The road to becoming an CRNA - Looking for info/advice

  1. I posted this on the general nursing forums but didn't realize there was a CRNA forum. So i'm reposting it here.

    Hi everyone,
    I am currently on my 5th year as an undergrad going for a Biochemistry degree. It's taking me 5 years becuase I have absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. However today i read about CRNA's. I understand that I need a bachelor degree in nursing and must be an RN to be considered for graduate programs to be a CRNA.
    Before this I wanted to become a pharmacist, but after looking at what I needed to do the applications and prerequisites seemed a little ridiculous to me because each of the schools had their own set of requirements. If i were to apply to many different ones, I would have had to take alot of extra courses.
    My question is if I graduate with a Biochemistry degree, what steps would I have to take after I get my degree to become a CRNA. And just a couple more general questions. How long does it take? Is the coursework as tough as pharmacy coursework? Is it harder to get accepted into a MS program to become a CRNA as opposed to med,vet or pharmacy school?

    Thank you in advance.
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    About IcanHealYou

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 176; Likes: 77
    Specialty: Medicine


  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    check out our thread: read first: how to become a crna faq

    since you will graduate with bs degree, look into accelerated programs ...nursing programs that can be completed in one year of full-time 12 month intense coursework.
    baccalaureate and master's programs

    upon graduating, you must pass the nclex-rn exam to obtain licensure as rn. crna programs require 1 year experience in critical care unit prior to being accepted. as with other professions, each school has their own requirements for entrance.
    crna programs are ~ 24 months in length so you are looking at 4 years from now to become crna. coursework is equal to pharmacy school or possbily even harder as your actions control whether someone lives or dies when administering medications and gases.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 19, '06
  4. by   IcanHealYou
    Thank you =D
  5. by   luhowRN
    A friend of mine in nursing school (an accelerated 18-month program) came from your exact background - biochem degree then BSN then CRNA school. His wife was a nurse, so he was able to talk with her lots about being a nurse, but ultimately only wanted to become an RN to pursue his CRNA. He actually liked being a nurse enough that he put a few extra years in before applying, but when he did apply that biochem background put him at the top of schools' lists...

    I would go shadow some nurses before you pursue it all though, because if you don't like cleaning poo and some of the other delightful "nursing tasks", you won't get your required ICU experience in.
  6. by   IcanHealYou
    Wow thanks, thats really gives me a boost of confidence. And ill do whatever it takes, poo pee, whatever, bring it!
  7. by   coopsc1
    Maybe I can be of some help to you. I was actually in sort of the same situation as you. I actually have a BS in chemistry and a pharmD. I am now going to pursue a BNS/CRNA. I really like hands on patient care and I followed a CRNA and an anesthesiologist while on rotations in pharmacy school. I was in love!! I knew at that point that anesthesia is what I want to do.

    If I were you, I would try to get into an accelerated BSN program and work as a nurse. If you decide that it is not for you then you can go to pharmacy school and work as an RN while in school. I wish somone would have given me that advice 4 years ago! Pharmacy school is a doctorate program and somewhat all encompassing. However, you can still work on the weekends and some afternoons with good time management.

    Also, I would not let the money make the decision. Both CRNA's and pharmacist make great money, but after a certain point, all you pay is taxes. My fiance and I are both pharmacist and man, we pay out the A!! After student loans, house and car payment it feels like we have no money! Good luck to you and PM me if you have any other questions
  8. by   Skywalker
    What did you finally decide? Did you start on RN or PharmD?

  9. by   IcanHealYou
    Hey Skywalker, I am now in nursing school =D. About to graduate in like a month. This was the best decision I have ever made for my life.
  10. by   Riversurfer

    There are plenty of threads that already exist on what the minimum requirements are for acceptance into a CRNA program. Some schools are different, but most are minimum one year ICU, GPA 3.0 or above, GRE 1000 or above. Then there's letters of acceptance and the (much feared as I understand) interview.

    If you've already got a Bachelor's degree, go for an accelerated program. You'll be finished in about a year. I'm a male and in a 4 year Bachelor's program. It feels like it gets dragged out sometimes. I only have one semester to go and I just want to be done so I can start working. If you have any reservations about working as an RN first, I would say go for it. I was very uncertain at one point about being a male in the field and cleaning poop and doing other dirty tasks. It's not that bad and there is a lot of fun stuff to do, especially when getting into technical procedures and IV meds. I'm not sure how an accelerated program works, but the first year of my program sucked. Just plain boring classes with lots of theories of nursing, blah, blah. Then you'll take Pharmacology, Med-Surg I&II, and Obstetrics. Those classes were a blast. This last semester is supposed to suck also. I've got CRNA school on my radar as well and want to get into an ICU as quickly as possible. I CAN'T WAIT! Good luck man.
  11. by   Skywalker
    Thanks for the reply. I am glad you enjoy it. Are you still going for CRNA?
  12. by   alterego33
    It sounds like you have a good science background and certainly, the interest to become a CRNA and I would encourage you to consider it. However, you also need to develop some good patient care skills and people skills. If you love taking care of people, relieving pain and seeing pharmacology at work, you will have a good future. I would suggest that you find some CRNAs who have gone your route or some who like to do mentoring. Having realistic expectations will help you in many ways.

    Note there are lots of nurse-anesthesia related boards on the net. Some of them are devoted only to the profession and are excellent resources for you.


    Edited by traumarus - tos