What do schools really look at in applicants?


I wanted to create this thread so I could get a good idea what CRNA schools REALLY look for. Any tips, advice, or strategies would be GREATLY appreciated. I have an overall GPA 3.2, 2-3 yeras ICU experience, GRE 900, and working on my CCRN. What extra stuff did any of you do to help out your applications. I just want to get an interview. I think from there I'll do great. Thanks for any help you may have.

Scott Brown

Hey Scott I want to compliment you on your dedication to getting in to CRNA school. I got into CRNA school this past year and it is definitely not an easy thing to do. The average number of applicants to positions awarded in 7:1. Most of the people applying have a very competitive resume, GRE, and GPA scores. Here is what I found:

The average incoming CRNA student has:

3.5 - 3.85 GPA

1100 - 1200 GRE score

3-5 years high acuity ICU experience with adult patients

Good interview skills

(This isn't my information I found it at http://www.anscareerpro.com.)

If you don't measure up to the list above don't give up. There is a lot of things you can do to improve your chances and YES get an interview.

First: Get all the extra certifications you can (TNCC, ACLS, PALS, NRP etc.)

Second: Take one or two graduate classes.

Third: Find a teaching role (CPR, ACLS, PALS, etc.)

Fourth: Research schools!!!! This helps a TON.

These are just a few things you can do. I personally didn't have the greatest application but I applied to 4 schools and got accepted to two of them. If you don't mind spending like $30-40 bucks I think there is a book that helps you get into school. It is at the same place I found that information. All I can say is DON'T give up!!! It is an awesome profession an try to hang in there.

Bill Price.

scott brown

3 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 3 years experience.

Thank You Bill,

I appreciate your words of encouragement. It is soooo hard to stay motivated, but I'll hang in there. It is good to know that I still have a chance. Thanks for the resources, I'll checkout that book. I didn't realize the applicants where that competitive. I can see how those tips would help. Thats cool you already got into school, CONGRATS! I am jealous. Thank you again.

ckh23, BSN, RN

1,446 Posts

Specializes in ER/ICU/STICU. Has 6 years experience.

To add on to Bill, you can also take a graduate course or two to help boost your GPA and show the admission committee that you can handle graduate level work.


1 Post


I just graduated and I start my first nursing job on Monday :) I am very interested in CRNA school so I am researching early! Would you mind telling me what that book was?

Thank you!



83 Posts

Retake your GRE. Some schools don't even touch you with less than 1000. Some weigh other factors besides GRE, but it still is a standard you must overcome.

@ djes. Congratulations on starting your nursing job. Sorry it has taken me awhile to reply. The book is called "CRNA School Admisions: The Cold Hard Facts". Researching early is a great idea because there is a lot involved. I wish you the best of luck.


23 Posts

Bill does a great job outlining what is going to make you stand out. The more "brownie badges" you have, the more you will stand out. This should get you an interview. Once you get the interview its all up to you to sell yourself. Many people look good on paper and then blow the interview.

Specializes in SICU/TICU.

I think adcomms really like education projects, research, many hospital commitees....I think most really look at the whole person!