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View Full Version : Which Schools are "easier" to get in to?



chanpaal
04-05-2009, 02:34 PM
By "easier" I mean have larger class size, fewer applicants, or are schools that don't get applied to much because of location or some such reason.

I'm fully aware that CRNA school is difficult no matter what, and I'm not looking to cut corners. I just don't want to beat my head against a wall either.

Again, I don't mean to offend people who have worked hard to become CRNAs or to get in to school. I just want to improve my chances when I do apply. The administrators of the schools will decide if I am good enough to get in. If I am then I will get a quality education from what ever school it is. Please reserve harsh judgements, and only respond if you have something constructive to say.

Thanks!

gasaholic
04-05-2009, 02:47 PM
<snip> edited.

save your money. stay in critical care.

please.
:beerglass:

gasaholic
04-05-2009, 02:51 PM
just because I'm curious.

what is your GRE score?
grades?
time working in critical care?
science background?

LouisiAnimal
04-05-2009, 02:57 PM
Dude you are a couple of days late for April Fools' jokes.

BDD
04-05-2009, 02:59 PM
I don't necessarily believe some schools are easier to get in to, I just think the odds are different. In my case, I applied to my school when there were 3 applicants for each position. Another school in my home state had 16 applicants for each position. Don't look for a school that is easier to get into (b/c I don't think they are out there), find one that suits you as far as learning style, location maybe, cost of living, etc...

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 03:01 PM
Look guys, I said 'easier' NOT 'easy'. Mountain climbers can climb mount Rainer or Mt. Everest. Neither is easy, both require preparation, but I bet the climbers will all tell you Rainer is the easier or the two.

I'm just trying to avoid some pit falls. Does anyone have anything nice to say?

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 03:03 PM
Thank you, this is useful information. Which school had 3 per slot, which had 16 per?

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 03:15 PM
just because I'm curious.

what is your GRE score?
grades?
time working in critical care?
science background?

On the off chance you aren't just looking for more reasons to insult someone, here's your info.

GRE; 0. Haven't taken it yet. I'm sure you probably took it in-vitro so there was never a time in your life you didn't have a GRE score. Some of us weren't that lucky.
Grades; 3.85 ish
CC time; less than a year. Again, Maybe you were a premie, and never left the ICU since.
Science Background; Not sure what you're looking for, but just the standard undergrad classes.

Want more? I don't even have a bachelor's yet. Go for it - make fun of that too. Did you know that U of MD Baltimore has an Associates RN to MSN Anasthesia program? I'm looking in to it. I'm practicing some long term planning you might say. I'm fully aware that for most programs the earliest I could apply is for a start date of 2011, but I could apply for U of MD this November.

I'm curious too. Do you have anything worthwhile to say? Or am I wasting my time?

JumpNurse
04-05-2009, 03:28 PM
Or am I wasting my time?

I feel that way after reading the thread. If you don't want to be the best then keep looking for a career. Everyone here has worked their asses off to get where they are. No one takes kindly to people looking for the path of least resistance. Good luck in your endeavors.

MmacFN
04-05-2009, 03:33 PM
chanpaal

Hey bro, while im sure you meant well many people here who have worked HARD to get into anesthesia school (some who have reapplied for years), will take offense to your question.

Essentially, they are reading it as "how can i get in as quickly and as easily as possible avoiding as much of the hard work as I can.". Many will see it as you looking for shortcuts even iof the program isnt the greatest....

Now you may well not mean it that way but it comes off that way.

Best thing to do is to read the "so you wanna be a crna?" section to get the skinny.

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 03:42 PM
chanpaal

Hey bro, while im sure you meant well many people here who have worked HARD to get into anesthesia school (some who have reapplied for years), will take offense to your question.

Essentially, they are reading it as "how can i get in as quickly and as easily as possible avoiding as much of the hard work as I can.". Many will see it as you looking for shortcuts even iof the program isnt the greatest....

Now you may well not mean it that way but it comes off that way.

Best thing to do is to read the "so you wanna be a crna?" section to get the skinny.

