Have you ever felt there were too many things to do in order to become what you desire? Last week, I spoke with someone who aspires to be a CRNA and she told me the whole process was overwhelming.
This is the same feeling I felt back in 2010 when I decided to start applying to CRNA programs because of all the steps to this journey. For me it was like I was juggling too many balls in the air all at once. And you know there is only so much you can do at once, right.
You have to be a RN, maintain great grades, work in critical care, complete prerequisites, shadow a CRNA, obtain a CCRN certification, and get transcripts. Then you complete your CV, personal statement in addition to your application. Once you receive an invite to interview you must think about travel, interview styles, public speaking, questions they will ask, and the list goes on and on. And that list doesn’t include actually being accepted and starting a CRNA program. Anyway, I hope I haven’t stressed you out any more than you already are.
(For more ideas on how to manage stress, check out this post.)
But I want to share with you one thing from the list I rattled off. This one thing can actually push you forward on your CRNA journey. If you are juggling multiple things right now just like I did years ago, I want you to think about taking a deep breath and just FOCUS on your TRANSCRIPT. Yes, I said it! Let’s just slow down and review your transcripts.
You may be asking what is the big deal with getting all your transcripts? First, it is a requirement for all CRNA programs. Second, a transcript can show you many things. Obtaining a copy of all your transcripts should be at the top of your list on your quest to become a CRNA.
Let’s break down all the things your transcript can show.
Highlight academic performance
It shows if you have a strong academic performance. The average GPA of accepted students at Wake Forest University Nurse Anesthesia Program is 3.7. So, you see how important achieving high grades is. This not only shows the admissions committee you have what it takes to excel in their program. But having great grades is not an indicator you excel in CRNA school either. With the nurse anesthesia coursework being so challenging, I have seen students who maintain a 4.0 undergraduate GPA struggle in the course.
Shows additional courses needed
It also shows if you need to take any additional prerequisites not taken while in undergraduate studies. Just like nursing school, not all CRNA schools are the same. Therefore, every CRNA school has their own prerequisite requirements.
If you have taken the required courses and passed with the minimum school requirement, preferably an A, this is one thing you can check off the list. Now you may want to consider taking a more advanced or graduate level course such as advanced physiology, pathophysiology or pharmacology. This shows your commitment to being a CRNA and you can handle the rigors of the program.
When you last took a course
In addition, reviewing your transcript shows when you last took each course. Prior to submitting your CRNA school application, make sure your science courses were completed within the last 5 years. I had to retake a science course because it had been about 7 years since I took it.Getting your college transcripts early will alert you if you need to either take or retake a course. This prevents you from wasting money on application fees when you are not quite ready to apply.
Also knowing this information early enough could allow you to get the class done by the application deadline as well. Again, each program is different so always check with the nurse anesthesia program for better guidance. In some instances, they may say you don’t need to retake the course at all. Which would be awesome!
Lays out your place in the journey
It can tell you where you are at in the CRNA journey. Think of your transcript as a guide similar to the 9 Ways To Immediately Become The Strongest CRNA Applicant. For example, while examining your transcript you forgot you received a C in a statistics course although you were pretty sure you got an A with flying colors. So you reach out to the program you want to attend and they will only accept a B+ or higher. Now you know where you stand in the CRNA journey. You have to retake that course which is alright and you will crush it!
Striving to become a CRNA can definitely be overwhelming. Understandably, you just want to rush the process and hear the words ACCEPTED once you apply to a CRNA program. But, if you slow down and focus on one thing such as your transcripts, it could save you from feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The last thing you want is to get down on yourself and give up on your desire to be a CRNA.
Again, the first step is to get a copy of all your undergraduate transcripts before you go any further. This will allow you to plan and see where you are at in the CRNA journey. Be patient with yourself and also take time to look at all you have accomplished thus far! This will surely increase your self- confidence as well.
Have you reviewed your transcripts? What does it say about you and/ or where you are at in your CRNA journey? Let me know in the comments.