Hi, new poster to the forum here.

Just a bit about myself, currently a new RN graduate who has been interested in the CRNA profession for about a year now. I live in the southwest in a rural area that was previously not receptive to CRNA practice until about 3 years ago (as in, the entirety of anesthesia needs was met by physicians). I've read parts of baby miller/stoelting and I was able to shadow a CRNA for about 10 days, which was thrilling.

I am starting out at the local small ICU, about 10 beds, and plan on moving to a larger level 1 or 2 MICU or SICU in a larger city in about 1-2 years. I have read and heard that a community hospital ICU would not look good on an application. My gpa is a 3.8 but otherwise unremarkable.

So here's the deal, I'm interested in becoming an independent autonomous provider. I want to eventually move back to my home town or another rural area and provide anesthesia on relatively bread and butter cases. I'm not interested in doing hearts or livers, and I'm not interested in working in a large urban hospital, but I would like to be trusted to handle anything you would typically have in a rural community hospital, which would include regional and line placement.
The level of independence the CRNA's have here is applicable to what would be satisfying to me, able to intube/induce/extubate or perform epidurals all without supervision or assistance from a physician. We had 1-2 physician anesthesiologists in the hospital, which primarily would preview cases and make "suggestions" on what the CRNA might think of doing -art line, central line- for somewhat more difficult cases. That was the extent of the supervision.

Anyways, I have read this "you go where you get in" and am curious as to whether this is something I should be following. I want a good experience that will prepare me to do this on day 1 out of the door. I would like to do a DNP program, primarily because the individual who I shadowed was a DNP CRNA, who strongly recommended it.

Now down to the point, here's my issues

-I live in the southwest, CRNA schools are few and far between, much less DNP CRNA programs. Should I move east for the DNP?
-If I got into ~ANY~ school after only 1-2 years in the ICU, would it be jumping the gun to attend, given that amount of ICU experience.
-Am I mistaken in my belief that small community ICUs are looked down upon during admissions? (~150 bed hospital/10 bed ICU)
-For becoming a provider that I want to be, should I be "holding out" and continue doing further pre-requisites for other/better schools.

Thanks for your response