Applicant Self-Assessment Tool

Use this interactive page as a guideline for your own self-evaluation of your career preparation and educational background as you anticipate pursuing a CRNA educational program. Click on the choice that best describes your status in each area, and you will be directed to some notes on suggested self- evaluation and further development for that area. If you want to exit this section, just close the browser window.

Please note: the suggestions offered here are probably helpful for a number of CRNA programs and in fact for strengthening your nursing career, even if you do not go to CRNA school at all. But please realize that the ultimate decision rests on the admission committee, and involves more than just evaluation of your resumé. Even successful achievement of all of the suggested items below does not guarantee interview or admission to this or any other program.

 

 

 

  1. I currently hold this degree:

            None, yet.

            Nursing diploma or Associate’s Degree

            Bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing

            Bachelor’s degree in nursing.

            Master’s degree in nursing

            Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in something other than nursing

            Doctoral degree (Medical Doctor, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Dental Surgery, etc.)

 

  1. My licensure is:

            Registered nurse in North Carolina or a compact state

            Registered nurse in another state

            Registered nurse or physician in a country outside the U.S.

                       

 

  1. I have attained these certifications:

            BLS, ACLS, CCRN, and others

           BLS, and ACLS

            BLS, but nothing else

            None

             

           

  1. My nursing experience is in:

            Intensive Care

            Medical-Surgical nursing

            Step-down, telemetry, Emergency, Pre-hospital, Post-anesthesia care unit (Recovery), or other acute care unit.

           None; I am not an R.N. yet. (skip to the next question)

                         

 

  1. The duration of my ICU experience is:

           Zero, I am not yet an ICU nurse

            Less than 1 year

            2 – 7 years

            >7 years

           

 

  1. My undergraduate nursing GPA is:

            < 3.0

            3.0-3.5

            > 3.5

 

  1. My graduate school tests were: *Please note we will be using the New GRE scoring system effective January 2012 but have listed Old scoring as well for reference.

           N/A, I have not taken them yet

           GRE (quantitative + verbal)  (Old > 1200) (New > 312) or (MAT > 425)

            GRE (quantitative + verbal) (Old 1000-1200) (New  300 -312) or (MAT ~ 400)

           GRE (quantitative + verbal) (Old < 1000) (New < 300) or (MAT < 375

 

  1. My previous academic coursework includes:

            Undergraduate chemistry, advanced statistics, and some graduate courses

            Undergraduate chemistry and advanced statistics, but no graduate courses

            Some graduate courses

            None of the above

                         

 

  1. Other things I have done in my quest for anesthesia school include:

            Nothing, I’ve met the prerequisites; what else would I do?

            Shadowed an anesthesia provider in my institution.

            Taken a prep course, shadowed a CRNA, demonstrated leadership competencies in my employment, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

I currently hold this degree:

None, yet.

                        Great for you to be thinking so far ahead! You are in a good position to make your college education be all that it needs to be to maximize your chances of pursuing anesthesia education later. Your choice of university is important, but so is the quality of your experience and performance while there. In other words, we would rather see a BS graduate from a state university who achieved a high GPA, received lots of good clinical experiences, and involved themselves in leadership activities, than to have the graduate of an ivy-league school who had mediocre experiences and graduated with a 3.0 GPA. As you select a nursing program, recognize that many nurse anesthesia programs require applicants to have Bachelor’s degree in nursing prior to application. Our program only requires a bachelor's degree in a related field, if you are otherwise an R.N. (for example, with an associate's degree in nursing). Once you get into your nursing program (or if you are in it now), make the most of it. Keep your grades at the highest level, and seek out good extra experiences in areas like ICU work, when available. As your undergraduate GPA provides one indicator of your academic ability and suitability for graduate work, please take care to have that undergraduate transcript reflect your very best performance. You might make use of various resources to plan your path to your undergraduate degree. One specific to nursing is: RNtoBSN.org

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I currently hold this degree:

Nursing diploma or Associate’s Degree

                        You are off to a good start. You will need to complete a bachelor's degree in nursing or related field before becoming eligible for admission consideration. Depending on your educational background, you may be eligible to complete an RN-to-BSN program to expedite this process. There is some good information about that, here: RNtoBSN.org  While you work on that degree, it would be a good time to spruce up your ICU experience and make sure you are arriving with your application showing both that BSN degree and a good quality of ICU background. (see topic on ICU experience). As your undergraduate GPA provides one indicator of your academic ability and suitability for graduate work, please take care to have that undergraduate transcript reflect your very best performance.