Thanks for the advice. I am reading the So you want to be a CRNA posts. Some of them are helpful. What I'm trying to get to is that every CRNA and even the arrogant SRNAs DIDN'T apply to a lot of schools, and I'm sure they had their reasons. I thought people might share some of those reasons.

I do plan on getting in on the first try. I don't imagine anyone who plans for failure. If I don't, I'll try again.

Thanks again for a reasonable response.

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 03:50 PM
No one takes kindly to people looking for the path of least resistance.

Especially not the SRNAs, eh? The only useful responses have come from full CRNAs I notice. Maybe once you finish school you'll lose a little arrogance.

Furthermore: B.S. Did you apply to the hardest, most competitive, least convienent, most expensive program you could find? Do you think I will get in anywhere with out working hard myself? I don't. I'm willing to do the work. And I won't be so stupid or masochistic to apply to schools where I have no chance of getting in. Honestly, there is a seperate forum for you if you just want to vent.

gasaholic
04-05-2009, 04:09 PM
What I'm trying to get to is that every CRNA and even the arrogant SRNAs DIDN'T apply to a lot of schools, and I'm sure they had their reasons.

applied to 1 school. got in first round. why? I knew I would get in. My resume and background were incredibly strong. 3.91 GPA, 7 years critical care, and a strong I-know-what-I-want-and-failure-isn't-an-option attitude.I knew I was getting in, it was just a matter of where I wanted to go.

This is my beef. When people have to wonder if they are a good enuf candidate, then they AREN'T. That school that has a 16:1 ratio of applicants to positions DOES accept people. But they most likely only accept the best. Or at least the most qualified.

Will you fit that bill when it comes time to apply? There is plenty of info on this site on what potential applicants can do to increase the strength of their application.

take the GRE and get more experience

JumpNurse
04-05-2009, 04:13 PM
Especially not the SRNAs, eh? The only useful responses have come from full CRNAs I notice. Maybe once you finish school you'll lose a little arrogance.

Furthermore: B.S. Did you apply to the hardest, most competitive, least convienent, most expensive program you could find? Do you think I will get in anywhere with out working hard myself? I don't. I'm willing to do the work. And I won't be so stupid or masochistic to apply to schools where I have no chance of getting in. Honestly, there is a seperate forum for you if you just want to vent.

As a matter of fact I did. I chose the school that was a greater challenge. You know why? Because when I finish I want to know that I am not going to kill someone from lack of preparation. Do you have a family? Do you want the person putting them to sleep to be the student who took the easiest route possible? This is a serious undertaking. I hope you realize that soon. I got into school because I worked harder than the other hundred people that wanted my spot. Yes it chaps my hide that you are looking for the easy way. You have a lot of growing up to do friend.

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 04:24 PM
take the GRE and get more experience

Thank you, I plan to. But here's another question. The 7 years that you spent in Critical Care - did you plan on being a CRNA that whole time? If so why did you wait so long to apply?! I've wanted to be a CRNA since I was an LPN in the Army. That's been 5 years right there. I've spent a whole lot of time since then jumping through hoops; credits not transferring, financial difficulties, even some bad employment decisions. I have the same attitude as you - I KNOW I can do the work - now I just want to cut the crap and get to work. I don't mind jumping through the hoops - we all have to right? I'm just trying to line up all the hoops so I can jump through them QUICKLY. I'm not getting any younger, you know?

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 04:36 PM
Do you want the person putting them to sleep to be the student who took the easiest route possible?

You seem to be of the opinion that some of the CRNA schools in the country do not adequately prepare people to be CRNAs. Tell me which ones they are so I can avoid them.

I think you misunderstand my problem. It's not that I have some growing up to do, it's that I've done too much growing up. I did the same thing you did - I took a year longer route and went to a really hard school to get my RN, thinking it would make me a better new grad - which it did. But the thing is, and you'll find this out once you are out of school, THAT ONLY LASTS FOR THE FIRST FEW MONTHS. Then everyone from "inferior" schools catch up with on-the-job learning. Years down the road either you're skilled or you're not. Either you can do the work or you can't. What school you went to matters not one whit. So now what do I have to show for going to the "better" school? Well, I'm one year closer to dying.

I'm tired off spinning my wheels. I don't care if I graduate from Georgetown or not, I just want to get to work.

