View Full Version : Value your input
03-22-2007, 02:03 PM
I'm graduating nursing school in June. Will finish my BSN next summer. I have a job offer now in CCU. I was holding out for a SICU position at graduation or CSICU. In my part of the woods SICU or CSICU are the experience builders needed to get into the local CRNA programs. Should I take the bird in hand,(CCU), and hope to transfer in a year to SICU or hold out for the 2 in the bush at the other hospital for SICU or CSICU in June. My age is a factor, 45. I was looking to start a program in April 2009. I would have two years experience along with the 13 in EMS. Two years in SICU would look better than one, but I'm not guaranteed a job in June. I don't need to hear from the naysayers about years of experience. You can read my post on that already. What would you do?
03-22-2007, 02:14 PM
Assuming that you can transfer post taking a CCU position it seems to be the best way to go. That way yer in "ICU" and can transfer to what your program prefers.
03-22-2007, 07:00 PM
Technically you do not have to wait a year in CCU before transferring. I know there is that unsaid rule about giving a unit its year for all the resources they spent on orienting you. What are your chances of getting into the unit your want? Do what you really want to do. It will make that time to spend learning go much faster.
03-23-2007, 04:48 AM
Maybe I'm just being a jerk here, but when I graduated nursing school, the job I really wanted was being reeaally slow at getting back to me, so I accepted another position. When my desired job did let me know it was mine for the taking, I contacted the other one and told them I changed my mind.
Now, while I'm sure that put a bad taste in their mouth, my feelings aren't too terribly hurt about it. Most big private hospitals don't give a crap about anything other than money, and wouldn't hesitate to screw you for it.
Also, just think about your prior experience and what things you really love. A good knowledge base in Cardiac critical care is just as important as trauma or surgical ICU. I think the amount of work you put into extra training and certifications along with maybe going ahead and taking a couple of MSN classess will more than make up for any "preferences" the admissions board may have towards a certain type of work experience.
03-23-2007, 10:33 AM
Excellent point JC.
truth is they could care less about you.
03-23-2007, 11:41 AM
got into crna school with my ccu experience. it's a good base i think.
03-23-2007, 07:35 PM
Thanks for your input. I dropped off a patient in the ER today of the hospital where the CCU job is. I went to the unit and met friend of mine that works there. She informed me that a nurse in the CCU unit for 1 1/2 years just got accepted to the local CRNA program. Also, CCU and SICU cover for each other when the other is short. She felt I would have no problem transferring later also. That eased my concerns. Thanks again.
03-25-2007, 04:46 PM
I had all ER experience with one year of MICU right before starting school. Since I have been in school, I have found that my classmates that came from CCU and CIU are a step ahead of those of us with limited cardiac experience. There is so much of what we do that needs a solid cardiac background. Point: I think you will find your experience from a CCU will be very valuable for you in school. So, I say go for the CCU gig....
03-25-2007, 07:42 PM
Don't want to upset anyone here, but I really think my interviewing skills and test scores had a lot more to do with me getting in to anesthesia school than my experience. I only had two years of PACU and 3 years of OR. PM me if you want to hear what I feel is the best way to improve your GRE scores, and what I think you should do in an interview. I am not an instructor, so this is only opinion, but I have discussed this topic with many other CRNA's, and I did get into, and through a program.
03-25-2007, 08:03 PM
I agree with what you say but it is highly dependent upon the competitiveness of the program.
If there is only one program in a state and 20 slots with 300 applicants, the school will take people with the best of everything. Why wouldn't they?
When you have a huge pool of applicants you can be much more selective. In areas with multiple schools an inverse relationship occurs. Now you have schools competing for students. This changes the dynamic and students who would never be accepted into a highly competitive school may get in.
At the end of the day I believe admission is highly school specific. I know of many schools who do not accept an application from anyone without ICU experience yet there are clearly many successful CRNAs and SRNAs who did not have any ICU time at all.
The best advice that can be given for admission is from the program director of the school you want to goto.
03-25-2007, 09:26 PM
In California, there are three CRNA schools. The experience and stats on paper gets you the interview. Then what you say gets you into school.
03-26-2007, 06:41 PM
there are some schools that i looked at that rely HEAVILY on GRE scores. the one that i interviewed at (after i boosted my GRE score up) didn't really care about GRE scores. i ended up getting accepted there. every school has a different philosophy on the magic admission equation.
