The right BSN school? The right 1st job?

Nursing Students SRNA


Specializes in OR.

I have the opportunity to go 4 diff. schools to complete the BSN. 5 if I want to go out of state. 2 of the schools have their own CRNA programs.

I'm within driving distance of 3 CRNA programs. As anyone knows, competition is high. My question is: Are certain BSNs more respected for getting you into grad school than others? If I have a choice of a top 10 nursing school versus a #50 nursing school, would choosing the top 10 (and more expensive) one be worth it to pad my chances of getting into a local CRNA program? Would a BSN from a school that has its own CRNA program be more valuable/useful in getting into a CRNA program than a BSN from a school that doesn't? Is the networking I _might_ be able to do there a hingepoint?

I have a 3.6 -- community involvement -- prof orgs lined up to join and I'm working on trying to get a job. Whcih brings me to my 2nd question. Several profs have told me I ought to do 1-2 years of med-surg, hands down before going into an acute nursing area, but I've seen a few options to go straight into a residency for acute care as a new grad. Do I really need 1-2 years of med-surg? Thoughts?

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU.

Short answer - no. Prestige of your BSN will not weigh heavily on your application for most programs. There are other criteria (gpa, experience, good recommendation letters, interviewing skills) that will play a much bigger role.

My advice is to pick the cheapest BSN that still has a good reputation. If you live in an area where the school that granted your degree will make you stand out as an applicant for your first RN job then that is something to consider, but certainly don't go into massive debt for it. Also consider contacting the program director for the school that have both a BSN and CRNA program and see if they give preference to their own BSN grads. Good luck!

I do not believe that admission committees care much about where you received your BSN. As long as you attended an accredited university, that's what they care about. I actually attended a 2 year program and then did an online RN-BSN program. As for getting med-surg experience before going into the ICU, I absolutely disagree. I worked in med-surg for 2 years and although it made my transition to the ICU a little bit easier, I still wish that I had started out in the ICU as a new grad. The only true advantage that I got from working med-sug is that I learned a ton of drugs. People say that med-surg teaches you time management. If you want to attend CRNA school, why do you need to learn how to pass meds on time to 6 different patients? ICU nurses have to learn time management as well and know how to prioritize their care. Of course, the learning curve of a new grad going straight into the ICU will be a little bit greater, but that gap will close in 6 months. If CRNA is your goal, do not waste time on a med-surg floor. I wish I had done 4 years in the ICU as opposed to 2 years Med-surg and 2 years ICU before starting school.

Specializes in CVICU.

I am starting CRNA school in August. I was accepted to all 3 schools I applied to, and no one asked me anything about my BSN at any of my interviews. 2 of the schools were out of state. I went straight to working in a CVICU as a new grad, completing a new grad internship there. I absolutely do not think that working med-surg is necessary as a precursor to working critical care. I am currently working as a travel nurse and have to float to work telemetry on occasion. There is absolutely nothing that I do when working in that area that I feel would have been useful experience for critical care, other than just gaining general comfort in my role as a nurse.

Specializes in Neuro ICU.

Agreed with all of the above. I started in the ICU straight out of school and was glad I did; I would have been insanely frustrated with the low acuity of the floor. The ICU has a large learning curve, but if you're truly the CRNA type, you'll be happy to dig into the large amount of stuff there is to learn and apply. I loved how much/how fast I learned to care for the really sick folks in our unit! (But to be fair, I did spend a lot of time reading/studying outside of work... so keep that in mind. ;)) Nobody in any of my CRNA interviews cared what school I went to; they were more interested in the type of program (ABSN, only notable for the intensity of the program, not which school) and my grades. So don't go into massive debt at a private school if you have a good option that's affordable for the BSN. And by all means go straight into the ICU if you have the opportunity. You may meet nurses there who think it's a bad idea for new grads to be there, but to be honest, I think 75-80% of our new hires in the last year have been new grads and they're by and large doing great.

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