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Which dept is best experience for future C

Hi,

Is ICU experience best for RNs considering becoming CRNAs one day? I'm asking because I'm very interested in becoming a CRNA but I'm very interested in working in the Emergency Department in the meantime.

I would say ICU would be a better fit than ER. However, if you're not happy in ICU, and you don't NEED the ICU experience, don't feel like you have to do it because ER would be good experience too. Make sure you check with potential CRNA schools because my school requires at least 2 years as an ICU RN before even applying and I wouldn't be surprised if make did the same.

ER and PACU experience alone are non starters for most programs. CC experience is a non negotiable for any worthwhile program, generally speaking.

ER and PACU experience alone are non starters for most programs. CC experience is a non negotiable for any worthwhile program, generally speaking.

You are partially correct. Most programs want to see at least some critical care experience, but not all. Your comment about any "worthwhile" program requiring it is not accurate. Just the opposite is actually true. The crappy programs all puff up and posture and try to tell you how competitive they are (really program x, with a class size of near 200?). While the better programs are actually far more open minded and flexible. Hell, the assistant director of the Army Program had exclusively OB experience, and I think that is a "worthwhile" program.

Bottom line, don't guess, and don't take anyone's word here, including mine, just research the programs. Call them. They are very happy to help.

Edited by BigPappaCRNA
Typo

Hell, the assistant director of the Army Program had exclusively OB experience, and I think that is a "worthwhile" program.

Whoa...I have no reason to doubt this statement, but if its true, there has to be way more to the story....Just at face value, this is an endorsement of AA equivalency to CRNAs by USGPAN...not doing any favors to CRNA's if this isn't just an outlier in their admissions. That's an off the street admission into anesthesia training, unless, like I said, there's more to the story.

That said, as an in the trenches provider, it isn't hard to tell those CRNA's with strong CC backgrounds. If a candidate doesn't bring that to the table and the program accepts them, that's on the school. But they're not the ones that have to work with them.

So what I'd say to the OP is, be as strong as possible for the sake of your future patients and the CRNA's you'll ultimately be working with.

Whoa...I have no reason to doubt this statement, but if its true, there has to be way more to the story....Just at face value, this is an endorsement of AA equivalency to CRNAs by USGPAN...not doing any favors to CRNA's if this isn't just an outlier in their admissions. That's an off the street admission into anesthesia training, unless, like I said, there's more to the story.

That said, as an in the trenches provider, it isn't hard to tell those CRNA's with strong CC backgrounds. If a candidate doesn't bring that to the table and the program accepts them, that's on the school. But they're not the ones that have to work with them.

So what I'd say to the OP is, be as strong as possible for the sake of your future patients and the CRNA's you'll ultimately be working with.

No AA equivalent. Just that fact that experience is experience is experience. It is about decisions and critical thinking and priority setting and communicating and achievement. You can and do get that in most any unit. As a CRNA educator for over two decades, I love ER nurses. They are very good at situational thinking. All those things I mentioned up above. There is nothing magical about ICU experience, and, in fact, 95% of what we do is quite boring, mundane, and routine. But ICU experience does give a little bit of an edge up on worst case scenario kind of patient presentations that we see once in a while. A full nursing education and 4-5 years of any type of acute care RN experience and you are light years ahead of any AA.

Truth be known, the CC requirement is more of a hurdle than anything. Placed there to slow down the candidate and force them to get their experience in critical thinking, prioritizing, and communication. Some, but not too many, can start directly into an ICU. Most have to put in some time first, and then do their ICU time. This makes for a better, more well rounded candidate.

No AA equivalent. Just that fact that experience is experience is experience. A full nursing education and 4-5 years of any type of acute care RN experience and you are light years ahead of any AA.

So, a flight medic of 4 or 5 years with a BS in Chemistry or Biology is less qualified than an L and D BSN nurse with the same time on her unit?

So, a flight medic of 4 or 5 years with a BS in Chemistry or Biology is less qualified than an L and D BSN nurse with the same time on her unit?

I would love to have the flight medic as a student. They would be great. They would still need to be nurses, we we practice under our nurse license. And, they would need a BSN if the program to which they were applying were MSN or DNP programs. But those are not my rules, or even program rules. That is University rules. But one does have to be an RN, to be a CRNA.

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

The COA mandates that entering SRNAs have one year of critical care experience. It is still left up to the individual NA schools how exactly they define CC experience.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Moved to SRNA forum

FlyMurse, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in RN-BC, SN, CCRN, TCRN, CEN. Has 7 years experience.

I am an ED nurse of 2 years (3 total as a nurse). I would highly recommend the ICU experience. In the ED, we can intubate, stabilize, start a few drips, and send them up. But to be able to manage a patient on a vent for an entire shift is an entirely different scenario. I'm pretty comfortable with vents, but I couldn't tell you anything about weaning parameters, and I've never witnessed an extubation outside of the PACU. I can zero an a-line but CVP, PAP, PAWP? Forget about it!

Some schools may take ED but if you want to be up to speed and reduce the risk of failing out of CRNA school, the ICU is where it's at. Don't get me wrong, I love ED and I'm trying to work something out where I can split my time once fully cross-trained in ICU. Good luck!

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