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CRNA 1984

CRNA 1984

Nurse Anesthesia
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CRNA 1984 has 8 years experience and specializes in Nurse Anesthesia.

Graduated from West Texas A&M University with my BSN. I had the privilege of being inducted into Sigma Theta Tau The International Honor Society of Nursing. After nursing school I worked as a nurse in ICU and the ER. While working in ICU I was able to obtain my CCRN and CMC certifications. Attended CRNA school at Texas Wesleyan University, graduating with my Masters of Science in Nurse Anesthesia. Continue to work as a CRNA and loving every minute of it!

CRNA 1984's Latest Activity

  1. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    Hello GasMan 78, I couldn't agree more! If you have have been offered an interview, then you have gotten the schools' attention. From here it is up to you to keep them interested. It is true most people will feel a lot more comfortable at a second interview in comparison to their first. This is why I always recommend practicing answering questions with a friend, colleague, family member, etc. This will help the answers roll off your tongue when the big day comes. Confidence is a must, and a shy timid person will shoot themselves in the foot if they come across this way during the interview. CRNA programs want students that can handle themselves in stressful situations, and excel in the field of nurse anesthesia. Thank you for taking the time to comment!
  2. CRNA 1984

    10 things that got me accepted to CRNA school

    Thank you for the compliment. Yes I enjoy helping people who are passionate about becoming a nurse anesthetist. I even precept all the RRNAs that come to our hospital for clinical. You are definitely right this field is full of people that are driven and have a passion for anesthesia. You have to be to get through school. Congratulations on starting school, you have an amazing journey ahead of you!
  3. CRNA 1984

    10 things that got me accepted to CRNA school

    Hello Nile13, No you won't have to worry about a CRNA school testing your writing skills. They can get an idea of that from your analytical writing score on the GRE. Schools don't pay much attention to that score anyways. Schools will however look at how well you can articulate your answers when they ask you questions.
  4. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    Sounds great and keep us updated!
  5. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    Community involvement can have a HUGE impact on your application. CRNA schools want well rounded applicants that are active in their profession. They know that this passion will carry over when they become CRNAs. So yes, I would recommend getting involved. Don't worry about it being your senior year, there are opportunities out there even after you graduate. Definitely focus on you exit exams, but if you have any free time, I would get involved. Good luck and congratulations on almost being done with nursing school. Exciting road ahead for you!
  6. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    Since you are already taking physics and biochemistry you should be good on your current sciences. It is important to know that a lot of schools want your last chemistry course to be within 5 years (some want 3 years). The first thing you should do is research schools and choose the schools that correlate well with your needs (i.e. cost, location, requirements, DNAP vs MSNA, etc).Once you narrow down what schools you want to apply to it will be a lot easier to decide what courses you need to take if any. If the schools you choose to apply to DON'T require a current chemistry course, then I would take a graduate level statistics course. CRNA schools like this class. If any of the schools DO require a recent chemistry, then you have no choice but to take it again. Most important thing is to research schools. Hope this helps.
  7. CRNA 1984

