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brookalyn BSN, RN

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brookalyn has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in MICU/SICU.

brookalyn's Latest Activity

  1. brookalyn

    Money support while in CRNA program

    Hi! Valid concern. I’m starting school next month! My husband and I made it a personal goal to pay off all other debts. I did travel & local agency contracts, as well as a lot of overtime to accomplish this. Some people can pay for school doing this alone if they’ve planned in advance. We saved everything! Not splurging as much as we may have wanted to. We didn’t save enough to avoid loans altogether, but we have a good emergency fund. Consider a hospital education contract (they pay for your school and you owe them time) or joining the military (what I would have done if I were single). Students take out a lot of loans and it is normal. Some employers do sign-on bonuses, which can help, but there is always a caveat. The debt to income ratio is doable and can be paid off quickly with some discipline. Many say it is worth the dream! I sure think it will be worth it for my family 🙂
  2. brookalyn

    Map of All CRNA Schools

    Hi all! I remember how helpful it would have been to have something like this when I was applying for schools. I've been in a great resource group on facebook, "I.C.U. Dreaming About Anesthesia", and I realized others could benefit from a nice visual like this too. So here it is! All of the accredited CRNA programs on one map. I used the current COA list of schools for 6/28/2020. This is not perfect, so if you notice a discrepancy, please let me know. 🙂 HELPFUL TIPS TO USE MAP: -Click the arrow by "All Items" to see the full list. -If you click the name of the program on the list, it will take you directly to it on the map. -If you are looking for a specific school, you can also use the search feature at the top next to the map title. https://www.Google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=16kPpqefc1lznsNQoiiZcoBOVYvN0c6Y8&usp=sharing https://www.coacrna.org/programs-fellowships/crna-school-search/
  3. brookalyn

    Preparing for interviews

    I think you’re off to a great start with CCRN material. I’ll list examples from my two interviews, which resulted in two acceptances. Most of all, be honest and explain what you do know. “I do not know the answer, but if I were to think about it, this is what I am thinking...” or “I do not know the answer, but I’d reference peers, reputable sites, textbooks, etc to find the answer”. Anything you mention is free game for them. So, don’t bring something up you cannot give an explanation or expand on. This is considered “leading your interview”. Some interviews are primarily behavioral or personality based questions to get to know you, and others can have quizzes. Mine were mostly clinical-bard Qs MICU is my specialty. When asked what patient population I see most, I said sepsis because I know I know sepsis like the back of my hand. I know the pathophys and the drugs we give (how they work in the body, why we use that specifically, and what to expect as a response from the pt or what adverse effects you could see), and labs we consider. Think of your specialty and what your answer may be, almost like your own case study of a patient. Be able to explain to show your critical thinking if asked, don’t just practice regurgitating. I studied cardiac a LOT. I was asked the formula for cardiac output and to calculate a MAP. What contributes to CO? I was also asked to explain the flow of blood in the heart and the components of a NSR (P-wave = atrial depol., etc...). Also was probed on critical thinking during or post-intubation: how to verify placement w/out X-ray (use your stetho scope, chest rise, pulse ox readings...). How does a pulse ox work (is it arterial, venous, or capillary?)? What kind of sedation do you commonly use in your icu? Tell me about that drug? What can you give to reverse it? What if your pt is too sedated or on too much analgesia, and your BP is too low? How do you fix that? I said I would stimulate them because I would not want to narcan them and take away all of their pain and make them stressed out. Then they asked about adverse effects of Narcan taking away ALL of their pain and also you can have flash pulmonary edema). They may ask you super weird or random Qs to see how you respond. Will you shut down? Will you get flustered or defensive? Will you say anything just to say something? They will try to push you intentionally to see how you will respond. What’s your support system like? Would you mind moving? Blah blah blah. Dress your best! If you’re wondering if you should wear a suit jacket or blazer, the answer is yes. Everyone I have seen at interviews did. I also printed out my certifications, resume, personal statement, and transcripts to have on hand just in case. Think of some questions you’d like to ask the interviewers too at the end (how do you support your students, can I come to lab on my own time to practice, how much is the deposit, etc). I shook everyone’s hand and sincerely thanked them for the opportunity. Hope this wasn’t too much. I wanted to share what was helpful to me or what I wish I had known in advance. Good luck!! 🙂
  4. brookalyn

    Budgets, Loans, Scholarships - Oh my.

