1. Greetings from a new member. I'm looking forward to learning lots from all of you on here. Quick blurb about myself and my plans. I'm 24 years old and a full time paramedic in a high volume, relatively progressive EMS service. Been doing it for a year plus some EMT-Intermediate experience in the same system before that.

    I love my job but no matter how much I tell myself this is my career I can't spend my life sitting on street corners for zero pay in an environment which is NOT conducive to evidence based practice, except for those select few programs, and has providers that are the "good 'ol boys" and stuck in the 90s no matter what is said or shown to them. I absolutely love my job, don't get me wrong, but there's a lot more out there for me. I'll have at least three years of medic experience and a year of Intermediate experience by the time I'm finished with school.

    Currently working on getting into an ADN program here locally through a private college. Hopefully can jump right into an RN to BSN directly after that and hopefully get myself into an ICU right off the bat. The plan after that is CRNA whether it be by way of MSN or DNP/DNAP. I have every intention of progressing all the way to the DNP level however if the opportunity is still there I'd like to do a Masters program and start working while I do my DNP. I'd like to potentially do a dual specialty in ACNP as well but my friend brought up a good point being, "at that point you might as well have gone to medical school." I'm planning on busting my ass for a 4.0 so I can pick my school rather than the school picking me. I've got a handful of schools in mind, most in my area. I'm not completely opposed to moving for school but I'd ultimately like to end up back here for the simple fact that I love the area. I'd rather love where I live and find work that I enjoy to make it happen rather than have that job that's a dream but hate every other aspect about my life. I don't have an issue commuting. I'd love to do everything in Nevada, Northern California, Oregon, Utah or Colorado. Preferably NV and Northern CA if I had my way.

    During medic clinicals I fell in love with Anesthesia and the OR in general. I could never get over how cool it was to bring someone into the hospital, put them under, operate on them, emerge them then in some cases send them home in the same day. I'm also very tactile. I love using my hands, I love working with patients. I'd rather be at the bedside, hands on with the patient giving drugs and doing procedures than standing back and writing orders.

    Alright, I'm done ranting. Don't be too harsh on me please, I know there's a lot of friction between medics and nurses in some cases. I have nothing but respect for what you all do and look forward to learning the practice of nursing! Lots have asked why no bridge program. I'm not even going to go near opening that can of worms.
    Last edit by Robb911 on Dec 31, '13
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    About Robb911

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 5; Likes: 1
    Paramedic; from US


  3. by   missnurse01
    I wanted to say welcome and hello! You did not have a specific question that I saw so I just wanted to say hi. I did a long path as well, lpn, adn, bsn, and just finished my first semester of crna school. I did many years of ER, loved it. I also was on a path to get the medic after I was an RN but had to stop at EMT-I, it was super fun to do those classes and actually taught me quite a bit about emergency management of a pt. RNs are generalists in school. Anyway, just here to say congrats on moving forward, and feel free to post questions or updates! I know many medics that have gone on, and many that stayed b/c they loved their job altho didn't like the things you listed as well. It's hard. Good luck!
  4. by   Robb911
    Thank you!! How are you liking school so far? Is it really as terrifyingly difficult and intensive as everyone says? Everyone told me medic school was a pain in the ass and I didn't really have any trouble with it, graduated valedictorian, so I'm always hesitant on what people say about classes and schools.

    I'm assuming I'm probably going to have to take some extra sciences on the side to make my app for school competitive. I'll have a two semester A&P with lab component as well as micro with a lab and two pharm class in my ADN program. I'm guessing I'm going to need a regular bio class in order to take the O chem/biochem it seems like I'm going to need, which I'm not looking forward are there any other sciences that I'm missing that are required or you'd recommend to boost my app, help my practice or just make school easier?

    Thanks again!!!

    I think it's funny how gung-ho I am on this then I realize I'm not going to even start thinking about applying to grad school for at least 4 more years.
  5. by   wtbcrna
    Good luck with everything! I read through your original post and it looks like you have done your homework on what it takes to be a CRNA. I did the long route to become a CRNA (CNA, LVN, BSN, MSN/CRNA, and recently DNAP) too like missnurse. Motivation I think is the number one key to success in NA, and you sound like you have plenty of it.
  6. by   Da_Milk_of_Amnesia
    Quote from Robb911
    Thank you!! How are you liking school so far? Is it really as terrifyingly difficult and intensive as everyone says? Everyone told me medic school was a pain in the ass and I didn't really have any trouble with it, graduated valedictorian, so I'm always hesitant on what people say about classes and schools.

