how can i become a nurse anesthetist if i have a bachelors degree in biology?
Reno1978, BSN, RN
Has 6 years experience.
Specializes in SRNA.
Aug 29, 2008
Most nurse anesthetist programs require 1-2 years of critical care nursing, so the first step would be becoming an RN. I would think they'd prefer you have a BS in Nursing, so look into programs for people like you who already have bachelor's degrees, they're usually called fast-track programs or something like that.
You need to get your Bachelors in Nursing -- become a registered nurse and then get atleast 1 year experience working in ICU.
After you get that you can apply to a school that has a Nurse Anesthetis program, where you will be receiving your Masters in Nurse Anesthesia. I guess it depends where you go but I know of one program here in NY that you must attend the program full time and I think you are done in less than 2 years.
this statement is not entirely accurate. at least one program i am aware of, the camc school of nurse anesthesia in charleston wv, does not necessarily require a bsn. the following is taken from their admission requirements page: "graduate from an approved baccalaureate or higher degree generic program in nursing or graduate from an approved associate degree or diploma program in nursing along with an appropriate baccalaureate degree."
graduates from this program are awarded a master of science degree in health care administration.
this might change as they have now implemented the first entry level nurse anesthesia doctorate program, the doctor of management practice in nurse anesthesia (dmpna).
Aug 30, 2008
Not all programs require a BSN; some find merit in untraditional backgrounds that provide a diverse experience leading into anesthesia education.
I'm assuming you have been preparing yourself otherwise: RN obtaining "significant" critical care experience, CCRN, and GRE >1000.
Make sure you shadow CRNA's in a couple settings to determine if this is what you really would like.
I personally have a Bachelor's in Business, with a complete pre-med curriculum. After getting my RN, I made sure to work in the most challenging areas available...making myself a stronger applicant.
A bachelor's degree is basically an accomplishment. It says that you can follow something through to the end. In your case, I feel that a Bachelor's in Biology is much more challenging than a BSN, and provides an extra science foundation that prepares you for the physiology and chemistry concepts of anesthesia.
I don't really see a reason to go back another 2 years for a second undergrad degree. It would be a waste of time and money. However, make sure your education history is relatively recent. School "10 years ago" doesn't look promising today. Graduate-level courses can help "re-prove" yourself if needed.
Good luck. Go to aana.com and research the accredited programs.
Specializes in CRNA.
Go to aana.com and research the accredited programs.
Look for the programs that don't award a MSN, there are a lot of them. About half of nurse anesthesia programs give MS degrees, but not a MS in Nursing. Those programs will be very likely to look favorable on a Biology degree.
As said above, if you are not an RN, then that is your next step. There are a lot of accelerated nursing programs where you could do that in 12 intensive months with your Bio degree. Then the ICU experience-I think 2 years is best and some programs will require that rather than the 1 year minimum required by the accrediting body.
I've worked with many students with a Bio degree and accelerated nursing program background. As a group they've done well. Good luck.
Oct 28, 2008
I am in the same situation as the original post. I am working on my preq's to get into an accelerated program. I am also working as a cna right now to gain some experience in the healthcare setting. My question is should I pursue a direct entry MSN or BSN if my ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist? Thanks!!
Oct 29, 2008
My question is should I pursue a direct entry MSN or BSN if my ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist? Thanks!!
I don't see much advantage to the direct entry MSN, unless you could use some of the graduate hours towards the requirements of the nurse anesthesia program. That may be possible in a few nurse anesthesia programs, but the MSN would not get you any advanced standing in many nurse anesthesia programs. I'm not sure what you mean by 'direct entry BSN', if you mean in contrast to completing an ADN to get the RN, then I would reccomend the BSN. An accelerated BSN would actually be faster than an ADN program and you could then apply to any nurse anesthesia program. You could apply to about half of the nurse anesthesia programs that are not in College's of Nursing with an ADN and BS in Bio.
I have a BS in biochemistry, then I went to an accelerated program, got my BS in nursing. Worked 2 years in ICU, then applied and got into CRNA program. There is no shortcuts here, you need critical care experience in order to make you a better candidate and get outstanding references. Plus, you really need to be familiar with critical patients before you attempt to be CRNA. If your grades from your bio degree are not so great, nursing school is a chance to redeem yourself, study hard and get your GPA up. Plus, accelerated programs are very rigorous, and they pull a lot of weight during the admission process. If you can complete an accelerated program with good grades, it shows that you can successfully handle a CRNA program. Good luck.
Specializes in Critical Care.
Oct 30, 2008
St. Joe's/Nazerath Hospital in Phili also takes a non-BSN undergrad degree. Need that RN, though. If you live in Florida (or a few other states in the south) you could always become a AA. (Anesthesiology Assistant)
Specializes in Pain Management.
I had a BS in biology and went into an accelerated BSN program, but instead of applying to CRNA school, I applied and was accepted into AA school. If you plan on working in the city under the ACT model and live near one of the 5 schools, then AA school is an option.
My accelerated BSN GPA was very high but didn't help much with my application since they focused more on my pre-med prerequisites. I also had to do a crash prep for the MCAT and scored fairly well, although I was tempted to retake to see how I could have done with a more intensive prep.
