Did you disclose your Plans for CRNA school

  1. While working in the ICU, did you disclose your plans for attending CRNA school? Why or why not?
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    About BSN24

    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 3
    from TX , US

    17 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Not a CRNA here; never had any desire to do it. But I am a seasoned nurse (Crusty Old Bat, if you will) and an experienced preceptor. As a preceptor in CVICU, I am well aware that over half of the new employees we get are only here to do the minimum time necessary to get accepted into anesthesia school. In fact, our unit is regarded in the local nursing community as "the feeder unit" into the local anesthesia school.

    Every six months, we get anywhere from a half dozen to a baker's dozen new orientees. If you have a pulse and a license that has ever been renewed, you will be tasked to help precept these folks. Even if you've been continuously precepting for years and even if you BEG for a break from precepting. With orientation time of approximately 6 months, it is possible to have an "old" orientee about to finish their orientation AND a new orientee who is just starting PLUS be "guest preceptor" for various other orientees whose preceptors are off or in charge. It gets old, pouring our heart, soul and the benefit of long experience into someone's orientation only to have them resign and go off to anesthesia school within a year of being off orientation. (Or, in a few cases, before they've finished orientation.) I worry that no one wants to work in ICU anymore; no one wants to actually take care of our patients.

    I'm not going to advise you on whether or not to disclose your plans for CRNA school. What I will tell you is that, if you're on the two year plan -- shorthand for "two years of ICU experience before anesthesia school" -- you're not going to get the same orientation as someone whom we suspect might actually stay at work with us. An old friend of mine, a charge nurse responsible for making out assignments, says "If you're on the two year plan, you get assigned the chronics and pain in the butt patients. The only way to prove you're not on the two year plan is to stay more than two years. So for the first two years, you get assigned to chronics and anal sphincters." I would argue that two years of nothing but chronics and anal sphincters would make anyone desire to resign and seek job satisfaction elsewhere, but I understand the point. If we don't think you plan to stay, we won't take you under our wings and show you the best way to time a balloon pump, change the controller on a HeartMate, ambulate a device patient or manage your time. With so many orientees, we don't have the opportunities to give everyone a stellar experience, so we'll give those opportunities to those we think will still be working with us once the ink dries on the new license.

    I have to question anyone who graduates from nursing school knowing that their destiny is to be a CRNA. At that point, you know nothing of nursing. How do you KNOW what you want to do for the rest of your career? If you've already pre-decided that you aren't going to be an ICU nurse, that the ICU is beneath you, that you were meant to be "more" than a bedside nurse, you won't like ICU nursing. Instead, why not keep an open mind and give it a chance?
  4. by   nebrn
    I have not told people that I might apply. If I do apply next year I'll have 3 years experience by the time I start, if I get in. If I was sure I'd be in at 4 years I'd wait until then, but you're never sure.
  5. by   BSN24
    Thank you for such insightful information.
  6. by   Rico713
    I knew i wanted to do crna school the moment i signed up for nursing school. I also was open about it to anyone at work who asked if i had future plans. The more experienced nurses didnt hold a grudge like the culture on your unit does and was very supportive. I learned as much as i could in 2 years and took hearts for 1.5 of that two years. Im not a fan of people bunching everyone into one category such as you should have 5 years experience and so forth. Everyone is different and has different aptitudes. Just because you didnt know what you wanted to do right away does not mean others are the same. I tell anyone to go for it when you feel ready not when others say you are. Here I am in CRNA school 2 years later and i enjoyed my time in the ICU.
  7. by   axcoleman
    How is school going and where are you attending?! I really want to be a CRNA but I don't know anyone who went through or is going through school currently.
  8. by   Future1Intub8er1995
    Dont tell anyone they will chew you up for wanting to be CRNA. See second poster for more detail and cases in points. Just do minimum and apply and say see you later. Everyone is doing it so it wont matter. The people on your unit who are there will care more than managers directors and CEOs. You DO YOU. God bless
  9. by   PICU-Murse
    I have worked in my unit for 6 years. Applied to a few schools this year and only told a couple people; however, word gets out and pretty soon all 100 other nurses i work with, knew about it and were asking me when I was leaving, etc, etc. I obviously had to tell my manager (for recommendation letters), but I did notice some repercussions from telling people. Opportunities for education and nursing conferences have been withheld from me because I'm "not staying anyways". I would recommend not telling anybody.
  10. by   Future1Intub8er1995
    Exacly ^^^ you will get max amount of patients, worst assignments, no help from your coworkers. Some of the most skilled, unstable vindicitve people in the profession. Keep all personal info to yourself.

    Funny thing is they probably wouldnt be as upset if you were going to PA or MD school. Its crazy because you're going to CRNA school they think you're a sellout.

    I see bedside nurses being nasty, rude, unprofessional to CRNAs all the time. Meanwhile they kiss butt for PAs. You cant fix it so dont say anything. This guy worked for 6 years and still got flack!!!!
  11. by   propofolsbff
    Quote from Ruby Vee

    I have to question anyone who graduates from nursing school knowing that their destiny is to be a CRNA. At that point, you know nothing of nursing. How do you KNOW what you want to do for the rest of your career? If you've already pre-decided that you aren't going to be an ICU nurse, that the ICU is beneath you, that you were meant to be "more" than a bedside nurse, you won't like ICU nursing. Instead, why not keep an open mind and give it a chance?
    I knew, because I spent a decade in the OR as a scrub....I realize I am not the norm. And I don't think ICU is beneath me, it just doesn't get my blood pumping like the OR does except maybe when I get a crashing pt. I went into it wanting to be a great ICU nurse, and I think I am doing well. But I will be so excited to get back to the OR doing what I think is the best part of ICU nursing and the best part of the OR.

    To answer the OP, I did tell my coworkers, and I eventually had to tell management because of the LOR needed. However I wish I had not, just because they ask about it a lot and sometimes I just don't want to tell everyone I didn't get in the first time. But on the other hand, there are a few others that also are trying to get in and so sometimes it's nice to have a sounding board as I try to navigate this process.

    My unit has been supportive and I haven't had anyone acting nasty towards me. We pick our assignments based on a lottery so no issues there, and I usually pick the more difficult assignments anyway. I was passed over for one educational opportunity, but I don't think that was necessarily because of wanting to be a CRNA.
    Last edit by propofolsbff on Jul 27
  12. by   Vicki2354
    Wow Ruby Vee, I am disappointed in your comment. It actually is scary you wouldn't precept someone as well as someone else just because you think they are on a "two year plan". Maybe so many RNs leave after two years because they are purposely given ****** patients. Maybe you need to talk to management about the amount of new RNs that are hired on your floor.

    Just because someone has different career goals than you doesn't mean they think the ICU is beneath them or they are meant for more. It means they have chosen to pursue anesthesia and need to work in an ICU setting, something they actually may really enjoy and want to learn as much as they can about until they have to precepted by you. Why don't you keep an open mind and give that idea a chance?

    In regards to the question, hopefully you work on a unit you are comfortable with your coworkers and manager and can talk to them about it because it's a big decision and time in your life. If not then don't tell anyone and when it's time to move on, move on.
  13. by   Hobberdog
    Don't tell anyone until you are accepted. Even then, don't tell anyone until you have to give notice. You will be treated differently and get poor assignments. It's just not worth it. Even your "friends" will chew you up if they find out you want to be a CRNA. They will treat you like you think you are above them.
  14. by   Future1Intub8er1995
    I concur with the above poster TELL NO ONE.

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