MMacKenzie
04-05-2009, 04:41 PM
Just a thought (based on personal experience)....

I am not sure of all RN to MSN programs work this way, but... I had to reapply to my school because the first year I applied I was an RN to MSN student. Well, my program only accepted ONE RN to MSN student per class (expensive private Catholic colleges need money, too.... LOL). So.... Not only did I have to compete for a spot, but I also had to compete against all the other RN to MSN candidates for the ONE AVAILABLE spot. Needless to say, I was rejected my first year. However, I decided I was NOT going to do THAT again. So, I took the time between interviews to get my BSN. I was accepted the following class.

Good luck.

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 05:13 PM
Thanks, I'll check into it.

notnecessarilyanesthesia
04-05-2009, 06:05 PM
kansas university is apparently easy to get into, since they accepted me. however, the didactic and [especially] the clinical demands of this program are NOT for the faint of heart. 2.5 years of sheer misery... and now it's a 3 year program.

annardean
04-05-2009, 06:15 PM
Chanpaal:

Okay... you have to have tough skin to post on this site at times. But I have found that for the most part this is helpful. I do understand that you feel "pressed for time" as I am an older candidate and this had been a career change of sorts for me.

I graduated with honors from both my ADN and BSN programs with A's in all science courses. Schools will look at this. Then I made a focused plan and never side stepped. I worked in CVICU and CCU, I did okay on the GRE, I got my CCRN, and with every thing else, I must say, I have a pretty solid resume.

I applied to three schools, one of which was UMD. I did get the interview but was turned down. Maryland is an extremely competitive school and they really like people who have graduate level courses... I did not and my schooling was pretty old. My reasons for UMD where quality of education and location (since my sister lives in Baltimore). I got interviews at the other three schools and actually landed the school of my choice which was my 2nd interview and I declined the third. My selection of all three were first and foremost quality of education.

Keep in mind that when we get out of nursing school, we are precepted for quite a while before we are let lose to fly solo. Some one has our back and regardless how well educated you are coming into the game, you will not practice alone until you are done with orientation. For me, in the various settings I worked in, I had orientation from 2 months to 6 months.

Now, when you graduate as a SRNA and complete the boards to finally become a CRNA, you are solo from day one. No hand- holding. True--depending on the hospital and specific facility restrictions, you might have some over sight from a MDA, but don't count on it being like coming out of nursing school. I guess for me, that is why I focused on quality of education. I can't say that the schools I applied to are the best or somewhere in between, but I researched the clinical sites, thought about the exposure and clinical experiences I would get and I did this within some self imposed geographical boundaries.

Picking a school is a very individual thing, but if you have strong qualifications you can apply to and have a good chance of interviewing with any school you choose. Then once you get the interview, both you and the school have to make sure you are a good fit and that works both ways. So once you are in that interview room, you are starting from zero again. Your picture on paper is what got you to the interview; now your personality has to match as well.

It sounds like you still have a ways to go. If you are in an ICU, make every day count. Learn your meds, drips, hemodynamics, equipment, etc. Ask for the challenging cases. Always be in a learning mode. Make friends, display a good work ethic and get solid recommendations. Get your CCRN as soon as you can even if some schools don't require it. It will make you more competitive. Shadow a CRNA (also a must if you have not done so), find a mentor. Stay on this forum because the information is spot on even though it may rub you the wrong way at times. You need a source of accurate and timely information and this site will give you that. Look at your science grades and if you need to, redo some or take a grad school level course or two. Research the schools that you think interest you and apply. Don't limit yourself to thinking that one school may take you sooner than another. Trust me, if you have the goods, the schools will open up to you.

If you are interested in UMD, look into their program, but I would not be surprised if the requirements for the RN-MSN Anesthesia program are strict. The program director Dr. Lou Heindel has very high requirements for those entering his program. Okay, so I did not make it, but I got the interview and to me that is something. And if you don't make it the first time, try again. I understand that once Maryland has interviewed you; and you take their recommendations on being more competitive, the second time is almost a shoe in (but still not automatic).

