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Steps to become a CRNA?

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by Rectaltylenol Rectaltylenol (New) New

Hi, I am will be getting my BS in Pharmacology in about a year and I was looking into becoming a CRNA. I am still keeping my options open but was wondering what the steps were? I know in order to qualify for CRNA school I need to be a RN and have at least 2 years in an ICU setting along with a few tests.

How long would it take to become an RN even if I have a BS?

Would it be better if i get my MSN first before applying? Which is about another two years?

OR would i just need to become an RN?

I am just confused what steps i should take after graduating if i were to pursue to become a CRNA. I am based in Southern California. So if you know any programs that fit my case that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Da_Milk_of_Amnesia, MSN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

You should have gone to nursing school if you wanted to be a CRNA. You need your BSN which traditionally is 4 years, plus 2 years of ICU experience, so you're looking at 5-7 years maybe ?

mindofmidwifery, ADN

Specializes in ICU Stepdown.

Since you already have a bachelors degree you can go the accelerated route when getting your BSN, given your GPA is good. That typically takes about 18 months-2 years, which isn't bad. After that, I'm not sure of the process.

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

Wow. I always though I made a mistake going into anesthesia and wished I'd chosen pharmacology. If I'd chosen pharmacology, I could have postponed retirement because 35 years of anesthesia just beat me up!

Would i be able to get into a MSN program with a bachelors of science in Pharmacology? Do you guys think its worth it? Pros and cons of Pharmacist and CRNA?

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

Why do you think that the grass is greener on the CRNA side of the fence?

I switched my first semester of college from pre-pharmacy to nursing with the intentions of crna. Anesthesia is a more hands-on profession than pharmacist would be in most cases. Most days, I kind of regret switching because I could almost be done with pharmacy school now rather than be working as a nurse and trying to apply to crna school. Not that I hate being a nurse at all. In the end, I would rather be a crna just because of how hands on it is day to day and I like most of the OR environment. The nice thing about pharmacist would be the fact that you could take a job in a small hospital and never have to see a patient (or many people outside of the pharmacy.) Or you could get your "hands-on" fill by working at a large facility in a specific ICU or ER and be more involved with the patients and also get to work codes.

You should def shadow both crnas and pharmacists before you make any big decisions. And try to in both big and small hospitals, because theres a world of difference in the two, especially for pharmacists.

Not say becoming a CRNA or a Nurse is easier than becoming a Pharmacist or anything. But I feel like going to pharmacy school in impossible for me now because my grades. Is getting into a nursing program (getting a BSN or MSN, i don't know which one) after a BS in a non-nursing major easier than getting into pharmacy school? What do you guys think? Based and would like to stay in Southern california.

To get into CRNA school you only need to complete your ASN and become an RN. After that you are golden for gettting into a CRNA with a pharmacology degree, assuming you have the grades.

Yeah, I think some CRNA schools would let you in with a ADN considering you have the bachelors in pharm. If low grades are a problem, you would have to work a few extra years in icu and take some extra classes, but you could eventually get in after proving yourself. I worked with a guy who did it that way. Eventually got his GPA above 3, 5 years icu experience and he was on his way. Heck, you would prob be making more as a RN in Cali than most APRNs in my state do :smokin:

My sister is a PharmD.

Her pay continues to rise as CRNAs are stagnant or declining (in many areas). Her vacation time and benefits are better throughout her job changes (chain store to private to compounding).

The job opportunities for each are equally diverse. Hospitals, outpatient settings, sterile environments, private agencies, sales, the pharmacist can do it all. Likewise, anesthesia is performed in dental, GI, pain and plastic clinics.

The stress is comparable mentally and physically.

My wife is an RN and I'm trying to talk her out of NP and towards PharmD. Why put up with the politics and constant defending yourself for less pay? Pharmacology all the way, but they say the grass is always greener...

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

My sister is a PharmD.

