Reasons NOT to be CRNA - page 7

I'm a student nurse in a BSN program in florida. I heard about CRNAs shortly after I decided to purse a nursing career. I thought I had my mind set on being a CRNA. However, so far in school, I'm not... Read More

  1. by   subee
    Quote from nomadcrna
    Numbers are way, way off.
    I've not made less than 200k since 1999(as a CRNA).
    And I'm sure you had to do plenty of overtime to earn that. Been a CRNA for about 30 years and I've only seen a number like that once as a base salary. Person didn't last long because it was evening and nights coming to a 50 hour base work week.
  2. by   nurse.bettyRN
    Where are they now?

    To the OP and the original commenters of this post back in 2006, MistaV, micugirl, goodytwoshoes and others, I am curious to hear an update and see how you guys made out with your situations.....Did you guys finish school okay? Did you get through the anesthesia program alive?!....I'm curious to hear your experiences as well as any advice you could give us upcomers eager and willing to take the same path....This post has been so informative, I can't even tell u.......
  3. by   nomadcrna
    I have not been employed since I left the army.
    I did private practice, fee for service in 1999-2000 and made over 200k each year.
    I made 215k from 2000-2007 in Texas.
    I made 170k working two week on and two weeks off in Montana after that for 3 years.

    Heck the national average is 180k. I'm not sure where you are working but 200k is not hard to find.
    Go look on gaswork.com, I see many jobs over 200k there right now.


    Quote from subee
    And I'm sure you had to do plenty of overtime to earn that. Been a CRNA for about 30 years and I've only seen a number like that once as a base salary. Person didn't last long because it was evening and nights coming to a 50 hour base work week.
  4. by   graceface
    Thank you for each of your input on this forum.

    I am interested in learning more about being a CRNA and would LOVE to shadow someone. I live in Oakland, California and I am willing to commute for an opportunity to learn more. Can you help?

    Thank you!
  5. by   subee
    The people who makr the most money often work in the biggest shortsge areas, i.e. plsces thst sre undesirable enough to have shortages 0R thry work a lot of hours. In a rural area you msy not have a lot of scheduled cased but you fo have a lot of call. I have no doubt you EARNED the big bucks.
  6. by   Terpole
    why thank you for asking!

    I actually stumbled upon my old post just for fun.

    Right now I'm currently in a CVICU gaining my ICU experience. I'm still researching to see if this is the right decision for me. There is a significant investment into anesthesia school and I'm not taking this decision lightly.
  7. by   beetlebum
    It seems you need to step into the ICU and see the foundation of CRNA. I am in my journey in becoming a CRNA and I love the ICU. I understand what most CRNAs talk about and why they pursued their advanced practice in nurse anesthesia. I think you should start to work first and see.
  8. by   Mursing It
    Quote from Alpha13
    To say the least your numbers are a bit slanted.

    Are you talking about becoming a travel nurse for that $100k/year figure as a regular RN? Because if not, I don't see how you would make only 55-60% of other RN jobs as an ICU nurse. In So Cal. ICU pays the same as any other field.

    As for using $120k as the salary for CRNAs, first of all this is on the lower end of the pay scale. Second, obviously this figure is not static and will rise quickly as CRNA gains experience.

    More accurate figures would be something like this:

    New grad ICU RN salary: ~65k-75k from year 1, up to 90k on year 5.
    CRNA school costs: 100k/2 years
    New grad CRNA salary: $130k from year 1, $140k-$150k from year 3.

    If a new CRNA was to pay off his debt as quickly as possible, he'd catch up to the regular RN in about 2 years. But numbers don't tell the whole story. The CRNA has vastly greater earnings potential than the RN, enough so that he's gone from "decent middle class bloke" to "upper middle class yuppie." If he's smart with his finances and career prospects, he can go even higher. The RN has very little upward potential in comparison. Sure, he can move into traveling or management, but that's about it.

    Honestly there's no comparison here in terms of earnings potential.
    As with anything it all depends on circumstances (age, living situations, debt to income ratio, etc.). I also agree that finances, while never the ultimate decision-maker, should be heavily taken into account.

    Your numbers don't factor in the lost wages, lost potential for compound interest, etc. So even at 65-70k after 2-3 years of CRNA school, you are looking at a 250k+ hole to dig out of to break even, and that doesn't take into account interest on the loans.

    I completely agree that staff RN vs CRNA is no comparisons in terms of earning potential for the vast majority outside of CA, but there are so many other avenues to pursue bigger pay days if that is your end goal. You can easily take home 100k as a travel nurse for instance.