    10 things that got me accepted to CRNA school

    Hello Sarah, Thanks for commenting on my post. I agree with you 100% SICU is not the only ICU experience that CRNA schools will accept. I was just wanting the readers to know that Nurse Anesthesia programs tend to favor SICU because of the "post hearts" recovered there. This gives the nurses caring for these patients a lot of experience with PA catheters, hemodynamic monitoring, etc, and schools like that. I graduated CRNA school 4 years ago. I just like to post on topics like this, because I know there are a lot of nurses eager to get into CRNA school (I used to be one of them, lol). This profession has been a blessing to me, and I want other people to have that same opportunity.
  8. You are more than welcome to share any advice or suggestions that you have on applying to CRNA school. I know a lot of applicants would like to hear them. 1. Start Building Your Resume While in Nursing School While in nursing school you will need to continue to stay focused on your GPA. I can't stress this enough. Schools will look at this, so put in the study time and try to get those good grades. In addition to your GPA, you also need to get involved with extracurricular activities. Schools like to see that you are well rounded and work well with others. Look for a list of organizations that are offered through the school and nursing program. I would also recommend looking at organizations and service work provided by the NSNA (National Student Nurses Association). They have 60,000 members nationwide, and they mentor the professional development of future registered nurses and facilitates their entrance into the profession. (Source: National Student Nurses Association) 2. Work in the Right ICU Every CRNA school wants the most qualified applicants in their program, but what does qualified mean? It means they want students that have work experience that will aid them in the field of anesthesia. This type of experience is only gained by working in the ICU setting, and that is why most schools require at least one year in this area. Realistically, you need 2-3 years, but it is possible to be accepted after only one year. So are all ICUs created equal? The answer is no. You want to be in the surgical ICU (SICU). Surgical ICU is preferred for a number of reasons, but the biggest is they work with patients that just had a CABG also known as post-hearts”. Working in SICU will give you an in-depth knowledge of physiology, anatomy, pharmacology, and top notch assessment skills. Being in surgical ICU not only helps you get an interview, it will help you during the interview as well. Look at your work experience as a chance to study. Most of the interview questions will come from clinical scenarios and work related topics. 3. Research CRNAs Schools You need to take a systematic approach when you are researching schools, so that you do it efficiently and with little effort. There are a few factors to consider when deciding on schools to apply too. One of the most important is how difficult is the CRNA school to get into. Here is a list of things that can help you to answer this question. First, Number of applicants vs. positions awarded”. You can see how two CRNA school can differ greatly in the number of students they accept each year by comparing Texas Wesleyan University and Newman University. "Texas Wesleyan University accepts 100+" while "Newman University accepts 22 students each year" (Source: CRNA School Search). Some schools have hundreds of applicants and only offer 10-15 spots each year. The chances of getting accepted to these types of programs by the average applicant are very small. Next, what are the Educational Requirements” of each program? Some schools require Organic and Inorganic chemistry, which is definitely a hard requirement to meet. Finally, lets talk about the GRE” (Graduate Record Exam). Almost every school has a minimum GRE score that they want you to meet. Schools with a higher GRE requirement are naturally harder to get into. Another thing to consider is Required Work Experience”. This is what the school considers acceptable areas of work. Most programs, but not all of them, only accept ICU as an acceptable area of work. There are a select few that will allow ER or Pediatric ICU, but they are very few. The best thing you can do is to play it safe and work in ICU. Don't count on ER or Pediatric ICU to get you an offer from a CRNA school. 4. Job Shadow CRNAs the Correct Way Most schools require you to job shadow at least once with a CRNA and have documented proof. Some schools will provide you with a questionnaire on their website. The CRNA will fill out this form and you will send it in with your application packet. In addition, some schools will want one of your reference letters to be from a CRNA. You need to go beyond what is required by schools and job shadow multiple CRNA's in multiple settings such as Labor and Delivery, OR, Day Surgery, etc. This will give you the chance to be exposed to various types of anesthesia that you be able to talk about later when you're writing your personal essay. Because you shadowed the CRNA multiple times you will be able to get to know them, and create a good rapport. By doing this, you will ensure that their letter will include all positives remarks and most likely cause the CRNA to elaborate on your eagerness to learn, professionalism, critical thinking, communication skills, and your passion for the profession. 