5 Easiest CRNA Schools to Get Into (FAQs) | 202313 min read

The duty of a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is challenging and calls for extensive training and prior professional experience.

On the other hand, there is a great deal of personal and financial gain to be had from it.

You can probably assume that getting into CRNA schools is challenging, given the sensitive nature of their work.

Even the ones that appear to be the easiest on this list will require you to put in a lot of effort and commitment.

You can’t just expect everything to be that easy and expect to graduate with your degree without putting in the work.

This article will explain the easiest CRNA schools to get into, tips and tricks about nursing and how long it takes to become a CRNA.

What is CRNA?

CRNAs are registered nurses with an advanced practice who deliver anesthesia and other drugs. They also monitor individuals receiving anesthesia and recuperating from it.

CRNAs hold a minimum of a doctoral degree in anesthesia, have completed substantial clinical training, and have passed a National Boards of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists-approved certification exam (NBCRNA).

They provide care for patients of diverse backgrounds.

What do CRNAs do?

Doctors, nurses, and other qualified health care professionals work together with CRNAs to provide anesthesia for patients in various settings, including traditional surgical suites, obstetrical delivery rooms, outpatient facilities like dental offices, and military hospitals.

CRNAs have long played a significant role on the battlefield.

How long does it take to become a CRNA?

Once you have completed these prerequisites, you must have at least two years of experience in an acute or intensive care setting to be accepted into an anesthetist program.

The duration of a CNRA program ranges from two to three years.

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Is becoming a CRNA worth it?

The primary responsibility of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is to provide pain management for surgical patients under anesthesia and medication.

This entails prepping patients for surgery and then keeping tabs on them throughout and after the treatment.

While the anesthesiologist is always present, a CRNA may work alone. There are both state and hospital-specific restrictions in place.

Some states require CRNAs to practice under the supervision of a physician, such as a surgeon, whereas other states allow CRNAs to function independently of a physician’s supervision.

The educational requirements to become a CRNA are demanding and time-consuming.

How to Become a CRNA:  

1. Earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing:

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is the best path to becoming a Registered Nurse.

It provides you with the most opportunities, and the educational background quickly becomes the norm (BSN).

Health evaluations, pathophysiology, anatomy, and pharmacology, are just a few of the topics covered in this four-year program.

Clinical rotations at hospitals and clinics are an integral aspect of the BSN curriculum, exposing students to various patients and colleagues.

2. Get Licensed as a Registered Nurse: 

It is possible to become a registered nurse after earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an accredited university.

To give this examination to aspiring registered nurses all around the country, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) administers the NCLEX-RN.

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If you plan to practice in your state, you should familiarize yourself with your area’s licensing and exam registration requirements.

3. Acquire Valuable Knowledge:

The intensive critical care unit (ICU) is where most nurse anesthesia schools seek to recruit applicants, even if your undergraduate clinical rotations have exposed you to a wide range of care settings.

4. Attend an Accredited Nurse Anesthesia Program: 

Accredited nurse anesthesia schools are increasingly preparing students for doctoral study rather than only a master’s degree, as has been the case in previous years.

An authorized nurse anesthesia program can take anywhere from two to three years to complete, depending on the school you are accepted to and which program you enroll in.

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5 Easiest CRNA School to Get Into:

Working on your pre-requisites and selecting a school that isn’t overly competitive are two things you can do to significantly improve your chances of being accepted into CRNA school.

However, getting into CRNA school is not an easy task.

You need to think about what you want to accomplish in your life, your character, and how you live your life.

Even though school and work are essential, there is so much more to life than what you do for a living.

Here are the easiest CRNA schools to get into:

1. Virginia Commonwealth University:

The VCU Department of Nurse Anesthesia is one of nine departments in the VCU College of Health Professions.

Because of its astonishingly high admission rate of 87%, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) comes first in our ranking of the easiest CRNA schools to get into.

