I'm new here, and am very glad I found this forum. I think it will be a great resource to help me achieve my goal of becoming a CRNA. We don't have CRNAs here in Canada, so I will have to move to the US. You guys have nicer weather down there too!
I'm a Canadian RN and have been working in an large med/surge ICU for the past 7 months. I love working in the ICU. It is a tremendous learning experience. I want to have at least 5-6 years of ICU experience before I apply to CRNA school.
I have a B.Sc in molecular microbiology and a B.ScN, both from Canadian Universities.
I did okay in my first degree (mol. bio), and managed to get a B to B+ overall. I took many tough courses like membrane biochemistry, signal transduction, advanced organic chem, etc. I also did a research project where I cloned a novel mutant gene using PCR/site directed mutagenesis. I took several graduate level courses such as cardiovascular pharmacology as well. Overall I learned a lot. Unfortunately I did not fare as well in my B.ScN.
I found it very difficult to study the material effectively, as it seemed very "airy-fairy" compared to what I was used to studying. In addition, I couldn't get my head around how to do well on nursing multiple choice exams. It didn't seem to matter whether I studied or not, I'd always get similar grades! Overall, the B.ScN was a very frustrating time for me academically.
My overall GPA was < 3.0. I took option courses in pharmacology (I love pharm!) during nursing school, and there was a sharp contrast between the grades i would get in pharm courses (A's-B's) vs. nursing courses (B's-C's) . I'm not sure how CRNA admission committees view poor grades on nursing courses.
I know most CRNA schools do not accept applicants w/ GPAs < 3.0, so my plan is to upgrade my GPA by taking graduate-level science courses and eventually get a masters w/ a strong GPA to compensate for my low nursing GPA. I've taken a handful of grad. level science courses, and generally gotten A- or better on them, so I'm confident that I can do reasonably well.
I will also need to nail the GRE. I took the MCAT in my second year of school to keep my options open and scored mid-30s and S on the writing sample. I'm generally okay when it comes to standardized tests, however, I've heard the GRE is quite tough.
I plan on accomplishing these goals while working full time at my ICU for the next few years. I would then like to move to the US, work for a year or two, gain dual citizenship and more work experience and apply to CRNA schools.
I'm not sure if this sounds like a reasonable plan of action given my circumstance, which is why I welcome your feedback.
Furthermore, my situation is somewhat complicated by residing in Canada, and having degrees from Canadian Universities. I'm not sure how CRNA schools view foreign credentials. Would it be smarter to move to the US first and do academic upgrading there?
Any feedback you can provide is greatly appreciated!