Hello,


I would like to start off by thanking all of the members of this forum that take time out of their day to lend a helping hand to those of us who are unfamiliar with the nurse anesthesia profession. A little bit about my background.. I am a 27-year-old new graduate RN currently working in a large, high acuity surgical ICU for the past 6 months. Prior to becoming a nurse, I worked as a full-time firefighter and paramedic for five years. My career as a firefighter was a lifelong dream of mine, and proved to be a very rewarding experience. However, as I grew older I soon realized that the profession of firefighting was a young man’s game. I witnessed the struggles, wear and tear, and daily battle that several of my older colleagues faced as they neared the end of their careers. I also had a close friend of mine forced into accepting disability as a 28-year-old after fracturing his neck in a fire. I decided it was time to look into other options.
As a medic, I realized that much of my experience and previous knowledge would transition well into the nursing career. I enrolled at the local CC and graduated with my ADN in just less than two years (medic to RN bridge). During my clinical rotations I was fortunate enough to meet a SRNA who was in the last semester of CRNA school. I remember spending the entire day with her and was fascinated by the career. She was kind enough to let my shadow her on my own time, and I fell in love with the profession. I knew that day that this is what I wanted to do.
I finished my ADN with a 3.7 GPA, which was first in my class, and immediately enrolled in a BSN completion program as soon as my degree was conferred. I doubled up on all my classes and will finish the program this July with a (estimated) GPA of 3.6 – 3.9. All the while, I continued working full-time as a fire/medic and full-time RN. Yes, it was the busiest 6 months of my life (80-90 hrs/wk + class) but I was motivated to get this done as soon as possible. I say this not to gloat, but in hopes that this will provide evidence of my dedication, work ethic, and time management skills when applying to CRNA school. But after 6 months of hell, I had to hang up my boots and walk away from the first career I ever loved (sad face).
So now I sit up at night wondering if I made the right decision. I comb over CRNA websites night and day looking for a CRNA school that is both a quality program, but also one willing to accept a student without the typical background. I am not trying to rush into a program, but I also know a certain woman that is ready to start a family - and is growing impatient! Again, I do not wish to sound arrogant, but I feel very comfortable in the ICU. I know there is always more to learn (and I do everyday), but I feel confident that within the next 6 months or so I will be as prepared as most for CRNA school.
I am looking into several programs such as SUNY Buffalo, LSU, and Case Western Reserve. My question is, do you think I stand a reasonable chance at being accepted for the upcoming classes? My full year of ICU will be complete in October of 2013, and will meet the minimum requirement of one year. Secondly, should I apply to programs if my experience will not be met by application, but will be reached prior to the start date? I have contacted several programs and have had varying and somewhat vague responses. I am looking for someone who might have had a similar experience that can offer some quality advice. Sorry for the length, and I would like to thank you all in advance for any advice you may contribute!

Stats:

ADN – 3.7
BSN ~ 3.8
GRE – 307, Writing – 4.0
ACLS, ITLS, PALS, BLS
NREMT-Paramedic