Despite many students, the institution provides first-class quality education to anyone interested in pursuing a career as a nurse anesthetist.

For more than a decade and a half, the program has been ranked first by US News and World Report.

Virginia Commonwealth University CRNA Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing or a field that is closely related to nursing is required.
  • A grade point average of at least 3.0.
  • A minimum of one year’s worth of experience working full-time. However, work experience gained through part-time employment is also acceptable, provided that you have already completed one year of full-time employment.
  • GRE examination.
  • There should be three references, one of which should come from a supervisor responsible for performance reviews.

As can be seen, the requirements are not particularly difficult. In most cases, most CRNA schools only accept candidates with at least 2 years of relevant work experience, whereas VCU is okay with just 1 year of relevant work experience. 

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2. University of Pittsburgh:

The Nurse Anesthesia graduate program at the School of Nursing has a great reputation across the country.

The Nurse Anesthesia Program at Pitt is one of only a few programs that have been ranked in the top 10 in the US since 1998, which was the first year that such programs were ranked.

The mission of the School of Nursing is to provide students with the educational foundation necessary to undertake evidence-based practice, engage in research activities, and translate knowledge to improve healthcare delivery.

Even though it is ranked second on this list of easiest CRNA schools to get into, the competition for admission to this school is significantly stiffer than at Virginia Commonwealth University.

This is primarily attributable to the significantly lower acceptance rate at this institution, about 57%.

University of Pittsburgh CRNA Requirements:

  • Have a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with high scores in the verbal and quantitative sections and a score of at least 3 or higher in the analytical writing section.
  • A reflective essay in which you discuss your background in nursing, the things you hope to gain from the nursing program, and your long-term professional objectives.
  • You have to give three letters of recommendation, and one of them has to come from your current boss.
  • CV or resume.
  • At least a 3.0-grade point average.
  • At least one year of experience working as a full-time nurse in an intensive care unit or critical care unit.

This university receives nearly twice as many applications as Virginia Commonwealth University while having the same number of available slots because there are many more candidates than spots available.

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The likelihood of finding somebody who is more qualified than you is increased.

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3. Wake Forest School of Medicine:

The Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine is a leader in the field.

This program has a challenging curriculum, settings for advanced training, and opportunities in global health. The program is one of only a small number of CRNA programs that are housed in a medical school.

The percentage of students accepted into Wake’s CRNA program is 30%. In the year 2020, there were approximately 12,500 applicants, but only 3,700 spots were available.

Reviewing the average statistics of accepted candidates reveals an absurdly high number does not help matters.

For instance, approved students’ typical grade point average is 3.7, and their average of experience working in an intensive care unit is 2.5 years.

You are up against other exceptional applicants, but that is to be expected when you choose a field that is as competitive as this one.

Wake Forest School of Medicine CRNA Requirements:

  • At least a 3.0-grade point average.
  • Completing all required undergraduate coursework in health assessment, biostatistics or statistics, and chemistry.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with at least 300.
  • A minimum of 2,080 hours working in an intensive care unit (ICU) or coronary care unit. For accuracy, that equates to one year of working full-time.

Every year, schools are faced with selecting the best applicants from among the hundreds of resumes and applications they receive.

They have more than twice the required minimum number of hours and a grade point average close to 4.0. 

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4. Case Western Reserve University:

The Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is a private research school.

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses at Case Western Reserve University. They give all kinds of anesthetics for any kind of surgery or procedure.

As experts in medicine, they focus on pre-operative evaluation, management during surgery, and anesthesia care after surgery.

Moreover, only 27% of applicants were accepted into the program the year before. However, acceptance rates do not reveal all of the relevant information.

Case Western Reserve University CRNA Requirements:

  • You must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 and graduate from a known college.
  • You have to give three references from people who can attest to your ability to do work at the doctoral level.
  • Resume or CV.
  • Transcripts that are official from each of the schools that you attended.
  • Experience in critical care for a minimum of two years within the past two years, or one year of critical care experience with specialist certification.