 

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I currently hold this degree:

Bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing

 

You are off to a good start if that degree is related to science or healthcare from an accredited college or university. Degrees in biology, chemistry, physiology, and even engineering can serve as a good basis to build your anesthesia master's degree upon, provided that you also hold a R.N. license.

 If your education is in the humanities, you may be eligible to complete an accelerated BSN program to expedite this process. If you are already a nurse, while you work on the baccalaureate degree, it would be a good time to spruce up your ICU experience and make sure you are arriving with your application showing a good quality of ICU background. (see below).

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I currently hold this degree:

Bachelor’s degree in nursing.

 

Good for you. Check off that box. We will be interested in reviewing your transcript as one indication of your academic ability. Please be prepared to submit your previous college and university transcripts as part of your application. Your undergraduate GPA provides one important indicator of your academic ability.

 

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I currently hold this degree:

Master’s degree in nursing

 

    Good for you. Considering the academic rigor of our program, it is very nice to see applicants who have already become accustomed to the unique aspects of graduate education. Good performance in a graduate degree is a great indication of both academic ability AND motivation in an applicant. Because you have already demonstrated certain competencies in completing your Master's degree, certain coursework requirements (such as in research methods) may be waived for you.

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I currently hold this degree:

Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in something other than nursing

 

                        Good for you. Considering the academic rigor of our program, it is very nice to see applicants who have already become accustomed to the unique aspects of graduate education. Good performance in a graduate degree is a great indication of both academic ability AND motivation in an applicant.

 You are off to a good start if that degree is related to science or healthcare from an accredited college or university. Degrees in biology, chemistry, physiology, and even engineering can serve as a good basis to build your anesthesia master's degree upon, provided that you also hold a R.N. license.  If your degrees are in humanities or art, you might consider a bridge program. For example, you can find good information about a fast track to a nursing degree here: RNtoBSN.org

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I currently hold this degree:

Doctoral degree (Medical Doctor, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Dental Surgery, etc.)

 

 

                        Good for you. You obviously have a good deal of intelligence, academic ability, and probably also some great experience onto which you could build a career in anesthesia. As long as you also hold a R.N. license and the required ICU experience, your previous professional education should serve you well in a master's anesthesia program. 

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My licensure is:

Registered nurse in North Carolina or a compact state

                        Good for you. Make sure to keep it current, and please submit a copy of your license as part of your application documents. If you have a compact license and are accepted to anesthesia school, keep in mind that you must have primary licensure in your state of residence (i.e., if you move to North Carolina, you would have to have your RN license transferred here)

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My licensure is:

Registered nurse in another state

 

                        No problem. You are good to apply, as is. If you are accepted to the program, you will be required to obtain licensure in North Carolina before starting the program.                       

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My licensure is:

Registered nurse or physician in a country outside the U.S.

 

                        One characteristic of professional practice in the U.S. is that it is filled with strict regulations and laws that cannot be disobeyed. Even if you have what you consider to be a more advanced degree, our requirement is that you hold a Registered Nurse license in the U.S. or you have passed the NCLEX examination at the time of application. Licensure cannot be transferred in from another country. Please also be aware that if you completed your education outside of the U.S., you will need to have your education verified through a third-party such as the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. If you are a physician, this means that you must also obtain a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing before being eligible for consideration.  Finally, because effective communication is essential to safety in the operating room, a TOEFL(test of English as a foreign language) score of 600 or better will be required if English is not your first language.

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I have attained these certifications:

BLS, ACLS, CCRN, and others

 

                        Way to go. These additional certifications may help demonstrate your ambition and motivation. The CCRN is regarded by many to be a reliable indicator of competence in ICU nursing. This certification will help to attest to the quality of your knowledge and experience in the ICU.

