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Would you rather be a CRNP?

Posted

Has 6 years experience.

So I don't mean this question to be offensive. I'm an ICU nurse getting ready to apply to CRNA school very soon and I of course have everybody in my life giving me their opinions. I'm getting a good percentage telling me that I should go to practitioner school instead of CRNA. Their perspective is that the job market for NP's are about to open up, it's more versatile and even more job satisfaction because of the provider/patient relationship that forms over time. I of course remind them that even if those things are true, they aren't compensated appropriately for their skill and service. Of course they say that the pay will increase and be more competitive as they become more of the primary care provider and expand their client base and role, etc.

I have friends in the NP program and I have friends in the CRNA program. Both suggest their personal route. I have NP friends who are in practice and some are honest enough to say that they think I should do CRNA, the compensation is adequate, work load manageable, etc. Although I've never had a CRNA tell me they wish they could be a CRNP.

I'm curious, do any of you (CRNA's) wish you had gone the path of the CRNP? If so, why?

Thanks for your input!

It all depends.

What do you want to do? NP fields are wide and varied; whereas, CRNA roles are pretty set. Do you want to work in surgery from 5am - 4pm every day?

There's so many paths with NP that it is an entire conversation in itself. Do you want primary or acute, peds or adult...

The point is: if you want crna - go for it.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

As a CRNP I'd say if you are able to do it and have the interest definitely become a CRNA...you guys are rock stars!!

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

Shadow both specialities long enough until you feel that is the profession you want to do.

Bluebolt

Has 6 years experience.

Well I've never officially shadowed either person.

I've worked with nurse practitioners in a clinic and in acute care pretty much side by side for years now. I have a really good grasp on their typical day and even pay/benefits for the career.

During clinical rotations through surgery centers, OR's, GI Labs, and L&D's I got to work/learn along side CRNA's performing their role. In practice I usually only see the CRNA during pre op prep in the ICU, rapid intubations, line insertions, etc. Usually we're both performing our roles in a busy setting so there isn't much time to ask many questions, especially not personal ones about if they chose the right career path.

I do have a CRNA friend who is willing to have me shadow. I will do that to give me a better idea about the typical day in full. I'll ask questions of course. I don't think I'll ask if they would have ever rather been a CRNP just simply because this can be taken as rude or insulting by some people. Mostly here in the forum I was hoping for internet friendly candid responses from CRNA's. It's simply an honest question of "How often, if ever, do you wish you were a CRNP?". The answer is either, never, sometimes, or very frequent. Thanks

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

I think most CRNAs have considered being NPs at one point or another. I personally have considered getting my FNP certification, because it would ease practice restrictions in some states with prescribing as a CRNA.

I don't have any desire to actually work as an NP though.

Bluebolt

Has 6 years experience.

I appreciate the responses, especially to wtbcrna, who appears to be the only active CRNA on the site. I never thought about being a CRNA and getting the FNP certificate, great option. I've always been led to Anesthesia, even when I was preparing for med school. I think if I did anything else I would always regret it.

CRNA absolutely, FNP if it would help in specific employment situations (rare but possible)

missnurse01, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

There were many reasons I did not choose NP for grad school.

Many States that I've lived in did not have many jobs that I would want to do as in np.

also many places that I lived I already made as much as or more than and np as a staff nurse.

When I spoke with nps they felt that their level of responsibility was very high compared to their compensation .

they also felt that they could not make independent decisions and had to constantly be calling their physician partner.

Aside from these issues I also knew myself well enough that I would not be satisfied seeing people not take care of themselves and come to clinic or be repeatedly admitted to the hospital for not following the treatment plan we had agreed upon . I got that enough in the ER and ICU and it frustrated me there to the point that I knew that I would not be able to handle it as an NP.

You have to know yourself well and shadow to know what your days will be like!

Good luck!!

ICUCCRNPA

Has 1 years experience.

I had an MDA recommend NP over CRNA. Personally, I didn't like the NP role as much. CRNA was a lot more independent and autonomous at my hospital.

Bluebolt

Has 6 years experience.

I had an MDA recommend NP over CRNA. Personally, I didn't like the NP role as much. CRNA was a lot more independent and autonomous at my hospital.

I'm laughing at my naive self at the original post over three years ago before getting involved in the field. Currently, I'm finishing my second year of a CRNA doctorate and I could never imagine being a CRNP.

Not in 1000 years would I swap CRNA for CRNP.

I would consider quickly getting my CRNP license after CRNA school just to open up outpatient prescriptive abilities (ketamine clinic) and potentially admitting patients and following them post surgery in the ICU.

I have friends that are APRNs, but I wouldn't trade positions with them in 100 years. Love everything there is to being a CRNA.

It does depend on what you really want out of the career. Strongly encourage shadowing your CRNA friend.

I'm an FNP working in specialty and I do love it. Going back for acute care certificate to do more. I have shadowed a few CRNAs and know that I would love it and do well. CRNA school was not in the cards for me because I was a single mom and none in the state I used to live in when it was a possibility. I wish there were someway that I could go now, having been an ICU RN for 6+ years and now with and advanced practice degree. But I just can't go back to ICU nursing for a full year, due to massive pay decrease plus the whole back-breaking work thing.

Now, I see all kinds of ads for CRNAs with like 10, 12, 15 weeks of vacation and I am almost in tears. Haha, but seriously!

I'm laughing at my naive self at the original post over three years ago before getting involved in the field. Currently, I'm finishing my second year of a CRNA doctorate and I could never imagine being a CRNP.

Not in 1000 years would I swap CRNA for CRNP.

I would consider quickly getting my CRNP license after CRNA school just to open up outpatient prescriptive abilities (ketamine clinic) and potentially admitting patients and following them post surgery in the ICU.

Easier to just move to a state with prescriptive authority for CRNA's. That's pretty common in the upper left hand quadrant of the country.

The mentality of the person going into anesthesia or some other advanced practice role isn't really that different. They're motivated independent thinkers that recognize something in themselves that is capable of "more". The trap is crappy training. Anesthesia kind of has some built in safe guards against that but there are some dog programs that are to be avoided at all costs. NP programs are a little more difficult to separate the wheat from the chafe. The better the training, the greater the confidence and the greater the job satisfaction.

ICUman

Specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab. Has 5 years experience.

Which anesthesia programs are considered "dog programs"?

m1lkofamnesia

Specializes in ICU. Has 2 years experience.

Which anesthesia programs are considered "dog programs"?

Wolford for one. I refused to apply to a few years ago given their history...

Glad I dodged that bullet. I feel bad for the current students.

goodgrief

Specializes in Gas, ICU, ACLS, PALS, BLS. Has 5 years experience.

I also had the same question and the reason I decided to become a CRNA and not a NP is b/c I wanted to stay hands on and in the clinical setting. It seems like most NP's follow a doctor around and enter orders and type up progress notes, no thank you.