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Would you do it? Need your advise.

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Hello everyone-

 

Hope you all are doing well. Need your advise.

 

I am 38 years old, have been an NP for two years exactly in October; completed a dual NP/PA program. Previous to becoming an NP; I was an ICU RN for 6 years.

 

The big question is: Is it worth for me to go back and obtain my CRNA? The reason I didn’t do CRNA instead of NP was because at that time 1) finances didn’t permit it , 2) I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it; I was 50/50 3) I knew I wanted to become an NP/PA because it’s a great profession.

 

Why am I thinking about CRNA school? 1) I miss critical care and being in full control of your patient. 2) CRNAs have more respect and are treated much better than NPs/PAs, 3) The financial compensation is amazing!

 

My wife will be completing her RN degree in May and we have some great savings in the bank that could allow me to go back to school as she could take over our bills. I have a 3 and a 9 year old.

 

I currently make around $140K/year and we have some great savings in the bank, I would use around 50K of those savings to go towards CRNA school.

 

Most programs are 3 year programs now, a few are still two. I would have to retake 2-3 classes and then apply.

 

Given this information: Do you think it’s worth it and would you do it if you were in my situation? I would probably start the program at age 39 or 40 and be done by age 42-43.

 

If I do it, i would be doing it for personal satisfaction, career advancement, opportunities and finances of course.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Thanks!

 

Eduardo

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I’ll speak for myself and you can draw what you want from it, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable suggesting anything directly to you since you have an itch to scratch that doesn’t itch me.

$140k isn’t bad for an NP in most places (don't know where you are... could be LA, and in that case that’s not that good obviously). Your wife is coming in behind you to become a nurse and if she ends up going non physician provider, you’ll have a good thing there with dual incomes. And time you put in to school is time not enjoyed with family.

In my area, I know what CRNAs make, and it’s around what I make as a psyche NP, which is good, but it’s not amazing to me considering I always thought they were the high earners of the nurse world. If they make like $220 where you are, then that’s a jump worth making to come out $80k ahead each year. Definitely worth considering.

CRNA’s tend to do a lot of call and odd hours. That’s cool if your lifestyle supports that. 

Do they really get more respect? You are working with surgeons. Ive heard accounts of how fun that can be when the CRNA gets blamed and yelled at by the doc. 

Financial cost is a big one. 3 years at $140k lost income is $420,000. Then there’s living expenses, which might be covered by your wife, but that’s less money you are saving that you could be. Then tuition... I don’t know anything about what that is, but let’s pretend it’s $80k. So you lose 3 years and $500,000 to satisfy your urge for ICU type work. Just to get back on track with a return on your investment would take you about 6 years if you are indeed boosting your income by like $80k. Add that to your 3 years of school, and you are looking at 9 years just to break even. But that’s 9 years of lost opportunity with your money. And you are doing homework all the time, and missing events, and relocating, and not enjoying the fruits of your labors and delaying that for 9 years. The immediate payoff after the thee years of school just can’t be considered in isolation to the lost income. You might be thinking “I can provide better for my family.” But you are providing well as is, and $500,000 is a lot of money that you have to catch up on over time. 

I’d support your wife and get her career going, and then both be NPs enjoying life with your kids without having to run out the door to go answer call. At 38, you’d literally break even on your investment of money at 47. Your youngest will be 12. Your oldest will be graduating high school. 

I don’t need entertainment at work. I have hobbies, and work definitely isn’t one of them. I don’t “crave” anything but helping people, which for me is a huge bonus to the paycheck I earn. Everyone needs a paycheck, but not everyone gets to help people while they earn it, so yay for me. 

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5 hours ago, EMNP said:

 

Hello everyone-

 

Hope you all are doing well. Need your advise.

 

I am 38 years old, have been an NP for two years exactly in October; completed a dual NP/PA program. Previous to becoming an NP; I was an ICU RN for 6 years.

 

The big question is: Is it worth for me to go back and obtain my CRNA? The reason I didn’t do CRNA instead of NP was because at that time 1) finances didn’t permit it , 2) I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it; I was 50/50 3) I knew I wanted to become an NP/PA because it’s a great profession.

 

Why am I thinking about CRNA school? 1) I miss critical care and being in full control of your patient. 2) CRNAs have more respect and are treated much better than NPs/PAs, 3) The financial compensation is amazing!

 

My wife will be completing her RN degree in May and we have some great savings in the bank that could allow me to go back to school as she could take over our bills. I have a 3 and a 9 year old.

 

I currently make around $140K/year and we have some great savings in the bank, I would use around 50K of those savings to go towards CRNA school.

 

Most programs are 3 year programs now, a few are still two. I would have to retake 2-3 classes and then apply.