5. Join Organizations That Strengthen Your Resume CRNA schools want to see that you are an active member in the medical community. The AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses) is an organization for critical care nurses. This is where you will sign up for things like the CCRN, CMC, and CSC exams. Next is the ENA (Emergency Nurses Association), which is the same type of organization as the AACN. The difference is that this one is geared towards emergency room nursing. Even if your not working in the emergency room you can join this organization. I promise you, VERY few applicants will have both of these certifications. 6. Obtain the Certifications Schools Want The CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) certification is a credential granted by the AACN Certification Corporation. It validates your knowledge of nursing care of acutely/or critically ill patients to administrators, peers, patients, and most importantly, to yourself. Some schools do not have the CCRN requirement, but I am telling you right now that if you want to get accepted into a CRNA program, get the CCRN certification. Other certifications that look good to schools include the TNCC (Trauma Nursing Core Course) CMC (Cardiac Medicine Certification) and CSC (Cardiac Surgery Certification). Both the CMC and CSC are additions to your CCRN. Once you have acquired your CCRN, you are eligible to these test. Very few applicants will have these certification, so it makes your application stand out. (Source: AACN Website) 7. Start Saving for School This really doesn't count as a tip for getting into CRNA school, but it can make your life A LOT easier once you start an anesthesia program. You will not be able to work once in school, so the more money you have saved, the easier it will be when the time comes to start the nurse anesthesia program. Start now by opening up a savings account and deciding how much you can put away each month. The earlier you start doing this, the more money you will have while in school. The majority of CRNA school will be paid with student loans, but that is a whole other topic. 8. Your Personal Essay Needs to be Perfect Most schools require a personal essay that will vary in length and topics. This is a great opportunity for you to brag about your accomplishments. Schools want to know why you think you are qualified to enter their program. You are essentially selling yourself to them, so feel free to elaborate on your work experience. First, you will need to speak in-depth on the acuity of the patients you routinely take care of. Second, discuss your experience with ventilators, vasoactive drips, Swanz Ganz, etc. Also be sure to include anything you were a part of such as precepting, code teams, rapid response teams, etc. Be sure to have someone proofread you essay before sending it. Grammatical errors will really hurt your application. 9. Practice for The CRNA School Interview The interview is your time to really impress the school and secure your spot in their program. In order to do this you are going to have to really prepare, because I can promise you, that all of the other applicants will be at the top of their game. Some programs are known to have interviews that are more of a meet and greet” interview. These types of interviews are very laid back and don't generally involve a whole lot of in-depth clinical based questions. However, most schools usually ask a lot of pharmacology and anatomy based questions that will really make you think. The CCRN really helps you prepare for this, so bring out your old CCRN study material and brush up on the material. I recommend focusing on cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal. It seams like schools pull a lot of questions from these areas. You can even take a Interview Practice Test that will show you how well you would do in a CRNA school interview. I liked using this because, it showed me what type of questions that I would see in a CRNA school interview. 10. Make Sure They Remember You Here is a cool little tip to help make sure the CRNA school remembers you. Have thank you letters already written and ready to send off the day after the interview. This little gesture not only shows gratitude, but places your name in their head one more time. Please share any tips or strategies that worked for you. I hope these tips work as well for you as they did for me. I applied to 3 schools, interviewed at 2 of them, and received offers from both. It isn't an easy road but if you apply yourself and stay motivated you will find that being a CRNA is well worth the effort. I wish everyone the best of luck!
  9. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    First off congratulations on applying, and being so passionate about getting into school. CRNA schools mainly focus on your nursing school GPA, and how well you did in your science courses. What kind of grades did you make in chemistry, anatomy, physiology, etc? These are the courses that Nurse Anesthesia programs pay the closest attention to. Your GPA Isn't Bad Your overall GPA is above what schools require, so you're good there. What you need to focus on is adding things to your application that takes their attention off your GPA. I'm not saying your GPA is bad, it's just that other applicants will have a higher GPA, so you need to do something to set you apart. The fact that you have your CCRN/CMC will be a huge help. A lot of people who have their CCRN don't know about the CMC or CSC, so that's a big reason why a lot applicants won't have either of them. Taking Additional Classes One of the best ways to really capture a CRNA school's attention is to take a graduate level class before applying. Statistics is a good course to consider, and a few CRNA schools even require it in order to apply