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Joined: Sep 17, '09;
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The interview at U of MD starts as a group. The director talks about the program. Then as individuals you will go into a room and interview. First they ask questions about your resume, experience and why you want to become a CRNA. There are a few clinical questions. You get to pick an index card face down and they will read you the question on the back. Know your rhythms, waveforms and drips. They are not trying to trick you. It is basic critical care knowledge. If you have been working in an adult critical care setting, especially in a teaching hospital with high acuity, you will be fine.
I interviewed for UMDNJ in January. I am still waiting to hear back from them with a decision. They said that they will let applicants know by March 1st. I wish that someone would have told me what to expect. Honestly I believe it went well. I work in a MSICU and was terrified that they would be asking cardiac related questions but they simply asked what types of patients does your unit see. I would advise anyone to not volunteer any information. If you bring up a disease process or meds they will ask you "tell me everything you know about..." lol There was also about 12 interviewers on the panel...a little intimidating to say the least. However stay calm and think about the questions and your answers before answering. I hope this helps!
GRE scores alone do not a good graduate candidate make.
sorry if these questions have been posted elsewhere. i am an asn nurse and am interested in joining the military. i work in a large trauma center (recovery room) and have around three years experience. unfortunately it looks like no one utilizes asn nurses, you almost have to have your bsn. what options do i have? can i maybe join the army reserve (since they accept asn) and get money to go back to school? yes, but the number of adn nurses they accept each year is limited. from reading other post there will be no more accession boards this fiscal year. if you join the army reserves you can sign up for the strp program which will pay most if not all of your tution for your bsn. also you will not be deployed while using this program. will i still be commissioned as an officer in this situation? yes, with 3 years experience you should come in as a 2lt, but should become a 1lt in about 6 months. any suggestions and info will be greatly appreciated. thanks!
the nurse pushed atropine when i told them too....
rghbsn gives great advice and you got some well worn answers at FW as well.
I'll add - you appear to have a solid background, so that is an excellent starting point. If I am reading correctly you seem to have a year of RN experience and maybe a decade or so of fire based EMS as a paramedic. If that is correct ??? You are on the right path. I appreciate that you have a manger willing to recommend you - a good rep is golden! Keep it! You need to have a few more years experience (2-4 minimum).
There are many answers that outline the value of ED vs. ICU experience here and on FW. I don't have too much to add except --- you are out there with a partner that is a paramedic. You will be expected to bring the "nurse" expertise and unless you have some vastly differing experiences you/your partner will be in over your head from the get go. Not a comfortable or IMO even acceptable place to be.
Not sure of the geography (TX or FL maybe AL), but do some "informational" interviews with the flight companies in your area. Most are looking for exceptional folks and will give you an idea where you stand. If you are willing to relocate to get a chance to fly with certain companies - look at the "mission profiles" of those outfits as well. Maybe some introductions to a flight crew or two may informally give you an idea how to compare in education/experience and the ever important alphabet soup factor.
I could puff you up and tell you that you can fly right away and everything will be okay - and you likely could as the medic depending on the quality of your medic experience and the mission profile or quality of the flight company. If you simply must fly right away - just be prepared to do it as the medic part of the team for now. This does not imply any lack of ability - just an observation that the "effective team" has some synergy and the nurse must wear the "high end" critical care hat to the party. Some medics do true CC transport and if that is you - woohoo! & you are so ahead of the game. IMHO these medics are quite rare.
One problem that I have had some unpleasant experience with is, in fact, the experience problem. You will find that some companies will require minimums for nurse or medic with 3 years each. The issue gets muddled when both have the bare bones minimum - the medic has been a medic three years and the nurse has three in the ED - these two become a team and disaster looms. Trust me and take this point with you - you DO NOT want to be in this spot and avoid working for any service that has teams comprised of the "bare minimum".
Most companies "bread and butter" flights are the transfers - IFT from lesser care to higher or more specialized tertiary care. Even the "scene" stuff in some areas includes strokes and STEMI's. Having some high end critical care experience is going to save the patient and save you and your partner. Depending on the flight program you may have some advanced procedures (inserting central lines, arterial lines, true chest tubes, etc) but these are skill based and can be learned; the indications and physio associated with these procedures (along with ventilator management/complex medical drips/balloons) - when, how and why they are used are what will be the vital role of the critical care RN. Example: imagine having never worked with art lines because you only have ED experience and then learning to insert and troubleshoot/manitain and monitor after being hired to fly or managing the complex ARDS patient all the while paired with a medic partner that has never even routinely programmed a IV pump for a dopamine gtt. Not just frustrating - but flat out dangerous. I'd like to think that flight programs that do critical care hire the cream of the crop, but the flight industry has grown rapidly and well, the quality of the "crops" can vary.
