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Interview help request, esp Georgetown grads


Hello, I am currently applying for CRNA programs starting in the fall of 2002 and have secured two interviews.

The first interview is with Georgetown University, in Washington DC, and the second is in Providence RI with St. Josephs.

I am interested in hearing any words of wisdom from any practicing CRNA's or SRNA's, especially if you attended, or are attending one of these programs.

I.e. Are most interviews clinically oriented, or do the majority of them just want to see if you match the paper image they have seen in your application? The one person I have spoken to, a CRNA from a west coast school suggested I be ready for ethically oriented questions.

The Georgetown interview sounds particularly interesting, as part of the process involves a group interview, with other potential candidates in the same room. Have any of you experienced this style of interview?

All input is greatly appreciated, and I would like to convey my thanks in advance.

Craig Copelin

Well the interview is over, and I can say that it went very well. This inspite the fact that I interviewed on the day of the attack. Let me tell you, Georgetown got to see how all four of the applicants that day perform under pressure. I am grateful that they even went ahead with the interview.

So what did I learn for interviewing with Georgetown?

Most of the following advice should be good for any program you are interested in.

I can't stress this enough. Apply early, they do rolling admissions. I was given the outcome of my interview in under two weeks. I knew the outcome of my interview with Georgetown, before I had even heard that I had the opportunity to interview at the other six schools I applied to. Luckily Georgetown is my top pick. You could potentially save a bundle in interview costs by employing this strategy.

I would recommend that anyone applying to any CRNA program take extra courses in science. During the interview the panel was very happy I had retaken chemistry, and not just been content with the lame class I had to take for nursing. They also liked the advanced biology classes, like genetics, molecular cellular biology and immunology. They seemed particularly happy that I took two semesters of physics.

Get your CCRN, and try to have PALS and some other certifications before applying.

Do well on your GRE, they looked at this more heavily than I thought they would.

Seek out extra experiences. I place PICC's for my hospital, this also was looked on very highly by Georgetown. Participate in research, this is one thing they really were happy to see on my resume. If you can get published, all the better.

Go to the OR and see what a CRNA does. They want to see that you know what you are getting into.

When you go to your interview, be prepared, surf the web and see what other programs have to offer. You will be better prepared to answer the questions given to you during the interview if you have done some background research.

Good luck.

:cool: Nilepoc, I congratulate you on your well-rounded experience and interview process. How long had it been since you taken Chem? It has not been that long for me. I took all chem and biochem. It has been five yrs though. Should I pay to take some classes or will exercise workbooks be OK? Any how they are starting an IV team at my Hospital, maybe I will try to be on the team. thanx JenniSss

Dear Nilepoc,

Congrats on your acceptance to Georgetown. I am in the process of beginning interviews, and I am very nervous! I have no idea what to expect. Especially the group interviews. What questions did they ask you? What would you suggest for someone who does not have research experince?

How many people interviewed you on the panel?

Did they ask the tried and true" why do you want ot be a CRNA"?

What did Georgetown tell you they were looking for in their candidates?

I am sorry to ask so many questions, but like I said I am very very nervous and would appriciate your feedback on the interview.

Congrats again!

A. Thumm

Hey, I heard wntrmute say working during CRNA school was a bad idea. Do you plan to work while your in school? I know it is very intensive..what are you planning? Ill be in your shoes soon, so thats why Im asking. Or if there is anybody else out there who can tell me what they did during CRNA SCHOOL?


I know I said this before but it is worth repeating. The workload, at least at 3 of the 5 schools in the Detroit - Ann Arbor area is really too great to be thinking about working. there are 2 students in my class who are trying to work 2 shifts a month to maintain seniority at their hospitals. They dread each and every shift because of the impact on their study time. We all are way too busy and tired to do anything but go to school, go to clinicals, study for the couple of tests per week, kiss the dog and pet the wife. Remember the schools tell you working is pretty much out. They are not making it up. They want to help you get thru their programs, why not listen to them? Maybe you are better than the vast majority of us but i think you are probably one of us. Last month 85 hrs of class, 180 hrs study time, 60 or so hours in clinicals and conferences. Consider this, if you don't do well and your grades or evals fall, you are out, no second chances, you cannot retake a class later or graduate a semester behind there is one and only way thru these programs-and you CANNOT get into another program later. This will probably be your one and only shot at this degree. I'm not saying that there are not circumstances that might allow one to work but... That said, their are programs that do have a part time track. Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for one. You can work a full time job the first year and the second work is possible part time. Check into that if you must. Please do not count on being able to work and succede - THIS IS GRADUATE SCHOOL! and it is hard and time consuming.