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I have attained these certifications:

BLS, and ACLS

 

                        Good for you. These are required for all incoming students, so if you are accepted to the program, you will be a step ahead. Certifications help demonstrate your competence in different areas, as well as your motivation. Adding CCRN, PALS, or other specializations may also broaden your competencies.

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I have attained these certifications:

BLS, but nothing else

 

                        This is a start. Attending our program requires a great deal of motivation and ambition. Obtaining additional learning (regardless of whether a certification card comes out of it) is a good way to whet your appetite for taking on new skills and knowledge. ACLS is required of new students after acceptance, so this is probably a good place to start. Certifications such as CCRN, PALS, etc. are a good way to demonstrate that your ICU abilities and knowledge have been validated in a standardized forum, too.

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I have attained these certifications:

None

 

                        The key to being competitive in any anesthesia program is to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, motivation, etc. Candidates are able to do this through their curriculum vitae, and also during their on-campus interview, however the interview is limited in time. Therefore, recognizable certifications are an easy way to demonstrate your effort invested, and knowledge and skills verified in a given area.  Certifications such as CCRN, PALS, and others are a good way to demonstrate that your ICU abilities and knowledge have been validated in a standardized forum, and they also speak to your level of ambition.

 

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My nursing experience is in:

Intensive Care

 

                        Great start! The next thing to ask yourself is whether you have maximized your learning opportunities there or not. Nurse anesthesia school is extremely difficult, and we expect that you will have gained certain knowledge and skills from your ICU experience. As you can imagine, this assumption would not be correct for every ICU nurse in the country. Have you become proficient in every patient type that comes to your unit? Are there other competencies you can further develop? If you are on the “top of your game” where you are, maybe you would want to consider expanding your experience by moving from an adult nursing background to taking on some peds; from CCU to surgical ICU, and so forth. Some make this type of move to demonstrate their range of ability in ICU nursing, but from a practical standpoint, anesthetists care for all types of patients so the broader range of experiences you have, the easier your course may be once you are in anesthesia school. By the way, also note that your ICU nursing experience needs to be within the two years prior to your application, so if you have left the ICU/CCU area, take into consideration that you may not be qualified to apply if you have been away too long.

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My nursing experience is in:

Medical-Surgical nursing

 

                        This is a great place to develop skills in time management and delegation. Our admission requirements specify that students have at least one year of full-time ICU experience. Therefore, if anesthesia school is your goal, you should make a move now to an ICU. This could be medical, surgical, burn, trauma, cardiac, neonatal, or any other specialty area as long as it is an actual ICU. Step-down units, intermediate care, holding area, cardiac catheterization, and the like do not qualify for the ICU experience prerequisite. When you consider which ICU you want to gain experience in, look for a unit that will challenge you to manage very complex patients, using advanced technology, and directly managing hemodynamics and pharmacology. Read more about this under the question regarding duration of ICU experience.

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My nursing experience is in:

Step-down, telemetry, Emergency, Pre-hospital, Post-anesthesia care unit (Recovery), or other acute care unit.

 

                        You are on track, but it is time to take another step in your career path to include intensive care unit nursing. The skills you have developed in patient assessment, ECG interpretation, medication administration, etc. will be a great asset to you as an anesthetist. Furthermore, we realize that emergency, pre-hospital, surgery, cath. lab and other areas afford a very fast-paced, challenging, and independent practice experience. However, the acute-care experience we require is based on the assumption that you will hold a current competence with the skills that are unique to ICU work. These skills are most similar to those used in the management of patients undergoing anesthesia. You can read more about this under the next question regarding duration of ICU experience.

