Considering CRNA School ?

  1. A brief guide of where to start if considering CRNA school. Check boxes to complete when considering CRNA school.

    Considering CRNA School ?

    So at this point you are considering to advance your nursing career and CRNA seems to be your perfect fit of a career advancement. As a current SRNA, I have some strong suggestion for you in the process of getting your ICU experience and/or working on the application stages.

    Assuming you are working on your ICU experience, I suggest you start by shadowing some CRNAs. I had a good rapport with the anesthesiologist and CRNAs in my hospital so when I asked, I was welcomed with arms wide open. * hint: Network network network! Do a couple of shifts with them, bring questions, do some research on your own about the anesthesia machines, the vapor, lines, etc. And I say a few shifts so that it makes sense and gives you the opportunity to go home look up things and come back with more questions and with thing making a bit more sense. If after a few shifts you truly are in LOVE with the high demand task of been behind the drapes then, start you CRNA checklist ready.

    Get as many certifications under your name as you can; ballon pump certified, impel certified, open heart recovery, CRRT machine certified, trauma, and anything else that is available to you. Get your CCRN done, any leader ladder available (charge nurse tasks). All of this will make you a strong candidate. The school wants to see that you have knowledge, experience, desire to continuously learn, and leadership skills.

    Time to schedule that scary GRE test. Give your self at least 6 months of studying before you take the test. Do practice test after practice test. When taking the GRE also give yourself additional time in case you need to retake it, you will have enough time to meet your application deadlines.

    Remember that network I mentioned earlier? You will need recommendation letters, and those CRNAs that you follow with questions will be more than happy to do those for you.

    When it comes to applying to a school I recommend applying to several of them but that is a personal choice. You have to take into considerations location, cost, length of program, your family support, etc. But I do recommend applying to at least 5. I have heard of people that did at least 10 applications. If you meet the requirement Go for it!

    Stay organized as far as those application deadlines, possible interview dates for each, documents and requirement of each. Keep in mind that some school might require additional testing, forms and or even RN license in that state

    When asking for those recommendation letters, provide them with plenty of time, given them all the schools that you are applying for info. If you need 3 different schools, then give them the 3 different info so they can do them all at once.

    Don't forget, at the end of submitting all your applications to get back to those that made letters for you, allowed you to follow them, or in any shape or form helped you in the application process. A little token of appreciation or a simple "thank you" card goes a long way...network

    I didn't mention anything about finances, but if you are considering CRNA school know that you are looking at 24 to 36 months of NO WORK INCOME. So start being smart with your money now and start adjusting to the new low budget now. You should be looking at how to clean your bills and put as much as you can in savings. Yes, financial assistance is available, but it will not cover it all, and you will need to use a large amount of your money before you even see any student loans money. The moment you decide to pursue CRNA school you are investing money into test prep, GRE, application fees, etc. The interview process might also require traveling cost (ask for Skype options), interview attire (you want a 6 figure job in the future then you must look the part from hair to your shoes), and if you are blessed to be given a spot in that program now the out of pocket cost increases drastically.

    Hope this helps to get you started in the process, or gives you a sense of guidance of where to start.

    Good Luck!
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    About Kcordova, BSN

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 8; Likes: 19

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    5 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    My son, a new grad RN, is seriously considering this career path, but he has NO idea of what he's in for. I'm going to make sure he reads this. Thanks for the info!
  4. by   BedsideNurse
    And the prep and application part is the easy part. Even if I was smart enough: I am way too tired and lazy.
  5. by   jj224
    Dude. You don't need 6mos to prep for the GRE. Its like highschool level math.
  6. by   Kcordova
    Quote from jj224
    Dude. You don't need 6mos to prep for the GRE. Its like highschool level math.
    Well, good for the confidence on the math part of the GRE.

    How many hours a day should I study for the GRE?


    However, most people spend about one to three months studying a few hours a week for the GRE. This means the amount of studying for the GRE could range roughly from eight hours (studying two hours a week for four weeks) to 120 hours (studying ten hours a week for 12 weeks)
    How Long to Study for the GRE: Step-by-Step Guide , PrepScholar GRE
    How Long to Study for the GRE: Step-by-Step Guide • PrepScholar GRE


    If you are a full time RN doing 12 hrs/day 3 days a week and coming home to a family and have been out of school at least 5 years, I myself find 6 month resonable. But that is my opinion and I am already in CRNA school so I think it worked for me.
  7. by   Kcordova
    Well, good for the confidence on the math part of the GRE. Kaplan GRE review recommends at least 3 months if you follow the schedule.

    If you are a full time RN doing 12 hrs/day 3 days a week and coming home to a family and have been out of school at least 5 years, I myself find 6 month resonable. But that is my opinion and I am already in CRNA school so I think it worked for me.

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