I agree with wintermute, I have no intention of working at all. Even though my program will be front loaded, meaning I will not have clinical in the first year. the class load will be too intense to allow working. I talked to some students from this program and they agree it would be too much to try and work.

My wife will be supporting us. It is only fair though, as I put her through her PhD over the last 5 years. Its about time she goes to work. :)

good luck in your trip to becomming a CRNA

Alright..I think I got it...just find a wife that has a profession..and just have her support me through crna school..I better start searching......lol..seriously!


I had never thought of it that way, but yeah I would advise getting a wife that will support you. hahahaha

Anyway, I think you just have to bite the bullet and take the loans.

I wanted to ask you..what did you think about nursing school(clinicals)...was it exciting, fun, boring, worth it..easy, hard..and what did you take out of it? Now, As far as nursing anesthesia..what did you take out of it? And what should I "really concentrate" on once I start nursing clinicals?



What I did in school, was to try and get into the ICU's as much as possible. For instance instead of going to a regular floor, I went to the PACU for my med surg 1 rotation. Then I did cardiac SAC instead of the floor in med Surg 2, fpr peds, I was lucky and had a patinet that crumped on my first day in clinical and was allowed to follow her in the PICU for my 6 week clinical rotation. For my directed preceptorship, I was in the unit I currently work in a trauma ICU. As a result, I never worked a day on the floor. You will find it hard to emulate this strategy though, as I had very liberal clinical instructors, and not everyone is like that. I also did an externship on a CCU between year one and year two. You should try very hard to get into an ICU immediately after graduation.

I hope that helps

As for nursing anesthesia clinicals, I can't say as yet, I start them in about a year and a half. Georgetown is a front loaded program, meaning you go to class for a year before you ever touch a patient.

So nilepoc, youre saying...try to get into as many of the intensive care units as I can? Meaning, sicu, micu, any kind of intensive care..correct? And that will assist me when I do go into nursing-anesthesia? But you didnt answer on how you felt about your nursing clinicals...was it fun, boring, worth it, exciting, did you learn what you needed to learn? If you can, tell me about a little about all ive asked you.

Thanks..nilepoc..I appreciate it.


Hey nilepoc,

So could you talk to my wife for me about that "supporting your husband through school stuff". If I could convince her that it was a good idea, I might join you in Georgetown! He He!

Pbutler, I spoke to your wife this evening, she states she will take my info into advisement. Don't know what that means.

Malestudent I learned a great deal from my clinicals, and took a great many things away with me. But where I learned the most, was while extering and actually practicing as a nurse.

I felt that clinicals were a great deal of fun, I never had a problem with and instructor, nor a hospital. I hope you have the same luck should you choose to pursue nursing.

I actually got my wife to support me for 2 years while I went back for my BSN and played football! It worked out for her though as now she can practice nursing as more of a "Hobby".

Nilepoc - Good choice on GUH as a program. I worked there for many years and now I'm across town at WHC/WCI (all MedStar).

The program was just starting when I was there and got great reviews. Drop a line if you need any info on the WDC area.

To all:

I found the best experience came not from my clinicals (learned pretty much nothing) but more from work experience. I had been a medic in the USAF and then worked in the downtown DC Emergency Rooms and Critical Care units. My goal was to be a trauma and critical care nurse and I found plenty of good RN's and MD's whom served as mentors. I was able to come out of my ADN program and move right into a CVICU and ED. The "clinical" in the BSN program was even more of a waste of time, mostly focused on home health visits which did little for a practicing ICU/ED nurse. What I found more helpful at this point was elective courses where I was introduced to Social Work and more in-depth psychology. These courses gave me the added knowledge to address my patients needs.

The worst clinical experience though was being assigned to the St. Elizabeth's Psychiatric Hospital here in DC. It was a very "scary" place in terms of the care, patients and especially the neighborhood.

:D :D

Thanks nilopec for the inside look at you rinterview with Georgetown. My ultimate goal is to become a CRNA and my top pick is Georgetown's program! I graduate from nusing school in May '10 and hope to start working in the DC area in a ICU unit, God willing, or at least a stepdown unit to start. I will definitely go back and retake chemistry and some advanced biology courses as you advised. Hopefully I will be a Georgetown nurse anesthesia program student by 2015 if my plans go the way I want them to.

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