Columbia's ETP Program for CRNA: Only allows time for 1 year ICU work. Enough time? - page 2

Columbia accepted me into their entry-to-practice program for nurse anesthesia. In this program, the student receives a BSN in 12 months, then has 15-16 months to pass the NCLEX and finish the one... Read More

  1. by   mfg83
    Thanks everyone for your comments - everyone is so helpful on here! There seem to be majorly mixed reviews about the program, at least on these boards. Some people rave about it, particularly those in the CRNA track seem to really enjoy their time. graceface, one of the former CRNA students on allnurses said that the students in the NA track spend the majority of their ETP time in the ICU, which gives them a step up in getting work after graduation. Did the person you talked to mention this? Can anyone else speak to this? To me, this seems like a major advantage of this program over others if we already know we want to be CRNAs eventually. With clinical time + 14 or 15 months of possible work time, that could equal almost 2 years in the ICU, which I would certainly think is enough to feel comfortable. The 2 CRNAs I know personally both say that the ICU time has advantages, but is more to make sure you're competent (in other words, ICU work and CRNA work are different skill sets). This is obviously a pretty small sample size - do any practicing CRNAs have thoughts on this?
    Thanks again everyone!
  2. by   graceface
    I appreciate the conversations and input on this forum. Thanks! The ETP NA student I spoke with had entered the program two or three years ago. She did mention that she was not sure how the program might have changed. I am excited to hear good news from someone who entered the program more recently. Thanks for sharing, FL4763!

    mfg83, the student I spoke with did not talk about spending a majority of clinical time in the ICU. Thanks for letting me know! Are you planning on going to Visiting Day on March 2nd? Regretfully, I won't be able to go.

    Another thing that I heard from the student I talked to was that the NA track at Columbia does not train its students well in certain types of regional blocks, which can limit the types of CRNA jobs you are qualified for after the program. She said it would be difficult to go into some more independent practices. However, the student also said the strengths in training included general anesthesia, epidural blocks, and a few others. Do you have any perspective on this, FL4763?
  3. by   2Jeanne
    Yes - im considering applying to the etp/crna track at Columbia - but as a technical person (bs & ms engineering) & manager (navy officer & GE manager) - my priorit is to become as independently functioning as possible - which means the Columbia program would probably a frustration & detriment to me. Opinions?
  4. by   graceface
    I am expressing the opinion of one person who entered the ETP NA program a few years ago. So I can't say with confidence if what I had is true or applies to the program currently.
  5. by   mfg83
    hey graceface, no unfortunately I can't get to visiting day either. I wish I could because I'd like to hear more specifics about the program and talk to some current students. I asked Jose to forward me any power points or other info that those students will be getting, though, so hopefully those will be helpful.
    I was also lucky enough to have recently spoken with someone whose sole responsibility is to hire all CRNAs for a consortium of hospitals in a large region of the US. He spoke very highly of the Columbia program, and said from an employer side of things it is hugely advantageous to have attended Columbia, despite what others on these boards seem to be saying (maybe this is exclusive to the CRNA program and not inclusive of NP or some of the other tracks). He also hooked me up with a recent grad of the ETP/CRNA program, with whom I'm going to speak in a couple weeks, but from our initial conversation, she seemed extremely positive on the program as well, and super excited that I got in.
    I definitely would like to be trained to be as autonomous as possible, or at least have the ability, so it's a little disconcerting to hear that a recent grad said that was a weakness. When I talk with my contact I will definitely ask her about this and let you know what i find out!
  6. by   graceface
    Thanks for the update, mfg83. I'm happy to hear that you spoke with someone who hires CRNAs. I am also excited that you will be speaking to a recent grad as well. It took me a long time to find one! It will be great to get more perspectives.

    Where are you from, mfg83? Another concern that I had which may or may not apply to you is that I want to return to California after graduating. The student I spoke with said that the the program at Columbia helps students easily find CRNA jobs in NY because the program provides clinical placements at the best hospitals in NY. However, the student said that finding a job in CA would be much more challenging. The student explained that this was mostly because most CRNA jobs are about networking and personal connections. Are you planning on staying and working in NY after the program or moving to another state? Can you ask the other student you are going to speak to about this matter?
  7. by   mfg83
    I'm from California too! I think I'd be equally happy returning to CA after graduation as I would be staying in NYC, although the weather in San Diego is tough to beat..
    I will ask my contact about the work situation, but I can tell you that she doesn't work in New York. I'm not super worried about the prospect of not being able to find a job in the city I want though. If you look on sites like for example, there are currently 438 CRNA jobs listed in the country. The job growth is expected to grow by something like 30% in the next 10 years too. I think with a solid degree, good references, and a good head on your shoulders you wouldn't have a problem getting work anywhere you wanted. I think Columbia takes care of 2 of those 3 things. Anyways, I'm not too worried about that. I just want to be prepared to take on anything that comes my way. Either way I'll ask when I talk to her.
  8. by   MTroup
    Hi everyone:

    Does anyone know, due to the very limited time to obtain ICU employment (which in itself is hard enough right out of school), does Columbia assist in finding positions? For instance, some kind of "career services"?

    Or asked differently, have any candidates to the ETP program for anesthesia lost their position in the program due to their inability to find an ICU position quickly?

    Thanks for the information.
  9. by   SMB13
    Hi MTroup,

    I had the same question and called & emailed Admissions. I was told over the phone that the school does not assist in finding positions. When I asked if I could defer in order to get more than one year of training, I was told that they could only guarantee my position for a year. However, when I emailed, Jose told me that in the event that I needed more time to secure a position and get one year of training, I could petition for an extension. He also verified that the school does not assist in finding employment.

    I also have an ETP contact who graduated last year as a pediatric NP. She said some of her anesthesia classmates were able to secure ICU positions because of their clinical placements during ETP. Hope this helps!
  10. by   knurse16
    No, Columbia won't help you find a job. The people from my class who found jobs in the ICU right after graduation were people who did their integration (like a senior preceptorship) in hospitals outside of manhattan (ie Long Island or Brooklyn). The major hospitals in manhattan that Columbia does rotations with (like NYP, Mt Sinai) generally won't hire a new grad into an ICU. CRNA students from last year moved upstate or out of state. I took an extra year off and moved back home to California. You will most likely find a job, especially if you are willing to move to states that accept more new grads into ICUs (North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, Florida). Start looking into new grad residency programs the March before you graduate. Good luck! And I hope to see you all around campus in the future.