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The duration of my ICU experience is:

Zero, I am not yet an ICU nurse

 

                        Whether you are nearing the end of your nursing program, or moving from a non-ICU area and looking toward your first ICU job, the choice of employment plays a big part in your plan for CRNA school. A nurse anesthesia program involves 24 months of very intensive study. There is much to be learned in a short period of time, and the commitment of time and energy is almost always described as one of the most difficult and challenging things the students have ever taken on. Considering that, the level of preparation of a student when they begin the program has a great impact on how easily they fare during the program. We require at least 1 year of ICU experience prior to admission. In the selection process, the quality of ICU experience as well as the duration weighs heavily on the admission decisions. Unfortunately, we do not have time to teach someone all the information between basic nursing knowledge and beginning student anesthetist levels of knowledge. Therefore, we rely on students to come in with a good, current, and comfortable competence with advanced ICU skills. Since you are considering anesthesia school as a new nurse, you will be on the short side of the years of experience spectrum. The average accepted student has 3 years of ICU experience. However, do not despair; remember the quality of the experience is what is most important.

 

Experience in a large ICU which includes vasoactive infusions, ventilator management, balloon pumps, PA catheters, etc. even for 1-2 years, is probably better than 10 years of experience in a small ICU where you have limited experience with those type of things. We do not specify a particular type of ICU experience, and any ICU would be fine. CRNAs take care of all ages of patients, so no matter which ICU specialty you work in, it will qualify you for admission to a program. However, if you do gain a very specialized background, you may want to consider moonlighting in another area to broaden your experience. For example, if you go to work in neonatal ICU, you might seek some experience in an adult surgical ICU to give you a more rounded background. Again, the more experience you come in with, the easier your course once here.

 

If you are still in school, you should plan out how you will best acquire experience as you transition to your first job. You may make the most of your beginning ICU career by seeking a good introductory course. For example, NC Baptist Hospital offers the “Journeys” program to provide a structured orientation and training program to new ICU nurses. Even before graduation, taking advantage of an ICU course or elective or an internship or externship may give you valuable experience and insight into ICU or anesthesia nursing roles.

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The duration of my ICU experience is:

Less than 1 year

 

                        You are off to a good start, even if you are on the shorter end of the experience spectrum. While the Council on Accreditation mandates that we accept only nurses with at least one year of acute care experience, the typical accepted student has much more than that. In fact, the average length of ICU experience for admitted students is a little over 3 years, with 5 years total RN experience. However, do not be discouraged. Some students have difficulty in a program in spite of having many years of experience, while others do well with only the minimum level of experience. In fact, some students who are extremely driven and ambitious rise to the top of the class even with closer to the minimal amount of ICU experience. There is something to be said for being not far from the academic scene. Recognize however, that the quality of your experience and the rest of your application package will have to be outstanding to make up for a very short tenure in the ICU. The corollary disadvantage of having a short length of experience comes in your reference letters. We rely on the reference letters to give us a picture of the applicant’s abilities in the ICU environment. If you have been in the ICU a short time, your supervisor and peer recommender may not have had the opportunity to observe many examples of your great abilities. Even with their best efforts, their reference letters may be a bit superficial. You should ask them to complete the reference letters during the summer (July, August, or early September) to maximize the period in which they have been able to observe you in the ICU. If you are short on experience, you should work all the harder to establish yourself as a stellar ICU nurse, and to garner all the experience and additional certifications you can during that year in the ICU.

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The duration of my ICU experience is:

2 – 7 years

                        You are right in the range of the majority of those who are accepted to the program. With this tenure in the ICU, you would be expected to have established yourself as a leader. Have you taken on charge or preceptor roles? Do other nurses come to you for clinical advice? If not, it’s time to step up and demonstrate your clinical and leadership abilities. Take on additional roles. Provide inservice education to your colleagues to demonstrate your ability and motivation. Top candidates in this realm have typically accumulated additional certifications (CCRN,  IABP, and so on). If you have done these things, congratulations; you are already demonstrating the attributes of motivation and leadership that are important to have as an anesthetist.

 

                        The importance of ICU experience in applicants is couched in the assumption that during your anesthesia program, you do not have the time to learn every skill necessary of a CRNA. The program must therefore assure that you have been in an environment where you have had an opportunity to gain proficiency with advanced ICU skills, which you will also rely upon as a CRNA. The quality of the ICU experience is more important than the quantity, as people can spend 10 years in a small ICU with limited exposure to ventilator management, invasive lines, etc. and not be well-prepared to deal with these modalities as an anesthetist. With that in mind, assess the quality of your ICU experience now. If you do have a very specialized background, you may want to consider moonlighting in another area to broaden your experience. For example, if you work in neonatal ICU, you might seek some experience in an adult surgical ICU to give you a more rounded background. Again, the more experience you come in with, the easier your course once here.

