I'm a RN who lives in WA state who is getting ready to apply to some nurse anesthesia programs this fall. My undergrad GPA is 3.9 and I have nearly 5 years of great ICU experience. When I became a RN, I had dreams of becoming a CRNA, but I went through some hardships with the health of my father that prevented me from wanting to move away for the past several years. I'm at the point now where there's nothing really holding me back and I'm ready to go for it!

There aren't many west coast programs, but because of their proximity and familiarity, they are the ones I have been considering the most. The three I thought I would apply to are in Spokane, WA, Portland, OR, and the SF Bay Area.

My husband is finishing up a BSN program and will graduate in May of 2013 and should not have a problem getting a new grad position at the hospital we're both employed at now. The programs I'm considering would start in late 2013 or early 2014, so he wouldn't have much work experience if he relocated when I did, assuming I were accepted during my first round of applications. The problem is, the programs I'm considering are in difficult locations for new graduate RNs. So we've kicked around the idea that he'd stay where we currently live and get a year of experience as a RN before relocating to wherever I go to school. Of course, he wants me to wait until next fall to apply so we'd be able to go wherever together with a pretty good chance of him finding a job. I really don't want to wait. My feelings are, we're either going to be miserable because we relocate together and he never sees me because I'll be studying all the time or we're going to be miserable because we're separated by distance for a year.

Have any of you relocated without your family? Did it work for you? Do you regret it?

More and more, I've been looking at a program in Minneapolis, as the CRNA that I shadowed is a graduate who I think he's a great anesthesia provider. I also met another graduate of the same program, coincidentally. He was teaching in the difficult airway lab at the AANA Annual Meeting I attended in August. It seems like Minneapolis may be a good option for my husband to get a job as a new grad RN and for me to get a good education in nurse anesthesia. So, perhaps I should just abandon the idea of staying on the west coast and places I'm familiar with and go for an area that both of us can thrive. At the same time, neither one of us is too fond of moving somewhere we've never been for 2+ years.

Whether he stays here or relocates and finds a job, his income will help pay for my living expenses while in school, hopefully reducing my reliance on loans to survive nurse anesthesia school. I guess I'm just looking for thoughts and feedback.