Her pay continues to rise as CRNAs are stagnant or declining (in many areas). Her vacation time and benefits are better throughout her job changes (chain store to private to compounding).

The job opportunities for each are equally diverse. Hospitals, outpatient settings, sterile environments, private agencies, sales, the pharmacist can do it all. Likewise, anesthesia is performed in dental, GI, pain and plastic clinics.

The stress is comparable mentally and physically.

My wife is an RN and I'm trying to talk her out of NP and towards PharmD. Why put up with the politics and constant defending yourself for less pay? Pharmacology all the way, but they say the grass is always greener...

The stress is the same? When is the last time a pharmacist had to deal with a CO2 embolism during insuflattion or asystole, prolapsed cords on OB, DIC, ruptured spleens, traumatic amputations, difficult airways etc.? There are pros and cons to each profession, but there is no comparison of stress levels between the two IMHO.

I believe it is all relative.

According to a new survey by ComPsych Corporation, a company that provides employee assistance programs, stress is not limited to pharmacists. In fact, the survey revealed that “health care and hospital workers are more stressed than [those in] other industries.” Another interesting fact uncovered was that workers in the retail industry had the highest percentage of complaints “related to psychological disorders such as depression.” So it is easy to see why retail pharmacists exhibit the high stress levels they do. - See more at: USPharmacist.com > Stressed Out?…You’re Not Alone!

It may be a different type of stress, but stressful all the same. CEO's, CRNA's, PharmD's, Accountants and Realtors all have perceived work stresses, but to say one is less than other just because it is in a different environment doesn't mean one should downplay it. Sure, lives may not be in their hands, but a lot of money, people's jobs, and supporting a family are all stressors.

Oddly enough (and with a grain of salt) not a single healthcare profession made it into Forbes list of top 10 stressful jobs... most of the jobs held no live's in their hands (with the exception of airline pilots and fire fighters).

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

I believe it is all relative.

It may be a different type of stress, but stressful all the same. CEO's, CRNA's, PharmD's, Accountants and Realtors all have perceived work stresses, but to say one is less than other just because it is in a different environment doesn't mean one should downplay it. Sure, lives may not be in their hands, but a lot of money, people's jobs, and supporting a family are all stressors.

Oddly enough (and with a grain of salt) not a single healthcare profession made it into Forbes list of top 10 stressful jobs... most of the jobs held no live's in their hands (with the exception of airline pilots and fire fighters).

You can never adequately state that they both have the same stress level when one profession is constantly dealing with life and death situations and the other is not.

There are multiple of articles that deal with stress and the anesthesia provider.

http://www.aana.com/newsandjournal/Documents/stress_0411_p122-128.pdf

There are very few articles dealing with stress and the pharmacist, and even those are just talking more about time management.

http://www.rsap.org/article/S1551-7411(08)00021-1/abstract

Thanks for the replies! I don't know. I volunteer at a pharmacy right now and they say its stable with constant hours and it DOES get boring everyday doing the same thing. This is just retail. One of the clerks suggested i look into nursing because it is hands on and maybe CRNA school down the line. But im already going to my fourth year so switching majors is unlikely. Would it be better in the long run to apply or an accelerated program to get my BSN or MSN and easier to find a job as a RN and would it look better when i apply for CRNA school?

If you want to go crna, all you need is a bachelors, a nursing degree, and one year icu experience. Some schools require extra classes but if you have a degree in pharm you already have those classes. You would be wasting your time getting a MSN just to work as a RN. Get the ADN or BSN. It may take you a year plus working as a nurse to get an icu job in cali (its competitive). If your grades arent good enough for pharmacy school, you will need extra icu years to boost your crna application. So all in all, you may be looking at being a competitive applicant in 4 years or so.

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

Before you even think about switching you should some time shadowing some nurses and at least one CRNA.

Before you even think about switching you should some time shadowing some nurses and at least one CRNA.

I agree. Dont make and spur of the moment decisions about something you will regret the rest of your life