Need Advice Please-CRNA vs. NP situation

  1. Hello,

    I am currently in a unique situation...After shadowing a CRNA three years ago I moved cities and switched from being an ER nurse to a SICU nurse. While working there I met a guy whom I believe I want to spend my life with. He is currently in his second year of medical school in New York and still has two more to go. I currently live in Baltimore and we have been dating long distance for about a year and a half thus far. Being far away does present challenges and we are ready for a bigger commitment. I have been working towards my pre-CRNA requirements and getting into school prior to meeting him. My dilemma is that the nearest CRNA school is about 4 hours from him in Buffalo. I did apply here, but we would still be long distance and I am afraid that we may break up if I do not move closer to him. There is a nurse practitioner school near his medical school, however, I have been striving for CRNA for 5.5 years now and letting that dream dwindle is very hard for me to grasp at this point since I have worked so hard to get the chance to apply. I have submitted my apps to four schools for CRNA and will not hear back about interviews until October/November. I am thinking of going to the school near his medical school to check out their ACNP program and apply.

    To make the situation more interesting is my boyfriend is a naval officer and after his graduation, if we were to marry, I will be moving around the country with him to different medical centers. I am afraid that if I do the CRNA route now that maybe we will end up in nowhere land and I will not be able to get a job and pay off my loans. On the other hand if I would do NP I could find a job pretty much anywhere.

    So the pros of CRNA for me would be it is what I have been striving for for the past 5.5 years as a nurse, i have many advanced certifications, love the OR and the autonomy of the CRNA profession. Cons would be I could not be with my boyfriend until after school (2.5-3 years), if we move together I might not find a job to pay off loans.

    Pros of NP are I would have a stable career, help people of all ages, smaller tuition/loans, get to be with boyfriend next year and throughout school. Cons are I might feel regret not going to CRNA if I get in, might blame BF if I do not go and not happy with NP, what if we break up?(we HAVE been long distance), will miss putting in lines, gtts, etc. that I would get to do as CRNA

    My mom says only I can make that decision of what is right for me and I certainly know this, I am just wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation, what it was and how you dealt with it? Has anyone chose school over moving with a boyfriend/girlfriend or vice versa? I do not want to regret not going to CRNA school and to NP school since I do not have a ring (only a promise) that we will be engaged/married within the next two years. However, NP is not a bad career just not my first choice in my life.

    Sorry for the essay...just looking for some sound advice!


    Lady With The Lamp
  2. Visit Lady With The Lamp profile page

    About Lady With The Lamp

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 2; Likes: 3
    RN; from US
    Specialty: SICU, ER


  3. by   elkpark
    Men come and ago; your career is your career. How would you feel if you took the NP path, which you don't particularly want, and end up not marrying this guy and living happily ever after? Also, your boyfriend is only in medical school now; neither of you have any idea where he'll end up for his residency in another two years. Lots of happy, successful couples work around being separated temporarily for one-or-the-other's schooling or professional opportunities. If he really cares for and respects you, he'll want you to do (professionally) what you want to do, not settle for something you don't want just for the convenience of having you nearby.

    I hate to sound jaded and cynical , but, knowing what I do now, I would never advise a young woman to make any compromises or give up anything that matters for a romantic relationship (outside of an established marriage, that is; that's a little different matter).
  4. by   ICUsleep23
    You sound like you already know you would regret not becoming a CRNA. Though I know it seems scary to have to choose between your career and a promising relationship; you need to think of yourself first. I agree with the first commenter, relationships may come and go. If this one is truly as special as you think it is, this guy would want you to follow your dreams, just like he is following his right now. My husband and I have lived away from each other a few times because it was a necessary compromise in order for each of us to follow our dreams. Was it difficult? Yes! But it's not impossible! I firmly believe that the right person for you would never want you to give up your dreams for them (think about the likely resentment you will have towards him down the road when life is more stressful and you feel unfulfilled in your career, while he has accomplished his career dreams and you have not...)
    Love is an amazing thing, but real love would not demand you make a choice, it would support your happiness.
  5. by   monkeybug
    If you are meant to be, the relationship should be able to weather a little distance. I did several travel nurse contracts after I got married, and it actually benefitted our relationship in many ways. As for the CRNA route leaving you high and dry because you might be moving who-knows-where, well, there are CRNAs all over the place. Around here, they make more than the local family practice docs (this is a quote from a family practice doc). You could practice as a CRNA as a locom, giving you the opportunity to do temporary and fill-in assignments. I think it would be the more flexible route, based on my observations of CRNAs over the years.