to their program. Taking a graduate level course shows schools that you are able to handle the work load that CRNA school will bring. If you don't want to take a graduate level course, another option is to take an advanced chemistry (i.e. Organic) or higher level math class (i.e. Trigonometry or Calculus). It is important to only choose a course you know you'll do strong in. If you think there is a chance you'll make below a "B" I wouldn't attempt it. Make Sure You do Well on the GRE A high score on the GRE will almost erase a lower than average GPA in the school's eyes. They would choose you with a high GRE score over someone who has a better GPA than you, but lower GRE. Graduate schools for some reason think the GRE is an indicator of how well you'll do in their program (it's not). In reality, it is just another hoop to jump through. University of Kansas CRNA Program If you get an interview here you will have a written test during your interview. I don't know much about what's on it, I've just heard that they have given one in the past. Even if you have taken the GRE, I don't think they will use it to consider you. What's great is they don't require the CCRN only "recommend" it. That means some of the other applicants may not even have the CCRN certification much less the CMC. (Source: CRNA Career Pro Website) So to answer you question, yes I have heard of numerous people getting into CRNA school with a lower GPA than yours. There are A LOT of little things that you can do to out shine the other applicants. GPA is just one factor, and not even the most important. So don't stress yourself out about your previous grades in college. Just keep working hard, and it will pay off!
  10. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    Yeah CRNA school is sort of a love-hate relationship, haha. You'll get into the groove pretty quick once you start. For the first year you'll have your nose in a book pretty much 24/7, and be dying for the chance to see a real patient. For me, clinicals was a blast. I still remember my first intubation, artline, spinal, epidural, trauma, central line, and a million other experiences that you get to have. CRNA school is an exciting time there's no question about it.
  11. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    Looks like you are doing everything right. Your GRE score and having both the CCRN/CSC will help you out a lot, so you shouldn't have a problem getting an interview. It would be nice if TCU asked more clinical based questions, because that would allow you to use your knowledge from your CCRN/CSC. Most applicants won't have the CSC, so the fact you have yours will give you an edge on them for sure. I think you'll be in CRNA school before you know it, and then the fun starts, lol.
  12. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    I'm sorry to hear about your application to Iowa. Did they offer you an interview? On a lighter note, congratulations on your two upcoming interviews, thats always good news. I know the class sizes at Bryan College of Health Sciences are pretty small (around 20). The good news is they don't interview a large number of students either (less than 100). That means you won't be competing against very many people for a spot in their anesthesia program. You will probably get to meet with current RRNA students during your interview. Current students are always a great source of information. Make sure to ask them questions about the program. This a good way to get study tips, advice, etc. When it comes to how they interview their applicants, they do things a little different. The school uses a series of interviews with multiple faculty. (Most schools just have one interview with a set number of faculty) One session will probably be more "get to know you" questions, while the other session will focus on your clinical knowledge. As far as what to expect at Clarkson College's interview, I won't be much help. I just haven't heard anything about it. CRNA school is an amazing journey with a huge rewarding career at the end. Stay motivated and good luck at both of your interviews!
  13. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    TCU has a great Nurse Anesthesia program. A lot of my friends and coworkers graduated from there. One of the biggest factors that determines if you'll get an interview from them is your GRE (Graduate Record Exam) score. They tend to like applicants who score above average on this test. Having the CCRN helps, but they don't put as much importance on it as somewhere like TWU. TCU has a pretty laid back interview process. You may get one or two clinical questions, but the majority will be more "meet and greet" questions such as, "Why do you want to be a CRNA?" or "What made you choose TCU's anesthesia program?" All the applicants there that day will be split into two rooms. When it is your turn to interview, you will meet with 5-7 faculty members, usually professors, who will ask you questions. (Source: TCU School Review). You are also given the opportunity to ask them about the program. (Just make sure they haven't already answered it, that'll look bad) I have also been heard that they really frown upon applicants who think they know it all. My roommate in CRNA school said that his friend had an AMAZING application, but was too cocky in the interview, and it resulted in the school not offering him a spot (A lot of work for nothing). The main thing is to just be humble. If you get an offer to interview at TCU, that means they are already interested in you. It's your job not to change their mind. Best of luck, and let me know how it goes!
  14. CRNA 1984

