PA CRNA potential student

  1. Good afternoon colleagues!

    Like everyone else, CRNA has always been a dream of mine, but I'm wondering if I will be applying with a decent amount of experience and whether or not I should wait.

    I have 1.5 years of experience in a very busy step down Neuro ICU/Stroke Unit at a level 1 hospital, and a 1.5 years exp in an outpatient Oncology infusion center on the same hospital campus. Since everyone always asks, I moved to outpatient oncology because I experienced the death of a very close friend of mine due to a rare form of cancer, and I felt so helpless not knowing anything about oncology. I have no regrets-- and my IV sticks are on point now-- but after completing my grief, I realized I didn't put myself in a good position to continue towards my goal.

    I moved in order to accept a job in the Surgical ICU (with MICU and CTICU overflow) in order to move forward with my goal. My hospital back home was on a 10 month hiring freeze, and once they broke out of it, they were only accepting RN's that had ICU experience already. Each time the managers told me that I was a perfect fit, but they couldn't justify taking me to HR when they had so many people applying with tons of exp.

    I started in the SICU at a level 1 hospital in May, and would like to apply to schools this coming February, hopefully to be admitted to the 2020 cohort and have 1.5 years of experience in ICU... My BSN GPA is 3.8, and I plan on taking the GRE to try and help my chances of being accepted. My preceptors have been absolutely wonderful and say I'm doing very well, and although I haven't mentioned my CRNA goals to anyone yet, it sounds like the unit, and my very kind manager, are open to the idea of their nurses moving on towards becoming NP's or NA's.

    Many people keep asking me which I would like to do, and I usually just say that I'm feeling things out and haven't picked one yet. I would also like to shadow a CRNA, and will try to make connections (and gain a letter of recommendation) while I plan on approaching my manager.

    My question is, would I even be a decent candidate at this point? How have you guys approached your managers? Has anyone else been accepted after just a year in ICU, but had experience in other units?

    I love my current unit a ton, and it actually makes me feel guilty at the idea of approaching them this coming December/January to ask for letters of recommendation because everyone has been so wonderful to me in my current unit. I do not really want to wait on applying since I'm 30 and would like to complete school before I start having kids. That being said, life happens and come what may, but I will always be aiming for CRNA school.
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    About TreeKitty

    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 2

    25 Comments

  3. by   nebrn
    I'm a little nervous about telling my manager I might be leaving for CRNA school too. One reason I think I'll wait until next year. My top choice is pretty competitive and I don't think I'll get in with less than 2 years experience-and then I'd have another year of working in the unit with the manager knowing I am planning to leave. I think some of the other nurses on my unit might be a bigger issue than the manager-if they find out.
  4. by   ProgressiveThinking
    If you score > 300 on the GRE and get CCRN you sound like an ideal candidate depending on the school you apply to. PA has 12 schools so they say that as a state their schools are generally less competitive than others (with the exception of Florida).

    I have classmates who got in with less than 1 year of experience and they all had GPAs similar to yours. I would also emphasize to your manager that the program wouldn't start until 2020 should you be accepted.
  5. by   Future1Intub8er1995
    Quote from ProgressiveThinking
    If you score > 300 on the GRE and get CCRN you sound like an ideal candidate depending on the school you apply to. PA has 12 schools so they say that as a state their schools are generally less competitive than others (with the exception of Florida).

    I have classmates who got in with less than 1 year of experience and they all had GPAs similar to yours. I would also emphasize to your manager that the program wouldn't start until 2020 should you be accepted.
    Whos says FL Schools arent competitive?
  6. by   ProgressiveThinking
    CRNA School Search

    Search FL and you can see the # of applicants vs admitted students for each school. allcrnaschools also has a pretty good spreadsheet that likely has more accurate information if you purchase it. There are 9 schools in the state. People from other states (at least ICU nurses in CA) apply to schools in FL as a back up which I think skews the applicant #s because a lot get accepted into schools in their own state and end up not matriculating in FL after being accepted. Wolford takes everyone who meets their minimum requirements and sometimes people who don't meet the minimums (hence their NCE pass rate). I have nothing against Wolford. I think being a good provider is mostly up to the individual, not the school. I even know a Wolford grad who started his own group. I applied to a different school in FL (I didn't end up going there though), and my interview was 3 questions before getting accepted. I'm not that spectacular either.

    More schools = more seats to fill = less competition. Not to say that they aren't competitive. They're just generally less competitive than some others is all.
  7. by   TreeKitty
    Quote from ProgressiveThinking
    If you score > 300 on the GRE and get CCRN you sound like an ideal candidate depending on the school you apply to.
    Do you think CCRN would be that much of a booster? I've looked over the AACN website and can't quite tell if my step down experience would count or not. I plan on applying to CRNA schools in February, so I don't think I would be able to have enough hours to sit?
  8. by   loveanesthesia
    All CRNA schools is not that accurate, they have information from 3 or 4 years ago. And their AA page just bugs me. I've emailed them about it but I think they're getting paid to have it on the site. Also take application numbers with a grain of salt. Some admissions departments count anyone who is not admitted this year in their next year's numbers.
  9. by   Future1Intub8er1995
    I think "CRNA Schools" is Fake News LOL!
  10. by   Future1Intub8er1995
    That COA website has some fuzzy numbers to
  11. by   ProgressiveThinking
    It seems they do. Adding last year's non-admitted applicants to their current year's number of applicants further strengthens the argument of Fl schools being less competitive though. Just sayin.

    To get back on topic Tree kitty your step down experience will not count toward the ICU requirement. I had step down experience as well, and when I talked to my interviewer they said all experience is better than no experience. However, i'm sure that mindset will vary from PD to PD. Some schools have different requirements on how much experience you need to apply vs how much you need at the time of matriculation. My best advice would be to contact the program directors of the schools you were interested in. I contacted multiple PDs via email when I was applying and all were very receptive to me. I sent them my stats, asked them what I could do to improve stats, and if I was competitive. I thought I wasn't competitive because everyone online seems to have a 4.0 GPA and a 320 GRE score, but the bottom line is schools have seats to fill and there are ~2400 seats to fill nationwide each year and not everybody has a 4.0 GPA with 5 years of CVICU and a 320 GRE . Your stats seem more than competitive enough to fill one of them.
  12. by   ICUman
    Quote from ProgressiveThinking
    the bottom line is schools have seats to fill and there are ~2400 seats to fill nationwide each year
    Where are you and loveanesthesia getting this number figure from? I saw them post that same thing too in another thread. Intriguing.
  13. by   ProgressiveThinking
    https://www.nbcrna.com/docs/default-...ual-report.pdf

    Number of first time applicants for the NCE
  14. by   Future1Intub8er1995
    I dont see youre arguement on FL schools being less competitive... I see no facts to support your statement. Is a state with one school more competitive than a state with 20? truth is most people who apply are from a similar applicant pool with similar if not exact same "stats" the applicant pool is homogenous.

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