NP vs CRNA- Which one?

  1. I have already decided that I will continuing my education to a Masters or beyond. I had always thought that I wanted to become a CRNA, but today I spoke with a professor and she said I should probably go for my NP first as then I will have more of a scope of practice.

    I was wondering what anyone else thought about the two and I am currently looking into how probable it may be to get both, if the coursework is congruent at all.

    Any thoughts or ideas? Anyone done this? Pros? Cons?

    Has anyone gotten both their CRNA and NP?

    Thanks!
  2. Visit kukukajoo profile page

    About kukukajoo

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 1,375; Likes: 248

    13 Comments

  3. by   RedCell
    I'm curious, was this professor a CRNA?

    If you want to be a CRNA, then go to nurse anesthesia school. I don't think putting the effort into getting an FNP license would be to your benefit. I know many people who were FNP's, and acute care nurse practitioners prior to becoming a CRNA. All of these people have said it made school easier, but none of them have recommended obtaining another advanced practice degree prior to enrollment in anesthesia school. You will get a firm grounding in your scope of practice with the thousands of clinical hours required prior to graduation.

    The best advice, I think is to do what I did. Get as many of your general requirement classes out of the way before going to school. At many programs this includes a pathophysiology class, theory, general pharmacology, and if you are really lucky....research. Check around at schools you are interested in to see if this is a viable option. Having these classes out of the way makes school MUCH less stressful in your first few semesters!
  4. by   jakebuddy20
    I don't know about all states, but NY is trying to make is so a CRNA also has NP creditation. It means one course on prescribing meds. My husband finished CRNA school in 2005, took the course and was anticipating the dual degree, but its being held up somewhere in the "higher ups". He says the anesthesiologists don't want this to happen b/c this is the one thing they have over the CRNAs.

    He went to CRNA school without NP first and had no trouble. in fact, not one member of his class was an NP first. So I say go for it! It is a VERY demanding course though - in case you didn'tknow
  5. by   meandragonbrett
    You need to decide if you want to provide anesthesia or if you want to manage disease processes and do family medicine.
  6. by   kukukajoo
    Thanks Redcell- I will be halfway thru my bachelors and it appears that the Masters classes are all advanced and specialized. I have taken all the classes I can that are not specific for a program. I have just begun to see if the schools I want to attend for my Masters have both NP and NA as I had before just honed in on the NA programs. Hoping for responses soon.

    JakeBuddy- do you know what school this is? It may be one I would want to look into. The only one I have specific information for has totally different classes for NP and NA except for three that are the same. I know I am jumping the gun- still have two more years of school left then want to work in the field some.

    It's a hard choice, as I really want to do both and I think I may need to do both. CRNA is my first choice for sure though. Maybe I can work on my NP when I am already a CRNA, I just don't know yet.
  7. by   lizzyberry
    Quote from kukukajoo
    Thanks Redcell- I will be halfway thru my bachelors and it appears that the Masters classes are all advanced and specialized. I have taken all the classes I can that are not specific for a program. I have just begun to see if the schools I want to attend for my Masters have both NP and NA as I had before just honed in on the NA programs. Hoping for responses soon.

    JakeBuddy- do you know what school this is? It may be one I would want to look into. The only one I have specific information for has totally different classes for NP and NA except for three that are the same. I know I am jumping the gun- still have two more years of school left then want to work in the field some.

    It's a hard choice, as I really want to do both and I think I may need to do both. CRNA is my first choice for sure though. Maybe I can work on my NP when I am already a CRNA, I just don't know yet.
    Do you know if there are any crna programs online at least part?
  8. by   LeafRN33
    I have been pondering the same questions. NP (in Michigan) doesn't make as much as the CRNA and so I have been entertaining the idea of CRNA as well, but I still need to see if I would like it first. NP in an office, is the BOMB! I worked in a medical office for 8 years as an office nurse, first LPN then RN. Nice hours, nice benefits but the pay is equiv. to what I make at the hospital but I currently work overtime to get that wage. In Michigan, we only have 3 schools that train in anethesia. They predicted shortage of CRNA's in the next 10years. 30%, I think, I read just recently. I'm currently working on a bachelor's degree and I hope I get there. Just have to take one day at a time.
  9. by   kukukajoo
    Lizzyette- I haven't found any but I looked on St Louis University website and it looks like they have the NP Masters online as well as a PA post masters certificate. I would imagine CRNA would be mostly hands on due to the nature of the care, and not online. I have been looking at schools in CT because I used to live there but who knows where I will end up. The more I look into things, the more I want to know about various areas.

