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FAQs


Do you have to be a nurse to apply to this program?

Do you accept experience in ______ as critical care experience?

Can I apply with less than one year of critical care experience?

I have a BS degree in ____ and an AS degree in nursing, can I still apply if I do not have a BSN degree?

I was enrolled in another nurse anesthesia program and want to transfer to FIU, do you accept transfer students?

Do I need to have current BCLS/ACLS/PALS certifications in order to apply to the program?

Do you require the GRE exam?

Can I work part time and be enrolled in the program?

I was arrested once for ________, can I be admitted to the program?

I hear that nurse anesthetist programs are very competitive to get into to. What are my chances of being admitted?

 

 

Do you have to be a nurse to apply to this program?

Only applicants who are licensed Registered Nurses (RN) may be admitted to the Program. Nurse Anesthetists are both educated and licensed on the basis of their initial preparation as a registered nurse. There is no mechanism available to certify or license graduates from the Program as anything other than as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) and as Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). We receive a number of inquiries from physicians trained in another country and not practicing in the US about enrollment in the Program. However, because CRNA certification and ARNP licensure requires the prerequisite of being a Registered Nurse, prospective physician applicants should first consider application to the special MD-to-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that is offered at FIU.

Do you accept experience in ______ as critical care experience?

Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area during which the registered professional nurse has had the opportunity to develop critical decision making and psychomotor skills, competency in assessment of acute and/or unstable patients, and the ability to use and interpret advanced patient monitoring data.

A critical care area is defined as one where on a daily basis, the registered professional nurse may manage invasive hemodynamic monitors (i.e., arterial lines, CVP, pulmonary artery catheters, etc.), cardiac assist devises, mechanical ventilation, IV infusions for sedation or paralysis, vasoactive infusions and to make clinical assessment decisions based on clinical data from the physical exam of the patient as well as monitors and laboratory data. Traditionally, these skills sets will only be acquired in the setting of an intensive care unit (Surgical, Trauma, Open-Heart, Neuro, Medical, Cardiac, Pediatric, Neonatal ICUs). Other settings where there may be an occasion to apply these skills in certain patients does not meet the intent of this experience requirement (i.e., OR, PACU, ER, Step-Down units, Labor & Delivery, Cath lab, etc.). Applicants who have critical care experience from a variety of settings may be considered on an individual basis (i.e., flight nurse with ER/trauma room experience and per diem ICU experience).

Can I apply with less than one year of critical care experience?

Our requirement is that applicants must have a minimum of one year of critical care experience by the date of the application deadline. This experience must be in the role as a registered nurse and must be equal to a year of full-time work.

I have a BS degree in ____ and an AS degree in nursing, can I still apply if I do not have a BSN degree?

RNs who have an associate degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program and who have bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing (health or science field) and earned at a regionally accredited institution, may be eligible for admission to our program. The following two courses are required -

1. NUR 3821 Professional Leadership Nursing Concepts and Issues (3 credits)
2. NUR 4636C Care of Families - Community Health (4 credits)

 

 

I was enrolled in another nurse anesthesia program and want to transfer to FIU, do you accept transfer students?

The Program does not formally recognize a status of transfer students, either from another nurse anesthesia program or from an advanced nursing practice program. All applicants apply for and are considered for admission, irrespective of prior status. Students who have previously been enrolled in another Nurse Anesthesia program must submit a letter from the Program Director of their previous program that they were in good standing at the time of withdrawal. The Program does not accept transfer of nurse anesthesia course work. Applicants with prior graduate work should note the University limits the number of transfer credits to 6 semester hour credits. Only credits earned at an accredited institution can be considered for transfer.

Do I need to have current BCLS/ACLS/PALS certifications in order to apply to the program?

BCLS, ACLS, and PALS course certifications are required prior to enrollment. Each of these certifications must remain current through the first semester. The program will conduct a recertification course for each of these certificates at the start of the second semester. However, to be eligible for the recertification course, you must have previously taken the full initial certification course.

Do you require the GRE exam?

Applicants must submit an official GRE score report at the time of application. The GRE exam format and scoring was changed in Fall 2011. In the old format, scores were reported in a scale from 200 to 800 and the combined score from the verbal and quantitative sections was combined to attain for the total GRE score. In the new format, scores range from 130 to 170 for the verbal and quantitative sections and 0 to 6 for the analytical section. Scores are reported and recorded independent of each other. There is no minimum score required; scores are evaluated among the pool of applicants.

Can I work part time and be enrolled in the program?

First, any employment in the role of providing anesthesia services is expressly prohibited. Any employment as an RN or in any other role is discouraged. Graduate education, and Nurse Anesthesiology education in particular, is a major undertaking: academically, professionally, emotionally, and financially. In every real sense, Nurse Anesthesiology education is very much comparable to a typical residency program. Classroom, clinical time and study time average around 60 hours per week. As such, this is a full time graduate program and outside employment is not realistic and not consistent with the demands and expectations of such a program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to research all aspects of this undertaking carefully.

I was arrested once for ________, can I be admitted to the program?

Applicants should be advised that a state and federal criminal history background check is now required prior to participation in clinical practicums. Clinical facilities may limit or prohibit students with criminal histories from participating in clinical experiences. Other options may not exist for the student to complete required clinical hours in order to obtain their degree or to meet eligibility criteria for certification as a CRNA; thus, such a student may not be eligible for licensure in Florida. Individuals with potential background issues should consult the Florida Board of Nursing for advisement, prior to making application to the program. Additionally, drug screening may be required prior participation in clinical practicums. Drug screening may also be conducted at random, or with cause during participation in clinical practicums. Failure to comply with requests for drug screening or the occurrence of a positive screen is grounds for dismissal. Policies with respect to criminal history checks, drug screening, and general background checks are subject to change without notice during enrollment due to changes in requirements of clinical practicum affiliates or other agencies.

I hear that nurse anesthetist programs are very competitive to get into to. What are my chances of being admitted?

Meeting the minimal requirements does not guarantee admission. CRNA programs tend to be highly competitive because the number of applicants exceeds the number of available positions for admission. Applicant profiles across the nation are similar: Applicants are highly motivated, typically have several years of critical care experience, strong GPAs and GRE scores, and have often taken additional courses in advanced sciences such as physiology, organic chemistry or biochemistry as part of or in addition to their undergraduate degree. Traditionally, the majority of nurse anesthetists come from intensive care units, particularly surgical intensive care. Acute care nursing skills and experience gained in ICU nursing are not re-taught as part of the DNP Nurse Anesthetist Curriculum. Applicants whose critical care experience is other than ICU may be considered on an individual basis, but opportunity for admission is very limited when competing against a larger pool of applicants with traditional ICU backgrounds. Increasingly many admitted applicants hold CCRN certification.