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This past week I had the privilege to participate in candidate interviews for our Nurse Anesthesia Program here at the University of Southern California housed in the Keck School of Medicine program.Beginning this process started with reading through long dossiers from each of the candidates including transcript records and personal statements.Finally, take these suggestions a grain of humor in the middle of your struggles to rise to something new in your nursing practice.
As one of the seasoned faculty members reasoned with me, “You will find clear examples of candidates that will fit with our program perfectly and others that do not fit at all.
The trouble comes in the middle and that’s where the debates will come among the faculty members each championing their personal favorites for those last remaining few spots.” Hmmmmm, I am thinking now that there is more than enough truth in this.
This is a personal characteristic you can do something about.
Motivation comes from inside of you and does not depend on how old you are, how young, what color, ethic background, religion you follow or any of that stuff. What matters comes from inside; its what will drive you to excel and shine as a nurse anesthetist. Do you have the required clinical background that will ensure your success in a nurse anesthesia program and are you willing to change jobs, move or do what ever necessary to get the best experience before entering graduate education in a nurse anesthesia program? Maybe you are in a very comfortable community hospital ICU that has sick patients but most of them are of the garden variety.
The minimum requirement set by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is 1 year of ICU experience.
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Often I find that this is simply not enough for the average candidate coming in to our program.
Simply put, you must have an overwhelming desire to do this or you will not have the energy or stamina to complete the journey.
This is a personal characteristic that I have seen in all successful candidates that enter into anesthesia study as a nurse.
This kismet for the candidates has been occupying my mind for more than this past week.
Personally I have spent years positioning myself to do well in preparation for anesthesia practice and now as a faculty member in a great teaching institution I am challenged to keep growing and setting the standard for the students and potential students to rise to.