Psych RN Considering CRNA


I currently work in inpatient psych and I really enjoy it. However I've recently been considering becoming a CRNA in the future. I know I'd have a ways to go before I can meet the prerequisites for CRNA school. I have a BSN, a 4.0 GPA, and all the science prereqs. What I obviously do NOT have is critical care experience.

For critical care experience, I was thinking about transferring to the NICU (level IV) in a year. I know most schools want adult ICU experience, so I would probably transfer to the adult ICU (cardiac surgery?) after a few years in NICU to gain that experience.

Would this be sufficient experience for CRNA school?

6 months Med-Surg/Tele

2 years Psych

*(I know M/S and psych experience aren't considered)

2 years NICU (level IV)

1 year Cardiac Surgery ICU

I know it's kind of a weird route to get to CRNA school, but I have a specific interest in NICU and want to gain experience there as well prior to adult ICU. I do plan to shadow a CRNA (and shadow in the NICU) prior to any of this. Hope this makes sense, I'd appreciate any insight you have for me!


86 Posts

If CRNA school is your end goal I wouldn't go to the NICU... I would just go straight to adults! I worked in PICU first, and even though I loved it and it provided me with a great opportunity... I could be half way done with school instead of JUST now applying! The choice is yours but I personally would want to get school out of the way!


204 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

Thank you for your input! How much adult ICU experience did you have before CRNA school? Is one year enough?

ETA: I want to work a few more years before school to save up money so I don't have to worry/take out loans. I'd rather spend a majority of that time in the NICU rather than an adult ICU, although I'm not opposed to getting adult ICU experience towards the end when I get closer to applying for CRNA school (the light at the end of the tunnel :))


15 Posts

Like the "Cvru" said I'd go straight adult ICU, we have had many PICU/NICU nurse come down to our ICU wanting to go to CRNA school and find out they are terrified of adults and go back to the NICU/PICU. Best just to learn adults in my opinion since most likely that be your end target audience.

Specializes in CCRN-CSC. Has 17 years experience.

I agree with the above. Also, you will probably have a hard time getting into a CVICU without prior adult ICU experience. So by the time you do your regular adult ICU and transfer to CV you're really probably looking at the same timeline you have written.


204 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

Thanks for the advice everyone! I completely see your points and agree with going straight to adult ICU then CVICU. How much time is adequate for each unit? Would one year in each be enough (2 years total in ICU) prior to applying? I don't want to waste time, but I also want to gain sufficient experience and save up money :)

Specializes in CCRN-CSC. Has 17 years experience.

Many people apply and get in with two years of ICU experience. You know this is your goal so use your time wisely. Learn your craft, get certified and use each patient experience as an opportunity. Don't get into the habit of routine. Look up the reasons why things are done.


204 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

Thank you very much!

Specializes in Critical care. Has 28 years experience.



231 Posts

Specializes in ICU/CCU. Has 2 years experience.

you don't have to be in CTICU to be competitive. SICU in Level I is one of the first choices when schools looks into the applicants. And I don't think you should be in general ICU for sometimes before CTICU.