Civilian experience before joining?

  1. Hello everyone,
    I'll keep this short. I recently graduated with a BSN and I was curious about the whole process of becoming an officer and a CRNA in the navy. I still need to take my licensure exam however. My real questions are:

    1.) Should I obtain RN experience as a civilian prior to joining? (As to say med/surg or ICU) Again, my end goal is CRNA and I know that the navy will not let a new grad with zero experience start on an ICU floor.
    2.) Is it better to go in as a reserve or active duty to achieve this goal?
    3.) If I did join with a license and zero experience, what would be the likely hood of obtaining an anesthetist certification in a timely manner? (year wise about 2-3years total including required critical care experience) Or would it perhaps be much longer?
    4.) Are any programs offered by the military? If so, are they for a doctorate? If not, must I choose a school that will give me a doctorate?

    I appreciate any responses.
  2. Visit Jralax profile page

    About Jralax

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 4


  3. by   jfratian
    You need to get 1 year of ICU RN experience at a minimum before joining any military branch; that way you can start in ICU when you join. I'm most familiar with the Air Force, but all branches do not let new grads start on the ICU; joining as a new grad would add a least 1-2 years to the process.

    The quickest way to CRNA is apply to a military branch once you've already been accepted into a CRNA program (or are at least in the application process). If those programs are still around, which I'm pretty sure they are, your school gets paid for for ~4 years of service.

    If you join as an ICU RN, then you will typically have to wait at least 2 years to apply for the CRNA back-to-school programs.
  4. by   jfratian
    Yes, the military has 2 fairly highly ranked CRNA schools (often both in the top 10 in most rankings). Both of them are DNP programs. One is the Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing offered through a partnership with Baylor University. The other is the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, which feeds all branches of the military.