I guess my take away point is - get some really high end critical care experience. Mix this CC experience up and really challenge yourself. Keep you foot in the ambulance and your nose to the grindstone for a few more years. I am not trying to discourage you, just hoping to give you a snapshot of the realities (some harsher than others) that the under-prepared will face. I want you to avoid that. Sure, flying is cool and all that - but, it is just a way to get an often really sick patient from point A to B. It is a job and has inherent risks and challenges (this year has been less deadly, but 28 of my colleagues died last year) - so, be sure.
Your background is great. Plan for your CEN. Get that CC experience and after you are eligible sit for the CCRN. I say hold on the CFRN - as you do not fly now, so being certified as a flight speciality nurse when you are not working in that area IMHO muddies what board certification is all about - wait until to you are actually flying to specialize.
Be a wicked determined clinician and seek out the tough cases and use any PITA factor necessary (to a point) to learn from the best doc's and nurses and RT's that you can find to help you in your knowledge quest! Read extensively and work to add depth to your clinical practice. Sure, some places hold patients looking for a bed and some hold 'em until they have them so ****** that you will be lucky to get to the helipad with 'em alive. I really wish that I was bluffing on that one - but, I am sadly not. (Even the simple ones can be pucker worthy!) Be ready for anything!!!
Join ENA and ASTNA. You are on the right road - I just want to get you pointed to the right direction in the sky.
Best of Luck. PM if I can help further.
I think you have a great base...but I would also recommend getting some time in the ICU's. STICU, MICU, and/or CCU. One of the parts about interfacility is that it is more than just paying the bills, it's the primary mission of most transport companies. It's not abnormal to pick up patients from smaller ICU's and transport them to larger regional facilities on several drips, hemodynamic monitoring (Swan-Ganz, a-line, CVP, ICP), and the vent. I have worked in both ED and ICU's for several years before moving to transport and flight nursing; I have found my ED days to be helpful less so than my ICU days. Keep in mind that you and your partner are going to be controlling the drips, titrations thereof, ventilator and it's settings, etc. Most ED's will hold patients on gtts and vents just long enough to get them to the right ICU bed. You will be picking up patients that have sometimes been mismanaged for days or weeks before they are transferred out...you will be so far behind the 8 ball that you'll need to have a strong understanding of chronic, ICU sick as well as acute ED sick. Vent changes, swan readings, and gtt titrations will be more comfortable and better understood after some time in the ICU.
That's my 2 cents, and it's probably worth less than that.
Your medic time and ED time will be very helpful on the scene flights you would get, it's invaluable to have pre-hospital experience. Trauma experience from the ED also helps give you a better understanding of what the ED docs and nurses are going to need to know by the time you get them to the facility and will allow you to combine pre-hospital experience with ED experience to best care for your patient. I wouldn't trade my ED time for anything, and it has helped with my understanding of traumatic injury and care thereof.
Most programs won't even take a serious look at you without at least 3-5 years worth of experience (usually as a nurse if you are applying in that capacity). Some will accept EMT-P time if you worked in a high volume, high acuity district or did critical care transport as a medic. I would suggest spending a year in an ICU, maybe another year in a different unit (CCU is great background and support for cardiac tranfers with transvenous pacers, STEMI's, etc.) and then get your name out there. It doesn't hurt to show interest early, but showing that you're willing to move around to build a strong background is a plus.
I tell my ADN students that they will see a lot of equipment---but there's still a patient under all that technology and that patient needs a nurse! Listen and ask pertinent questions. No question is too dumb! You aren't expected to know everything about the ICU environment so don't be a "know-it-all" and don't be a wall-flower. Hopefully your nurse won't be too busy to take time to explain things to you. If she/he is too busy, let your instructor know so he/she can help answer your questions. Just relax and have a good time!
Folks, a quick tip:
To pursue commissioning opportunities as a nurse in any - and I do mean ANY - branch of the US Armed Forces, please be sure you are talking to a Health Professions Accessions recruiter or whatever that branch's equivalent is. The folks you commonly meet in the the recruitment offices in shopping malls, plazas, and at high schools are ENLISTED accessions recruiters and generally know nothing about officer recruitment, much less health professions recruitment. You'll find a few officer recruiters that way, but most of them are strictly for enlisteds.
