Still on the fence wondering if going to CRNA school is right for you? I don’t blame you, it’s a big decision! Let’s talk about 5 signs that you should take the leap and apply to CRNA school.
CRNA programs are now all doctorate-level programs. To go back to school for 36+ months requires commitment. Assuming you are a nurse, you probably understand that the medical field is constantly evolving and changing. New drugs are constantly being developed, and new surgical techniques are being perfected. As a CRNA, you will constantly be learning new techniques, pharmacologies, and implementing changes in you clinical practice based on scientific evidence. The learning never stops!
The second sign that going to CRNA school is right for you is you do not shy away from a challenge. Applying in and of itself is a big hurdle. If you’re driven by a little friendly competition and wanting to excel academically, CRNA school is for you. The ability to dig deep and find self-motivation, determination and grit will get you through your CRNA program. Basically, if you consider yourself a resilient person, you will be tested, but you’ll succeed, I have no doubt!
Nobody’s life is perfect. We know that. But if your personal relationships are on the struggle bus, don’t expect it to get better in CRNA school. Stress is the new norm in these programs, and it would serve you well to “tee up” your personal life, so to speak.
Got kids? Pregnant? There have been many, and I mean many SRNAs who have had children, been pregnant, or faced other challenging life situations and have excelled and gone on to be CRNAs. Was it easy? Heck no. But did they do it and are they practicing CRNAs now? Heck yes. The wonderful thing about the CRNA community is that we are generally supportive. Find someone in a similar situation as you (shadow days would be great for this) and pick their brain about how they made it through CRNA school with the unique challenges they faced.
CRNAs have the ability and training to practice independently. Whether or not they actually do is dependent on state and facility. Regardless of the practice setting, CRNAs are the most independent advanced practice nurses. There is a lot of responsibility caring for people under anesthesia, and CRNAs are well respected in the OR.
Generally speaking, no one is looking over your shoulder, telling you what drug to give. You are the decision-maker and the responsibility lies with you. Sure, this sounds terrifying, but remember, it’s intimidating now because you haven’t received the training and education (yet). That’s what anesthesia school and clinicals are for - to build your confidence and prepare you for those moments in the OR when you’re the one calling the shots.
Do you have to be in L-O-V-E with anesthesia? How could you? Nobody truly knows what a CRNA does except a CRNA themselves. You only know as much as you can glean from your interactions with CRNAs and your shadow experiences in the OR. Which, btw, the more hours you can shadow the better. Aim for at least 24 hours (competitive applicants have close to 40). The more hours you shadow, the more you’ll (hopefully) fall in love with anesthesia, and that will shine through during your interview and in your personal essay.
Overall, CRNA school is incredibly challenging, but the job satisfaction among CRNAs is incredibly high. In addition to the competitive salary, the work-life balance and autonomy are both reasons that CRNAs love what they do. Still got questions? Be sure to watch our free, 30 minute masterclass here!
In 30 seconds, you'll have a tailored plan, 3 free downloads, and resources hand-selected for you.
The One Thing That Will Change Your Entire Application Journey
Making the Most out of Your Year in the ICU
What Should You Really Care About When Choosing a CRNA School?
Your Secret Weapon When Applying to CRNA School