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Priorities to strength my app?


Specializes in Emergency.

I'm a current ER nurse looking to eventually go to CRNA school. I did fine in my undergrad program, but I'm pretty young and I'd probably have about 2 years of RN exp by the time I start the program, so I'm trying to do a few things to strengthen my application. It's a lot on my plate to try to get them all done at once so I'm trying to prioritize, and I could use some opinions on what I need to prioritize:

1. ICU experience -- unfortunately my ER is not lvl 1 trauma, just high acuity that end up in MICU/CCU. I deal with RSI drugs, drips like propofol, fentanyl, and nitro, and vented pts, but not like on the pts I had when I was a student in the NeuroSICU. I know this is priority, but I'm wondering, how hard should I push for a trauma SICU or SICU in general? I wouldn't get that at my current hospital, but I'd probably have a better shot at landing CCU/MICU/(non-trauma)SICU at my current hospital.

2. Publishing -- trying to get a paper on a very perio-op/anesthesia related topic published. I'm hoping to get it done, but will any CRNA program really care?

3. Prehospital -- I have one prehospital licence and I wouldn't mind doing some prehospital work on the side. I found out I can basically apply to get an advanced prehospital licence, which means I could get some RSI/tubes/trauma experience. It's a sort of long process and eats up some of my free time on the side. Any idea if it'd be worth it (it'd sure be fun though...)

4. Other "resume builders" -- I have some opportunities to be on some committees, work on some hospital policies, disaster plans, etc... Not as fun as the other stuff, but would it matter?

Thanks in advance for the help. I tried to look through all the stickies/do some searches on the topics so I hope I'm not duplicating anything here.

I am in the process of applying to crna schools and have secured 4 interviews - all I can say is based upon my own personal experience so take what I say with a grain of salt. 1. From what I hear from crna's and srna's - the quality of my experience has been the most important part of my application "package," not only as an applicant but as a future anesthesia provider and presently as a bedside nurse. You don't just want to be good on paper - you want to be a great patient advocate. So if you can do it, try to get into an icu and become a sponge - absorb all the information you can. 2. I am not published, most of my coworkers who are applying are not published, and we have all at least received invites to interview. I only know of 2 people that have published and although I have never spoken with anyone on an adcom or investigated further, I don't believe it hurt my application that I have not published. 3. Again, I don't have a prehospital license and neither do any of my coworkers. 4. What about CCRN, studying hard for your GRE, and any other certs that you can obtain that will help your practice as a bedside nurse now as well as "look good" on your app? Hope this helps