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Which route do I take, ADN or BSN to be a CRNA?

Hello everyone!

I am in search of advice in which route to take to begin my nursing career. I am a 29 year old male that is changing career paths. I already have a non-nursing bachelor's degree from an accredited university in Wisconsin. I recently began working as an EMT-Basic for a private ambulance company to gain experience in the health care field. I ultimately want my PhD in nursing, but I want to become a CRNA before working on my doctorate.

I would like to know, if it would be better for me to start with an ADN, bridge that to a BSN and then a Master's program for CRNA? Or should I go the route of MSN Direct Entry option (because I already have a bachelor's degree) and then go into a CRNA program? Or is there another path I can do?

Any and all advice is much appreciated!!


Specializes in Geriatrics.

If your ultimate goal is to be a CRNA and go for a PhD, it would make most sense to pursue direct entry masters or a BSN, unless you want to spend the next 10+ years in school haha.

What is your ideal time frame to get into a CRNA program?

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Has 35 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Do not confuse educational degree with clinical licensure. An MSN is required - but not sufficient - to obtain licensure as a CRNA. Upon completion of your basic degree, you will still have to pass NCLEX in order to be licensed. To me, the entry-level MSN route doesn't make a whole lot of sense if your goal is CRNA. ALL new grads are competing for the same entry-level jobs.... no matter what degree. Hospitals are rapidly moving toward a BSN-only RN staff. So an ADN may be a limiting factor if your ultimate aim is CRNA because programs require at least 2 years of clinical nursing experience in a high level ICU setting (and a stellar GPA) in order to be eligible for admission.

CRNA programs are ultra-competitive and intense. Due to the extensive clinical training requirements, it is not really possible to work during these programs.


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