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New grad wants to be CRNA

Nurse Beth   (126 Views | 0 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I'm a new-ish grad (6 months experience) and currently I work on an oncology/med-surg unit. My long term goal is to become a CRNA and I know that prior to applying, CRNA school requires critical care experience.

There are some programs I've looked at that allow acute care experience if nurses can prove competency in critical care pharmacology/invasive monitoring/hemodynamic monitoring/ventilators. I know it is very difficult to get an ICU position as a new grad, but I'm worried that by spending my 1-2 years in med surg and then 1-2 years critical care, I'll be pushing school until a much later point in my life. Do you have any advice on getting an ICU position as a new grad nurse who has about 6 months experience in bedside nursing? Or am I just being impatient and I need to wait? Thanks!

Dear Impatient,

What is your facility's policy on transferring between units?

Many hospitals do not permit employee-initiated transfers at 6 months. Some hospitals initiate the transfer when a new grad is having difficulty in their specialty. Often this will be the opposite of your situation, for example, when a new grad is in ICU or ED and is then transferred to a MedSurg unit.

What you can do is find out the process in your facility for transferring to ICU.

Talk to the ICU educator or manager and let her know you're interested in ICU. There may be a fellowship coming up that you may not know about. At the very least, you have gotten on her radar.

While 1-2 years seems like a long time, in reality, it will fly by. In the meantime, apply yourself and learn all you can. Your experience now will make you a better CRNA in the long run.

Best wishes 🙂

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