Hey everybody, this is my first post. I just discovered this forum earlier today and I have been spending the last several hours of my life reading some of your posts. This site has a ton of useful info!

Anyway, I would like to ask some general advice of those of you who would care to give any. But first, some background.

I am 17 years old, turning 18 in several weeks,(Yes I know, barely more than a child to most of you I am sure!) and I have recently become very interested in the career of CRNA. Since I was a kid, I wanted to be a pilot, and in the last few years I have slowly been working towards that goal and am very close to obtaining my Private Pilot's License. However, I have had a bit of a change of heart, and I am no longer interested in becoming a Pilot as my career, although I still plan to obtain my license.

One of the reasons for this change of heart is that I have spent the last 2 years working as a Lifeguard on Pensacola beach(In Florida). In doing this job I have worked with Fire Rescue, EMS, Lifelight(the emergency helicopter crews), as well as other emergency services. I have performed basic first aid, administered emergency oxygen, performed CPR, as well as working with spinal victims including backboarding them, and responded to many physically demanding emergency situations. In doing this I have become very interested in the medical field, and I decided I wanted to try for a major in Nursing. After deciding this I recently found out from a friend about CRNA's and to me it sounded Perfect.

Technically I will now be going into my senior year of high school. However, I am home-schooled, and I am dual-enrolled with my local community college. I will graduate "high school" this spring with my General A.A. degree from the community college. I then plan to return to the college for one more year to finish all the requirements for the Pre-Nursing degree, then attend the University of West Florida for my BSN. If all went well, I would graduate from UWF at the age of 21 or so, and be able to join the nursing workforce.

I understand that I would then need to obtain 1-3 years of ICU/SICU experience at least before applying to a graduate program for CRNA. My question is, at the early age of 18, do any of you have any suggestions as to things I could be doing to give myself a head start for this Career. I have already contacted an Anesthesiologist and will be spending some time shadowing him and some of the CRNA's who work with him.

If you could go back to being 18, is there anything you wish you could have done to make becoming a CRNA easier/being able to learn/appreciate the profession more?

Any general advice or help the experienced and wizened on this board care to give?

Thanks very much to anybody who took the time to read this long post! In the few hours I've been here, I've learned a lot. Thanks everyone.

-Alex J.