I apologize in advance for the length of this post! I've been looking at advanced practice opportunities in nursing and the more I look into the CRNA career stream the more it appeals to me!
Any suggestions that anyone can provide are greatly appreciated.
Here's my situation:
I'm a 27 year old Canadian RN who recently started working in general systems ICU at a large level 1 trauma centre. I am a fresh graduate (graduated in Aug. 2008). I enjoy working in the ICU, and love how much there is to learn. We don't have CRNAs in Canada, and therefore I would have to move to the US to pursue this career stream. I hear you guys have nicer weather down there too!
Education wise I have a B.Sc. in molecular microbiology (this was my first degree) and then I did an accelerated track B.ScN. I had around a 3.0-3.5 in my initial degree. Unfortunately my GPA in my B.ScN took a hit as I got quite frustrated with my program. Overall I probably have around a 2.5-3.0 in my nursing courses.
I am kind of a molecular pharmacology nerd. I get excited about things like calcium sparks and inward rectifying potassium channels. I found the B.ScN program to be very fluffy, and it didn't seem to matter whether I studied or not; my grades would always be around the same range. I found it very hard to focus on fluffy nursing material and grew more and more frustrated with school. I only attended very few classes and didn't really study. I did, however, really like the practicums. This is what kept me in the program.
My questions pertain to academic upgrading.
1) I know some schools will consider applicants who improve their GPA by doing additional course work. Would it make a difference if academic upgrading course was done in Canada vs. in the US?
2) Also, I've heard that some admission committees like to see graduate level science courses. I have taken a few of these w/ grades A, A- range. Would it improve my chances if I were to get an masters in a scientific field?
3) How much weight does a good GRE score have on a applications? I know this varies from school to school, but would a high GRE score somewhat make up for my academic shortcomings?
4) How is research experience viewed by the admissions committees? Would practical research courses/publications help my chances of being accepted?
5) Is more ICU experience considered more desirable? I would like to have 3-5 years of ICU training before applying to CRNA programs.
Thanks again for reading through my long post. Any help is greatly appreciated.