There are several steps to prepare for CRNA school. Obtaining your BSN or MSN is an excellent start, as is CCRN certification.
Getting references is also important. While you aren’t expected to become a nurse right out of college, it will help you stand out from other applicants.
The following sections will outline how to prepare for getting into CRNA school.
After reading this article, you should be well on your way to a successful career in nursing.
Getting a BSN and CRNA Admission
Before deciding to apply to CRNA school, you should first get a BSN. This degree is a prerequisite for becoming a CRNA.
The number of required classes depends on the school, but generally the higher the GRE score, the better.
If you have an ADN, you can take the program in just 20 months.
Getting a BSN will set you up for success by ensuring that you have completed the basic requirements.
There are Affordable Nurse Anesthesia Program
You will need to spend around $40k-100k on the program.
Upon graduation, you will need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Licensed Registered Nurses (NCLEX).
In addition to a high GPA, you must also have a strong interest in the field.
If you have a passion for the profession, your desire to earn a BSN will shine through.
You must also have a strong sense of self-motivation and be committed to the program.
The school faculty is interested in seeing if you have the motivation and the drive to succeed.
Emotional intelligence is important in evaluating applicants and ensuring that they will be successful in school.
Many aspiring CRNAs will enter their graduate programs with an average of 2.9 years of experience in the critical care setting.
If you’re working in a low-acuity unit, you can consider a parallel transfer to another ICU.
This will demonstrate your commitment to learning new skills, working with complex patients, and exposing yourself to broad disease processes.
In addition to having a BSN, you can also get extra training from clinical experiences.
A low GPA will hurt your chances of admission. Most schools require applicants to take the GRE. You may have to retake science classes, such as chemistry and stats, if necessary.
Having an undergraduate degree in these subjects is a great start, but it’s not enough.
You should apply to several schools and take graduate-level courses to boost your GPA.
Make sure that all science grades have been completed within five to ten years.
Getting a Master of Science in Nursing
Certified Registered Nurse anesthetists
Obtaining an MSN in nursing may be the best way to prepare for CRNA school.
The process takes three years of full-time schooling, so it helps to have a strong motivation and commitment to your goal.
CRNA schools are looking for individuals who will be passionate about the field, and they may want to see if you have the emotional intelligence to succeed.
For this reason, it’s best to speak with students, current students, and program directors, who can give you advice and insight on what to expect during the interview.
If your GPA is on the fence, you may want to consider completing an Advanced Diploma in Nursing (ADN) instead of a BSN.
ADN programs are more selective than BSN programs, and a 4.0 GPA is not considered competitive.
However, you should keep in mind that CRNAs have come from a variety of educational backgrounds.
The best way to decide which schools are the best fit for you is to review the prerequisite classes for each school.
If you already have a BSN, then you may qualify for a bridge program. Some of these programs allow you to earn your Master’s degree while working as an RN.
The bridge program requires prior work experience as an RN. By completing the program, you can get the education you need to start practicing as a nurse anesthetist.
The program typically takes between 24 and 36 months.
While getting your MSN is ideal, you should be aware that there are a few schools that restrict the number of applications they accept each year.
To avoid being compared to those who have a higher level of experience, make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to learn.
Consider getting extra certifications or experience and networking to improve your chances of obtaining a CRNA job.
If you can, consider joining a unit leadership committee or doing a research project with a CNS.
Getting CCRN certification
Getting CCRN certification for CRNA school is a great way to improve your chances of admission.
Many schools require you to take the GRE or GMAT in order to apply, and you will need both of these tests to be competitive.
If you have a low GPA, consider taking graduate-level stats or chemistry to improve your chances of admission.
If you’ve been underachieving in school, you may have to repeat the course.
Besides getting CCRN certification for CRNA school, you can also improve your chances of acceptance to the school by getting relevant work experience.
Having great communication skills is an added bonus. And a solid portfolio will make your application stand out from other candidates.
Remember that you’ll need to submit references if you want to be accepted to the program, and references from professors teaching biology, anatomy, and physiology will be helpful.
It’s a good idea to take a practice test a couple of times before your exam.
This will help you retain the information you’ve already studied as well as learn new information.
It will also help you identify weak points and areas that need more study. This will help you prepare for your CCRN certification exam.
The best way to prepare for it is to set aside a few hours a day and concentrate on one section at a time.
Nurse Anesthesia School
Before applying for CCRN certification for CRNA, you must practice nursing for five years.
You must be an APRN or RN. You must have completed at least 1,750 hours of clinical experience, and 144 of those hours must be completed within the year before you apply.
Eligible hours include those spent caring for one patient population and align with the exam you’re applying for.
Moreover, the majority of the clinical hours must be spent with critically ill patients.
One of the most important parts of preparing for CRNA school is securing letters of reference. These letters can include a resume or personal statement that highlights your skills and personality.
Your references should be well-versed in your educational and career background.
If they cannot give you good letters, consider requesting them from people who know you well.
The references will speak positively of your abilities and help you get in to nursing school.
While there are no exact requirements for obtaining letters of reference, getting relevant work experience can be a plus for your application.
Doctors who teach biology, anatomy, and physiology are especially important sources.
If you are a student, make sure to seek out professors in these areas.
The professors will likely have good insight into your academic abilities, drive, and passion for learning.
Your references will be eager to provide you with their thoughts.
If you are applying to CRNA schools online, you can use Letters by Liaison to ask for references.
They will review your request and upload their letters. You can track the progress of your requests under the Check Status tab.
When adding a reference, be sure to include their full name, email address, and a short note.
If you haven’t already done so, this is a good time to start.
If you have ever worked in the field, you know how important it is to have excellent references.
When applying to CRNA school, you must submit official transcripts from all your degree programs, a resume, and three letters of recommendation.
Depending on the anesthesia group you are applying to, you may be required to get specific types of references.
You can expect your Program Director, a supervisor, and a faculty member as your references.
Ideally, you should ask former colleagues for letters of reference, and be sure they are quiet and not sharing their personal information.
Part-time jobs in healthcare-related clubs
Before applying to CRNA schools, find out about the prerequisites. Many CRNA schools accept didactic coursework from outside institutions.
This will help you show the school that you are ready for the level of learning that is expected of a CRNA.
You can also get some experience working in the field before applying to CRNA schools.
This is a good way to prove that you have the passion and desire to be a CRNA.