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The duration of my ICU experience is:

>7 years

            You should have had the opportunity to garner lots of experience with this duration of experience in the ICU. If you have taken the opportunity to work in different areas or with different patient populations, this is a plus. To demonstrate your motivation and commitment to personal development, you should have achieved additional certifications by now, such as CCRN. As long as the quality of your ICU experience and your commitment to the goal of becoming a CRNA are evident in the interview, you are in a good position regarding your clinical background. The only disadvantage to your tenure is that you may have been away from the academic environment for some time. Some students who have not been in classes for a number of years can be very rusty with their academic skills. It would benefit you to take some graduate classes  to brush up on academic skills, and make sure you will be up for full-time study again.  

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My undergraduate GPA is:

< 3.0

                        Graduate education in general and anesthesia education in particular are very demanding, academically. Many students, even those with a 4.0 background in undergraduate, find the Master’s anesthesia curriculum to be extremely challenging. Moreover, our program requires a high level of academic performance from students (3.0 average overall, no C grades allowed in specialty courses, no more than one C in a support course, etc.) Therefore, in the best interest of the applicant and to reduce attrition, we must accept only those students who demonstrate indications that they will be able to meet these rigorous standards. If your undergraduate GPA was 3.0 or less, unless we see clear evidence elsewhere of strong academic ability, you will probably not be offered an interview. You may be able to overshadow a GPA that is slightly below standard, if you have accumulated other evidence of academic ability subsequent to your undergraduate work (such as through graduate work).  

                        So “you were young”, or “you weren’t focused” in your undergraduate program. We feel for your plight, but keep in mind that admission to CRNA programs is very competitive. For every previously-unfocused person, there are numerous more who were, and who show up with a transcript attesting to strong academic ability. It is a definite advantage in the selection process. So, how can you escape the stigma of this GPA? The best way to do so would be to demonstrate you academic ability as it is now. A good place to start would be with anesthesia prerequisite courses if you have not completed them in your undergraduate education. The prerequisites consist of courses in statistics (including inferential statistics), and chemistry. The chemistry and statistics can be at the undergraduate level, but if you desire to demonstrate your academic ability, it may make more of an impression if you do any coursework at this point at the graduate level. If your prerequisites are completed already, then think about taking some other graduate courses. Performance in sciences such as pharmacology, pathophysiology, or chemistry are good ways to demonstrate your ability in technical graduate courses. If you need to demonstrate your academic ability, consider the quality of the work you do at this point, as well. If you take nursing theory and achieve less than an A in the course, you may not be making the impression you need to. Likewise, if you challenge yourself to more rigorous coursework (such as an advanced pathophysiology or pharmacology course), good performance would bode well for your abilities.

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My undergraduate GPA is:

3.0-3.5

            An undergraduate GPA in this range is quite acceptable, albeit not among the “top performers”. If you want to spruce up your academic ability, you may consider taking some graduate courses. Performance in sciences such as pharmacology, pathophysiology, or chemistry are good ways to demonstrate your academic ability in technical graduate-level courses. This may help prepare you for graduate study in anesthesia as well as to demonstrate your commitment and ability to the admissions committee. 

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My undergraduate GPA is:

> 3.5

            Good work! The average GPA of accepted students for the class entering in 2013 is 3.6. You are right where you need to be with this domain. Evidence of academic ability is extremely important. Graduate education in general and anesthesia education in particular are very demanding, academically. Many students, even those with a 4.0 background in undergraduate, find the Master’s anesthesia curriculum to be extremely challenging. Strong indicators of academic acumen are very important in our admissions decisions.