    The path should be primarily based on passion, not simply chasing the highest dollar.
  9. by   NoctuRNal_UnicoRN
    Every once in awhile I read this thread over again. Does anyone have any updates? It's almost 2017 I'm also curious about the wavering decisions/job prospects post school the posters have had. Are you still undecided? Which school did you attend/what is your debt situation? Are you happy, if you did graduate? Would you do anything different? We need answers!
  10. by   William2
    Quote from NoctuRNal_UnicoRN
    Every once in awhile I read this thread over again. Does anyone have any updates? It's almost 2017 I'm also curious about the wavering decisions/job prospects post school the posters have had. Are you still undecided? Which school did you attend/what is your debt situation? Are you happy, if you did graduate? Would you do anything different? We need answers!

    I agree I would very much like to see both sides of this. I've talked to CRNA's here at work and gained some interesting knowledge and perspectives. Job wise here there is a demand, but schooling is competitive and would require relocation for a time being. I have interest in a state university master program with tuition of ~4100k plus 2000k each semester for professional program degree not to mention other encounter expenses. Its a 28 month program. As far as cost I'm not sure where it ranks.

    Most importantly is the job. How is it? A fellow tells me he is glad he misses out on the "political" side of being an RN. He was annoyed with the growing number of policies and procedures and politics that came along with patient care. Things to do with JC or in hospital policies that "better nursing and patient care" but were more of an annoyance. He won't discuss specific subjects however..He does his job, supports his colleagues and leaves. And likes not being "pushed around."

    I have to agree with some of the vague statements he makes. Someone it feels is always coming up with a new "better" way to do something all the time and we are suppose to follow suit. Just one more thing to chart, ask, or do etc. Recently, we are being enforced to put these damn stickers on our foleys each shift to state we did foley care that day. But we chart it electronically... the redundancy is %^&* annoying.

    My biggest concern of all about being a CRNA is standing in one spot, relatively. I walk fast and like to move. For now. In ICU I'd rather have two busy patients with multiple drips and changing hemodynamics and impromptu procedures than being on my @ss waiting for the night to go by. Of course a break to chart is nice. But overall busy is better. Is CRNA right for me?
  11. by   fightorflight
    I have a friend who started CRNA school and had a chunk of debt when he started the program already. He took out a large loan and rented an apartmentt that was expensive, had a high car note. Honestly he was not prepared to start CRNA and made poor decisions going into it. Turns out he was so stresssed out dealing with the financial aspect of school that he failed out within his first year of school and now has even more debt. CRNA is not for those who aren't financially prepared.
  12. by   JMurse89
    Quote from fightorflight
    ...Turns out he was so stresssed out dealing with the financial aspect of school that he failed out within his first year of school and now has even more debt. CRNA is not for those who aren't financially prepared.
    THIS. Failing out and being stuck in debt with nothing to show for it is seriously my biggest fear. I'm already not sure if I can get in, let alone stay afloat for 2 years. I would not attend the 2 programs in my state due to the cost of tuition plus travel. I'm not competitive enough for CA. Not sure where to go besides Puerto Rico.

    Would love to hear updates on this forum from the OP's!
  13. by   jevancole
    Hey all,
    I have been an RN with my BSN for nine years. I have tried my hand at many types of nursing in different parts of the country: medical surgical, prison, cardiac, ICU, travel, clinical coordinator, and management (in Ohio, Montana, and California). I am currently working in an ICU in Ohio making $64k/yr. My wife and I have a baby on the way and intend to have several children over the coming years. So, in order for her to be able to quit her job and stay home with our children (which is what we both agree would be best for us), I need to find a job that can support such a lifestyle. I am currently studying for [and scheduled to take] the GRE in six weeks. I will then submit applications to several CRNA schools in Ohio this summer. My undergrad GPA was 3.2, which I know will be detrimental in the application/interview process for CRNA school (as they are generally looking for 3.5 or higher), but I am hoping my work ethic and dedication will shine through. I know this thread was started to see if there are reason "not" to become a CRNA, however in my interactions with CRNAs over the years I have never met one who regretted their decision. In fact, quite the opposite. The challenges (from what I have been told and what I have researched) are simply the same things mentioned over and over within this thread: 1. competitive program enrollment process, 2. cost of education (which varies wildly depending on the school), and 3. the inability to work while in the program. With persistence I believe I will make it into one of the colleges, tuition will be easily managed with the massive increase in my annual salary after graduating, and my wife will continue to work and support us while I go to school. I can see no other downsides that will stop me from pursuing this endeavor. The end result will mean my family can live comfortably on my CRNA salary. If anyone is curious about my journey, I'll be happy to answer questions as I go.
    Cheers,
    jevan

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