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I got accepted into CRNA School

SRNA   (3,162 Views 36 Comments)
by shanneliz123 shanneliz123, BSN (Member) Member

shanneliz123 has 2 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Trauma ICU.

2,208 Profile Views; 232 Posts

Okay, so I just wanted to share my story on being accepted into CRNA school.  My story is different than most, and a lot of things had to line up for me to get accepted.  But I just wanted to share, because it has been a LONG journey for me.  I haven't started school yet, but I begin in January 2020.

Firstly, I will share my stats.  I have been working in a level two Trauma Intensive Care Unit for about 2 years now.  This has been my only position as a nurse, I started off in ICU and have been here since graduation.  My cumulative GPA is a 3.51, and nursing GPA is a 3.2  My first semester of nursing school, I failed pharmacology.  I also received a C in health assessment and a C in pathophysiology.  I had to wait an entire year to retake pharmacology in which I received a B+ the second time around.  In my prerequisite courses, I also received a C in microbiology.  I have my CCRN, TCRN, PALS, ACLS, TNCC.  On my GRE my score is a 290, Verbal: 143 Quantitative: 147 and Writing: 4.0  So, I knew my chances were slim.  So this is what I did. 

I received a few certifications that would help my odds.  I got my CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse).  Most programs do not require this, but with how competitive programs are becoming, I would suggest to just go ahead and think of it as a requirement.  I also got my TCRN (Trauma Certified Registered Nurse).  This is a newer certification that trauma nurses can now take and receive.  Not a requirement, but I needed all the help I could get.  Another thing I did was take the TNCC (Trauma Nursing Core Course).  Again, not a requirement but schools love this certification.  All of these show my dedication to learning and show that I have determination in the field of critical care.  Something else I went ahead and did was receive my PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support).  Normally not required until admitted, but I wanted to show how bad I wanted to get accepted so I took it.  I got involved with my hospital as well, joining multiple committees to show my participation in any kind of improvement in the hospital.  

I believe the most important thing I did and anyone could possibly do, is study your BUTT off for the interview.  I looked up every possible interview video I could, took notes on how to appear confident in an interview.  I created a study guide for my interview.  Yes, a study guide.  I broke down medications down to the cellular level, bought multiple pharmacology books so I could understand the medications more.  I mainly studied pressers to help prepare myself for the interview but it depends on what you use on your unit.  I work in trauma, so I also created a separate study guide where I would give myself scenarios and what I would do to treat a patient that I am presented with.  I also created a guide with personal questions, and what I would answer to them.  A very true point is that you cannot possibly know what kind of personal questions they will ask you.  But, this helped me not appear caught off guard and I appeared calm and collected and if the question I was asked wasn't word for word, then I would spin off of a question that I did practice and I could come up with a good answer.  ELABORATE on your answers, they LOVE that.  I was asked about what drug class Precedex was, and honestly.  I couldn't think of the answer.  BUT, from my studies I remembered what was being stimulated (Alpha 2) and I studied on what is happening in the body when it is stimulated (stimulation of Alpha 2 ultimately causes a decrease of calcium to the sarcoplasmic reticulum and causes a decrease of Norepinephrine within a cell, which is why you see a decrease in bp, hr, etc.) So I explained all of this in depth, and then one of the interviewers simply stated, "So it's an alpha 2 agonist?" And I answered, "yes sir, I am sorry I went a little in depth there."  And the interview committee all laughed.  SO, they saw I could work through things that I did not know to get to that answer.  Also, if you get an opportunity to make them laugh, DO IT. They are people too, just like us.  They know you're nervous, lighten up the mood.  Not a silly random joke, but if you do get a chance, try to make them laugh.  

The reason I am saying that my case is different than most, is because I was an Alternate.  I got called the first day that alternates could have been called so I believe that means I was one of the first on the list.  I live in Nashville, TN. and I knew the competition would be hard because I live in a city where Vanderbilt University Medical Center also exists.  And this is a level one trauma center and most schools prefer a level one trauma center.  But, I studied and studied for months to prepare for the interview.  I bought multiple Pharm books and used multiple resources to help my chances.  And it paid off.  I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but it worked for me.  And I couldn't be more thankful.  So STUDY and PREPARE for the interview.  Show em what you got!!!!! 

Good luck!

 

Edited by shanneliz123
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mimi2016 is a ADN, BSN and specializes in MICU.

50 Posts; 1,472 Profile Views

Congratulations on your acceptance to crna school. Thank you for sharing all the advices, wishing you all the best. Keep us posted when you start school.

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shanneliz123 has 2 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Trauma ICU.

232 Posts; 2,208 Profile Views

Just now, mimi2016 said:

Congratulations on your acceptance to crna school. Thank you for sharing all the advices, wishing you all the best. Keep us posted when you start school.

Thank you so much!!  I can only hope this helps someone out there who was in the same boat as I am.  I will keep ya'll updated on how it is going when I start! 🙂

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loveanesthesia specializes in CRNA.

1 Follower; 734 Posts; 12,995 Profile Views

These study techniques will work while you’re in school. Keep up the effort while in school and let us know how you do. 

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shanneliz123 has 2 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Trauma ICU.

232 Posts; 2,208 Profile Views

13 hours ago, loveanesthesia said:

These study techniques will work while you’re in school. Keep up the effort while in school and let us know how you do. 

I sure hope so. Thank you and I’ll definitely let y’all know!

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shanneliz123 has 2 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Trauma ICU.

232 Posts; 2,208 Profile Views

12 minutes ago, AprilMarie said:

Ooooo. Good luck and congrats... I would love to do that... maybe one day! 🙂

Thank you so much!

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shanneliz123 has 2 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Trauma ICU.

232 Posts; 2,208 Profile Views

3 minutes ago, RN0233 said:

Congratulations! Good luck on everything and thank you for sharing your experience.

Thank you and you're welcome!!

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AquaFina88 has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiothoracic ICU.

24 Posts; 230 Profile Views

Congratulations on your acceptance!!!! Thanks for sharing your experience. What pharmacology resources did you use to prepare?

 

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shanneliz123 has 2 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Trauma ICU.

232 Posts; 2,208 Profile Views

9 minutes ago, AquaFina88 said:

Congratulations on your acceptance!!!! Thanks for sharing your experience. What pharmacology resources did you use to prepare?

 

These books were great resources!

Duke’s Anesthesia Secrets Fifth Edition by James Duke and Brian Keech

Pathophysiology of Heart Disease Sixth Edition by Leonard Lilly 

Pharmacology Sixth Edition by Karen Whalen

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AquaFina88 has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiothoracic ICU.

24 Posts; 230 Profile Views

Thank you!

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