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Just graduated from CRNA school

SRNA   (5,433 Views | 58 Replies)

ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Anesthesia.

13,336 Profile Views; 406 Posts

I just graduated from CRNA school, and boy does it feel good. I remember coming on here asking if my GPA was good enough (my undergraduate GPA wasn't the best), and reading threads about what type of ICU I should work in.

I was a non-ICU nurse who had a comfortable forever job with a great pension, but I got bored and decided to pursue CRNA in the Fall of 2014. Started in ICU in 2015, took the GRE, CCRN, and CMC, and I'm just now graduating. 

Anyways, a lot of people answered my questions, so I'm happy to pay it forward and answer anybody's questions about CRNA school or the process of applying and getting accepted, since I'm not doing anything else but studying for boards now!

Edited by ProgressiveThinking

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bfreezy specializes in SRNA.

24 Posts; 629 Profile Views

Ayeeee graduating today as well. Wishing you a great CRNA career and best of luck on boards!

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7 Posts; 544 Profile Views

What kind of ICU did you go to? What school did you end up at? 

Im (fingers crossed) hoping my experience will be similar. Im a NICU nurse, but start in ICU January. 

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Anesthesia.

406 Posts; 13,336 Profile Views

4 minutes ago, bfreezy said:

Ayeeee graduating today as well. Wishing you a great CRNA career and best of luck on boards!

Good luck to you as well!

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Anesthesia.

406 Posts; 13,336 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, Bethany123 said:

What kind of ICU did you go to? What school did you end up at? 

Im (fingers crossed) hoping my experience will be similar. Im a NICU nurse, but start in ICU January. 

I worked in a busy county level 2 MICU in one of the busiest hospitals in our state, but it was more of a mixed ICU than anything. Lots of traumas, neurosurgery with ventrics, sepsis, GIBs, DKA, and everything you could think of. The only reason we weren't level 1 was because we didn't have the research component required, and we didn't do open hearts, so I had zero open heart experience when I started CRNA school, and I was just fine. Never had a swanz, not even in my heart rotation in CRNA school.

If anything, I recommend that people get the broadest and most generalized ICU experience that they can. I learned the most from my medicine patients, and a lot of the patho I learned in those patients helped me manage my ICU patients in the OR. I had classmates with NICU and PICU experience, and they did fine, although it was a little harder for them.

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TPN1986 is a RN and specializes in SRNA CEN CCRN-CMC.

74 Posts; 939 Profile Views

Congratulations man! I just got accepted to crna school myself and I'll be starting next year. How did your previous experience as a nurse prepare you clinicals? Did you feel comfortable/ready? 

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Anesthesia.

406 Posts; 13,336 Profile Views

8 hours ago, TPN1986 said:

Congratulations man! I just got accepted to crna school myself and I'll be starting next year. How did your previous experience as a nurse prepare you clinicals? Did you feel comfortable/ready? 

I felt as prepared as I could have been, and I honestly believe that my ICU gave me a very solid clinical base. I think my ICU prepared me more than others, but I also think I was more naturally clinically adept than other students who were more book smart than I was. However, I don’t think any type of nursing can fully prepare you for what anesthesia is. It’s similar to ICU in the sense that youre managing a patient on a vent and drips, but it’s an entirely different animal since you’re managing the patient on your own, from the head of the bed, intubating, dropping lines, resuscitating to maintain fluid volume status, controlling the sympathetic nervous system response to surgical stimulation, and emerging the patient from general anesthesia most likely on your own (depending on your program). 
 

What I learned in the ICU helped with overall clinical knowledge and comfort working with intubated patients who are actively becoming hypotensive from the volatile agents they’re being given. Everything you need to learn will be taught to you in crna school which is why I think the broadest and most generalized high acuity ICU you can get into is the best option to prepare you.

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Anesthesia.

406 Posts; 13,336 Profile Views

I’ll also add that on day 1 of clinicals every new SRNA is pretty useless(lol), regardless of the ICU they came from. While I think that ICU gives you comfort with managing critical situations, and gives you a solid clinical base, anesthesia is just so different from bedside ICU nursing that no previous experience could fully prepare you for clinicals. 

