“My Experience Applying to Top CRNA Schools”

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My experience applying to top CRNA schools

Strong Applicants Gain Admission Into Top CRNA Schools

Why did I not take nursing school seriously and study more? Does that sound familiar? This is just for you guys that don’t have the most competitive admission applications for CRNA school. I had an undergrad GPA of 3.3, and I did terrible on the GRE. I can’t remember what I got on the new scoring system, but it was the equivalent of a 900-950. I did get a 4.5 on the analytical writing section however. I had been an ICU nurse in the medical ICU for almost 7 years prior to applying, and during that time I received my CCRN certification. I did not take any graduate level classes to prepare myself for anesthesia school, although I wish that I had.

CRNA School: Application Tips

Most schools look at the whole candidate, so don’t stress yourself out thinking that you’ll never get into a top CRNA school with the grades you made in undergrad. Do everything you can to make yourself stand out as a strong candidate, and to convince them that you will be an asset to their nurse anesthesia program. When I was writing my personal essay I included why I wanted to be a CRNA, and how it had a lot to do with working at a veterinarian’s office. I was able to help out with surgeries and began learning about anesthesia for pets. That’s something a little different than the typical applicant, at least my program thought so. I decided that this is what I wanted to do so i started researching information on the top CRNA schools and their application requirements.


Researching Top Nurse Anesthesia Programs

I am fortunate enough to live in a state with 5 anesthesia schools and a few more within another couple of hours of driving distance. Yes, there are multiple schools close to home, but that also tends to flood the market as well. I actually only applied to two top CRNA schools. I went and spoke with both program directors to get a feel on what their program was like and if it would be a good fit for me. I’ll just say cheaper isn’t always going to be better. Questions to ask yourself: “What kind of learner am I?” “Do I want a front-loaded anesthesia program where all the didactic work is up front or an integrated program where didactic and clinicals occur at the same time?” Personally, I can read something all day long and it isn’t going to make any sense until I get some hands on opportunities. Fortunately for me, I ended up attending the CRNA school in my home- town which is an integrated CRNA program.

School Search: Top CRNA Schools

The two nurse anesthesia programs that I tried to gain admission into had very different programs. I debated which would be a better fit for me, and had heard great things about both schools. One schools was 28 months and significantly more expensive. It would have also required moving, traveling all over the city as well as other states for clinicals, and was known for having a very large class size. When I spoke with the program director I got a good vibe about the nurse anesthesia program. They genuinely appeared to care about the students and wanted them to succeed. You could tell that they would do anything to help them out. The school in my hometown was 27 months and had two clinical sites. I also liked the fact that it was cheaper, it didn’t require me to move, and had a much smaller class size.

My experience applying to top CRNA schools

How to Gain Admission Into CRNA School

When applying to the top CRNA schools, look at the admission criteria and talk to the program director to see how you can beef up your resume. CCRN is usually optional, but from my experience if you don’t have it, you aren’t getting in. Take opportunities to work in other ICU units to get as much hemodynamic monitoring and caring for sick patients as you can. Take extra classes, any extra certifications are always a good idea. There’s always the one year ICU wonder, but I really feel like applicants needs at least two or three to really understand the concepts of what we do on a daily basis. Shadow a CRNA. Not just once, but several times. Makes sure this is what you want to do. You will need that desire half way through the program when you are exhausted and just want to throw in the towel. Ultimately though, if you want to get into a top nurse anesthesia program you have to stand out. I used CRNA School Admissions: The Cold Hard Facts, and I can say it definitely does help. It helped me gain admission into CRNA school even with a below average GPA and a poor GRE score. Best of luck to all of you, and don’t stop following your dreams!

A. Miller RRNA
#TopCrnaSchools #CrnaSchools #CrnaSchoolAdmission

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