I finally yield, after 5 wonderful years of practicing as registered nurse, I can no longer resist the calling of becoming a nurse anesthetist. My ICU nursing practice has given me so much that I have agonized for years about making the transition to anesthesia school, but I can no longer ignore the signs that I am ready.

1. Ran to my umpteenth code blue and had to take over as team leader because the resident was unable to control the situation.
2. Realized that many of my nursing colleagues were approaching me, even sending me e-mails, regarding patient scenarios and have even invited me out for lunch to discuss drips, hemodynamics, and bears OH MY!
3. During a PALS course that I was teaching, 2 PALS instructors called in sick and my boss asked for me to run a lecture on the fly reviewing how to differentiate and categorize the main shock states in front of the entire Anesthesia, CRNA, Cardiology, and Emergency medical/nursing staff at the same time and I held my own.
4. On the same day that I decided to apply to anesthesia school, I rode the elevator to my floor and it was filled with anesthesia medical/nursing students.
5. I purchased a Barash anesthesia book and I cannot put it down.

I have always wanted to become a nurse anesthetist but I was becoming aware that so many promising and talented critical care nurses would take their invaluable knowledge and experience with them to graduate school. I applaud the many individuals who have moved forward to anesthesia school so quickly but this phenomenon has caused a void in the nursing staff. On one end you would have the old guard who have 10+ years experience (the number is dwindling) and on the other end you have the yearly inward flux of new grads. In the middle you would have the rising stars who are chomping at the bit for a seat in a NP/CRNA program. I am starting to realize that the patient safety net of teaching hospitals is an experienced nursing staff who would catch the mistakes and educate the residents and fellows who are still learning their craft. However, this safety net now has some very big holes in it and, for some messed-up reason, I felt that I should stay and do what I can. Although, I am still learning something new almost every day, I feel that the learning curve is starting to plateau little by little, shift by shift. I thirst for more knowledge, I yearn for more autonomy, and I need to be challenged. Anesthesia seems to be a tempestuous mistress that can only be guided but never fully controlled, it is this type of life-long learning that I seek and I pray that I am right.

I know I am only one person, and that my professional practice as a RN or CRNA does not matter in the grand scheme of things but listening to all of the anesthesia talk on this wonderful forum just keeps on pulling at my heart strings. I will now be applying to anesthesia school and I am confident (not cocky) that I will be accepted into an anesthesia program. I have worked diligently to be an excellent student and clinician, my resume rocks, I have shadowed CRNAs, and I interview very well! I can't wait to be counted among you as a fellow colleague and I look forward to a rigorous anesthesia program.

One last thing...I have to do a shout out to my favorite CRNAs on the forum in no particular order: yoga, MmacFN, armygas, Skeebum, dontquit, RAYMAN, ethernaut, jwk, BadApple, and anesthesiaMD. I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for all your posts. Some have made me laugh till I cried whereas others have simply scared the $^%* out of me, but each one has given me precious insight into the wonderful plight of the nurse anesthetist.

Respectfully (and this is my first post...so please be gentle),

Anesthesinator (sorry, I couldn't help myself when it came to my avatar name).