    - School is really intensive, you have to put in a lot of work. I study everyday until like midnight. It's not terrifying difficult, but it's a masters/doctoral level, so things are very in depth and you're accountable for a very large amount of information. Whether you've been a nurse for 2 years or 20 years, you're still going to have to put in work.

    NA school is like nursing school in the sense that you have absolutely no idea about anything. Being an EMT and a firefighter for 12 years, let me let you in on a little secret, when you get into nursing school, a lot of what you learned as a medic you're going to have to forget. The way of thinking is completely different. Some of the skills, such as assessment and IVs n some other things you will still use and even become better at, but you're going to have to change your mind set to some degree. I has this literally beat in to me, during nursing school.

    Finally, congrats on being valedictorian, however; I've met plenty of nurses who are very book smart and are absolutely **** poor practitioners, whom i wouldn't let work on my dead dog. being smart is all well and good, but if you can't put it all together then it's worthless. If and when you get into the ICU you'll learn that things aren't done necessarily 'by the book.' And as far as ICUs go, getting into a ICU as a new grad can be done, however; I wouldn't say that is the norm by any means. Being a pessimistic ICU nurse, i'd tell you to expect to do a year of Med/surg and if you happen to land an ICU job then consider it a gift. good luck, you got a long ass way to go man. I'm all for having hopes and dreams and what not, but you got a lot of other stuff to get thru before you even think about sending in an application to a CRNA school.
  7. by   missnurse01
    School is…..interesting. Each program is a little different but I choose a science heavy school and I got my wish lol. Concepts, for the most part, are not difficult, it's just the shear volume they want to cram into your brain that is the problem. There are not enough hours in the day to get it all in there. We just finished our first semester, everyone was living off of energy drinks, coffee, and caffeine pills. I got about 4-5 hours of sleep every night, including weekends. I saw my family for a half hour dinner each night, on the weekends you could say I also saw them for a half hour lunch. Everyone learns differently and there are def people in my class who found time to do other things, still occasionally go out, etc. I think we went out once, for my husband's birthday, to dinner. Other than that I was at home studying. So I guess the answer is yes, it is a huge volume. When you do anatomy and phys, it will be like that, just worse. I didn't think it was going to be this time intensive b/c I had handled a lot in the past and still was able to work, go to school and get A's-- at one time I was working 2 jobs, doing an online rn-bsn full time program, was also attending emt school twice a week, and had 4 kids. I thought I knew about being busy. Nope, this is more time consuming. We have had only 4 OR observation days so far. Next semester we start regular rotations twice a week. The obs days were eye opening, about how much we will need to know to keep our heads above water…the crna's, some of them, enjoy pimping, where they ask you question after question. But they also let you do anything, so most of us were able to induce, mask ventilate, intubate, give meds, extubate, during these obs days. Some of these tactical skills will not be new to you as they are to us! lol

    Before I applied I took three classes of gen chem, which was req to get into ochem. I also took a physics class. It has all been helpful so far, esp the chems…and we are going to start medicinal chemistry next semester, so I bet I will be even more glad! You need gen chem not bio to get into ochem. If you could take, or audit, a grad level physiology class, that would be most helpful. That would be after you are an rn, getting your icu experience. I watched a lot of Dr. Najeeb, he is awesome. I am the same way with gung ho- ness…when I want to do something I want to plan it all out and start NOW! lol You have along path, so just keep the fire burning.

    good luck
  8. by   Robb911
    I definitely know all about book smarts not equally ability to apply the knowledge. I'm still a very new medic, although from the system I've worked in I've got more patient contacts than many people with twice my experience. I'm not gods gift to this planet but I'm very gm confident I will be able to properly apply the concepts from both nursing and CRNA school during direct patient care. There are definitely things in EMS that are done "by the book" and things that are not. I think that rings true for any profession though.

