Published May 28, 2009
My goal is to become a CRNA. The Army is paying for me to finish my BSN and I will commission next August, 2010. However, i'm concerned that I won't get the critical care 16-week course that I will need to eventually apply for the Army CRNA program. First question is, how likely is it that the Army gives you your choice of jobs (i.e. Critical Care course after OBC)? Second, how tough is it to get in to the Army CRNA program as an active duty BSN? I'm trying to weigh my options and want to know the best route. I haven't oathed yet and spoke to a reservist CRNA this morning who told me to go ahead and get my BSN as a civilian and then try the STRAP program to pay for CRNA school. What does everyone think? Opinions? Thanks for everything, this site has been a lifesaver.
Hi Waiting 2 8,
Below are some links for you to look at. I wouldn't say the Army CRNA program is "hard to get into", but it has set requirements, ie, BSN, ~3.0 GPA, GRE (1000 or higher) and at least one year Critical Care (if Reserve or Civilian). Also, letters of recommendation including one from a director of anesthesia (nursing) from a phase II medical site.
If you are active duty, they can waive the year of critical care requirement and have you take a critical care prep course prior to start.......however, I would not recommend that unless you have several years of nursing under your belt. The learning curve is enormous your first few years out of nursing school......were you an ADN nurse before your BSN?
This program is the definition of "rigorous". The attrition rate can be 30-50%. It is an excellent program and will teach you to be very autonomous.......i.e., you may be deployed with "little back-up", so if you are not competent......bad news.
IMO, I wouldn't touch it (any CRNA program) with a ten foot pole if I didn't have ICU experience. I'm coming into this program (starting June 15th) with airway placement skills, chest needling/tube placement experience and I am still "shaking in my boots".....but thats just me (slow learner).
All that being said:
You will not get a better education........
It is ranked 2nd in the nation, but in reality the training is unsurpassed, and they PAY you to go to SCHOOL ......no debt!! You could choose the reserve route (strap plus student loans) and go to a civilian school, but you will have a civilian education............your choice.
Talk to your recruiter,
jeckrn, BSN, RN
For getting your choice of jobs the Army tries to get you where you want to work after spendig your 1st year in Med/Surg. But depending on your duty station you might not get what you want, needs of the Army come first. Depending on if the area you would like to work is projected to be over or undermanned that will also play into how diffucult it will be to get that skill identifier.
From what was said at FT. Sam during my PE ride was that there was more seats then qualified applicants. That said they had more apply then seats but most where not qualified on paper per the selection board. So if you are qualified per Army standards you should be able to get in, but each year is different.
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