But like I said, if you didn't plan on doing locums to rake in the cash and plan on working under the ACT model, live near one of the five AA schools, and plan on practicing in one the states that AA's or licensed (or work in the VA system), then AA school could be an option.
Oct 31, 2008
you could always become a AA. (Anesthesiology Assistant)
You will have many more employment opportunities as a CRNA. As the push for cost controls in health care intensifies, I think the ACT will be phased out, along with AAs. It is more cost effective to have every anesthesiologist and every CRNA in a room doing a case. AAs can't do that, they must be supervised in an ACT, so the future is not good long term. There has been growth recently, but that is due to strong support from a group of the anesthesiologists. When the money gets tighter than it is now, things can change quickly. You would be wise to stick with your CRNA plan.
Nov 1, 2008
So it is cheaper for 4 rooms to be run by individual CRNA's and anesthesiologists than it is for one anesthesiologist to supervise 4 rooms run by midlevel's that are paid 1/2 to 1/3 their salary? It might be cheaper if all the rooms are run by CRNA's that are paid 1/2 what an anesthesiologist makes and no anesthesiologists are used...
Hey wait, there it is.
Nov 3, 2008
So it is cheaper for 4 rooms to be run by individual CRNA's and anesthesiologists than it is for one anesthesiologist to supervise 4 rooms run by CRNAs?
Yes, and you don't need to worry about billing issues, or holding up induction or emergence to wait for the anesthesiologist. With the decentralization of the delivery of anesthesia, it is very difficult to maintain the supervision ratios with any efficiency. This model eliminates those issues. A 'floating' anesthesiologist to facilitate turn over times by trouble shooting pre-op issues, and possibly placing lines and blocks improves the service to the facility and patient. Many hospitals are willing the pay for that, because it adds to their efficiency.
Nov 6, 2008
So is there any research showing decentralized anesthesia is more cost-effective and as safe as anesthesia delivered by the ACT model?
Josh, did you thoroughly read the comment above? "With the decentralization of the delivery of anesthesia, it is very difficult to maintain the supervision ratios with any efficiency."
The reality is that CRNA's do not need to rely on anethesiologists. AA's do require their presence. There are different levels of ACT. Cost-effectiveness and safety depends on the surgical acuity and caseload of the anesthesia group.
This doesn't mean that a well-trained AA wouldn't be able to administer great anesthetic technique. However, if AA's were that much more cost-effective than CRNA's, there would be a higher demand than there currently is.
Nov 7, 2008
Josh, did you thoroughly read the comment above? "With the decentralization of the delivery of anesthesia, it is very difficult to maintain the supervision ratios with any efficiency." The reality is that CRNA's do not need to rely on anethesiologists. AA's do require their presence. There are different levels of ACT. Cost-effectiveness and safety depends on the surgical acuity and caseload of the anesthesia group.This doesn't mean that a well-trained AA wouldn't be able to administer great anesthetic technique. However, if AA's were that much more cost-effective than CRNA's, there would be a higher demand than there currently is.
While CRNA's can practice independently in some locations, in the metro center I live the only place CRNA's function in that manner is outside of hospitals or out in the rural areas. In order for decentralized anesthesia to replace the ACT model in the hospitals here, there would have to be evidence of benefit (in terms of cost and safety) versus the status quo.
In addition, with the large midlevel anesthesia provider deficit, I doubt AA's will have to worry about getting jobs in the near or distant future...despite the wishes and advertising of the AANA.
Nov 8, 2008
What I meant by decentralized is that the location of anesthetizing locations is being scattered physically across a much wider area. For example 15 years ago we ran 16 OR's down one hallway in one location. There was never more than 16 rooms to cover and they were almost always full, occasionally it may be a light day with a room or two without cases. That's the way it was most places, and made it easy to staff the ACT.
Now it has evolved into covering between 12-14 rooms in OR #1, 1-3 in OR #2, and 6-9 in OR #3 in three different buildings from 1 block to 2 miles apart in distance. Also there are 3 physician owned surgicenters that are covered that are 1-5 miles for the main campus. The number of rooms to cover can vary from 19 to 30, and that number can vary within one day. Then if you are doing the ACT, you have to have the proper ratio in each of the sites. If you don't maintain the ratio's, it could be billing fraud. Is it more cost effective? absolutely not, but it is out of our control, and we just have to deal with it. One way to deal with it is the have everyone bill independently which allows the greatest flexibility in the moment to moment staffing changes. I've been to 3 different sites in one day, although we try to limit it to 2. The ACT is a billing arrangement, it's never been anything but that.
Trying to get back to the original question, many individuals with Bio degrees have taken the paths described in the thread to become CRNAs.
Specializes in none.
Nov 12, 2008
I am going to assume that you, the original poster, are already an RN with a previous degree in Biology. In this case UAB (Birmingham, Alabama) accepts degrees other than BSN's. The school I am going to attend (Samford University) only accepts BSN's. My first degree was a Liberal Arts degree and UAB told me my chances of getting in without a science based degree would be minimal. With a degree in Biology, you should be in good position.
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