I'm only pointing this out because I've seen several posts that are leading me to believe folks are talking to enlisted recruiters only.
Another commissioning source may be ROTC; you can look up ROTC detachments through local universities and colleges. Any ROTC Det cadre member at any school in the country would be able to explain available cadet opportunities for nurse candidates for their particular service, if any exist.
For the Guard and Reserve, be sure the recruiter realizes you are ultimately interested in a commission as an RN by the most direct route possible - their funding and processes are a bit different from the active duty side of the house.
Just a quick tip. I don't want to see anyone get blindsided into enlisting when that's not really what they want to do. Once you're enlisted, becoming an officer is highly competitive and sometimes downright impossible. You want to go for the commission and the RN from the start if at all possible.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with being enlisted - I'M prior enlisted, my father was career Navy, my oldest brother is retired Navy, and my other brother is retired Army - that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is if you want to be an RN from the first moment you raise your right hand, you have to go for a commission and not for an enlistment.
You manager is a moron. Unless you aren't a good nurse. Which is sound like you are since you try hard to learn more and seek out new opportunities. Clearly she/he (probably a she) is more interest in fulfilling her bottom line and has no interest in your career success.
Nursing is a great field but you HAVE to serve your OWN self interest in regards to your career. If you're not ready for ICU after some time in a step down, why do they hire new grads? If you're not ready for ICU why does she want you to do charge? Trying to guilt trip you into staying where you are is very insulting. I would NOT work for this individual ONE MORE DAY.
Put in your transfer.
The Army National Guard and the Army Reserves are both considered the "reserve components of the Active Army." Personnel in each still have to meet the standards of the Army, such as physical training aka PT, height/weight, qualifying with the M16, etc; but they are considered "part time" (committment of at least - one weekend a month and 2 weeks per year). Being in one of the reserve components allows the individual to finish school and choose where they want to live as opposed to active duty, who move you where they need you making it harder to complete college.
The National Guard has 2 missions. 1) a state mission, which is called up by the Govenor (such as natural disasters in that state) and 2) a federal mission, which is called up by the President (such as deployment overseas). National Guardsmen are funded by the state unless they are called up by the Federal Governement, then they are funded by the federal gov. Training budgets for the National Guard also come from the state.
People choose a different compoment usually based on the benefits that each are offering at the time. At the time I enlisted, the Army National Guard was offering 100% of my college tuition, while the Army Reserves was only offering 80% (I believe that has changed since then). Most of the all the other benefits were the same, like the amount of the GI Bill, Life insurance, etc.
So, I enlisted in the Army National Guard. I was in the Florida National Guard for 9 years as a supply clerk. I've been called up for state missions (called up by the Govenor) when the hurricanes pounded the state in the 2004 & 2005 hurricane seasons and I've been called up to Federal Active Duty (a presidential call up) in 2003-2004 to Iraq.
Once I finished nursing school, I spoke with a recruiter so I could transfer to a medical unit and change my military job from a supply sergeant to a nurse. He adviced me to transfer to the Reserves instead of staying in the National Guard. Reason being, since the National Guard was funded by the state, nursing slots were limited. AND if I was able to get into a slot, it would be difficult to get promoted. Promotions in the the National Guard stay within the state. I would have a better chance for promotion on the Reserve side (the federal side) because there are more slots.
So, 2 years ago I transferred to the Reserves as a nurse and as an officer. Same Army, same standards, different component. If you are considering joining the military, I reccommend going the Army Reserves route. The Air Force right now is difficult to get into right now. I work with a girl who is in the Air Force Reserves as a sergeant (how I was before I transferred) and she is having a tough time getting transferred into a nurse slot. If you have a BSN you will go in as an officer. If you are an RN, I believe you have to get your BSN before you can be promoted to Captain, which normally takes like 5 years anyway. If you go in as an Officer (it's called "Direct Commission"), you'll be a 2LT (Second Lieutenant), you don't have to go to basic training (boot camp), but you will need to go to Officer Basic Course (OBC), which is in San Antonio, TX. I had a blast when I went and is nothing like boot camp!
Also, if you talk to a recruiter about joining, don't forget to ask about a bonus. When I transferred, they were giving $30,000 (paid over 3 years)!
Hope this helps! Good luck to you! If you decide to join, let me know...I'll be more that happy help you with anything you need! Soldiers looking out for Soldiers!
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