Getting into CRNA school is tough. It’s extremely competitive. But, the good thing is, here at The CRNA Club we have created the resources and tools to guide you along every step of the way. If you haven’t already checked out our Shop, go ahead and check it out, we’ve got some tools that will make your application process a lot easier, and dare we even say, fun.
Competitive applicants have close to 40 hours and the more you shadow the more you'll get a deeper understanding of the profession. Also, the more CRNAs you meet and connect with, the more you'll get to hear different perspectives and you'll build connections. The CRNA Community is really small so you never know who might know who.
All CRNA programs are now doctorate level degrees. This means that you'll have to do some sort of research project. and with programs being more competitive than ever, it looks really good if you have an understanding of the research process or if you have research experience. So how do you get research experience? Check with your hospital. If you are at a teaching institution, I 100% guarantee you that there is research going on. If you're retaking any science classes or graduate level courses, check with your professors and see if they have any contacts in the research department or if they need help with any research projects.
I would definitely get my resume together a lot sooner and send them to programs along with my transcripts asking if they would be willing to meet with me to discuss how I can be more competitive of an applicant for their program. Granted, they might not get back to you, but you would be surprised how many students have met with program directors and made an impression, and got a real inside look at the holes in their application. Mhm, GOLD.
With applicants being more competitive, it really might come down to your essay. Especially now that all programs are doctorate degrees, there is a greater emphasis being placed on the essay and your ability to write. I recommend all of my students start 3 months before their application deadline and go through three reviews of their essays with someone (preferably us, #shameless plug). But in all seriousness, this is really your chance to highlight and call out all of your best assets, and really make an impression so the admissions committee wants to meet you in person. You want them to read your essay and be like, “Dang, I gotta hear more from this person!”
When I was applying to CRNA programs I mainly chose programs in cities that I could see myself living in, and that had a prestigious name. I didn't do much research into the class size, tuition, clinical sites, and the type of experiences they gave their students. If I were to apply again, I would find a program that had a really strong peripheral nerve block rotation, and that had multiple all-CRNA rotation sites.
With programs being more competitive than ever, it's important to get started creating a plan for your CRNA School application process early. A good time to start? As soon as you graduate nursing school, or even while you're in your last year of nursing school. If you are looking for help developing a strategy or a plan, or simply just need guidance on the application process check out our signature program Application Accelerator. We created it to help walk you through every step of the application process.
In 30 seconds, you'll have a tailored plan, 3 free downloads, and resources hand-selected for you.
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