I attended the Virtual Open House last week and here’s a few highlights I was able to grasp from the session (btw it was informative, and Dr. Greco seems extremely kind, welcoming, and passionate about this program).
-The Purpose of the combined CRNA/ACNP program is to expand the advanced practice nurse role so that he/she is able to utilize their skills and knowledge set in various areas of the surgical setting (pre, intraop, and postop). NY currently has many restrictive practices on advanced practice, and depending on where you work, CRNAs/ACNPs have limitations on what they can and cannot do; with this program being the first of its kind, the goal is to address those limitations.
-Experience: two years of full time critical care experience in at LEAST the last two years. He stressed heavily on what is acceptable Critical care experience: MICU, SICU, CCU, CTICU, Neuro ICU and also PICU.
Unfortunately, ER, Stepdown(whether it be Cardiac, trauma, etc.) Medsurg, NICU, OR, are not considered acceptable specialties for the program. There may be exceptions for PACU, or if you’ve had critical care experience in the past and currently work in another role (I.e. Nurse leader) but basically ICU nurses will be the highly preferred candidates.
Also part of the admission requirement is to be CCRN certified, so that’s probably another way to ensure nurses with critical care experience are the status quo for the program.
GPA: He had a very lighthearted take on the GPA requirement (3.0 or higher) by mentioning how many of us probably didn’t do well in our undergrad years because we were probably partying a lot LOL. He said that if your GPA wasn’t the best, it would be in your best interest to retake some courses (Chemistry, Organic Chem, A&P, Micro) to show that you’re interested in being a proactive learner and are prepared for the rigor of the program.
-Program Length/Clinical Hours: The program is full time and runs concurrently in Fall, Spring and Summer. All students complete ~2900 clinical hours. 2500 for the CRNA Portion and I believe about ~400 for the ACNP role. Dr. Greco emphasized the INABILITY to work full time or part time during the program. He states that with practicum and didactic classes it will be very difficult due to the program commitment.
Clinical Experience: Dr. Greco highlighted the structure of clinical practicum in the different anesthesia specialties. Since the program is affiliated with Northwell, all clinicals would be assigned at Northwell hospitals around LI, NYC, and Staten Island. He stated that in most instances, he’ll consider a student’s home location when placing them in clinical, but to ensure students receive a well-rounded experience they may have to travel . My take on it was, while he make some accommodations, expect to travel far at some point during the program. LOL
Admissions: I forgot he mentioned a specific deadline, but there will be 20 seats for the Fall 2021 cohort. Applications will be on a rolling admissions basis and done through NursingCAS (all that info is on the school website) Selected candidates will go through and interview conducted by either Hofstra faculty or Dr. Greco.
Professionalism: He stressed heavily on selecting nurses who were continued learners in their current role and have proven interest in the area of anesthesia. It seems like he wants individuals who are up-to-date on current issues in critical care and anesthesiology, active in hospital committees or organizations, etc. He wants you to be committed to learning the role of the CRNA by shadowing, becoming familiar with the Anesthesia’s role in intubation (supplies, technique, special considerations), being proficient in IV skills, understanding the different dysrhythmias and their interventions, etc.; basically he wants to ensure you are acclimating yourself to the duties and responsibilities of the advanced practice role even before you apply.
Most importantly, I think the biggest takeaway is that Dr. Greco is looking for flexibility. Since this will be a new program at Hofstra, and a new type of program in general, there may be bumps on the road that will occur along the way. IMHO, it seems like he is willing to address all those issues as promptly as possible. Being that he was faculty at Columbia U’s CRNA program, served on CRNA organizations, and his passion Nurse Anesthesia, I think he’ll have a great gasp on leading the program in an exponential way.
I wouldn’t be able to apply until Fall 2022 but for those of you considering the Fall 2021 cohort I would definitely tell you go for it. It seems like a great deal of commitment but in the end being dual certified as an ACNP and CRNA will give you an edge amongst CRNAs from other programs. Good luck!