I have been preparing to go to CRNA school since I started my nursing program and learned of the possibilities. I will start applying this year to school in Florida, including USF, UNF, FIU, and Barry. I have tried to research, and read these forums as much as possible and will continue to read and prepare. I have tried to do as much as possible in the short period of time I had to do it in, and still trying to squeeze in a few things at the last minute. I am trying to get any last minute pointers specifically from applicants in South Florida.
My Education: I am ex-navy, Nuclear, electrical. I took one course in Hawaii, Calculus – A. I started my nurseing education at a community college in Jan 2005, Graduated April 2007. Started my RN to BSN program May 2007, Graduated August 2008. My overall GPA is 3.84, My BSN GPA is 3.97, My Science GPA is 4.0.
My Experience: 12 years in the Navy as a nuclear electrician. Less then a year as a tech during community college in an ER. Just over one year now working in a Trauma ICU.

I will take my GRE in a few weeks, and start the application process to the graduate schools listed above. I will start to study for the CCRN exam, and attempt it in October this year. I figure studying for CCRN will also help towards any question in the interview also. I Think I look good on paper, My real concern is my lack of experience. My unit and many I float to use swans maybe once a year. Only the Cardiac unit really uses them at my hospital. From reading the boards I have put more time into knowing my vasoactive drugs in more detail. I am very worried that my one year of experience is really going to hurt my chances at being competitive. I am also hoping to illustrate to the reviewing members how difficult and demanding that Navy nuclear power school really is. It requires a full work week of school, 40-45 hours in class, and then an additional 20 to 40 outside of class. And it is all classified, so all studying is done at the school.
I had hoped to take additional chemistry but won’t have time to complete anything prior to the application deadlines. So I hope the board will take into account the high amount of sciences completed in the navy.

My research instructor said she would write me a letter of recommendation, she has her PhD. And I should be able to get something from my director. Unfortunately I do not know any CRNA at this time, and working on contacting some to shadow. I am hoping that if I spend enough time shadowing these CRNA’s they may also give me a letter.

If anyone can give me advice for letters of recommendation, how are my chances to be competitive with only one year of experience, any advice to help the Review board recognize the level of difficulty of school I have already completed (navy)?

My first choice of schools is FIU, so any advice from students or graduates of FIU, I would appreciate any feedback you have to offer.