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Will an Online BSN degree be accepted for CRNA programs?

SRNA   (949 Views | 7 Replies)
by Nurse Titi Nurse Titi (New) New

477 Profile Views; 13 Posts

Hi, I am currently working as a nurse in the uk but I would like to do the CRNA program in 2021 when I move to the US. I have just a diploma in nursing now and I want to apply to an online 0ne year RN to BSN perioperative program at the university of Derby UK next year, I am a bit worried because it is an online program and I dont know if the degree I'm awarded is going to be acceptable to any CRNA school in the US. What do you think?

I would appreciate any response concerning this issue. Thanks

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199 Posts; 5,562 Profile Views

Online...sure.  Not a problem in and of itself.  A degree from another country...not sure.  Mostly because you will have to have graduated from a university that is regionally accredited (SACS, or WASC are just 2 examples) to get accepted to a regionally accredited graduate school.  I really do not know much about foreign universities and how they are regulated.  Most likely it will be just fine.  But...check with a random school and ask them.  Don't ask us, as most of us can only conjecture as to the answer.  It does seem to me that most people I know who started their careers in other countries, did have some unique and annoying hoops through which that had to jump.  It will likely not be completely seemless.

Good luck.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,244 Posts; 17,709 Profile Views

I agree with @BigPappaCRNA; the online feature probably won't be as big of a barrier as the foreign degree component.

I'm not an expert by any means, but my understanding is that nursing degrees are more specialized in the UK than in the US (i.e. you are granted a nursing degree in a specific specialty). US nursing degrees are very general, and prepare you to work in any area (intensive care, peri-op, maternity, pediatrics, mental health, public health, etc.) For instance, there is no such thing as a 'peri-op BSN' in the States; the BSN (and the initial diploma) encompass all specialties. If your degree is specialized, there's a chance that you'd need to take additional coursework to even become licensed as an RN in the US (which would be a prerequisite for starting a CRNA program). I'd check out the World Nursing forums for more info on UK to US licensure requirements: https://allnurses.com/world-c227/

You probably realize that CRNA programs are incredibly competitive; honestly, you might be a stronger applicant if you completed your BSN in the States than in the UK. That would allow you to fill in any coursework gaps that you might have missed during your initial licensure (vs. having to take extra coursework and piecemeal it all together after you've completed your BSN).

As an aside: You mention that you're considering a peri-op BSN. Like I said, I don't know exactly what that is (since it doesn't exist in the US), but you should know that peri-op experience will not be very beneficial as a CRNA applicant. CRNA schools specifically require several years of intensive care experience prior to admission, and peri-op/OR can't be substituted for ICU experience (although it can supplement your ICU experience). If you haven't already, I'd focus on building your ICU experience.

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13 Posts; 477 Profile Views

Thank you so much for the replies. I guess I will transfer to an ICU ward to start building up my experience now because I thought getting the periop BSN would be an advantage when applying to CRNA school.  As a foreign trained nurse, do you advice I take an online bsn degree program in US while I'm still in the UK?  WGU is quite affordable and if the degree will be accepted then I can apply for the RN to BSN top up. I dont want to spend money and time pursuing a path that will not take me closer to my goal of being a CRNA.

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bbcewalters has 12 years experience as a NP and specializes in NP, ICU, ED, Pre-op.

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I really think your best bet would be to contact a few CRNA schools you would be interested in applying to and talk to admissions directly. Anyone else would really just be guessing..... Good luck!

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

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Agree with my colleagues:  us licensure + NCLEX exam requires education in all nursing subjects:  Medical surgical, adult + pediatrics, maternity + psychiatric  nursing. Periop BSN wont qualify for CRNA program.

Check out Grading System - WGU Community

https://cm.wgu.edu/t5/Registration-Student-Records/Grading-System/ta-p/59

WGU University does not calculate a grade point average (GPA). Upon completion of semester having passed a course, a letter grade of B is assigned = 3.0,  This will not make you competitive to enter a CRNA program.  Choosing another online program would be beneficial to your aspirations.

 

US Accredited nursing program link: http://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp    You can search by BSN + state.

.Allnurses's link of Online Distance Learning https://allnurses.com/online-distance-learning-c72/ may help you find the best program.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,244 Posts; 17,709 Profile Views

Another potential hurdle you may encounter is that online US BSN programs may require you to have an unencumbered US license in order to complete their programs. As I stated before, there are a number of logistical hurdles for foreign nurses to become licensed in the US; it's possible that you'll need to take additional courses and complete in-person clinical hours if certain subjects weren't covered in your program (for instance peds, maternity, psych, etc.) before you could even start an online American BSN.

Here are some of the things you could start to investigate:

What online US BSN programs are available? What are their reputations, and will they be competitive for CRNA school? (This site can help a lot with that question.) Do those BSN programs require you to have a US nursing license before you get started?

On a related note, you should reach out to the Board of Nursing for the state you'll be moving to. They can help you figure out where you have gaps in your coursework, and what you'll need to do in order to become licensed. You can try to figure out if there's any coursework that you can start now online, or if you'll need to wait until you're physically in US to do things like clinicals. They may also have suggestions about where and how to take those courses; incidentally, their suggestions could also give you ideas about where to complete your BSN.

Also, you can reach out to specific CRNA schools to ask if they'd accept a foreign BSN in place of a domestic one, and if having a foreign BSN would make you a less competitive candidate. Like PPs have said, some schools may prefer or require that you graduated with a BSN from a nursing program with US national accreditation (which a foreign program obviously isn't).

To clarify, CRNA programs are incredibly competitive, and many people who apply are not accepted. My guess is that even if a foreign BSN is technically allowed, a domestic one may make you a more competitive applicant. As we've established, there is a lot of variation between nursing education in different countries, and ensuring equivalency in competency between programs is...complex. If you complete your degree in the US, the admissions committee will know with certainty that it has met national standards vs. a foreign program where there may be questions about whether or not your program was really 'equivalent' to an American program. This is a very common problem in medicine, and is one reason why many foreign-trained doctors have difficulty getting competitive residency placements in the US (even though their programs are theoretically equivalent and it's technically allowed). Unfortunately, even if a foreign degree would make you a less competitive candidate, I doubt that CRNA admissions people would come right out and say it out of concern for political correctness. (Full disclosure, this last paragraph is just my personal opinion/conjecture.)

Like I said in my first post, I think that the Allnurses World Nursing forums and archive may be very helpful as you work through these questions.

Edited by adventure_rn

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