I'm currently in my last year of my bsn program and I'm wanting to get things in order so I can apply for an anesthetist program in a few years. I already have a tech position in a local icu unit and plan on staying there but I have a few concerns and would like to hear what you'll think.

The icu unit is in a smaller community hospital, most cases are more step down and telly patients, with a few real ccu cases. One night when they did end up with a patient that went to the cath lab and came out with a balloon pump it was a scramble to find one of the nurses that were capable of handling the case. I was stunned to say the least, it seemed they managed to get three rn's to cover shits to staff this pt but that told me right there that it might not be the best place for me to be if I want to prepare myself for a crna program right? or am I way off? Should I "take it slow" as far as icu nursing goes? should I just take the local hospital icu unit or drive to the city like Chicago or Milwaukee to get more ccu experience? Or do you think that would be too much for a new grad to handle? Do you figure one should jump right in to the big stuff? I hear Froedtert in milwaukee does hire new grads into the icu's and they are a huge teaching hospital around here.

as far as personal things in order my family is very supportive, my MIL retired so she could help with the kids so I could go get my bsn, and they know my plans for the future. Two years in the icu and then apply. plus my youngest will be in school full time and my oldest will almost be driving! YIKES! and my husband said go for it, even if I wanted to go to med school he said he's prepared! Wow that one shocked me,but that's not my plan.

The schools I would be looking into are in the chicagoland area, Rush, depaul/northwestern and then it looks like there's a relatively new program at Rosalind Franklin on the north side? it had a 3 yr program where the didactic portion is part time and that one did appeal to me with a family and all. Either way I will make it work I guess one should apply to them all and go from there. (anyone know anything about Franklin?)

But other than asking what you know about those programs (competitiveness and all being there are three of them now) what would you recommend someone does to prepare after I get my bsn? other than work in a icu? take a stats class? should I try to take some of the didactic non anesthesia courses as a non degree seeking student? I really don't want to get out of the learning mode so to speak. I really want to continue taking courses but I do understand the need for the icu experience. But I want to get done before my oldest needs to go off to college too!

Thanks for any input or advice, and I'll keep reading the forums here as well!