I want to be a CRNA but I have questions!

Specialties CRNA

Published

Hello all,

I am a nursing student about to graduate with my RN. I plan to do an accelerated RN-BSN option specifically for the purpose of having one year of ICU experience (and I have some CNA experience currently) so that I can pass on to CRNA school unpreturbed. However, I had some concerns, and you all seem to be very knowledgeable professionals, so here goes...:bugeyes:

First question. How the heck do you pay for it?! The only school available to me is 50k for the 75cr/hrs I need. I know I can get fin.aid, but with my salary... I know I wont have it in advance. I will however have my earnings from my one year in ICU as a jumping off point. Probably 30k-ish. How hard a time did you all have getting/paying off loans. Some people have advised me to take another year to save up the rest of the money, but for a host of reasons, including being advised against it by my instructors/advisors, I would prefer not to. Do you think I should wait a year anyway? How did YOU do it?

How old are your collegues? I found that in my school I was way young compared to my classmates and often the underdog. i wasn't always taken very seriously because I was "a kid". I know it only gets harder as you go and you need your classmates to help you through it. Is this the case with grad school, or were you mostly on your own? Did anyone have a hard time making friends in CRNA school like I did for my RN? I don't want to feel or be treated like because I don't have kids and a mortgage I am not serious about my career.

How open is the job market? I know new grads in my area (STL, MO) have very little trouble getting jobs. With specialization though, I would worry that I would get this degree and find out it is not in demand. I am willing to relocate pretty much anywhere but I dont want to uproot myself if I dont have to.

How do you like your job? Are you treated well? Do you get hands on patient time or is it mostly bureacractic office nonsense you deal with. For those of you who were RN's first, do you miss it? What are the pros and cons of your profession?

And last but certainly not least, is it worth it? Is all the school and frustration and hardwork worth the trouble. I know people who get PhD's and hate their job and thats not for me. I have only made it to my RN and I wont say that it was easy, but I know people say it is terrible. I didn't think so, and so I want to move on until I just can't do it anymore or I hit the roof and have nowhere to go. :wink2: And I want to hear from someone who does it everyday tell me that they love it (and why). I know why I went into nursing, and I know why I want to be a CRNA. What parts of the job are most gratifying/satisfying to you?

Thank you in advance for your time and expertise!

Quiet1

47 Posts

Specializes in PICU.

You will make friends in CRNA school. Your class will become your family. You will need the support you get from your classmates, and they will need yours.

The money always comes once you are accepted to school. I will advise that you will probably want more than one year of ICU experience before embarking on the CRNA journey. I am not saying it can not be done with one year, but most people I know have more than one.

Go ahead and apply the first time you are able. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't get in (and you have spent a lot of money trying). It will be a chance to find out what it is like. Or, perhaps, you will get accepted right off the bat and you will move on quickly.

I would highly suggest shadowing a CRNA (a lot) to find out if you will really really like the job. It would be unfortunate for you to get into school and quit your job etc only to find out that you don't like it. In order to succeed in school, you have to really really want it. In order to be good at it, you have to really really like it.

I am not trying to sound mean, harsh, or condescending. Research the CRNA forums and you will fond TONS of useful info. It sure helped me!

Happy Day!

loveanesthesia

867 Posts

Specializes in CRNA.
Hello all,

Some people have advised me to take another year to save up the rest of the money, but for a host of reasons, including being advised against it by my instructors/advisors, I would prefer not to. Do you think I should wait a year anyway? How did YOU do it?

You need more than 1 year ICU experience, and money has nothing to do with it. You are just getting started in ICU at one year. What instructor/advisor told you to not get more than 1 year? Have they ever spoken to a CRNA? I worked a total of 5 years in 3 different ICUs, and none of that experience was wasted. After almost 20 years as a CRNA I still draw on that experience base. Three years of experience in a busy ICU will be a great benifit for the rest of your career. The money you can save up to help pay for grad school is just a bonus. Why don't you want to spend the time to get the experience?

How old are your collegues? I found that in my school I was way young compared to my classmates and often the underdog. i wasn't always taken very seriously because I was "a kid". I know it only gets harder as you go and you need your classmates to help you through it. Is this the case with grad school, or were you mostly on your own?

Why do people think of you as a "kid"? is it how you present yourself? Maybe you just look young. I did have a few patient family members raise questions about me when I worked in ICU because I looked younger than I am (now that is not a bad thing). Work on projecting a mature confidence. The OR can be a stressful tough environment and you need to be able to handle yourself. If you seem like an 'underdog' you will have a tough time. Remember you will be working with surgeons every day and they won't worry about hurting your feelings, you need to have a tough skin.