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My graduate school tests were:

I have not taken them yet:

The intent of the graduate school admission exams is to predict a student’s ability to perform in graduate-level studies. The level of analysis and complexity in graduate school is very different from undergraduate, so the undergraduate performance alone may not tell the whole story of how a student will do in anesthesia school. Strong communication skills, as well as understanding quantitative relationships are very important to anesthesia practice, and the GRE assesses your ability in these areas. The MAT (Miller’s analogy test) also assesses complex thinking through interpretation of analogies, but in the process it also tests for basic elements of knowledge.

                       

Prior to taking the exam, obtain some practice on your own or through a review course, and try to get your best possible score. Since the results of these exams are meant to predict success in graduate work, we do take a close look at your score. In general, these are not exams you can “cram” for, so examinees have a difficult time re-taking the exam to improve their scores. However, sometimes people show up at the exam, having a “bad day” for a variety of reasons. With this in mind, you might consider taking the exam early (in relation to the school application deadline), and leave yourself the opportunity to re-take it and potentially improve your score in case you are not happy with your initial performance.

 

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My graduate school tests were:

GRE (quantitative + verbal) (Old  > 1200) (New  > 312) or (MAT > 425):

Great! You are in the top category, based on our criteria for evaluating these scores. The ability to perform complex reasoning and problem-solving are important in anesthesia school, and your graduate admission exam scores suggest that you have some good ability in this area.

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My graduate school tests were:

GRE (quantitative + verbal) (Old 1000 -1200) (New  300 - 312) or (MAT ~ 400):

You are in the acceptable and typical category for these exams. Although we do not publish specific criteria for each subsection, we do expect to see per the New GRE scoring system around 150 minimum in each area. If your GRE shows 225 in the quantitative section, but only 75 in the verbal ability assessment, we may have to review your application carefully to determine suitability. Strong communication skills, as well as understanding quantitative relationships are both important to anesthesia practice, so a skewed score report may not be found acceptable, even thought the combined score appears adequate.

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My graduate school tests were:

GRE (quantitative + verbal) (Old <1000) (New  < 300) or (MAT < 375):

The intent of the graduate school admission exams is to predict a student’s ability to perform in graduate-level studies. The level of analysis and complexity in graduate school is very different from undergraduate, so the undergraduate performance alone may not tell the whole story of how a student will do in anesthesia school. Strong communication skills, as well as understanding quantitative relationships are very important to anesthesia practice, so a score using the New GRE system much below 300 combined, or 150 in either category, may not be found acceptable. If your score is significantly below 300, you may be denied full admission to the university and/or denied an interview with the nurse anesthesia program. Good performance in some graduate courses may be a method of demonstrating you ability in complex thinking, and may overshadow a poor GRE score.

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My previous academic coursework includes:

Undergraduate chemistry, advanced statistics, and some graduate courses

            You are in good shape, having your undergraduate prerequisites out of the way and having already gotten some experience with what graduate-level work is like. Although not a part of our curriculum, you might consider taking an advanced physiology or pathophysiology course (such as Nursing 550 at UNCG) or pharmacology course. Such a course can help prepare you for advanced nursing study and ease your transition to the Master’s program. Your performance on any graduate courses demonstrates your ability in graduate work and shows your commitment to this goal, so keep those grades up!

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My previous academic coursework includes:

Undergraduate chemistry and advanced statistics, but no graduate courses

                       You are in good shape, having your undergraduate prerequisites out of the way. One very popular activity for those applying to anesthesia school is to get some experience taking graduate courses. Many students are surprised by the different level of self-directedness, higher expectations, and greater reliance on complex-thinking that characterize graduate study. Having some experience in graduate work will help to ease that transition for you. Your performance there also serves to show the admissions committee a suggestion of how you may fare in our graduate program.

                      Although not a part of our curriculum, you might also consider taking a course in advanced physiology, pathophysiology, (such as Nursing 550 at UNCG) or pharmacology. Such a course can help prepare you for advanced nursing study and ease your transition to the Master’s program. Your performance on any graduate courses demonstrates your ability in graduate work and shows your commitment to this goal, so keep those grades up!

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My previous academic coursework includes:

None of the above

 

            There are a few prerequisite courses that you will need to add to your transcript if you have not had them already in your undergraduate work. These are a basic chemistry (any college-level chemistry will be fine), and statistics (it should preferably include inferential statistics). Because these are prerequisites to graduate school admission and/or to particular courses in our curriculum, they should be your priority in terms of qualifying for consideration to our program. Once you have these courses out of the way, you can think about expanding your experience into some graduate coursework.

