I was hoping to get some honest advice from this group. I've lurked here for several years, ever since I first considered a career as a nurse anesthetist. A little about me: I graduated with my ASN in the spring of 2011 and was hired onto a med/surg floor. I stayed there for a year while completing my BSN and this month started a new position on an ICU floor and have enjoyed orienting there. Now I have set my sights to applying for a CRNA program.

I recently met with an admissions counselor with the intention of finding out what I needed to do in the meantime to apply in the fall of 2013. To my surprise, the counselor informed me that, with the exception of taking the GRE, I have met all the basic requirements (since I would have my 1 year ICU experience before the program started) and could apply this fall. Of course, he advised that I needed to apply when I felt ready to do so, but encouraged me to consider this application period as well. He's reasoning was that, at the very least, I would gain valuable experience going through the whole process and if selected for an interview, would know what to expect the next time around in the event that I wasn't accepted into the program.

I admit, a lot of what he said makes sense to me. If I can get in this year, why wait? Even if I'm not accepted, I can at least have an idea of what I need to work on and would perhaps even make the cut for an interview and have that experience as well for next time. However, I'm more worried about being accepted right away, but being at a disadvantage as a student from not having more ICU experience. I have a 3.9 gpa and consider myself a good student. I have a very healthy respect for the difficulty of anesthesia school but also feel confident in my academic abilities. I'm very excited and eagar to start in this profession, but don't want to regret any hasty decisions. Any thoughts/insights from those who had minimal nursing experience or went to school with those who did? I want to a competent, confident indepent practitioner by the end of my education.