Okay, I have worked a hard, long 12 hour shift, but I wanted to respond so that you do not get discouraged. I think that a few years from now when you are a SRNA reading some of the questions posted on this forum, you too will take pause. I guess we are all sensitive to the fact that to get to where all of us are at, we have worked so very, vert hard. I feel proud that if I wanted to, I could apply to any school. Quality is the key and when you walk into your first day on the job as a CRNA, there is no OJT. This is it. All eyes are on you. And you want to make sure you are ready.

Anna

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 06:39 PM
Shadow a CRNA (also a must if you have not done so), find a mentor.

Thanks for your help. Another question then. A friend of mine at church is an anasthesiologist, and a preceptor for the CRNA program. Would he be a good person to shadow? Or would they look down on that because he isn't a CRNA? I was hoping to work with him some anyway, because he seemed like a good person to write a letter of recommendation.

trp100329
04-05-2009, 06:47 PM
This is a thoughtful and well-written response. Kudos.

Terri

annardean
04-05-2009, 06:59 PM
Well... if it were me, I would shadow a CRNA since that's what I want to do. Although your friend may be supportive, maybe he/she could hook you up with a CRNA. I would not be surprised if he can help you with this. Research your schools and follow their guidelines. Most all will ask if you shadowed a CRNA (not MDA) and some will even ask for a recommendation from a CRNA. My school did. So this was my focus.

Having said that, my school also wanted a recommendation from an MD and if one of your schools wants this, then maybe this would be a good choice. But as far as shadowing, I would do it with only with a peer, which would be a CRNA.

captgaston
04-05-2009, 08:47 PM
I guess there is something wrong with me too. I picked a program that will require an over an hour commute, very competitive, and not cheap. Seriously, ther is a great deal of info here and I used some of it to get where I am now, I am in on one interview with one application. If you can use this forum without thinking everybody is here to put you down, you will succeed. Constructive but honest help here. This is not the ICU. I have learned that CRNAs are different. They want to protect their profession that they have all worked so hard to belong.

Good Luck to you!

chanpaal
04-05-2009, 09:10 PM
I guess there is something wrong with me too. I picked a program that will require an over an hour commute, very competitive, and not cheap. Seriously, ther is a great deal of info here and I used some of it to get where I am now, I am in on one interview with one application. If you can use this forum without thinking everybody is here to put you down, you will succeed. Constructive but honest help here. This is not the ICU. I have learned that CRNAs are different. They want to protect their profession that they have all worked so hard to belong.

Good Luck to you!

There's nothing wrong with you Brian. You did what you have to do, and you're going to make it. Congrats, man. I envy you.

You're absolutely right that there is good information here, though interestingly, most has come to me in the form of private messages. I guess a lot of folks are aware that there are some baffoons prowling the forums, and don't want to draw fire. Oh well, I guess I have to put up with a few thorns if I want to smell the roses.

Thanks for your advice.

captgaston
04-05-2009, 09:28 PM
By the way, one CRNA that I know did a combo BSN, MSN program and it worked for her. I suspect this option is more common that I suspected...

ethernaut
04-06-2009, 04:55 AM
Thanks for your help. Another question then. A friend of mine at church is an anasthesiologist, and a preceptor for the CRNA program. Would he be a good person to shadow? Or would they look down on that because he isn't a CRNA? I was hoping to work with him some anyway, because he seemed like a good person to write a letter of recommendation.
your job role will be that of a CRNA, not an MD. it would behoove you to shadow the job role you seek.

beekahx4
04-07-2009, 12:39 AM
I see this as working smarter rather than looking for a short cut. Working harder doesn't make you smarter. If I study 2 hours for a test by only reading the material that I know is going to be covered on the tes versus you studying for 5 hrs, making note cards and charts and reading every textbook imaginable on a certain topic but in the end, I get a better grade than you, does that make you smarter for working harder? No but that doesn't make me smarter also. What i think makes people smarter is how they concentrate their time in the area they are trying to gain knowledge in. I think he is just trying to find the path where the odds are with him.

Why would anyone in their right mind try to go the path of most resistance? You are still going to put in alot of effort and the work will be hard.

No matter what, there are going to be large numbers of applicants to any program. With the economy as it is right now, many more people are going back to school so the applicant pool is going to be larger and smarter.

