week of school. Our second semester we are in the OR 3 days a week. I know everyone in our class is loving the way our program is set up. It allows you to apply what you are learning in the classroom to the actual OR. I wouldn't have it any other way. Good luck!

Specializes in SICU. Has 4 years experience.

Do you guys mind if I ask what programs you are in? I just got a bad feeling about combined programs from another thread I read awhile ago so I was kind of trying to stay away from them but you two have changed my mind. I would love to look into the schools you are attending to see if they are ones I would like to apply to. If they are MSN programs, does the research aspect play a big part? I don't want a heavy research oriented program. Thanks again for you input, it has been extremely helpful. I was so glad to hear a positive outlook on combined programs.


104 Posts

Specializes in Critical care/ER, SRNA. Has 11 years experience.

I am at Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Clinic School of Nurse Anesthesia. Good luck in your search and application process! Feel free to PM me with any questions!:nuke:


218 Posts

Specializes in ICU, currently in Anesthesia School. Has 5 years experience.

Lovegas- I hate to burst your bubble, but if they are granting a Masters degree, then at a minimum you are going to have to complete a Lit review and/or Thesis to graduate from just about every CRNA program out there. Many programs require actual research in order to graduate.

Specializes in SICU. Has 4 years experience.

I know that I am going to have to do some research/thesis, I wasn't saying that. I have just read several threads stating that some schools are more research oriented than others. Others have said that MS with anesthesia focus have more anesthesia courses compared to MSN schools.


73 Posts

Specializes in Trauma ER and ICU...SRNA now. Has 14 years experience.

Lovegas- I think it's a personal preference in which type of program you will do best in. I personally like learning hands on and feel I would do worse in a completely front loaded program. So, I chose one that has some clinicals starting first semester. I can't tell you how it will work out as I don't start until fall, but I think it's what will be best for me.

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