A career as a certified registered nurse anesthetist can be very rewarding, stimulating, and fast-paced. As with any profession, being a CRNA also comes with its challenges. One of the first things to consider when looking into becoming a CRNA is the education and certification process. If one is serious about becoming a CRNA, he or she will need to have the motivation and drive to complete a rigorous graduate program and pass the national certification exam. Once an RN has committed to pursuing a CRNA career path, the next step will likely be considering which CRNA school or program he or she may be interested in attending.
Residents of Rhode Island interested in being CRNAs have two in-state schooling options from which to choose. The Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island School of Nurse Anesthesia, located in Pawtucket, offers a Master of Science in Biological Sciences Anesthesia degree. The Rhode Island College School of Nursing/St. Joseph Hospital of Nurse Anesthesia, located in North Providence, offers a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree. This article will provide information on the admissions and interview process for CRNA programs as well as on the potential locations in which registered nurse anesthetists in Rhode Island can practice once they become fully certified.
Admission to CRNA School
Each CRNA school or program will have specific admission and application guidelines. The first requirement is usually a Bachelor’s of Science degree or another type of appropriate bachelor’s degree (usually preferred to be in the biophysical sciences). Some programs accept associate degrees or diplomas in nursing, but not all. The second requirement is often a minimum of one to two years of critical care experience as a registered nurse. Each school has different specific requirements for what constitutes critical care experience and whether or not they accept Emergency Room or NICU experience. The third requirement is a current valid license as a registered nurse. Students will also likely have to obtain RN licensure in the state in which they will complete their clinical rotations. The rest of the admission requirements for CRNA schools vary widely. Some schools require letters of reference, minimum undergraduate GPAs, personal statements or essays, or minimum GRE scores.
Due to the specific requirements for admission qualification, many student applications for CRNA programs look very similar to one another. In order for program administrators to make admission decisions, they will frequently invite some applicants to come to campus for in-person interviews. While an in-person interview may seem like a nerve-wracking prospect, it can actually be a great way for a potential student to stand out from his or her peers.
According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the interview is an important part of the application process because it allows the program administrators to learn more about the applicant on a personal level. Interviews may be conducted in a one-on-one environment or by a panel of professors. Interviews may also include written tests or essay exams. The interview can give the applicant an opportunity to show program officials what makes him or her an ideal candidate for their particular CRNA program. Interviewers want to get past the general information contained on an application and find out more about the personality of the applicant. The interview allows the applicant to demonstrate passion, motivation, and drive to become a CRNA which program administrators and professors may not be able to see just by looking at a paper application.
Where can CRNAs practice?
CRNAs practice in many different types of facilities. When you think of anesthesia services and surgery, usually a hospital or medical center comes to mind. General medical and surgical hospitals are, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the second most common place for CRNAs to practice. The most common place for CRNAs to be employed is in the office of a physician. CRNAs work directly with all types of physicians, from physical therapists, to plastic surgeons, to podiatrists, to provide their patients with pain management. CRNAs are also often employed in outpatient or ambulatory surgery centers and are often the sole anesthesia providers in many rural hospitals. CRNAs are also the main provider of anesthesia services to the U.S. Armed Forces. Becoming a CRNA opens up a wide world of potential future practice locations.
CRNA Programs in Rhode Island
Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island School of Nurse Anesthesia
111 Brewster Street
Pawtucket, RI 02860
- Degree Offered: Master of Science in Biological Sciences: Anesthesia (Entry Level)
- Average Program Duration: 29 months
- Start Month: May
- Number of Clinical Sites: 4
Rhode Island College School of Nursing/St. Joseph Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia
200 High Service Avenue
North Providence, RI 02904
- Degree Offered: Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (Entry Level)
- Average Program Duration: 27 months
- Start Month: May
- Number of Clinical Sites: 6