    Anesthesia Assistants (AA)

    I agree, scope of practice should accurately reflect level of education and medical training for all healthcare professionals regardless of specialty. One of the greatest things we have as CRNAs is a very active AANA. They work very hard for us, and I appreciate them for that. I am privileged enough to be working for an anesthesia group that gives a lot of autonomy to their CRNAs. I'm like you, I can't be a robot and not think for myself.
  15. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    You're very welcome. What schools are you applying to if you don't mind me asking?
  16. CRNA 1984

    How I ace my CRNA school interview.

    These are the strategies that worked for me. If you have any additional advice or just want to share your interview experiences, please fill free to post them below. I would love to read about them. I Didn't Underestimate How Important the Interview Was The interview is the make it or break it point of your application process. I use this time to really showcase myself to the CRNA school, and made it a point to show them why I deserve a spot in their anesthesia program. If you have been granted an interview then that means the school likes who you are on paper. Now it's time to get them to like you who you are in person. CRNA school interviews can be brutal, so you're going to have to really prepare. For every 7 people that apply to CRNA school there is only 1 spot that is available. Most of the other applicants will have good work experience, strong reference letters, high GPA/GRE scores, and their CCRN certification. The competition can be tough, so don't underestimate the interview. I Did my Research I wanted to know everything about the interview, the date, what time to be there, what to bring, how long it will last, where it is and how to get there. This is so important because if you can't make it to the interview or don't bring required material, you have just done a whole lot of work for nothing. Every time I received an offer to interview at a school I would go online to see if I could find out how the school interviewed their applicants. You can find this information on various forums, blog articles, etc, but most of the information is pretty scattered. When I was researching Texas Wesleyan University, I found that it was a pretty intense interview that you had to prepare for. This is what it said to expect, "This is as far from a meet and greet interview as you can get. You should expect to spend 45 minutes answering in depth clinical questions regarding, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, Chemistry, and actual anesthesia topics." (Source: CRNA School Search). I am glad I found this out before I went, because every bit of it is true. The entire interview was clinical based questioning with MAYBE 3 personal get to know you type questions. It can't be stressed enough, do your research! I can't stress enough how important it is to know how each school interviews their applicants. How you prepare for the interview depends on the type of questions they ask. Is the school known to ask more get to know you type questions, or do they focus on clinical based questions which can be very intense? I know from experience that LSU has a pretty laid back interview with only a few clinical type questions, whereas Texas Wesleyan is very tough and is about 45 minutes of hard questioning. Having my CCRN and CMC certifications was a huge help to me at the TWU interview. I am glad I never have to go through that again, LOL. I Actually Practiced for my Interview My biggest fear was that I would have a poor showing at my interviews and kill any chances of getting an offer from the school. So, I told myself, It's time to prepare! I pulled out my CCRN and CMC study material and start studying. I think that the CMC study DVDs that are offered through the AACN website prepared me pretty well for the cardiovascular and respiratory related questions that were asked during my interview. The single best thing I did was I practiced practiced practiced! I actually had someone read me interview questions, and then I would practice answering them. I made sure to go over both clinical and non clinical type questions. This made it easier for me to recall the answers during my interviews. I sat down and made a list of all the possible non clinical type questions I could think of. After that I filled in my answers. I probably read over this list a hundred times, but by the end I could recite each answer by memory. When it came time for my interview I probably received 5 of the same questions that I had written down. It was hard to keep a straight face as they were asking them, haha! I Was Dressed to Impress One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they don't dress appropriately for the interview. I went out and purchased a new suit. A suit is not over dressed and is an absolute MUST HAVE! Please don't show up in slacks a dress shirt and tie. Sure you'll look nice, but this is not appropriate for this type of interview. It sends a message that you do not care enough about getting into school to dress professionally. Another good idea is to purchase a small black leather business-like binder to take with you to the interviews. I placed copies of everything that I had sent in with my application. You never know when you might need it. I Wasn't Afraid to Ask Them Questions Before my interview, I made a list of three questions I wanted to ask them. I felt like this would show them how much I cared about my education, and that I was motivated to learn. Here are the ones I used: What resources are available to students during the program, such as office hours, student aids, tutors, etc.? What is your faculty to student ratio? If I am accepted to your program, what can I start doing now to prepare myself? Before you ask any questions, make sure that they haven't already been answered via video, website, staff, etc. This will make you look like you weren't paying attention. Always Remember They Know More Than You I knew at some point during my interview I would be asked a question that I didn't know the answer to. So, I had no expectation of being able to answer every single question. The people doing your interview will most likely be professors in the CRNA program, so they WILL know more than you. Don't try to trick them or ramble on with a question that you have no idea about. This will only make you look bad. If I didn't know the answer to one of their questions, I would just say, I'm sorry, but I don't know the answer to that question. Then I would ask them if they wouldn't mind telling me the correct answer so that I could learn. The point is, don't put too much stress on yourself. Some answers you will get right, and others you will get wrong, that is all part of the game. Everyone Loves a Few Appropriate Jokes A big thing schools look at is how you interact with others. They want well-rounded applicants with a strong work ethic and a good personality. I made sure to be myself during my interview. I made a few appropriate jokes that showed them I had a good personality and people skills. I am not saying to have a pre planned knock knock joke, but if the chance arises during the interview, don't be afraid to step out of your shell a little bit. "Please feel free to share any advice or interview experiences you have had!" These are just a few things that I did to be successful in my interviews. I applied to 3 schools, interviewed at 2 of them, and received offers from both. The trick is prepare, prepare, and prepare some more! If you take the interview seriously and practice you should do well. My other post on here "10 things that got me accepted to CRNA school" is good to read if anyone has questions about the application process. I wish the best of luck to all of you!
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