AA's are unable to practice independently in any setting. CRNA's practice independently in 70% of settings they practice in. It sounds like your opinion is that of someone who doesn't have a lot of ICU experience, but feels that your experience should be sufficient. I don't expect you to feel any other way about this topic, but factually, most others do not feel the same as you do about this topic. Recovering hearts is a VERY small piece of the ICU pie. I understand CRNA schools take a lot of their students from CVICU's, but I feel that is because they work very closely with anesthesia providers and thus have an easy time getting strong refs from those people. I work in a CICU in a hospital that is a major cardiac transplant center in the Midwest, and I am very familiar with the dynamic (in our hospital) in the CVICU. A physician is always present. They are dictating titrations of drips and there is not a high level of autonomy on the floor. They rarely have balloon pumps, Impellas, etc. They are not allowed to wedge their PA caths. When they do have IABPs, Impellas, hypothermia, etc, they call our unit to consult our nurses about the workings of these assist devices and protocols. In the CRNA profession, you will have a high level of autonomy, so I don't necessarily think the CVICU is the gold standard when it comes to prepping nurses for CRNA school---but that is all neither here nor there. Please understand that everything stated above is my opinion and nothing more than that. I want everyone to follow their dreams. My goal in waiting five years to even apply for CRNA school was to learn as much about critical care as possible--not to do my minimum requirement to get into school (even though that was always my ultimate goal). the purpose of that is to be able to identify when a patient is going downhill.
Again, my disappointment is with the admissions board, not the new nurse who is too new to know what he doesn't know.