any recommendations on interviews/CEUs

Specialties CRNA


I applied to one school this fall and was chosen as an alternate. I have taken Physics/ Organic Chemistry/ and immunology none of which are required by the program. The odds of getting an alternate position are slim. I was looking for some input as to recommendations regarding what type of CEU I could take that would improve my odds next year. I will be applying to multiple schools next year. I feel that maybe my interviews are what cost me a position. I am the type a personality that walks the line between confident and cocky (which I feel that is a common trait with ICU nurses) Any pointers for interviews? Can you have too much training/experience? I was asked questions regarding my experience and then was asked "do you think that you will have a difficult time transitioning from a leadership role to one of a student" Does this mean that they may think a person unteachable (stuck in their ways or hard headed)? Any input would be greatly appreciated?

Qwiigley, CRNA

564 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Anesthetist.


Interviews can make or break your application. Showing confidence without showing the softer side (your nursing/caring side) is detremental to your interview. A suit or a nice pair of pants with a shirt and tie is the only appropriate attire for an interview. You are not only applying for a "job", but you are applying to an exclusive "membership" of the family of CRNAs. There are not all that many in the broad picture.

Those "permitted" to enter should be personable, kind to others, intelligent, a team member. etc, etc.

You will spend 2-3 years with your peers in school- some of it EVERY SINGLE DAY 10 hours at a time. Trust me, there has to be a lot of love around. Everyone starts to smell pretty bad about the 6th month. (figuratively)

Examine yourself: be critical. Write down things your like to change about your presentation to others. How do others see me? Actively change 1 or 2 things this week and practice them. Say hello to people you don't know. Smile. Make eye contact. Compliment someone at least once each day.

Coupled with your excellence in nursing and your leadership qualities I don't see how you could lose!

Good Luck!


38 Posts


Thank you for your words of wisdom. I will start actively practicing some changes that will bring positive outcomes to my life, one of those hpefully to get into a CRNA program next year.

Please share all the good advice you have.

Thank you again,


Passin' Gas

149 Posts

Applying to more than one school next year is the first step. Next, study for and pass the CCRN. It is a comprehensive and difficult exam for critical care nurses. Passing this is no small feat. Nurse anesthesia schools realize this. Plus it will prepare you for the interviews that ask clinical based questions. And another benefit, plus most important, you will have a better understanding of what is occurring physiologicaly and pharmacologicaly with your patients.

Nurse anesthesia schools take the best of the best in nurses. These nurses are usually preceptors, charge nurses of busy ICUs, used to giving direction and orders to others. You are sought out for consultation from others in the unit. Now, take that pedestal you have rightfully climbed upon by virtue of skill, knowledge base, and expertise and kick it out from underneath you. NA school is a great equalizing force. Everyone starts on square one. Things you did routinely as an ICU nurse do not translate to the anesthesia world. Something as simple as placing ECG leads on a patient can be tricky depending on the type of surgery. Some prefer syringe labels at the bottom of the syringe, others, alongside the numbers. So many idiosyncracies and each provider has his/her reason. This transition is more difficult for some than others. I believe that is what the interviewers were attempting to ask about.

The points Qwiigley makes are all valid. Listen to that advice, too.

Good luck to you!



20 Posts

Thanks to all for the responses. I have completed and passed The CCRN exam, am currently becoming more active in my ICU with committees and education. Not being accepted and not getting picked up after alternate status has caused me to realize how much I really want this. I look forward to any challenge and the thought of being a SRNA and eventually functioning at that level (CRNA) is attainable.

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