Need Advice!

by nextstepRN (New) New Student

Hi y'all! I am currently going into my last semester of my BSN program and have started thinking about what my next steps should be. I have dreamed of being a CRNA since I was in high school and have done extensive research about it to make sure that it's what I would like to do. After my critical care clinical, I realized how much I really do love the ICU and would love to work there. I don't want to use ICU as a "stepping stone" to get into CRNA school because I know that it is something that I will really enjoy, however, I also want to use my time wisely while working in the hospital so when the time comes, I can apply to CRNA school. I have a 3.0 GPA and after I retake A&P, I will have a 3.2. Other than A&P, I have all B's in my other science courses. My question is, should I plan to retake my other science courses or should I take grad-level science courses? I really want to maximize my time and be sure that I can be as confident and prepared as possible for when the time comes to apply. I would assume that I would be working for about 3 years in the ICU before I apply to CRNA school so I have plenty of time to retake or take as many courses as I need to. Thank y'all so much!


Also, any words of encouragement is greatly appreciated, I didn't do very well my freshman year and it is bringing my GPA down so I am worried that it will affect my chances of getting in anywhere. I will do whatever it takes! 

Edited by nextstepRN

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 50 years experience. 3,499 Posts

Slow down!  You're not even a nurse yet.  Until you have worked for a couple of years, you can't have any idea of the pleasures and perils of any particular nursing specialty.  Most of us never know when or where we will find our niche, but meanwhile life also happens to us.  Make sure that you are OK with intensive care nursing before you start spending money on additional courses.  I have worked with several CRNA's who horned their way into anesthesia and because they spent so much money on their education, couldn't walk away from it.  I met them facilitating a support group for nurse-addicts.  Take your time.  I didn't start anesthesia school until I was 35 and had 10 years experience.  No problem:)  

brookalyn, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU/SICU. Has 5 years experience. 108 Posts

Hello! I love your enthusiasm. It is possible for you to get there. I don't think there is anything wrong with planning. 🙂  Just be prepared to be flexible, you know? Life happens.

1. If I were you, I would pick out 3-5 schools you could see yourself applying to and know their requirements. Use those requirements to set the basis of your planning for the next few years. Don't be afraid to send an email to these programs asking if they prefer undergrad or grad courses to make up for those poor grades. You may find mixed answers. Figure out what works for you. 

2. Take the GRE ASAP. The sooner you take it while you're still in the studying mindset after your BSN, I think the better. Looking back, I wish I had studied and taken it after passing my NCLEX. Some schools are no longer requiring the GRE. However, a great GRE score can sometimes balance out less than stellar grades. 

3. Get into an ICU that has drips (titratable medications), ventilators, and SICK patients. Find a place that cultivates growth. 

4. Get your CCRN after working for a year in the ICU. You can then get your CMC and CSC as "add-ons" depending on the ICU you end up in. You can get your TCRN too. These certifications demonstrate your competency and willingness to learn!

5. Volunteer somewhere that brings you joy! Your whole resume doesn't need to be nursing. This is a good leadership skill too. 

6. Shadow CRNAs!!  

7. I recommend joining "I.C.U. Dreaming About Anesthesia By: CRNA School Prep Academy" on facebook. It's a community of people wanting to get into CRNA school and can be very helpful. 

Hope this helped. Good luck!!


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 45 years experience. 11 Articles; 17,084 Posts

There are 7 Nurse Anesthesia schools within 1 hour of my home.

Check out the CRNA forums Map of All CRNA schools with link to Council on Accreditation schools profile.



11 Posts

First off, Congrats!

I actually worked pharmacy & shadowed several CRNAs before deciding to go for it, so I know the feeling! I started looking into what classes I would need before I even started nursing school. I agree with what everyone else said. I'd focus more on taking additional/higher classes vs. retaking them.
Take your GRE, get your CCRN, make sure you have ACLS, PALS, and BLS all up to date. Work ICU for sure. I know a couple people that got in on a little under 1 year experience. I was working for a bit over 3 by the time I got accepted. I know several schools only require 1.

Apply to several schools. You may not even get in on your first try. If you don't ask what you could improve on & do so. I took as many science/Chemistry classes as I could before finally getting accepted. My initial year, I only applied to 3 schools. I didn't get in the first go around. After that, I wanted in so bad, I picked out my top 8 & applied to all of them.
Good luck!