All other colleges on this list also have requirements comparable to these. The ratio of the number of students who apply to the number of available slots is the difference that sets it apart from the rest.

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5. Washington University in St. Louis:

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) group is dynamic, talented, and diverse. They are committed to giving patients excellent, efficient, and compassionate care.

CRNAs work with anesthesiologists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, as well as three community hospitals and four outpatient surgery centers.

If you want to become a nurse anesthesiologist, you should think about applying to Washington University.

In 2019, the percentage of students accepted into the CRNA program at Washington University was a meager 14%.

When it is so obvious that there is a lot of competition for the program, you might ask why I am even trying to bring it up.

Washington University in St. Louis CRNA Requirements:

  • You have to send in three letters of recommendation, and at least one of them has to come from a nurse who is licensed to practice.
  • Your resume or CV.
  • You must have a grade point average of at least 3.0.
  • Work experience that can be demonstrated. A minimum of one year working full-time in the intensive care unit (ICU).
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All of the other universities on this list have prerequisites comparable to these.

The disparity between acceptance rates can be attributed, in large part, to the limited number of spaces available at the school in comparison to the number of people that apply each year. 

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Benefits of Pursuing a Career in Nursing:

Career Opportunities:

Nursing has a profound impact on the lives of those they serve. Your friends and family benefit from your knowledge and education as well.

As a nurse, you must be aware of how disease affects a patient’s emotional well-being, regardless of the setting.

Nursing has been voted the most trusted profession in the United States for the past 19 years because of the combination of these talents and a heavy dose of compassion.

Develop Skills That Can Be Used Across a Range of Careers:

There are a number of talents that can be used by nurses if they decide to change occupations.

Nursing, for example, is a profession that emphasizes the development of interpersonal skills like communication.

All healthcare professionals must communicate with their patients and share information to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone involved.

There are several ways that nurses can help patients who are afraid and alone, or those who are drunk. This kind of contact is quite rare in the workplace and is highly prized by many companies.

Nurses must also be skilled time managers, which means prioritizing things and squeezing them into an already crowded schedule.

Because of their training and experience, nurses are well-versed in and comfortable with the concept of collaborative practice. Workers in major corporations need this competence.

High Demand:

By 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects this field to expand by 9%. In many places, there is a scarcity of nurses, which means there are a lot of career prospects for nurses.

There is a high demand for trained nurses in hospitals and healthcare facilities; some even offer hefty sign-on incentives to attract experienced nurses.

Nurses also earn a good wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average yearly compensation for nurses in the United States is $80,010, which is higher than the average annual salary for all occupations.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Easiest CRNA School to Get Into:

Are CRNA doctors?

There are two types of anesthesiologists: MDs and DOs. CRNAs are registered nurses who have earned doctoral degrees and have passed the National Certification Examination for Nurse Anesthetists.

How much does a CRNA make?

$189,190 per year ($90.96 per hour) according to BLS

Can a nurse become an anesthesiologist?

Registered nurses (RNs) are good to go in many different directions in the medical and nursing fields. To become an anesthesiologist, a registered nurse (RN) must go to medical school and get more training in anesthesiology.

Is CRNA in demand?

Yes. The need for CRNAs is at an all-time high. The BLS expects the employment of nurse anesthetists to expand by 13% between 2020 and 2030, while the total number of APRN jobs is expected to increase by 45%.

Conclusion:

CRNA training prepares you for a challenging but ultimately rewarding profession. It is a terrific investment in your future if you are looking to make a lot of money and enjoy your work.

We know that most of the institutions on the list have low acceptance rates, but this is simply the reality of working in such a competitive industry.

Nevertheless, you won’t have any trouble getting into any of them. Invest a lot of effort into your education, and you will be rewarded ten times over in the years to come.

People have a lot of respect and trust for nurses. The work of a nurse anesthetist is difficult, but know that you are providing a valuable service to your patients.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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