04-10-2007, 11:52 AM
Well, the bird in the hand, (CCU), got shot out of the tree on my final interview when the nurse manager asked me the ole, "Where do you see yourself in five years?", question. I was prepared with a good honest answer, without lying. But she pounded me till I admitted wanting to go to CRNA school. After dropping off a patient to the ER of this hospital I went by to see her. She informed me that I did not get the job. I asked her if it was because of my CRNA aspirations. Her hesitant answer seemed to indicate that, though she denied it. I have no problem accepting that someone was a better fit, I just feel that the CRNA school answer hurt me. Now I'm hoping to get an ICU job at a Level II trauma hospital 30 miles away. The nurses in the ICU of the hospital I did work for told me not to come there if I planned to go to CRNA school. That was the day and night shifts. This info was volunteered to me without even telling them that I wanted to do that. The nurse manager there knows and would probably hire me but I don't know if I want to work in that bitter, don't want to train you and you leave attitude. Sorry to be so long winded but those around me here don't understand all the dynamics of making it to CRNA school. I did run into the program director of the local program asked if it would hurt me if I had to take an ICU job at one of the outer lying, non Level I, hospitals. She assured me it would'nt as long as I could answer such and such questions on the interview. She basically told me what to expect on the interview. It's just interesting when you think you have something in the bag and it's taken away. I appreciate this forum for the ability to vent.
04-10-2007, 01:01 PM
What a shame. When I was getting out of nursing school and interviewing in cvicu, when I first walked into the managers office the first words out of his mouth were: "do you want to go to anesthesia school or perfusion school"....I kid you not. I asked him why, and he said that everybody that works there wants to do that. I got the job, of course that was 15 years ago. I know I was fortunate to work with a great group, but I guess I was fortunate in other ways too. Best of luck to you....
04-10-2007, 01:06 PM
I am really sorry to hear that! You will find a better fit somewhere else. Good luck to you.
04-10-2007, 01:24 PM
How typically "nursey" of that manager.
If she is fooling herself into believing that greater than 10% of her current staff under the age of 40 will be there in 5 years (regardless of aspirations), she needs to review her turn over stats.
I find it sad that this happens.
04-10-2007, 02:00 PM
Its times like this where you power through. Keep the chin up and keep going at it. Youll get there.
04-10-2007, 02:56 PM
I'm a soon to be new-grad RN as well. I've been reading this forum site for awhile and wanted to provide a bit of support for pilot424. Its a shame that the hospitals you are looking at are not very supportive. I recently accepted a position in the Cardiac Surgery ICU at my local level I trauma center. I was upfront about wanting to do Anesthesia and the nurse manager there was very supportive. In fact, every unit I interviewed in at the hospital was very supportive and all gave me offers (I'm also a flight paramedic for the flight service that the hospital is partners with). All the ICUs there are proud of their employees who go on to Anesthesia school (big banners were put up when people got in) and numerous other employees were in advanced practice graduate programs. I would recommend that you keep searching for a hospital/unit that will be supportive - they are definitely out there. I wish you the best of luck.
04-11-2007, 08:54 AM
I don't think it is any business of the director what you plan to be doing in 5 years. Nor do I think it necessary to tell the director what you think you may be doing in 5 years. It's enough to say,"I plan to be caring for critically ill patients" and leave it at that. You are not required to sign a contract to work there a certain amt of time, unless you did something like a internship which some hospitals offer new grads. The only problem you might have is getting a good recommedation from your immed. supervisor, which most CRNA schools require, I think.
The only really inappropriate thing new grads do is go to a tertiary care center to get a good critical care orientation, then leave shortly afterward for another hospital closer to them or whatever. But planning to stay somewhere for 1-2 years is perfectly acceptable, and a director doesn't get to hire you based on your future plans.
There was a long long thread on allnazis about what one makes known about one's future plans. I think the general consensus was keep the knowledge close to your chest if you work in a unit that 'punishes' CRNA-hopefuls or if you don't know how it/they react. Believe me, there are always nurses in any ICU who plan to go on to anesthesia school. That just goes with the territory. And every unit director knows it.
04-11-2007, 05:43 PM
Thanks, Deb for that response that "I plan on taking care of critically ill patients five years from now". I'll use that one next time. This last quarter of school I'm doing a preceptorship at a SICU unit at a level two hospital. The day before finding this out I had applied to this same unit. They get to check me out for free now for a couple of weeks. Maybe I can fool them into hiring me.
Thanks for the advice and support from everyone.
04-14-2007, 01:41 AM
I feel your pain. I interviewed for an ICU position after working tele for 2.5 yrs. When they found out I was a CRNA hopeful they told me to forget it, that they weren't hiring. Then they hired an LPN and 2 new grads. So I told them where to stick it and moved. My current manager is more than supportive and I love the CVICU. Good Luck!
04-14-2007, 07:46 AM
Thanks, Idaho, things are looking good for the new SICU job. Don't want to jinx it though. I'm tempted to be jealous of you guys accepted and going to CRNA school already and I'm struggling to just get an ICU gig. I know you all experienced pot holes in the road also and have put in the blood, sweat, and tears to get where you are. I'll be there one day too. Thanks for everyone's support.
05-20-2007, 08:28 PM
Well, the saga continues. I feel like I just interviewed for a CRNA program. My latest SICU interview was an hour and fifteen minutes and they will let me know in two weeks because they have one more to interview. I was interviewed by the director, the nurse manager, and a peer nurse. The first question was, "What advantages can you offer as a new nurse graduate over someone with experience?". I was the only one that had applied till a day or two ago. I've gone ahead and secured an interview at UAB SICU and HTICU. It's two hours away but I have a free place to stay if I get the job.
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