Let’s start out with the basics of CRNA school. I get a lot of questions regarding requirements and career pathways to become a CRNA (in the U.S.). Below you’ll find education requirements, what’s considered “critical care experience” and exceptions to that, info on GPA and GRE, types of CRNA programs and if you scroll to the bottom, I’ve listed out CRNA programs by city, state, and degree type. Let’s get started.
(from the AANA, individual school requirements subject to change):
- A Bachelors degree or higher in nursing
- A clean, unencumbered nursing license in the U.S.
- CCRN highly recommended, my post on why this is important here. How I studied here.
- A minimum of one year full-time work experience, or its part-time equivalent, as a registered nurse in a critical care setting within the United States, its territories, or a U.S. military hospital outside of the United States. The average experience of RNs entering nurse anesthesia educational programs is 2.9 years.
“Critical Care” Experience
Another question I get asked often is what qualifies as “critical care experience”? Here’s a list. Again, this may vary on individual programs, so it’s important to check out individual requirements for your schools of interest). In general, and overall, this means an Intensive Care Unit.
- SICU (Surgical ICU)
- MICU (Medical ICU)
- CICU (Cardiac ICU)
- CVICU, CTICU (Cardiovascular/Cardiothoracic ICU)
- CCU (Coronary Care Unit)
- Neuro ICU
- TICU (Trauma ICU)
While these departments are accepted in some programs, I do believe it will make your admission more difficult, as it will be a very steep learning curve while in the program. Majority of CRNA school is adult-focused. Does that mean there’s no pediatric CRNAs? Of course not. Everyone in the program will learn pediatric/neonatal anesthesia. I just add this on because there are so. many. applicants. that will have more generalized ICU experience than you and that might filter you out. But, if you kick ass on your interview or your resume is phenomenal, its possible. Here’s that list.
- Emergency Department
- Pediatric & Neonatal ICU (PICU/NICU)
- Burn Unit
Departments that basically filter you out:
- Operating Room
- Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
- Step-down “ICUs”
- Progressive Care Units (PCU)
- Labor & Delivery
- Basically anything else not listed above
I will also add on, that I’ve heard statistics showing that those SRNAs (student registered nurse anesthetists) that did not have an ICU background, were more likely to fail boards.
The recommendation is at least a 3.5. I know a lot of schools filter out applicants based off of GPA before anything else has even been looked at on the application. Now, this GPA “standard” reeeally varies school to school. I’ve heard of schools that majority have extremely high GPAs like 3.8 and above. Others are ok with lower. I would research your specific school of interest, they typically have specific requirements on their application page.
So. With that said.
I had a 3.5. GASP. I’ve never been one of those “school people” that thrives on straight A’s or loves studying. Would I like that? Of course. But to me, clinical has always been the determinant of success. I hate memorizing with no application, I learn nothing. You can memorize shit all day to get those straight A’s but could be terrible bedside. But I digress this has nothing to do with anything we’re talking about HA.
NOW. Did I get in just because of that GPA? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I believe my resume spoke louder than numbers and got me that interview. I’ve been a resume junkie for yearsssss and have perfected my resume to be well-rounded and unique. I’ve gotten every job I’ve applied for, and I attribute that to having a kickass resume and great interview skills. Click on those links if you’re interested in learning more about that.
Back to GPA. There’s this really cool GPA calculator to calculate what grades you need to get in additional classes to raise your current GPA.
A future post is coming in regards to what I did specifically to make my resume speak louder than GPA in regards to CRNA school.
I’m gonna keep this part short and simple because my CRNA school did not require taking the GRE. Typically, it is recommended you get a score of 300 or better. If you’re curious, scroll down and I’ve listed CRNA schools by state. I’ve linked each of their CRNA program pages so you can check specifically what those schools require. You’re welcome.
This is going to vary entirely by school, so scroll down and find the link to your program of interest for their specific requirements in this regard. In super, super, superrrrr general terms most will require chemistry, anatomy/physiology, statistics.
Shadowing a CRNA
Some programs require this, some don’t. Will it boost your resume? Absolutely.
Letters of Rec or Personal Statement
Search for specific program requirements below.
Want more info?
I recommend joining CRNA Prep Academy. This community will help answer all of your CRNA School questions and guide you throughout the application process. You can book resume reviews and personal practice interviews! Join here.
CRNA Schools By State
There are currently no CRNA schools in the following states:
Wyoming(dated August, 2020)
University of Alabama at Birmingham
MSN & DNP
University of Arizona
Arkansas State University
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA
Samuel Merritt University
University of Southern California (USC)
Los Angeles, CA
Central Connecticut State University
Yale University – New Haven Hospital
New Haven, CT
Adventist University of Health Sciences
Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers, FL
Florida International University
Florida State University
Panama City, FL
Rosalind Franklin University
North Chicago, IL
Southern Illinois University
University of Saint Francis
Fort Wayne, IN
Iowa City IA
University of Kansas
Kansas City, KS
Murray State University
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University
Baton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University
New Orleans, LA
Uniformed Services University
University of Maryland
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
Oakland University Beaumont
Royal Oak, MI
The University of Michigan Flint
University of Detroit Mercy
Wayne State University
Mayo School of Health Sciences
University of Southern Mississippi
Kansas City MO
Bryan College of Health Sciences
New Jersey (2)
Rutgers School of Nursing
New York (3)
Albany Medical College
State University of New York at Buffalo
North Carolina (7)
East Carolina University
Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia
North Dakota (1)
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND
Frances Payne Bolton
Oregon Health and Science University
MSN or DNP
Excella Health – Saint Vincent College
La Salle University – Einstein Medical Center
La Roche College
Thomas Jefferson University
University of Scranton
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
Villanova University – Crozer Chester Medical Center
Rhode Island (1)
St. Joseph Hospital School of Anesthesia for Nurses
North Providence, RI
South Carolina (2)
Medical University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
South Dakota (1)
Mount Marty College
Sioux Falls, SD
Lincoln Memorial University
Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia
University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee Chattanooga – Erlanger Health
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX
Texas Wesleyan University
Forth Worth, TX
MSN & DNP
University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center
US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing – Northeastern University
San Antonio, TX
Salt Lake City, UT
Virginia Commonwealth University
Washington D.C. (1)
Questions or comments? Drop em below. I wish you luck on your CRNA journey!