    Leaf- I really think that I would like to do the office stuff. I have been lucky enough to talk to CRNA's and know I want to do that, but I don't know if it would be as fulfilling as working on direct patient care and that full interaction. Do you have an opprotunity to shadow a CRNA?

    Big shortage projected. Plus having both will give me so much more mobility which is what I really want. After 10 years of CRNA I may want to have my own office somewhere in the country!
    When I find stuff I will post for sure.
  10. by   Danish
    I've been looking at programs in my state and CRNA school is much more competitive than ARNP. The 3 Ive looked into only accept 13-15 students and they have apps from over 100 each semester. You have to be the creme of the crop. Dont let that stand in your way if you are determined though. It just means you have to focus and be the best now.
  11. by   NurseguyFL
    Quote from kukukajoo

    I was wondering what anyone else thought about the two and I am currently looking into how probable it may be to get both, if the coursework is congruent at all.
    It depends on the school. At Florida International University, for example, graduating CRNAs also receive NP status. But, it doesn't work the other way around because anesthesia is an area that requires a lot of highly specialized clinical tranining.

    Why do you want to do both? NPs and CRNAs do different things. If you you like being in the OR all the time then CRNA will probably be a great career for you. If you like more patient interaction, doing workups, etc in an office or acute care setting then maybe you'd rather go for the NP. Either way, you're going to be teaming up with physicians. And either way, you're going to be working with only one patient at a time---which is the really awesome thing about advance practice nursing. CRNAs generally earn higher salaries than most NPs, but I think either career is good.

    I used to think I also wanted to be a CRNA, but after floating through the OR a number times I'm no longer so sure its the type of scene I really want to be in.
  12. by   kukukajoo
    Danish- I have seen the competetiveness and I am up for the challenge. I should do well enough to get in. I see that many classes are very small but new programs are popping up all over.

    NurseGuy- Thanks for the information. I was thinking that after doing several years as a CRNA that I may want to "retire" to take on a patient load and have my own office back here in NH. There is just a greater range of what I would be able to do- here in NH with a NP you can do lots more.

    The added flexibility and mobility and the spectrum of what I could do would be that much greater with both and that is what I want.
  13. by   zrmorgan
    I am biased, I am a CRNA...this is my disclaimer before the advice I give you.

    First shadow a CRNA, and see if you like it.

    If you do go to CRNA school.

    If you find you have any academic energy left after being flogged in anesthesia school, go earn your acute care NP (or whatever flavor apeals to you...ie pediatric, psychiatric, critical care etc).

    In washington we can apply for perscriptive privleges and are licensed as an ARNP, but I will tell you most of us are uncomfortable in a clinic.

    I may be misinformed but I think there is more opportunity for employment as a CRNA, as well as better compensation.

    Good luck...the best part is you will be an RN anyway which is an excellent profession either way.
  14. by   genrn2008
    I am still trying to decide myself. I am not too concerned about money....so I am not really looking for compensation, I am more concerned about which is more fulfilling and what I would like to do for many years. I definately will get my Masters but I just don't know which one yet.

    NP Pros: seems more diverse, you can practice in an office and pretty much manage your own patients
    Cons: less pay
    CRNA Pros: more pay, you do the same thing each day which means that it is not too complex (after you get many years of experience of course)
    Cons: more liability

    I just don't want to do NP then regret and wish I did CRNA.... I already have too many degrees to keep changing my mind (Bachelors in Sociology, Bachelors in Nursing, Masters in Public Administration)...I just want to get one more Masters but haven't decided yet! I will be shadowing a CRNA later this week

    Also, my sister is a CRNA and my parents are pressuring me to do the same (even though they don't really know
    what CRNA's do other than make more money)

close