    Thank you so much for your reply!! I think I need to relax a little bit and embrace the loans for now ha. I like how you said there is already too much stress without worrying about the $. You’ve been very helpful. ⭐️
  5. brookalyn

    CRNA school with 1 year ICU Experience

    I applied with 2 years ICU experience. I’ll have 3 years by my program start date, so I’m not sure if that helps your 1-2 year range. A run down of my stats... My experience has been 1.5 years Level 1 trauma MICU/SICU, Level 3 travel contract M/S/TICU, and Level 2 “everything but open-heart surgery” ICU. GRE 302, writing 3.5 I think. GPA 3.76. CCRN. Around 90 hrs shadowing. Lots of consistent volunteering. I revised my personal statement many times and had a lot of people read it. I think that helped a ton. It clearly conveys my experience, passion, and goals. My LORs were a CRNA I shadowed more than once, dean of my BSN, current manager, and a physician I had great rapport with. I also took online stats (NOT graduate level) to refresh, but that was intentional for my top choice program. The idea is to not only meet minimums, but excel as much as you can and set yourself apart. I would get as many certifications and be in the sickest ICU you can find to offset your GPA. Look into the CCRN, TCRN, CMC and CSC, if you haven’t already. I even got my PALS and compact license. I believe all of these things helped round me out and prepare me! My outlook on my preparation was that I wanted it to be clear that I was ready for the commitment, and it worked! I hope this helps. Don’t give up!
  6. brookalyn

    Budgets, Loans, Scholarships - Oh my.

    When did you apply for the Discover health professions loan in reference to your program start date? Did you have any savings? How did you determine how much to ask for the Discover loan? We will have some savings when I start school and my husband will be working, but I am wondering if we should keep our savings for a rainy day or if I should budget it in to use for my living expenses? I'll be living in a different state than my husband so we'll be duplicating living expenses. Maybe I am overthinking it. My undergrad loans caused me so much anxiety because of the bad interest rates. I want to make the best decision, but I've never done this before. Thank you in advance 🙂
  7. brookalyn

    Declining a school after accepting the offer

    I imagine it is not thrilling for a program to hear someone they were counting on is backing out, but that’s why they have waitlists. Thank them for the opportunity, let them know you are withdrawing from your seat for another program. The sooner you do this, the better for other people who were waitlisted. 🙂
  8. brookalyn

    Keep getting rejected

    I definitely think you’re on the right track! Your stats to me show that you are capable of putting in the work. If you get another year in the ICU and get that > 300 GRE, I think that will help your odds tremendously. Don’t. Give. Up!
  9. brookalyn

    Keep getting rejected

    Have you asked for specific feedback from the programs you have applied to? It may be that you only have one year of experience. Is your BSN GPA low? If your science or nursing GPAs weren't good, that could possibly hold you back too. All of your other stats sound great! It certainly sounds like you are on your way to success otherwise! Maybe volunteering somewhere or getting involved with your unit or hospital governance? I'd definitely ask for feedback from the schools you applied to.
  10. brookalyn

    Employer Paying for School?

    Thank you! That seems to be a valid point, similar to RN positions that have a huge sign-on bonus. Makes you wonder 🤔
  11. brookalyn

    Employer Paying for School?

    Hi! I do not know a whole lot about this, I am still looking into it. Have you heard of groups or hospitals offering to pay your way through school or give you sign-on bonuses in the form of stipends for school? Is this a good idea? If you did this, how did it turn out for you? What are some pros and cons? Thank you in advance for your input!
  12. brookalyn

    Budgets, Loans, Scholarships - Oh my.

    Hello all!!! I have a few questions to those who are willing to break it down for me... Answering any of them would be helpful 🙂 1) What was your budget like in anesthesia school? What did you make sure you included? What was an expense that surprised you that you wish you were more prepared for? 2) Did you do all graduate school loans or private loans? A mix? How did you know how much to take out? 3) Did you have any luck finding scholarships? I just keep finding those $500 or $1,000 scholarship websites. Thank you in advance!!
  13. brookalyn

    Newman University 2019 Applicants

    Yay!!! 🥳 same! I’ll pm you.
  14. brookalyn

    Newman University 2019 Applicants

    Me too 🙂 Do you plan on going?
  15. brookalyn

    Newman University 2019 Applicants

  16. brookalyn

    Newman University 2019 Applicants

    Thank you! Yes, my “seat deposit” would be due by February 1st or 2nd.

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