What exactly is critical care nursing? I have to go into that for a year if I want to be a nurse anesthesist but don't really know what it is. I'm interested in labor and delivery and NICCU. Are either of those critical care?
May 3, '09
Critical care, in this context, is essentially adult ICU.
While L&Ds can certainly have acuity equal to and above an ICU, it isn't what CRNA programs are looking for. NICUs also likely will not satisfy your requirements as they are looking for experience managing adult populations.
Adult ICUs satisfy the criteria because in this environment you will gain experience managing mechanical ventilation, sedation/paralytic drips, vasoactive drips, assisting with intubation, and other advanced therapies that provide a baseline familiarity for the scope of the CRNA.
Outside what CRNA programs are looking for, all ICUs and often ER are considered "critical care".
May 4, '09
There are some CRNA schools that will accept NICU and Peds ICU for CRNA school, but the vast majority prefer adult ICU settings (either medical or surgical). So by doing NICU alone you are self-limiting your options for schools that you could apply to, but it wouldn't necessarily hinder you from geting accepted. Good luck!