Hello. I found this board a few weeks ago and it is very helpful. Just wanted to introduce myself to the site. I have been seriously considering CRNA school since last Nov when I was observed some neuro-surgical cases where the anesthesia was delivered by a CRNA. Since then I have shadowed about three separate times with various CRNAs at my facility. I am almost 40.

I live in Colorado where there is no established program, except for TWU's Denver sites. I am considering MW, TCU, TWU, and BryanLGH. Consequently, I will have to relocate myself and leave my spouse at home. She is willing to support this and continue her job at home. Also, no kids to worry about either.

I estimate this will cost close to 200K between lost income and expenses. Fortunately, we have very little debt and money saved. This is by far one of the biggest decisions of my life. I plan to apply this year, but I want to know as much as there is about the process and education so there are no surprises.

My grades are excellent. BSN 1992, 3.59. The downside is the age of my credits. My background is primarily ER, but I transferred to our neuro trauma ICU last April. There is no doubt my critical thinking skills have improved. CEN since 1996. I recall one of the ICU nurses saying I was crazy to take the CCRN and that I could not pass it having only ER experience. Don't tell me I cannot do something. It only incenses me and increases my resolve. Even though I did not sleep well the night before and felt sick, I passed the CCRN exam on my first try in 2003. I went back for a second BS in 2000 in Info Systems and earned a 4.0. That is another story.

Why do I want to advance my practice with anesthesia? I enjoy one to one critical care where my decisions are quickly rewarded or impugned. Having experience and education to anticipate changes before they cause harm is paramount. I enjoy intellectual challenges. I like to know why something works or does not. Possessing the skill to make patients surgical experience comfortable and positive is very appealing. It also appears that CRNAs are financially rewarded for their skill and demand. Whether we are as RNs I think is up for debate.

As an RN, I am made to feel like one of a herd of homogenous employees the hospital has no choice but to employee. They encourage certifications so long as it does not cost them money. They are satisfied with an RN license. They are not concerned about whether we get our breaks or lunches. We are a necessary evil to them, a person in a spot on a schedule. I am sure there are exceptions out there, but I have a suspicion that his is the rule.

When I started thinking about doing this, I started a blog to document my thoughts and process. You can take a look at http://rn2crna.blogspot.com/

Up next is the GRE. Plan to take that in about three weeks. Studying for it is getting old, so I am taking a much needed break today. Going to walk the dog and read a little.

Thanks for a great site.

Geraldo