- What is the difference between a nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist?
Anesthesiologists are medical doctors, which means they must spend four years in undergraduate studies, four years in medical school, and three to four years in a residency program. When anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is recognized as the practice of nursing. Regardless of whether their educational background is in nursing or medicine, all anesthesia professionals administer anesthesia the same way combining the art and science of their profession.
- Why do you have to be a nurse (RN) to apply to this program?
Only applicants who are licensed Registered Nurses (RN) qualify as candidates for admission to the program because nurse anesthetists are educated and licensed based on their initial preparation as an RN. There is no mechanism available to certify or license graduates from the program as anything other than a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), both of which require the RN as a foundation.
- I am a former physician with an MD degree from a foreign country. Can I apply to this program?
We frequently receive inquiries from physicians trained in another country and not practicing in the U.S about enrollment in the program. However, because CRNA certification and ARNP licensure requires the prerequisite of being an RN, physician applicants do not qualify.
- I understand that critical care experience in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is an advantage when being considered for acceptance into the program. What if my critical care experience is not in the ICU?
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. Many applicants admitted to our program hold a CCRN Certification by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (visit the AACN for more information).
- Do you accept experience in ______ as critical care experience?
Critical care experience must be obtained in a U.S. hospital in a critical care area during which the registered professional nurse 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 (e.g., arterial lines, CVP, pulmonary artery catheters, etc.), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, IV infusions for sedation or paralysis and/or vasoactive infusions. In this capacity, the registered professional nurse also makes clinical assessment decisions based on clinical data from the physical exam of the patient, monitors and laboratory data.
Traditionally, these critical care skills sets would only be acquired in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) setting such as a surgical, trauma, open-heart, neuro, medical, cardiac, pediatric and 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 (e.g., 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 (e.g., flight nurse with ER/trauma room experience and per diem ICU experience).
- Can I apply with less than one year of critical care experience?
No. Our admission requirement is that applicants must have a minimum of one (1) 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.
- Do I need to renew my BCLS / ACLS / PALS / CPR certifications while in the program?
Course certifications are required prior to enrollment and must remain current through the first semester of the program. The program will conduct a recertification course for each of these certificates at the start of the second semester. You must have previously taken the full initial certification course to be eligible for recertification.
- I was enrolled in another nurse anesthesia program and want to transfer to FIU, do you accept transfer students?
See our program Admissions landing page
- Can I work part-time and be enrolled in the program?
It is not recommended. Nurse anesthesiology education is comparable to a typical residency program, with classroom, clinical time and study time averaging around 60 hours per week. This is a full-time graduate program and outside employment is not realistic and or consistent with the demands and expectations of the program.
- I already work as an RN. Also, I have assisted with delivering anesthesia services in some capacity. Can I keep doing so while in the program?
No. Any employment in the role of providing anesthesia services — in any capacity — is expressly prohibited. To avoid such a conflict, employment as an RN or in any other role is discouraged while in the program.