    I'd rather be told that I'm more than likely going to be doing med/surg before being able to get into the ICU than have people telling me GNs in the ICU is a sealed deal and "happen regularly" and get my hopes up. I have no problem paying my dues although it'll be tough going from the too half of seniority and being the one that people ask questions to going back to the bottom and not having a clue what I'm doing. One thing I do have on my side is the hospitals here love grads from the school I'm shooting for.

    Again thanks for all the responses!!
    Last edit by Robb911 on Jan 2, '14
  9. by   missnurse01
    it might not be med surge, it might be tele, or step down. You could always do ER then transition to ICU. I did tele, ER, then ICU. Not many come up from the ER though, it can be a difficult transition and way of organizing the day. Good luck to you! If you can get into a step down or tele, that might look better for managers that are looking for people in ICU. It's different everywhere though.

    good luck!
  10. by   gobluern
    I took the very unconventional route of lpn>adn>bsn and now in a DNP program. Also from the OR to ICU. Anything is possible. Good luck, you got this if you keep your eyes on the prize.
  11. by   Robb911
    I think step down or tele would definitely be easier to transition to and without causing anyone on here offense, to bear. ER is definitely an option too. I'd probably have a decent chance of getting into the ER right off the bat considering I've already built a good rapport with the nursing staff, physicians and managers. The Level II TC would be my first choice and is also where I've made the most contacts.

    Maybe it's just me but it seems like lots of ICU nurses transfer to the ER here. Not sure why. Doesn't seen like many go the other way though.

    It seems like ER experience alone isn't widely, if at all, accepted by CRNA schools since they specify Critical Care rather than Acute Care however a combination of ER and ICU experience combined with my prehospital experience seems like it would show a good diversity and experience, all in the acute or critical care setting. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm assuming I'll need more than one year of ER and one year of ICU to be competitive.

    One thing I will ask is does flight experience count for anything? Both in a medic and RN roll? I'd have to get really lucky but if I play my cards right I'll be able to lateral from ground to PRN flight as a medic when I finish nursing school.

    I may have missed it but I never saw an answer. Is it common for NPs to have a dual specialty such as CRNA and ACNP? I would think the second specialty would be easier to add with the graduate level sciences already completed but then again the schools are ao specialized, from what I've read, that would anything transfer. Only post masters ACNP program I found was USF's.
  12. by   burnrn85
    Flight experience rarely counts. They generally prefer ADULT ICU experience. While your diverse background won't hurt you, they likely won't care about anything except the acuity of patients you care for in the ICU. I worked specialty in burn, worked in PICU/NICU, and flew dual role as an RN/medic for several years. I went back to the hospital prior to school to work in CVICU and that seemed to be the only thing they asked me about in my interview. Your best bet will be to check the requirements of specific schools of interest when that time comes.

    Like others have said, the RN mindset is very different from that of a medic. I greatly value my background as a medic, but you have to be able to switch hats. Just as RN is different from CRNA, I am adjusting to a new role.

    Medic school was a breeze compared to nursing school. Nursing school was fluff compared to NA school. It's intense due to the volume of information you have to learn. I'm in an integrated program so time management between class, studies, and clinicals is critical.

    Your medic skills will be only a slight advantage. Most RN's have never intubated, but its a skill quickly taught and widely used. You will just have more experience and familiarity with technique.

    Good luck! You sound very ambitious, have researched and planned realistically. I'm confident you will be successful if you stick to it!
  13. by   burnrn85
    One more thing... Maintain your certs in ACLS, PALS, etc and get your CCRN. It will present you as a more impressive candidate.
  14. by   ICUsleep23
    Two people in my class are flight RNs! Depends on the program. I contacted a few program directors a few years before I applied, and I kept up my rapport with them. I was accepted to the best program for me. Keep those contacts up and start thinking about schools so you can direct specific questions toward the programs that interest you. Think about contacting program directors. In my experience they were more than happy to answer my questions about program requirements. Through this site I was also able to chat with a few current/past students far before I applied. This really helped me narrow down my list and ultimately invest time in programs that actually cared about graduating me, instead of falling victim to a program that has high attrition rates. I cannot imagine failing months before graduation and then still having to pay back a mountain of student loans! Good luck to you. There are some great programs out there!