You have to look up where the school is located and what their requirements are.

Just don't be a lazy fu ck.

ceejay22
04-07-2009, 03:33 PM
Pls dont get too upset. I can totally understand u cos I've been in situations where I ask a well meaning question that came off the wrong way and was almost eaten alive. This is an internet forum, and sometimes written communication does not give the whole picture and there are people who dont have the patience to give u that benefit of doubt to think that just MAYBE, u r not really looking for an easy way out but that u are working just as hard as anybody and are willing to sacrifice just as much as anybody. Pls dont take whatever u get on this thread personal.Keep ur focus.
I do not necessarily think that some schools are easier to get into, but I feel each school has certain qualities it wants in prospective students, and u can only know by talking to program directors of schools you wish to apply to.
On the off chance you aren't just looking for more reasons to insult someone, here's your info.

GRE; 0. Haven't taken it yet. I'm sure you probably took it in-vitro so there was never a time in your life you didn't have a GRE score. Some of us weren't that lucky.
Grades; 3.85 ish
CC time; less than a year. Again, Maybe you were a premie, and never left the ICU since.
Science Background; Not sure what you're looking for, but just the standard undergrad classes.

Want more? I don't even have a bachelor's yet. Go for it - make fun of that too. Did you know that U of MD Baltimore has an Associates RN to MSN Anasthesia program? I'm looking in to it. I'm practicing some long term planning you might say. I'm fully aware that for most programs the earliest I could apply is for a start date of 2011, but I could apply for U of MD this November.

I'm curious too. Do you have anything worthwhile to say? Or am I wasting my time?

My_brain_hurts
04-08-2009, 12:28 AM
I applied to two schools, one that I thought was most likely out of my league and the other one that I thought I had a 'better' chance at because it was not as well known a school and had a larger class size. However, my 'better' chance school turned me down and the one I thought was out of my league said yes. Funny how things work out. I agree with what Jumpnurse said. I want to be well prepared when I graduate.

BDD
04-08-2009, 10:58 AM
kansas university is apparently easy to get into, since they accepted me. however, the didactic and [especially] the clinical demands of this program are NOT for the faint of heart. 2.5 years of sheer misery... and now it's a 3 year program.

Wooooooh!!! Easy my ass! I have worked with and had friends who went to CRNA school at KU. It was actually my first choice. The director you had was tough. I visited her once and hated her guts. But everyone tells me she was your best friend when you were in the program. And clinicals, one CRNA told me she was left alone her 1st week in the OR for a carotid endarterctomy. Bless her.

notnecessarilyanesthesia
04-08-2009, 02:59 PM
Wooooooh!!! Easy my ass! I have worked with and had friends who went to CRNA school at KU. It was actually my first choice. The director you had was tough. I visited her once and hated her guts. But everyone tells me she was your best friend when you were in the program. And clinicals, one CRNA told me she was left alone her 1st week in the OR for a carotid endarterctomy. Bless her.
uhhh... try left alone the first day of clinical, for me with a all-day mrnd with a free forearm flap (my first case... alone). anything you heard about the previous director was probably true, except for the part of her being your best friend while in the program. not bragging, just stating... ku grads were considered as if they'd been out and practicing for a year or two upon graduation by the groups that hired them by the sheer autonomy and their caseload. i never saw a classroom for the last two years of the program. five days a week in the operating room, happy to be home by 7pm, if i wasn't on in-house overnight or weekend call... of note also, there were about 4 crna's there when i was there. you would occasionally see them coming around to give breaks, otherwise, you were with an md (who was capable of belittling your every move). just kind of how it was there. i wouldn't go through it again. the new pd i know and she is awesome. they have more crna's there now that actually teach and work in the operating room also.

icudoucme?
04-08-2009, 03:37 PM
So, at the risk of incurring wrath, I do have a suggestion for the OP. Wolford College in Naples Florida seems "easier" to get into since they accept two classes a year and there are 35 in each class. They also have wait lists for those who didn't get in after the first interview (I think). Most people who are called up for interviews are accepted but I don't know how many applicants there are for the slots.

