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FAQ - CRNA Program

Does OR, PACU or ER experience count as critical care experience, or does it have to be ICU?

The Nurse Anesthesia Program does not accept OR as critical care experience.  The Council on Accreditation requires one year of critical care experience.  It is highly recommended for our program that the experience be from an ICU rather than PACU or ER. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (such as pulmonary artery catheter, CVP, arterial); cardiac assist devices; mechanical ventilation; and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to: Surgical Intensive Care, Cardiothoracic Intensive care, Cardiovascular intensive Care, Coronary Intensive Care, Medical Intensive Care, Neurology Intensive Care, Trauma Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care. 

Students in the Nurse Anesthesia Program gain clinical experience from Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Shriner’s Hospital during the program. Patients at these hospitals have very high acuity. Applicants should be very skilled in caring for patients who are on ventilators, have invasive lines, and/or have a variety of medicated drips. Those who have experiences in other areas may be considered, provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.

Updated: 12/2018

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