How Hard is CRNA School to Get Into?
In order to gain admission into one of the 113 accredited CRNA programs in the United States you must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an unencumbered nursing license. Most Nurse anesthesia programs want their applicants to have a minimum of 1 year acute care experience (i.e critical care). Minimum GPA requirements differ from school to school, as does number of applicants and spots awarded into the anesthesia program. Most CRNA programs require reference letters to be included in the application. In addition, you will most likely need to job shadow a CRNA, and be able to provide proof if the school requires it. After you have successfully completed an accredited nurse anesthesia program you will be able to take the National Certification Exam.
For more information please visit: CRNA School Admission Requirements
Top Nurse Anesthesia Programs
Top nurse anesthesia programs are more competitive and are harder to into. These CRNA programs tend to have a higher minimum GPA and GRE score requirement. Certifications such as the CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) are usually required. Higher ranked CRNA schools usually have smaller class sizes, which means they only accept a few applicants each year. In addition to small class sizes, these anesthesia programs have a high number of people that apply to their schools. So you basically have a high number of applicants competing for a small number of spots. More competitive nurse anesthesia programs may require advanced science classes (i.e organic chemistry) in order to apply. All of these factors make the top anesthesia programs harder to get into.
Preparing for Nurse Anesthesia School
The best way to start preparing for nurse anesthesia school is to look over basic anesthesia topics before starting the CRNA program. You won’t need to have a perfect understanding of all the concepts, just a basic knowledge of what to expect once in school. Being familiar with the course material before starting school will make it easier to learn later on. Seeing something more than once and repetition are the keys to effective learning. If you have already been accepted into a nurse anesthetist program and are wanting to start studying now, well you’re in luck. We have a CRNA School Prep course that will cover the same exact material that you will see in school, and here’s the best part… it’s free. You will be given notes to study, and at the end of each section we provided a 50 question multiple choice test that can be taken as many times as you would like.
Learn more: CRNA School Prep Course
Find CRNA Degree Programs
One of the most important parts of a successful CRNA School application is choosing the right school for you. When you are trying to find CRNA degree programs there are a few things you can do. Our website allows you to search for schools by state, cost, application deadline, and ranking. You can compare all the schools and determine which one is best for you. How you choose a nurse anesthesia program can determine whether you get an acceptance letter or not. You must research all the application requirements such as minimum GPA, GRE scores, job shadowing, reference letters, additional science classes needed, etc. Every year people apply to CRNA programs without fully understanding what requirements they must meet. They end up failing to obtain everything that is needed to gain admission into the nurse anesthesia program. They are basically wasting their time and money on an application that never had a chance. You can avoid this mistake by taking your time and looking up each and every school that you are wanting to apply to. Make notes and a checkoff sheet to ensure everything is completed.
Read detailed summaries for every CRNA program: CRNA School Search
Tips on Interviewing for CRNA School
The interview is one of the biggest points in the application process. You need to use this time to really showcase yourself to the nurse anesthesia program. Your goal is to show them why you deserve a spot in their program. Out of every 7 people that apply to anesthesia school there is only 1 spot that is available to applicants. Most of the people that you will be up against will have strong work experience, excellent reference letters, high GPA/GRE scores, and their CCRN certification. The competition between applicants can be tough, so don’t underestimate how important the interview is.
When I was applying to CRNA school, I was so worried that I would mess up at my interviews and ruin my chances of getting an offer from the program. Thats when I decided it was time to start preparing for the interview. I used my CCRN and CMC study material to start studying. The most beneficial thing you can do is practiced practiced practiced and practice some more! Have someone read the interview questions to you, and then try to answer them as if you were in a real interview with real people. Always practice both clinical and non clinical type questions.
A HUGE mistake people make every year is that they don’t dress appropriately for the interview. I actually went out and bought a new suit. Trust me, a suit isn’t over dressed, and all men should wear one. A lot of applicants tend to show up in slacks a dress shirt and tie. Yes they look nice, but this is not appropriate for a CRNA school interview. It will send a message that you did not want to go the extra mile to impress the school. You can also purchase a small black leather business-like binder to carry with you during the interviews. This is a great way to keep all your important documents (i.e, drivers license, extra transcripts, certifications, etc) organized and accessible if you need them.
No matter how intelligent you are, at some point during your interview, you will be asked a question that you are unable to answer. The faculty asking you questions during your interview will be made up of professors in the CRNA program. This means that they WILL know more than you. Don’t ramble on trying to answer a question that you have no idea about. Schools don’t like this, and you will just look bad in their eyes. The best thing to do if you don’t know the answer is just say, “I’m sorry, but I am unsure of the answer to your question.” Don’t be afraid to ask them if they wouldn’t mind sharing with you the answer that they were looking for. This shows them that you are eager to learn. The main thing to take away from this is don’t put too much stress on yourself. Some questions you will be able to answer, and others you won’t, that is all part of the game.
CRNA School Admissions
If you would like additional tips and strategies for getting into CRNA school please feel free to checkout our eBook program CRNA School Admissions: The Cold Hard Facts. Our CRNAs have put together a CRNA school admission guide that will show you everything that you need to know about the application process. It will help you answer questions such as “How to become a nurse anesthetist?”, “How to get admission into CRNA school?”, “Can I get into a nurse anesthesia program with a low GPA?”, and much much more. Our eBook program also comes with a chapter on how to ace the anesthesia interview. Our website is packed with countless blog articles written by current CRNA students and CRNAs. Each one contains free advice that you can apply to your own application. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us anytime through our website.
Read More: CRNA School Admissions The Cold Hard Facts
John Keith | CRNA Career Pro
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