I am graduating in 8 weeks from Villanova's program! Woo Hoo! It has been a ROUGH 27 months but I made it. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about applying or are starting soon:

Life as a first year SRNA pretty much sucks. You are pond scum clinically. You don't even know where to stand at the head of the OR bed but everyone else in the room goes about their business.This is a huge blow to your ego (from previously being high ranking in the ICU) and you will want to quit. DO NOT QUIT!

My first year I was putting in about 70 hours a week including clinical a few days a week plus class and studying for tests. If you can help it, live close to your clinical site. There is NOTHING worse than getting up at 0430 and driving an hour or more to clinical, and then have to drive home and study for a major test.

SAVE MONEY before you start school. There were many other costs in school that I did not anticipate - like going to state or national conferances, supplemental textbooks, earpieces, and the cost to take the nat'l cert. exam - $600!!!

Make sure you prepare your family and /or sig. other about the realities of the time required for success in anesthesia school.

If you are in an MSN program, take as many core courses as you can before matriculating. There is also nothing worse than being in clinical all day and then having to drive to your university and sit through a 3 hour Pharm. class OR being in clinical all day and then having to take a pharm test that night! (These are good days to call in sick!)

I am sure you have an extensive background in critical care and are probably big man on campus in your unit. However, when you start school, realize that everyone in your class will have as much, if not more, experience as you. Use your classmates as resources, do not compete with them! You are all in this together.

When you get to the OR, my best advice is PUT UP AND SHUT UP. The CRNAs and docs treat patients very differently than you are accustomed to in the ICU. You may have started IV's one way for 20 years but when you get to the OR you are going to do it THEIR WAY regardless of whether or not you think it's right. Anesthesia school is all about playing the game and jumping through hoops until you graduate.

Life as a second and third year SRNA is much better. I was in a front-loaded program so I was done classes and was in clinical 4 days a week. By this time you are running your own room and can "play" a little bit more. You do OB, peds, and open heart rotations which make life a little bit more interesting.

Now, I am studying Valley getting ready for boards in December. Wish me luck! Let me know if you have any questions. I'd be happy to help!

Val