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ICU experience for CRNA school

SRNA   (1,370 Views 11 Comments)
by Micu 2020 Micu 2020 (New) New

148 Profile Views; 1 Post

I’m currently a MICU Rn in a large level 1 trauma hospital for the past 2 years. I’ve always had the goal of going to CRNA school.  I’ve  noticed that I have become really comfortable with my patient population, and have been looking for a new challenge. So I started studying for my CCRN, and I noticed that I have a knowledge deficit when it comes to cardiac! ( mainly IABP questions) 

My current hospital splits the cardiac patients between the CCU, and the SICU. SICU get the open hearts which are performed 2 days a week. So I’m not sure that transferring would give me a well-rounded option. 

Looking at other hospitals there is a CVICU at a level 2 trauma magnet hospital that about 2.5 hours away  from where I currently live that I could apply for. 

(Family is from my current area, but I’m single with no kids so moving isn’t an issue.)

So what should I do: 

-Should I transfer to the CCU, but never recover the open hearts? 

-Would  moving hospitals  and switching to a level 2 CVICU be more beneficial for making a CRNA school application more competitive over the level 1 CCU? 

-Or do you think I should apply now and see what happens and buy some cardiac books to review? 

Thanks for the advice! 

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Nursing4ever specializes in ICU.

11 Posts; 115 Profile Views

Moving seems drastic. You don't necessarily need CVICU experience to pass the CCRN or to get into CRNA School. If you like your current job, I'd say just stick with it. 

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49 Posts; 1,427 Profile Views

I'd say apply now and see how it goes! If it doesn't go well, maybe switch to SICU instead of CCU. 

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Asherah has 9 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CICU/Trauma/Resuscitation.

732 Posts; 8,349 Profile Views

I appreciate that you have the insight into becoming too comfortable in your unit to be challenged...however, if you're planning to move to a new institution and/or unit realize that you're going to be the newer (experienced) nurse there and when it comes time to ask for that LOR will they be able to speak to your abilities thoroughly in a new environment?  Plenty of competitive SRNA candidates come from a MICU background.  Evaluate your patient acuity and the types of patients/diagnoses you care for and the supportive therapeutic interventions you have mastered.  If you still identify that you need more complex patients, then yes, go for it.  Not knocking taking more time and getting more experience with a different patient population.  I've done that myself and waited as long as I did to deepen my skillset. 

What is your timeline to submit apps for programs?  If possible, I'd stay put and develop your presence on your unit: leadership, charge, precepting, committees if you aren't doing that already.  

If you're so thoroughly bored in your current environment, clearly you need to be able to take care of yourself on a day-to-day basis in your work environment.   Balancing short-term and long-term goals is still important.  Good luck!

 

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ptier_MNMurse has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CVICU.

56 Posts; 808 Profile Views

Asherah sounds right on with this one. Your comprehensive background definitely plays a role. This would include LOR and leadership experience. You will enhance both of these by staying at your current place of work. Also, at a level 1 trauma hospital, the SICU would be the place to be, especially if they recover open hearts. You get the trauma management, and these patients get a little dabble of everything (neuro, surgery, multi organ trauma/dysfunction, etc), and it's the same thing with cardiac surgery patients. Knowing about IABP is not going to get you into CRNA school, or pass the CCRN. It's a nice to know thing, but not necessary, and you can do both without having taken care of a balloon pump. There are way more critical mechanical devices than a balloon pump to know about. CRNA schools seem to prefer CVICU/SICU for the hemodynamic and surgical aspects of those environments.

MICU experience is just fine to apply with! There are plenty of people who get in with solely MICU background. You have 2 years experience which is more than the minimum, though most accepted students have 3-5 years experience. But schools also love re-applicants, it shows you are dedicated to getting in. If you get in, great! If not, you can take your CCRN and have something additional to add to your resume for the following application cycle.

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CCRNRCIS is a BSN, RN and specializes in CVICU.

38 Posts; 652 Profile Views

I will add that I work in a CVICU, and IABPs rarely get used at my hospital. Cardiologists or CV surgeons usually opt for an Impella or LVAD.  All that to say...IABPs are not worth leaving your home base.....in my opinion. 

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221 Posts; 5,554 Profile Views

Going to agree with the past few commentors. Putting more work (think quality vs quantity) into your unit will be more beneficial. I got in this cycle with 3 years of MICU experience.

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

613 Posts; 4,293 Profile Views

Also, keep in mind that a new hospital means a new orientation. This is always a potential "pitfall", because you run the risk of "running afoul" of someone who is more of a self appointed "gatekeeper" than facilitator of knowledge.  If you are comfortable in your job this is a blessing. It means you can devote more time to improving  the core areas of knowledge that will help you in CRNA school. As to the CCRN there are good resources that you can study. I believe that the pass rate is fairly high and  that passing will probably not be an issue or you.

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196 Posts; 5,447 Profile Views

You might very well go your entire anesthesia career without managing a balloon pump.  The majority of hospitals out there don't even do hearts.  Stay right where you are at, and spend one more year polishing yourself, your current skillset, your resume, and you will be fine.

Good Luck

 

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74 Posts; 1,696 Profile Views

Leaving just to manage IABPs is not necessary for CRNA school or in practice. Whenever they put a balloon pump into a heart I’m doing it is managed by perfusion. We are generally to busy to do anything with the balloon because if the pt is getting one they are sick and we are starting drips and trying to optimize things on our end. If you want to go to CVICU for other reasons that is fine, I have always felt that recovering a fresh heart is the thing I did in the ICU that was most similar to what I do in the OR now. Having that experience was incredibly helpful when I did my heart rotation and helps me now that I do cardiac surgery. That being said, maybe 20% of my CRNA class had CVICU experience and the 80% graduated just like we did... so it is definitely not necessary.  

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Defibn' has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in CCU.

77 Posts; 1,797 Profile Views

I wouldn’t worry about changes positions at this point. Apply and see what they say. There’s no magical thing about a balloon pump. A solid understanding of physiology, pharmacology and cardiovascular problems will serve you better in my opinion. IABPs and impellas are cool and all but I don’t think moving units to operate a certain device is all that necessary. Recovering hearts is a different story. I think that is valuable. But it could take you some time after transferring before they will have you doing that. 

Edited by Defibn'

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