At a certain point in the application process, all CRNA school applicants are going to be competitive. What's going to set you apart? It's going to be your essay. Here are some things to include in your essay and some things not to include.
Like the number of hours you've shadowed, if you have research experience, if you have a particular leadership experience that is very unique. This is your chance to #humblebrag. You need to reiterate your accolades and call out those things that are listed on your resume that you're proud of and really want to emphasize.
Did you have a big gap in employment, did you go through a period in nursing school that caused you to really struggle academically. Was there a life event that affected your nursing journey. You need to grab the bull by the horns and address anything that the admissions committee might be wondering about. Explain it before they even have to ask. You don't want to leave room for assumptions.
Are you a leader? Are you big into Political advocacy? Do you have a desire to teach one day? Are you super into research? Answering how you will be an asset to the profession is going to be crucial to address, even if the question isn't directly asked in the prompt.
Now I'm not saying that you should hide anything about yourself that is important. But what I am saying is that if you choose to bring up these personal topics, there needs to be a reason why you are bringing it up. Like do you have a heart for an underserved population and did you do a lot of work with a particular type or group of people in the past? What is the reason for you bringing up this potentially controversial topic. Remember, you do not know who your reader is, you do not know their biases, you do not know their religion or beliefs. So if you are bringing up a personal topic, there needs to be a specific story or reason for it, don't just throw it in there.
Now I'm all about bragging about how good of an applicant you are, but you need to do it in a very humble way. Let me say that again louder for the people in the back, you need to be humble! There is no room for arrogance or cockiness in the anesthesia world. Yes, highlight how good of an applicant you are, but be very careful of your tone and how you come across.
Every single word on your CRNA School essay is valuable real estate. This is your chance to really sell to the admissions committee what sets you apart. do not waste your time saying that you are applying to CRNA school because you are a “lifelong learner and that you have a passion to advance your education.” Snore. Make every word count.
I highly recommend that you start on your essay at least 3 months before the application deadline. Remember, you're likely going to be working on several essays for multiple schools, and they're all going to have different prompts. You are going to need to personalize the essay for each school and furthermore, you're going to want to get somebody to read over your essay multiple times (and yes, we do offer that service!)
The bottom line is: your essay is what is going to set you apart in a sea of overachievers. Put the time in to get it right.
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