Some schools do accept ER. Not sure about PACU."critical care" experience is required. Personally, i think pts in PACU are not critical. If pts were seriously critical, they would not have done the surgery or if they absolutely had to and did the surgery, they go straight from the OR table to ICU paralyzed, on the vent, with 10 drips going, chest tubes, drainage tubes, and all lines /cables tangled. Now an ICU NURSE will have to take cAre of that pt for 12 hrs. In some places where there are no doctors or residents available and it happened at night, the nurse will have to make tough decisions .. To me, that is what a critical pt is. A critical care nurse should be able to manage that kind of pt for an extended period of time at any time of the day.. It is this kind of experience i think that will train you to be a good crna or any aprn for that matter.
ive worked at 3 hospitals in 7 yrs, no offense to the ER nurses here, but in my experience they are always in a hurry to send the pt to ICU. Sometimes we had to go down to ER not necessarily to help take care of pts but to ... Guess what??.... To set up a CVP, arterial line or hook up a newly placed Ventriculostomy to the monitor :)
Do whatever pleases you coz if you are not happy with what you are doing, it will not be worth it. Good luck..