 

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My previous academic coursework includes:

Some graduate courses

                        Good for you! Getting some experience in graduate work is a very good idea. Many students are surprised by the different level of self-directedness, higher expectations, and greater reliance on complex-thinking that characterize graduate study. Having some experience in graduate work will help to ease that transition for you. Your performance there also serves to show the admissions committee a suggestion of how you may fare in our graduate program. Before you go much further in graduate work, also assure that you have completed our prerequisites. We require chemistry, and statistics as part of your prior education. The chemistry course prerequisite is a basic undergraduate chemistry. We do not require specific content, as long as it is a college-level class. There is, of course, much chemistry in anesthesia practice, and in particular, many of our common drugs are carbon-based with various functional groups. Therefore, students with an understanding of organic chemistry find that they have an easier time learning the chemistry concepts here. As for the statistics, we are not very picky, as long as it includes inferential statistics.  

                       Although not a part of our curriculum, you might consider taking an advanced physiology or pathophysiology course (such as Nursing 550 at UNCG) or pharmacology course. Such a course can help prepare you for advanced nursing study and ease your transition to the Master’s program. Your performance on any graduate courses demonstrates your ability in graduate work and shows your commitment to this goal, so keep those grades up!

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Other things I have done in my quest for anesthesia school include:

Nothing, I’ve met the prerequisites; what else would I do?

 

                        Anesthesia school is commonly described as the most difficult venture taken on by the experienced ICU nurses who become students. There are some activities you may consider for your own development, and to satisfy the admission committee’s desire to select applicants who are motivated and dedicated to this goal. The first suggestion is to shadow some CRNAs in your own OR to get a better idea of what the job entails or what things are important to learn. Many people have a limited understanding of what CRNAs truly do. Given the difficulty of the educational program, we like to be sure that applicants are coming to us for the right reasons, and that they have some understanding of what they are getting into. Therefore, we like to see that people have spent some time interacting directly with CRNAs. You will want to be sure to have a good understanding of what the educational process involves, too, because the commitment in time and effort is very difficult to make if you do not have a true passion for becoming a CRNA.

There is a bit of coursework that you can take prior to being accepted to the nurse anesthesia program. Theory and Research are two courses that are open to prospective students (you can inquire about the availability of these courses at our institution, or the opportunity to transfer these in from another university). While these are normal parts of the anesthesia curriculum, having them out of the way ahead of time can provide some very welcomed additional time in your week once you are enrolled in the full anesthesia program.

You might also undertake other activities to develop and demonstrate your leadership abilities in nursing. CRNAs are nursing leaders, and must be comfortable in taking charge of a situation and standing up for the patient's well-being. Some beneficial activities include providing inservices on your own unit on something "anesthesia-related” like muscle relaxants; or take on charge or educator roles. The shadowing and unit-based activities are all things which can help you solidify your resolve to pursue a career as a CRNA, and also convince the selection committee of that resolve.

 To help candidates prepare for school and to get a good idea of what anesthesia practice entails, we offer a seminar in the summer for prospective applicants. This course provides information on some advanced nursing skills, some practical points of becoming an anesthesia student, and some hands-on learning in advanced procedures like intubation, spinal and epidural injections and others. Consider this option for an interesting exposure to CRNA practice, and also for an opportunity to work on your plan to prepare for an anesthesia program.

 Finally, financial preparation for CRNA school should be a major part of your plan, because there is not an opportunity to work while in school, and at the same time you will be paying tuition and other fees. As you look forward to CRNA school, be frugal with your finances. You don't want to start school with lots of credit card debt and other bills that quickly eat away at your finances. Few people are fortunate enough to be able to just save up enough to carry them through the 2 years, so if you will be living on loans or a spouse's salary, you want as uncomplicated a financial picture as possible.

 

Thank you for using our self-assessment tool. We hope you have found it useful. You may close this browser window to return to your previous page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

           

 

Other things I have done in my quest for anesthesia school include:

Shadowed an anesthesia provider in my institution.