But I also have heard, (please correct me if I'm wrong wolford students) that they have a high attrition rate. So you have to weigh it all very carefully when you start looking for the higher numbers of students per class. There is also perhaps a little better chance of getting into a school that is just starting up because a lot of people will bypass that program and not apply because it is not a proven school (thus better odds). You really take your chances there also. A new school may not have their kinks worked out, in fact, you can count on it!

infidel
04-09-2009, 07:21 AM
Wow I have no idea why people got their panties in a wad over the question.

I have to say St Louis is over run with CRNA schools. I figure there are more than 60- 70 SRNA openings each year and it appears the applicant pool is getting diluted. One school only accepts 8 students, so can be a bit more selective. It seems the other two.... one being my alma mater .. have somewhat lower admission standards.

infidel
04-09-2009, 07:23 AM
try left alone the first day of clinical, for me with a all-day mrnd with a free forearm flap (my first case... alone).

That is irresponsible , bordering on criminal.

notnecessarilyanesthesia
04-09-2009, 12:09 PM
That is irresponsible , bordering on criminal.
hey infidel... by no means am i defending it, but it is the way it was back then. i readily admit that i learned most of the clinical application of anesthesia by figuring it out. we, the srna's, essentially functioned as primary staff, 'supervised' almost exclusively by anesthesiologists at a 1:2 ratio between us and the residents. most of them [the anesthesiolgists] were both good clinically and nice to us; but a few of them both sucked clinically and were not nice. i concede that the one i hated the most was actually excellent clinically speaking, but was not nice at all. acutally, he was really quite rude; and is still an instrumental force there. today, i wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire.

the class above me, with no-shows and attrition, only had 4 graduates... which means that my class, who would've been putting long hours in the operating room anyway, "worked" that much more to make up for their lack of numbers. after a year, when the class below mine arrived in the operating room, it got a little better; but not much.

as far as the [former] pd is concerned, i thought about it yesterday and was wondering if i should say how i really feel about her. being that she made life miserable for many people for a very long time, and given that i wouldn't let her touch my dog with any type of anesthesia-related instrument, you can probably imagine how i feel about her.

when i have time i'll share a detailed account of a story that occured twenty months in to my education (and the week before my first child was born), when i was a senior and had only ten months left and probably 700+ cases under my belt. as a 'grown' man, she had me in tears in her office [sobbing uncontrollably] telling me that i was being kicked out of the program (ie: wasted the previous 20 months of my life) for not working up "in-patients" (a big no-no at ku) that i didn't even know that i had due to a miscommunication between a fellow classmate and myself. she never even gave me a chance to explain it, nor the fact that when i realized it the next morning, i asked my supervising anesthesiologist if he could sit in my room for thirty minutes while i went upstairs to work up the patients. his words were that it is not a problem, that he'd see them as they came down. problem was, my room eventually got 'flipped' into another anesthesiologist's room (remember, not all of them were nice). if i remember correctly, she actually sent me home for the day and said she was going to talk to one of the head anesthesiologists (remember the piss-ant i described in the first paragraph) and get his recommendation for how to handle the matter. she told me to show up the next morning, and that if my name was on the operating room schedule, that i was still in the program. if not, to clean out my locker and go home. after my name was obviously on the schedule that morning, i saw her a couple of days later and she pretended at that moment to be my best friend. i've yet to forgive her for that experience.

BDD
04-09-2009, 01:19 PM
John, I had nowhere near the experience you did. I remember on March 17, 2003 walking into the KU nurse anesthesia office to introduce myself to the people there. Thought it would be good for the interview process if I was granted one. They tried to shove me out the door and I asked if I could at least meet the PD. The person showing me around walked into her office and asked for me, and she stated VERY loudly, Does he think I really have time for him? but talked to me nonetheless. She was rude, stated that I needed to speak up (over the AC) twice and said I wouldn't make it in her OR. She then started talking money and how nurses were in anesthesia for just the money. Really rude. I left with my eyes wide open and said I really didn't want to go into anesthesia anymore. Luckily, I changed my mind, and one year later to the month I was accepted to TWU while still working on my undergraduate nursing degree. More power to you man. I appreciate your hard effort.