Is there advantage to getting RRT and BSN before CRNA school?

  1. I'm trying to prepare myself for eventual application to CRNA school. I have been an RN for 2 years in cardiac telemetry and I'll be starting a 6 month critical care internship at a large trauma 1 facility in their CVICU, Surgical, Burn/Medical, and Neuro units. I'll be finishing my BSN on the way and it looks like I could get my RRT and finish it about the time I have enough experience to apply for CRNA school (planning on 2 years in the ICU before applying). Does anyone know if this would be a great advantage in CRNA school (not just the application process, but respiratory background in general)? Any RRT/RN's that are now CRNA's or are in CRNA school that would love to talk I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks!
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    About sleepyrasrn

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 34; Likes: 13
    RN
    Specialty: Neuro ICU, Cardiothoracic ICU

    10 Comments

  3. by   yanka12
    Hi there,
    I am RRT/RN and just had my interview for CRNA program.Still waiting for response. I think it is a great advantage (well, I'll let you know later if it is...).If you have both just make sure to get some experience as RT as well. I loved being a RT! So I'd say go for it...
    Also,try and get CCRN.
    Good luck,
  4. by   ArnieRNRRT
    Hello,
    I to am RRT/RN and currently in my first semester of CRNA program. As Yanka said, I also love being an RT. I love manageing the vents and airway. For me I was an RRT first and the desire to become a CRNA was the driving force to earn the RN. CRNA is an awsome combination of both professions. Since I am only in my first semester of anesthesia school I have not noted huge benefits to being both RRT/RN....but it certainly hasn't hurt. I do not know in your situation if I would seek out the RRT for the sole purpose of CRNA school. The time and effort it will take may not out weight the benefit you reap from your hard work. You will learn what you need to know about respiratory physiology/airway management/vent management etc...in your CRNA program.
    In my opinion you would serve yourself best by seeking the CCRN, and gaining as much clinical nursing experience as possible, getting high GRE scores, and becoming a 'stand out' person on your critical care unit. I don't mean to take away the importance of a good respiratory backround...I just think you can get what you need, related to RT, at work and in your program.

    Arnie,SRNA
  5. by   LisaRRT
    I was an RRT first then an RN, I have never heard of an RN who then became RRT. If I were you I would not. I love being an RRT like the other posters have stated too, but it is the 12 years of RRT experience that will help me in a CRNA program, not just the degree/registration itself.

    Lisa RN/RRT
  6. by   sleepyrasrn
    Thank you so much for your replies. It really helps to hear that I wouldn't necessarily be ahead in the CRNA program if I got an RRT. That saves me some time and money. Maybe I should be focusing on getting as much ICU experience as possible.

    I've been searching and studying, as much as I can, to find out what the best route is. So far it seems the best thing I can do is get the ICU experience, prepare for the GRE and solidify my sciences.

    Part of my concern is making sure I have enough clinical background to be a competent CRNA. It seems there would be a great deal of background differences among students that enter CRNA school. To those who have been through a program, is a couple of years of trauma 1 ICU experience adequate to being an effective CRNA? Maybe that's a silly question when programs seem to only require at least a year of ICU experience but I'd like to be prepared before going into the profession.

    Continuing on with entrance preparation concerns (thanks for being so patient) I wonder, should I take some organic chemistry prior to application to the program. I've completed my inorganic series but that is all. Also, what kind of physics courses should I take? I haven't had physics since high school. And what is the most important things to study for the GRE? Preparing for application is really intimidating but it's a rather exciting challenge too.

    Any other advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your advice.
  7. by   yanka12
    I think having RT degree is an advantage but you have to have some years of experience for it really be worth it for CRNA school. At least that what my school was looking at when I was interviewed.
  8. by   japaho41
    Personally, I think that your efforts could be spent on other things that would prepare you more, GRE, CCRN, ACLS, PALS, NALS, TNCC. Once you have the GRE work on applications, apply, once your accepted start taking core classes to make you life easier down the road. If you looking for things to do to progress focus on those things. Getting your RT, which in my understanding if you have a nursing license in some states would not let you hold both if you have a nursing degree first. I could be mistaken, that is my understanding.
  9. by   dfk
    RRT is fine.. you get the same physiology (and more than you ever wanted) in the same two yr education.. of course, if you have the time and money, i'm all for school ~
  10. by   japaho41
    The thing is here is that if you already have your BSN, why would you want to waste time getting your RRT if you want to be a CRNA. I think you would be better off applying to any university that offers an MSN and start work on core courses that will definately transfer to any program. Start with Nursing theory. I would bet that most programs that award an MSN require that course. Besides when would possibly have time to do your clinicals in a RRT program and still work a full-time job? You can't do clinicals online, but you can do quite a few classes for a MSN.
  11. by   RRT2RN2CRNA
    I am an RRT who is doing my RN now in preparation to apply to a CRNA program. I think there are a decent amt of us. However, I have never heard of anyone else doing it the other way around.

    I think that if you put in extra effort you can pick up a lot of respiratory and airway stuff in ICU. And the if you are friendly with some of the RRTs in ICU they will teach you whatever you want to know. If you show an interest and arent catching them at a bad time, most advanced level RRTs will sit down and give you little vent lessons. Especially if you show an appreciation for the work they do... which is rare from the nursing staff unfortunately.

    Although I think my RRT experience will benefit me greatly during CRNA school and after, I'm not so sure if it would be enough of a benefit in itself for you to go through a whole program just to go to CRNA school. I think getting good ICU experience in SICU or CTICU (or a progressive MICU) is the best way to learn RRT stuff without actually going to RT school.

  12. by   yanka12
    It is great to have both RN and RT. That was the very first thing that they noticed on my resume when I interviewed. I did not brought it up myself though because it can be great and it can kind of be a disadvatage,I guess. For instence,if you take RN with no experience in Respiratory and teach her/him to intubate it might be easier to teach than someone who had an experience with intubation and mech. vent. and knows something or developed it's own way of doing these things. You know what I am trying to say? I think being RT is great in a sence that you have a base knowledge of respiratory. It makes it easier to start learning so much more.
    I do not think it is worth going to school for RT just to become CRNA. RT school is also 2 years and lisencensure is NOT easy. I found NCLEX so much more easier.
    BTW,I am in for Fall 2007-UMDNJ/CRNA program.

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