 

                        Good for you. Hopefully the experience was enlightening to give you a better idea of what the job entails or what things are important to learn. Many people have a limited understanding of what CRNAs truly do. Given the difficulty of the educational program, we like to be sure that applicants are coming to us for the right reasons, and that they have some understanding of what they are getting into. You will also want to be sure to have a good understanding of what the educational process involves, too, because the commitment in time and effort is very difficult to make if you do not have a true passion for becoming a CRNA.

There is a bit of coursework that you can take prior to being accepted to the nurse anesthesia program. Theory and Research are two courses that are open to prospective students (you can inquire about the availability of these courses at our institution, or the opportunity to transfer these in from another university). While these are normal parts of the anesthesia curriculum, having them out of the way ahead of time can provide some very welcomed additional time in your week once you are enrolled in the full anesthesia program.

You might also undertake other activities to develop and demonstrate your leadership abilities in nursing. CRNAs are nursing leaders, and must be comfortable in taking charge of a situation and standing up for the patient's wellbeing. Some beneficial activities include providing inservices on your own unit on something "anesthesia-related” like muscle relaxants; or take on charge or educator roles. The shadowing and unit-based activities are all things which can help you solidify your resolve to pursue a career as a CRNA, and also convince the selection committee of that resolve. 

To help candidates prepare for school and to get a good idea of what anesthesia practice entails, we offer a seminar in the summer for prospective applicants. This course provides information on some advanced nursing skills, some practical points of becoming an anesthesia student, and some hands-on learning in advanced procedures like intubation, spinal and epidural injections and others. Consider this option for an interesting exposure to CRNA practice, and also for an opportunity to work on your plan to prepare for an anesthesia program.

 

Finally, financial preparation for CRNA school should be a major part of your plan, because there is not an opportunity to work while in school, and at the same time you will be paying tuition and other fees. As you look forward to CRNA school, be frugal with your finances. You don't want to start school with lots of credit card debt and other bills that quickly eat away at your finances. Few people are fortunate enough to be able to just save up enough to carry them through the 2 years, so if you will be living on loans or a spouse's salary, you want as uncomplicated a financial picture as possible.

 

Thank you for using our self-assessment tool. We hope you have found it useful. You may close this browser window to return to your previous page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

Other things I have done in my quest for anesthesia school include:

Taken a prep course, shadowed a CRNA, demonstrated leadership competencies in my employment, etc.

 

                        Excellent for you! We like to see that applicants are knowledgeable about the role of the CRNA and also that they know what the educational process will entail. At the same time, we like to see evidence of ambition and motivation toward this goal, so the other activities you have completed speak highly for you as well.

There is a bit of coursework that you can take prior to being accepted to the nurse anesthesia program. Theory and Research are two courses that are open to prospective students (you can inquire about the availability of these courses at our institution, or the opportunity to transfer these in from another university). While these are normal parts of the anesthesia curriculum, having them out of the way ahead of time can provide some very welcomed additional time in your week once you are enrolled in the full anesthesia program.

To help candidates prepare for school and to get a good idea of what anesthesia practice entails, we offer a seminar in the summer for prospective applicants. This course provides information on some advanced nursing skills, some practical points of becoming an anesthesia student, and some hands-on learning in advanced procedures like intubation, spinal and epidural injections and others. Consider this option for an interesting exposure to CRNA practice, and also for an opportunity to work on your plan to prepare for an anesthesia program.

 Finally, financial preparation for CRNA school should be a major part of your plan, because there is not an opportunity to work while in school, and at the same time you will be paying tuition and other fees. As you look forward to CRNA school, be frugal with your finances. You don't want to start school with lots of credit card debt and other bills that quickly eat away at your finances. Few people are fortunate enough to be able to just save up enough to carry them through the 2 years, so if you will be living on loans or a spouse's salary, you want as uncomplicated a financial picture as possible.

 Thank you for using our self-assessment tool. We hope you have found it useful. You may close this browser window to return to your previous page.

 

 

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Last Updated: 11-06-2014
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