How open is the job market? I know new grads in my area (STL, MO) have very little trouble getting jobs. With specialization though, I would worry that I would get this degree and find out it is not in demand. I am willing to relocate pretty much anywhere but I dont want to uproot myself if I dont have to.

This is answered in other threads, there are jobs.

How do you like your job? Are you treated well? Do you get hands on patient time or is it mostly bureacractic office nonsense you deal with. For those of you who were RN's first, do you miss it? What are the pros and cons of your profession?

And last but certainly not least, is it worth it?

I love my job, anesthesia is a lot of fun and hard work. I don't care if I'm treated 'well', but I enjoy a lot of the people I work with and don't worry about the rest of them. What do you know about CRNAs? these questions make me think you don't know much. Unless you are one of the few CRNAs in administration, nurse anesthesia is entirely patient care. ALL CRNAs were RNs first, and still are RNs (what did you think CRNA stands for?) Get a job in a busy ICU and see what you like, and don't like about it. Take it one step at a time.

Jillybean1988

25 Posts

I know they were RN's. Lol. Although some go through straight to school with only the experience they need for grad school and some people are RN's for years before they go back to school. That is where I was going with that. I am fairly familiar with what a CRNA does, however I haven't had a whole lot of time in clinicals to stop and chat with one. So I figured I would ask my questions about paying for school, job satisfaction, and job market here!

I signed up for a shadow program at the hospital near my home this summer. I hope to be accepted, but from the little I have seen in life and read on these forums, I think CRNA is for me. I think the most luring thing of me is the one-on-one with the patient. I like the idea of seeing the patient completely through, monitoring and intervening when necessary. I know for several fellow RN's, they love the fast paced action on the floor, and I do to, but I think the one-on one bedside manor suffers when you have 20+ patients a night. Not to mention I find anesthesia fascinating! In high school I wanted to go into pharmacology just to learn about the effects that medications have on the body. I think anesthesia is something I would enjoy learning about, and I think it is hard to go through school if you don't have a fundamental intrest in what you are doing. At least for me.

Thanks for your answers!

aCRNAhopeful

261 Posts

Specializes in CVICU.

I am a new grad RN just about to start my first CVICU job. So I am in a similar boat as you are. I would say that searching through these forums has been more than helpful and I have been able to learn tons by just reading and seeing what the CRNA's/SRNA's have to say. If you haven't spent much time searching these forums I strongly recommend you do because for each of your questions there is probably at least 2-3 threads about that topic. It will help you figure out if it's what you really want to do and theres tons of advice about getting accepted into school. Good luck

boynurse2

37 Posts

Specializes in ICU, MICU, SICU+openheart.

Jillybean,

Stop worrying about what people are going to think and the social aspect of it. I have classmates from 23-52. Go ahead and apply. The worst is you will gain some valuable knowledge and have to wait a year if you don't get accepted (while gaining even more valuable experience in clinical decision making). I think some of my younger classmates are immature and lazy but I still respect them. There are some very smart young minds in my class.

Don't worry about the loans. You will be compensated enough to pay them off. Some groups offer huge 50-80K to pay off loans and still offer a great salary on top of the bonus.

While you observe this summer you will see most CRNA's are satisfied with their careers. I asked many when I was researching and never found one disappointed soul. However, I did know of too many unhappy ICU/floor nurses.

So if you are ready to sweat some blood go for it. I will never again miss my other nursing jobs! Anesthesia is way more fun.

Trophy.Nurse

64 Posts

Jillybean, don't feel bad about what you have accomplished. Be proud of yourself, you are a 20 y.o. nurse! I'm a 22 y.o. cna & I get the same treatment from my co - workers who are all older. Life experience will teach you to ignore what people say & feel about you & focus on your goals instead. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

Specializes in ICU.

Since you are inthe STL area look into SIUE, once you get your BSN they will let you take one third of the CRNA credits as an unclassified student, this would mean that you would only be out of work for 18 months instead of the 31 months others would be. Also are you looking into the Accelerated BSN at SIUE. three or four of the first year accelerated students are already in the CRNA program. SOme thought that if you took classes at SIUE it might have helped you get in.

I am a new CRNA Student starting this AUg. I am petrified about the financial aspect as I am the only one with a job currently since my husband was laid off. THe other students ahead of me, tell me the money will be there.

Sincerely,

Canchaser

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