I've still got a ways to go before I'm ready to apply to CRNA programs, but after doing a bit of preliminary research, I've noticed that a few CRNA programs (with most of them being in the southeast -- e.g., UAB) have what they call "early admissions" policies. For example, UAB's policy states that as long as an applicant submits their application by June 1st (with the regular admissions deadline being Sept. 1st), they will receive admissions consideration. In the event that one of these "early" applicants receives an interview offer and is admitted to the program, their acceptance offer is simply contingent upon their completing of just one year of critical care nursing experience (and it doesn't even have to be in adult ICU nursing -- they'll take NICU experience, for example).

This is just an example of one particular CRNA program's early admissions policy, but something about it sounds... too good to be true. Considering that most BSN/ADN programs graduate cohorts in late April/early May, the significance of this policy is that, theoretically, someone who has only been an RN for 1-3 weeks and who hasn't even begun their hospital's "new nurse" orientation program could apply to at least a few CRNA programs. Heck, even by the time they'd interview during the fall or winter, they would only have a few months' worth of actual nursing experience.

It seems like the general consensus of the CRNAs on this forum as well as most of those I've shadowed in real life is that a nurse shouldn't even THINK about applying to CRNA programs until they've completed a minimum of two years of ICU nursing experience. So why do some schools (and not just the "for-profit" ones) seem to be leading by setting a seemingly contradictory example? Should a just-graduated nurse ignore the fact that programs with such lenient admissions policies exist, or -- and I mean this to be an instance of playing devil's advocate -- should a new nurse consider the fact that, if a particular CRNA program is going to accept, say, 50 applicants via the early admissions track regardless of whether I apply or not, there's no reason why I shouldn't be considered for one of those spots?