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I'm in... with one year experience

SRNA   (44,167 Views | 108 Replies)

1,265 Profile Views; 12 Posts

I know there has been some speculation on this board in the past about if a nurse with the bare minimum experience should (or could) go to CRNA school. Well, I just got accepted.

I graduated in July 07 with my BSN. I was in a non-health care field prior to my BSN. I immediately went to work at a large teaching hospital in a med surg ICU. I worked very hard to learn everything I could, and I feel like I am currently a very competent ICU nurse.

I have been accepted to my program of choice for fall 08, when I will have one year experience as a nurse.

Understand I am not trying to shortcut anything. I worked very hard on my school studies and my clinical experience to be well prepared. I scored very well on the GRE. I shadowed a CRNA for ~ 40 hours. I have a 3.7~3.8 GPA. I spent my own time understanding the hemodynamics of the cardiopulmonary system, the MOA/effects of different vasopressors. I work with (and understand) vents, settings, therapies.

This route is not for everybody, but I am proof that you can do it. And I feel like I am very well prepared for the program. I just want other potential candidates to know that it can be done.

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RN1980 specializes in icu/er.

666 Posts; 9,000 Profile Views

good job gump...it shows just about anything is possible if you bust your butt. good luck.

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521 Posts; 7,208 Profile Views

It's obviously possible to go with 1 year experience. I think the big discussion was how much one can realistically learn in that 1 year. There is that old saying "you don't know what you don't know" or in other words, you can't be aware of your limitations if you don't know that you have limitations. Makes sense? I think that because you start from ground zero as a CRNA anyway having only 1 year critical care can be sufficient but it all depends on the actual experience. Sounds like u had great training where u were at, and were also very self motivated to learn above and beyond the requirements. Good for you! I remember reading something years ago in a critical care journal. I wish I had a copy but basically it summed up the learning curve of an ICU nurse. I remember I was about 6 months into my first year in the unit, feeling very confident, etc. when I read it. Suddenly I realized "wow, I don't know nothing. Anyway, it basically said that at the end of year 1 most ICU nurses feel that they are very competent and can work independently, by the end of year 2 ICU nurses began to realize that they don't know half of what they thought they did and begin to pursue the path to increased knowledge, and by year five they realize that they are really just becoming true ICU nurses in the sense of critical thinking. It went on and addressed knowledge even further than that, but I only remember the first 5 years. I keep this is mind because I think it will also apply to CRNA. I'm sure it takes a good 5 years or more out in practice before you really are able to practice as a fully rounded CRNA.

(Implied profanity edited out...traumrus, admin).

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wildflower rn has 12 years experience and specializes in srna.

51 Posts; 1,272 Profile Views

i was going to ask if you had your ccrn but i think you have to have more experience to take the test.

anyway, congrates on getting in. what school did you get into?

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2 Posts; 625 Profile Views

Just wondering which school you are in?

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12 Posts; 1,265 Profile Views

Thanks for the congrats.

No, I dont have a CCRN since I dont have the required bedside hours.

I would agree with Neurogeek that you should have keenly developed critical thinking skills. However, in my case I developed that over many years in another profession. Nursing (or medicine) is not the only profession that required you to understand systems, process, relations, etc. I believe that greatly enhanced my learning curve. My big challenge was to gain the knowledge. I already had the ability to put the pieces together. If I was a new grad with no professional experience coming to nursing, I feel it would have been MUCH more difficult.

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wildflower rn has 12 years experience and specializes in srna.

51 Posts; 1,272 Profile Views

forrest,

if you graduated in july, 2007. i'm assuming you had to apply by september to get an interview this year. so you interviewed with less than 6 months experience in icu? what type of unit do you work in?

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12 Posts; 1,265 Profile Views

I interviewed with approx 6 mos. experience.

I work in a med surg ICU. Mostly medical. We see a wide variety of very very sick people.

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25 Posts; 1,508 Profile Views

I strongly agree with Neurogeek on this one. As a new CRNA, it is disappointing to me that any school would even consider interviewing a new grad RN with less than 1 year of ICU experience (at the time of the interview). Through admitting individuals with minimal nursing experience, the CRNA profession as a whole becomes weaker. Assuming you had a proper ICU orientation (~3 months), Forrest Forrest Gump, you will have barely 1 year of independent practice as an ICU nurse before you become an SRNA. Anesthesia school assumes you have mastered the role of ICU nurse and goes from there. While 1 year of experience is enough to master the technical aspects of being an ICU nurse, it is inadequate to master the higher level perspective that every pt deserves when being cared for in such a vulnerable state. Anything less short changes both the individual pursuing the education and their patients. I went to anesthesia school with a very intelligent, highly motivated, hard-working nurse who had less than 2 years of ICU experience before starting school. I was frequently shocked by the things she didn't know, not directly related to anesthesia, but medical things she would have known if she would have spent more time as an ICU nurse. I know that the 5+ years I spent working in various ICUs before I went to school served me extremely well.

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13 Posts; 889 Profile Views

Forrest,

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. Congratulations!!!! It is very encouraging. I also graduated in May of '07, unfortunately didn't start in the ICU right away - I will be starting next week though. Hope to apply next year for 2010. Just knowing that getting in without multiple years in the ICU is possible is very motivating. Thanks once again,

Serengeti.

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111 Posts; 2,630 Profile Views

Just curious One_CRNA, why do you think that CRNA school requires only one year of ICU experience in order to gain admission, if it's so much more beneficial to have 3-5 years of practice? I wondered this myself as I applied to schools, with over 2 years of experience by next fall (1 yr 8 mo experience by time of interviews). Anyway, I applied, and was accepted to multiple programs. I'm trying not to let other people's more extensive experience get into my head and just focus on myself, my own merits and my own potential. But still, that question tends to pop up in my head every now and then.

My boyfriend, who's an emergency medicine physician resident tells me that "CRNA school will be 'the leveler' just like medical school is". He had a BS in biochem from Berkeley, GPA 3.98, and said that his first quarter was a breeze for him, because it was all a repeat of biochem, and other students were struggling a bit. But once the year(s) progressed, everyone was in the same boat; everything was new to everybody.

I wonder if the AANA will ever suggest to increase the minimum ICU experience, if it is found to be that much more beneficial. I'm curious to hear of the grad school experience of other RNs out there who have 1-2 years ICU experience by the time they enter CRNA school. Please note that I'm writing this with a light heart.

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126 Posts; 2,882 Profile Views

The AANA doesn't require any ICU experience, they require one year of critical care experience. Critical thinking is the desired end state, and that can be achieved in areas other than ICU. Certainly, most applicants come from an ICU background, but don't be such an elitist to think that's the only acceptable preparatory unit. I agree with the previous poster when she said that there is a great deal of leveling as you progress through an anesthesia program. Personally, I had zero time in ICU or CCU prior to the start of my program, and somehow I've managed to forge a successful career that has surpassed two decades. Good luck to the OP, you've hooked onto a great ride.

Just

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