NP first to help chances of admission?

Nursing Students SRNA


Hello all. I'm about to start an RN program, but I have wanted to be a CRNA for a while. I realize how competitive it is to get in a program so I want to increase my chances as much as possible. My question is: could it increase my chances if I become a NP first before I apply to CRNA school? and if so, what area of NP would be best? The NP school I am interested in is only about a year and half online so it wouldn't be that much extra schooling.

Specializes in critcal care, CRNA.

But it would be costly and a waste of time. You would probably need to be a acute care NP. I wouldnt waste time doing that program and then turn around and apply to CRNA school. To up your odds when you are ready, just apply to 4-5 schools. Save your money and time for your actual CRNA goals.

Specializes in SICU, MRICU, CICU, NeICU.


There are plenty of websites out there to help you with that answer. I know that many of the forums have many similar postings repeating multiple times, therefore like it happened to me, you won't get many replies back unfortunately. I would suggest looking at the multiple stickies found on this website. Another good resource is the AANA website and

How far along are you in nursing school, or have you just started? If you just started you have plenty of time to do very well in your classes while getting you BSN. I would not suggest getting your NP first as this would be a waste of your time if you are interested on becoming a CRNA. One of the factors behind someone going to another graduate program first is because they either weren't sure what they wanted to do initially, or their BSN gpa sucked, and they needed to take some graduate level courses and do good on them to bring the gpa up so they have a chance at becoming accepted into CRNA school.

First I would highly advise you to shadow one or several CRNAs for at least a shift or two to get an idea as to their roles, responsibilities, and to look at the AANA website. Make sure this is what you truly want to do, as many RNs have dreams in thier head about becoming a CRNA without a clue as to what they do, merely looking at the money, etc.

Then if you truly want to continue your dream of becoming a CRNA you will want to get at least a 3.5 gpa. Many programs state 3.0 at least but average accepted applicants are anywhere from 3.5-4.0. Get strong science scores, and extra classes you take should be in pathophys, biology, microbiology, organic and inorganic chem. Look up a program website to find out their prereqs. Once you get your RN degree (you will need a BSN or other bachelor degree AND be an RN with critical care exp), as the highest requirement I would suggest is get into an ICU and do great in it. Not any ICU either- you will want to be in metro or similar ICU such as a SICU a trauma ICU, MRICU, etc or the like that deals with very sick patients so you get the experience that CRNA schools are looking for- ventilator management, experience with Swan-Ganz catheters, art lines, central lines, multiple titratable infusions, pressors, sedatives, analgesics, advanced hemodynamic monitoring, etc, etc. You will want to be working in the ICU as most CRNA schools suggest at least 1 year, preferably two. The average applicant that gets accepted I hear has about at least 2-4 years ICU exp. before getting accepted. While in the ICU really get to know MDs, CRNAs, MDAs, be in committees, get your CCRN, etc. Again, I would not horse around with an NP program if your true goal is CRNA, that is if you find out that you truly want to do it.

I like you was in your spot once and now I cannot believe the spot I am in as I just got accepted into a CRNA program, and I am passing along some of the advice that I was once given, but most importantly you need to make sure that is truly what you want to do- you won't know it totally until you get deep in the trenches of critical care, shadow a CRNA, etc. I also would suggest reading the book Watchful Care- a history of nurse anesthesia.

Just my 2 cents.

My gpa 3.6 science gpa 3.85 GRE score 1100, SICU 3.5 years, CCRN, ACLS, PALS, TNCC. Member multiple committees, superuser of US machine, edwards monitors, rapid transfuser, CRRT machine.

awesome answer Sicubaby. thanks so much :) i was relunctant to even post a question about CRNA because i know so many want to do it and ask about it, for whatever the reason is. blessings to you and your new career path!

Specializes in Cardiac, Pulmonary, Anesthesia.

Master's classes (adv. Patho, adv. Pharm, assessment) will make you look good in general. As for NP in particular, I don't think so. However I signed up for an ACNP program to take the previous courses and if I didn't get into CRNA school I had something to occupy my time until next cycle (but I got in first try so that shows how much grad classes help).

Abe, that's what I was thinking of doing (acute care nurse practitioner), but wasn't sure if this would look good and if I would learn much of what I needed to know in ICU. I definately think it's a good idea to at least take some graduate level classes that you mentioned. I realize I'm just starting nursing school, but i've always been "a man with a plan" kind of person. Future doctor's look far ahead, so why not me? :-) Thanks for all the posts, everyone.


I applied to a NP program just so I can take as many grad courses possible. I am sitting out this semester to prepare for upcoming interviews and starting my new ICU job in the CVICU. I did not graduate with a 4.0, so I had to do something in the meantime to improve my GPA. I was considering getting my FNP first then apply to CRNA as a post masters, but the more I thought about it, just seemed plain silly, and a waste of time and money, knowing that I really want to be a CRNA. Many programs with allow you to transfer some credits, which is a sweat deal. You still have to to "figure things out" and what path to go. Right now you have to cross the hurdle of the NCLEX and landing a job in somebody's ICU. None the less, I wish you the best.

Specializes in CRNA.

Going for NP and then CRNA right away will raise the question of Do you know what you want to do? I wouldn't do it, 3 solid years in a level 1 trauma ICU will get you farther.

loveanesthesia, I think you're right. I believe I will just take a few graduate level courses instead when the time comes. Thanks everyone.

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