When you are at the primary stage of your career, it becomes difficult to choose programs or courses for the advancement of career. The options become limited and quality varies from institution to institution. No exception in the field of nursing, to become a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists), a nurse must have both the combination of knowledge and experience.
Career in anesthesiology is a long path but to successfully make a career in anesthesiology choosing a suitable nursing anesthetist program is important but to even reach this stage there are other criteria that needs to be fulfilled. Below is a set of guidelines or instructions that a nurse should take in order to make a successful career out of nursing anesthetist program.
- Obtain a Bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
- Gain at least one year of “critical care” experience.
- Gain at least one year of “intensive care” experience.
- Obtain a Master’s or Doctorate degree in nurse anesthesia.
- Pass the National Certification Examination (NCE).
How to choose a program
The first step towards becoming a nurse anesthetist starts with choosing a suitable CRNA program. There are varieties of CRNA programs to choose from, choose something meets your demands. Don’t pick whatever that comes to your mind first, research and do compare-contrast and pick one that seems appropriate. The first and foremost requirement should be to make sure that the institution that is offering the program is accredited. There are more than 100 CRNA programs currently running that are accredited by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
Since CRNA’s are advanced practical nurses, to become a Certified Nurse Anesthetist, a nurse must become RNA first.Even though it’s possible to become a RN from an unaccredited institution but is impossible to become a CRNA from an unaccredited institution, a student will be automatically ineligible to sit for exams or get certification. There’s more to look in an institution than just standard accreditation, if you belong to a culture that is considered minority then look for an institution that is culturally diverse otherwise you might not feel secured or comfortable.
By the end of your RN career, you might have already narrowed down your preferable accredited institutions to enroll in a CRNA program. There are some other factors that need to be taken into consideration as well. Not all institution follow the same curriculum pattern, some institutions prefer to learn while you work while other institutions follows the usual pattern of finishing the program first then heading for practical training in clinics or hospitals. Choose an institution that matches your learning pattern, if you are a multitask person then the first program is for you, it is even faster than the latter program.
Since getting enrolled in a CRNA program is a big deal, that’s why always research thoroughly and make sure do a background check. If the institution you’re getting enrolled is under probation then there’s a risk of losing its accreditation. Look at the list of the alumni that came out from the institution that you’re considering to get enrolled in, if possible talk to the alumni or find out how they are progressing with their career, if the institution has good track record then it’s more reliable and safer than other institutions.
Every year there are thousands of applicants who want to get in a good institution that’s why it becomes difficult to get admitted in your institution of choice, but if you have all the proper requirements then it becomes comparatively easier to get in, almost every institution requires a BSN degree so make sure you have it. Some institutions require experience of 1 to 2 years in acute care department or intensive care department.
The prerequisite of a CRNA program is a combination of knowledge, experience and certificates. Since CRNA is a field of advanced practical nursing, a nurse is required to be deft and skillful and must have critical reasoning skills as they will be dealing with anesthesia and other sorts of drugs.
It takes about 2 years to complete a nurse anesthetist program thoroughly, once you pass the exams held by AANA or NCBRN, you will be full-fledged CRNA and start working in clinics, hospitals or any other healthcare organization.
How to get in a CRNA program
Some people often tend to ask if it is really that difficult to get enrolled in a CRNA program. Well, in general it is, a CRNA program training class doesn’t have a huge number of students; the class usually remains small and compact. The limited available slot makes it hard for students or candidates to pass the admission procedure.
A good GPA always comes in handy, an institution might give a minimum requirement of GPA 3.00 but that doesn’t always mean a student with GPA 3.00 will get in, since there are limited number of seats, a student with GPA 3.60 will easily ace over a student with GPA 3.00. A good GRE result always will always put you in the front line despite having a poor GPA, but doesn’t mean a student can have a GPA lower than the minimum requirement. If you have a score around 350, it might give you an edge.
CRNA programs also require students to write a long essay, if you want to raise your chances this can be another way. A 500 word essay will be given to write, their language proficiency and verbal reasoning will be tested, if they ace the essay part, there’s a good chance that they’ll get selected. Then comes the interview, the interview is not critical but the applicants must show that they have a clear understanding of the program and the specialty.
The applicants cannot show hesitation and should be serious about the interview. The interview could prove their capabilities and knowledge and earn themselves a place in the enrollment class. They must have a clear idea about themselves and why they want to be a CRNA. And lastly, survive the entire program that will open the doors for them in the field of CRNA.