Edited by ProgressiveThinking

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3 Posts; 144 Profile Views

Congrats on finishing! What was your financial plan going into CRNA school? Did you have to take out loans and are you nervous about the cost of paying them back?

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Anesthesia.

406 Posts; 13,336 Profile Views

44 minutes ago, KlangRN said:

Congrats on finishing! What was your financial plan going into CRNA school? Did you have to take out loans and are you nervous about the cost of paying them back?

My financial plan was to pay off as much debt (credit cards, car, etc) before starting school (I almost paid everything off, but not quite). I took out loans out for tuition and cost of living and just lived on those. It's been pretty difficult going from being a California RN making six figures a year to living off of cost of living loans. My school gave me anywhere from 8-12k each semester (more in didactic because you take more units) to live off of. Some people did travel and paid cash for tuition, others didn't take out cost of living loans, but I live in California where everything's a little pricey and I only had 15-20k in savings when I started. I thought about trying to save up another year, but I didn't want to forfeit my spot in a program.

I am absolutely nervous about paying loans back. I'm graduating with ~180k. My payments are going to be anywhere between $1300-2100 depending on how fast I want to pay it back. The market it very good right now, so jobs are pretty wide open, and I'm in a fortunate enough spot that I have a full-time job lined up that pays $260-350k 1099 depending on how much call I take, so my calculated net income AFTER making my student loan payment is still higher than my net income as a bedside nurse. My plan is to pick up 1-2 extra 24-hour shifts each month for a couple of years ($3200/24 hour shift) and apply it towards loans. 

I posted this prior to starting CRNA school wondering if CRNA school was financially worth it, and ultimately I concluded that I had to view going to anesthesia school as a career change in case I graduated in a poor market, and for me, "worth it," ultimately meant that my net take home after student loan payments was more than I made as a bedside nurse because I couldn't do the bedside forever.

Definitely shadow, and make sure it's something you can see yourself doing because going to school has been pretty financially difficult. You're poor, busy, working for free, and going into debt doing it...

Edited by ProgressiveThinking

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4 Posts; 358 Profile Views

Hi there! 

Congrats on finishing! It must feel fantastic! Reading what you initially wrote I feel like I am very similar to you. I currently have a great job but I am finding myself craving to learn and do more. I am going to start shadowing some CRNAs to see if this is the right path for me. My question is when you made the switch to ICU how long did stay there before applying to school? 

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go_jets82 is a BSN, RN and specializes in CCRN, CMC, CRNI.

52 Posts; 1,121 Profile Views

4 hours ago, ProgressiveThinking said:

My financial plan was to pay off as much debt (credit cards, car, etc) before starting school (I almost paid everything off, but not quite). I took out loans out for tuition and cost of living and just lived on those. It's been pretty difficult going from being a California RN making six figures a year to living off of cost of living loans. My school gave me anywhere from 8-12k each semester (more in didactic because you take more units) to live off of. Some people did travel and paid cash for tuition, others didn't take out cost of living loans, but I live in California where everything's a little pricey and I only had 15-20k in savings when I started. I thought about trying to save up another year, but I didn't want to forfeit my spot in a program.

I am absolutely nervous about paying loans back. I'm graduating with ~180k. My payments are going to be anywhere between $1300-2100 depending on how fast I want to pay it back. The market it very good right now, so jobs are pretty wide open, and I'm in a fortunate enough spot that I have a full-time job lined up that pays $260-350k 1099 depending on how much call I take, so my calculated net income AFTER making my student loan payment is still higher than my net income as a bedside nurse. My plan is to pick up 1-2 extra 24-hour shifts each month for a couple of years ($3200/24 hour shift) and apply it towards loans. 

I posted this prior to starting CRNA school wondering if CRNA school was financially worth it, and ultimately I concluded that I had to view going to anesthesia school as a career change in case I graduated in a poor market, and for me, "worth it," ultimately meant that my net take home after student loan payments was more than I made as a bedside nurse because I couldn't do the bedside forever.

Definitely shadow, and make sure it's something you can see yourself doing because going to school has been pretty financially difficult. You're poor, busy, working for free, and going into debt doing it...

Thanks for the post and congrats! What state do you plan on working in when you pass your boards? Also, you talked about taking out money to live off of, is this through the school or did you have to seek out private loan companies?

Edited by go_jets82

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