Jump to content

SRNA Switching Schools


I am in a sticky situation and was wondering if anyone here could give me some advice. I am supposed to be starting CRNA school in January. I only applied to this one school. When I was applying, I was engaged and my fiance (at the time) took a job in another city. So I applied to the one CRNA school in that city since we were going to be moving there.

Well I am no longer engaged and I really don't want to move anymore. I was thinking about applying to a school that is in the city where I currently live. I would still attend the school starting this January in case I don't get into my local school. But if I do get into the local school, I would definitely want to leave the other school and move back. They say they send out admissions decisions around May/June. I don't even care that I won't get any transfer credits or anything. Both financially and personally it would benefit me greatly to go to my local school. I have to decide quickly because the application deadline is very soon (I have most of the application done already but haven't turned it in).

But I am wondering if it will somehow come back to bite me if I leave one school in the middle of a program? All the CRNAs I know told me they have never heard of anyone switching schools. Is it too taboo? Any advice? If anyone else has been in this situation or knows of someone that has I would really like to know what you did and why. And thank you to anyone who has actually read all the way through this ramble.


Specializes in CICU, Telemetry. Has 7 years experience.

Have you explored the thought of deferring from the program you were accepted to? This would allow you to keep your spot for next year/semester while deciding where you want to be geographically/hear from other program(s), as well as saving you from flushing an entire semester's tuition down the toilet since your credits won't transfer.

Also, if you attend a program for one semester and then leave, you're taking a seat in the program away from someone else. This is a highly competitive field, so it seems pretty selfish to take up a spot only to leave midway through the program.


Specializes in ICU. Has 2 years experience.

First off, moving sucks. It's a pain. Second off, think of all the money that would be wasted if you were to transfer schools. I know you say you don't care about the transfer credits (which won't transfer), but all of the money spent on tuition which isn't cheap, in addition to moving, setting up a place to live while there, breaking a lease if you move...it's a lot, especially whilst in the midst of grad school.

I agree with what CCU is saying. See if you can defer the spot, apply for the local program before the deadline and see what happens. It sounds like it would fit you best to go to the local school. At worst, you'll at least get to save up more $ and still end up attending school.

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I have already asked about deferment and was told they do not allow it unless you have military obligations. All of the events leading up to me not wanting to go to that school anymore only happened a month ago so I'm trying to make some potentially big changes in a short amount of time. The school also does not have a wait list (asked about it at the interview) so as far as taking up a spot, I have already done that, which I do regret and realize its unfair to an applicant that didn't get in.

Its looking like transferring schools in really not common, I'm just not sure if it is also something that is considered wrong to do?

The school I go to officially says they don't maintain a wait list but I've read where students have been accepted after being rejected d/t open slots. My school is allotted student spaces by the hospital they are affiliated with and count on a specific number.

I wouldn't go to the school unless I was 100% sure I wanted to be there the entire time. It seems like a collosal waste of money and time otherwise. It's a small world and you don't want to put a bad taste in your future colleagues mouth. It hurts their attrition rates too.

Anyhoo, if you have good stats and feel like you could get in your local, maybe just wait and earn money in the meantime?

The school I go to officially says they don't maintain a wait list but I've read where students have been accepted after being rejected d/t open slots. My school is allotted student spaces by the hospital they are affiliated with and count on a specific number.

Thank you for sharing this. I hadn't considered the possibility that they may sort of have an unofficial wait list.

Taking a spot with the intention of bailing if something better opens up would not be considered a "stand up" thing to do. Someone would be denied admission because of that. I'd consider it lacking in consideration and character. Just hold out for where you want to go. You've demonstrated your ability to be accepted and turning down an admission for a better fit shows discretion and confidence in your ability.

It sounds like you are in a tough situation. But if I were you, I would never leave a program that I had committed to. CRNA is an amazing profession and highly sought after. Getting accepted into any program, as you are well aware, requires a lot of preparation, time, and money. If you leave your program after the first semester, you are taking that opportunity away from another student who was denied admission.

It is highly likely that your first program would find out why you left, and they may even contact your local program and try to dissuade them from allowing you to transfer. Most CRNA programs are very small and intimate- and when they accept you, they are accepting your tuition for the next 2-3 years; if you leave, they have no financial way to regain that money. Money is a big motivator for a lot of people...

Have you tried contacting your local program administrator and being honest about your situation? You can let them know that their school is your first choice (come up with solid reasons to support this in case asked why), and that you have already been granted admission into another program. Perhaps they have an early admission option that they can award?

If they can't admit you early, I would really like to encourage you to just commit and enjoy your other program! I traveled across the country for mine and in many ways, it was a blessing not to be distracted by all the comforts of home. Other students had to wrestle with family time, long term friends demanding attention, etc. All I had to focus on was myself, my new SRNA friends (trust me after the first semester you will already have strong bonds), and being the best I could be. I hope this helps a little even though it's likely not the answer you wanted to hear...

Thank you to all who responded.

I hope this helps a little even though it's likely not the answer you wanted to hear...

Apparently I have given the impression that I am just looking for reassurance that its ok to leave one school for another, but that is not true. I didn't "want" to hear anything other than insight from active SRNAs and CRNAs :) I only know a few CRNAs and they happen to all be close to retiring (age). They are not really involved in the CRNA world much anymore, and all of them actually told me they didn't see a problem with leaving one program for another, so I am glad I decided to seek out other opinions. I really appreciate everyone who has offered their opinions no matter what that opinion was.

CRNAGuide2016 - I have already checked to see if there was any possibility of an early decision from the school I'm interested in but was informed there wasn't. Thank you so much for the advice though.

I get it. I apologize for assuming you were looking for assurance about what you are thinking of doing. Is the class you are trying to leave a large class? It would probably be easier to leave a large program than a small one. My class had about 25 students and was quite intimate- we all got to know one another very well. I had one classmate who wanted to switch programs because she was having a conflict with one of the clinical advisors (e.g. being accused several times of doing something she did not do). She was actively discouraged from leaving and basically told that no other program was going to take her (this was implied, not outwardly stated of course). She was a great student, and a great person. She ended up sticking it out and everything became much better.

I also wanted to add (because I didn't really think about this in my first post), that they probably won't let you go quietly. They'll likely have you attend meetings with administration and the director. Like I said, it comes down to you took the spot of another student who would be paying tuition for 2-3 years and I really do think this would be frowned upon unless you had a very strong reason for leaving (family member sick, need to be local to help take care of them, etc.)

Good luck and I hope everything works out!

Da_Milk_of_Amnesia, MSN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

I'm sorry your engagement ended and I get that it sucks. But I'm a current Crna and I'll tel you the truth about what you're about to do, if you haven't already. Going to once school and then transferring is typically not done, and is usually extremely difficult. Chances are if you give up this spot you will never get accepted back into school should you change your mind at some point. And most schools won't accept you as a transfer. In my opinion, I think you should stay with your original plan and go to school as you intended. I moved half way across the country on a whim with nothing more than what I could pack in my car. It turned out to be the best decision ever. Do it, take a chance and go for it. You'll look back on it and hate yourself if you give up this opportunity. I had someone in my class who dropped after 3 days. It stole a spot from someone who wanted to be there, that was selfish. Good luck.