    More importantly, if this is your dream, you should follow it. Hypothetically, what if you did forego CRNA school and become a NP, and what if you hated I?. If y'all were angry at each other, do you think that might sneak into your thoughts? "I gave up my dream for you, and now I'm miserable, and you don't even appreciate it." Do you think he should give up medical school in order to move closer to you? If not, then why should you do it? What if you give up CRNA school, and he flunks out of med school? There are so many unknowns in this situation, the only known quantity is YOU. You will always have to live with you and your decisions. He may be gone. If it takes you doing what you need for your career to drive him away, then you'll be lucky if he is gone.
  6. by   Lady With The Lamp
    Hello elkpark, ICUsleep23 & monkeybug,

    You all are awesome!!- let me just say that and I thank you for taking the time to respond to my first post ever on this website. I read each post and I feel like each one was telling me what I already know- that I need to be true to myself because there are no absolutes in life. However, I do believe in signs and after posting this message today I got a call from one of the CRNA schools I applied to for an interview next week. Your responses helped me immensely in this difficult situation, but I believe that CRNA school is in my future and that my boyfriend (if he is the one for me) will stand by me so I can follow my dreams.

    Stay tuned...I will keep you posted on my progress!

    Thanks again,

    Lady With The Lamp
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Congrats on the interview!

    I can answer to the long distance relationship thing: my husband was active duty Air Force and I was active duty Navy when we met and started dating and then I was sent to Japan and he went to forward six months: he got stationed (totally luck of the draw) in Japan too. We ended up getting married, had a couple of kids, they grew up, they have kids, fast forward to 2008 and he had an opportunity 200 miles away. So...he has a condo, I have a house and we see each other on the weekends. We've been doing this for 5+ years. Neither of us is willing to give up our careers at this time.

    We love each other very much and we've been married 33+ years so we definitely are in a committed relationship but I get where you are coming from. Things change when you are wishes on your decision.
  8. by   MrsStudentNurse
    I'm probably the minority but if he's the man you want to spend your life with aka you're going to marry then I'd choose him. Has he made it evident he wants to marry you and you him, if so then maybe CRNA can wait. At the end my career is not going to be holding my hand as I breathe my last breaths but my husband or kids/family will. Best of luck!
  9. by   Da_Milk_of_Amnesia
    I'm originally from NY and I applied to CRNA school in Minnesota. This particular school had early application deadlines, so I applied and ended up getting accepted. So what did I do ? I moved to MN. I had a girlfriend of over 3 years whom I love and adore and want to spend the rest of my ridiculous life with. But when it came down to it, if she didn't want to move to MN with me..We would have parted ways and gone on to do our own things. I'm sorry but I'm not going to sell myself short over a relationship, no matter how far I thought or saw it going. I know you build relationships with people and after so long it's really hard to walk away, but if I was you, I would go to CRNA and let the chips fall where they may. Who know what may happen, if you don't go CRNA school now, what makes you think you will definitely get in the next time you apply? You may not, you never know. Think of how many people say that they want to be a CRNA when they start nursing school and then think about how many people actually get in to CRNA school. I honestly think you'd be foolish if you said no to CRNA school for a relationship that may or may not last. Be selfish and do you. Just being honest. Good Luck.
  10. by   Eiano
    Would your boyfriend give up his residency spot of choice so you could be happy where you are?

    This question is not to push you one way or the other, but is an honest one to make you step back and look at the situation if it were reversed.
  11. by   missnurse01
    Good luck to you and I agree w the majority in my comprising your dream.