 

Given this information: Do you think it’s worth it and would you do it if you were in my situation? I would probably start the program at age 39 or 40 and be done by age 42-43.

 

If I do it, i would be doing it for personal satisfaction, career advancement, opportunities and finances of course.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Thanks!

 

Eduardo

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

1. Then do critical care. I work in a academic transplant ICU. I run my patient list with a ton of autonomy. I do as many procedures as I want to do. I pick up as much extra work as I want. 

On the other hand OR? One patient, maybe get to do lines. Are you ACT or not? How much autonomy? Big sick cases probably not going to do. Pushing Propofol in endoscopy is not my idea of high intensity. 

2. Are you sure? Most CRNAs and Anesthesiologists get along pretty well but there is a lot of bad blood in some places. Now they have a "nurse anesthesiologist" in Florida. 

3. Depends. Here, we have lots of CRNAs and AAs not many critical care PAs and ACNPs. Pay is within striking distance of each other and I make more than a lot with a some extra shifts. Now if you want to live in the middle of nowhere I'm sure that's different but as others have said the opportunity cost is tremendous. 

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7 hours ago, coloradopa said:

2. Are you sure? Most CRNAs and Anesthesiologists get along pretty well but there is a lot of bad blood in some places. Now they have a "nurse anesthesiologist" in Florida. 

Here’s a side not to what you mentioned is your comment: 

My understanding is that the reason that “nurse anesthesiologist” took in that title is because Anesthesiologist Assistants are now being referred to as anesthetists, especially by physicians that are trying to promote the profession as a dependent provider to them that is in direct competition to CRNAs. The Florida BON allowed the title on a one time basis, and there was some good logic used in making the case. Apparently there is a brewing struggle about names in anesthesia and people are chaffing. 

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Sorry to jump in here, but arent CRNAs largely limited to perioperative and intraoperative care (not counting consulting on someone for a blood patch or similar).

If I'm correct in my thought, I dont see where you're torn, as the two profession are vastly different - if you want to manage critical care patients you should stick with NP. I also may be misunderstanding what you're describing when you say you want to manage critical patients as a CRNA.

Please enlighten me.

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To offer perspective, in my area, the CRNA payscale starts at about $130K for new grads, and you'll probably end your career around $180K.  NPs and PAs start around $90K for new grads (or much lower at one system), and you'll cap at around $130K if you choose the right specialty.  So that's obviously a big factor to consider.  But, the CRNAs here do not have more respect than the NPs or PAs.  Our CRNAs have the anesthesiologist present on induction and emergence.  They are told the anesthetic care plan.  They do not do H&Ps or see the patient's post op.  Surgeons dictate to all anesthesia professionals, even physician anesthesiologists. CRNAs take call, work all shifts.  They really don't diagnose or prescribe in the traditional sense.  And they are stuck in the OR - no lateral mobility whatsoever.  It is critical care nursing 2.0.

I know from experience that the nursing world loves to push CRNA as the pinnacle of non physician providers, but don't buy into that.  What specialty have you been working in as a NP?  Did you do a FNP program or a ACNP program?  Go work in critical care as a NP (if you have the ACNP and are able - times are changing) and I think you'll be more fulfilled.  

Edited by Kaepora
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52 minutes ago, Kaepora said:

To offer perspective, in my area, the CRNA payscale starts at about $130K for new grads, and you'll probably end your career around $180K.  NPs and PAs start around $90K for new grads (or much lower at one system), and you'll cap at around $130K if you choose the right specialty.  So that's obviously a big factor to consider.  But, the CRNAs here do not have more respect than the NPs or PAs.  Our CRNAs have the anesthesiologist present on induction and emergence.  They are told the anesthetic care plan.  They do not do H&Ps or see the patient's post op.  Surgeons dictate to all anesthesia professionals, even physician anesthesiologists. CRNAs take call, work all shifts.  They really don't diagnose or prescribe in the traditional sense.  And they are stuck in the OR - no lateral mobility whatsoever.  It is critical care nursing 2.0.

I know from experience that the nursing world loves to push CRNA as the pinnacle of non physician providers, but don't buy into that.  What specialty have you been working in as a NP?  Did you do a FNP program or a ACNP program?  Go work in critical care as a NP (if you have the ACNP and are able - times are changing) and I think you'll be more fulfilled.  

This. And if critical care as an NP isn't for you, consider trauma where you'll have exposure to the OR, critical care, ICU, and procedures. 

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CRNA, PA, and NP salaries are all over the place. I know CRNAs/PAs/NPs making > 200k in competitive specialties and/or rural areas. At one of my rural jobs the CRNA is the highest paid hospital employee, more than the CEO, the hospitalists or the surgeons...

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