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Does your registered nurse experience qualify as critical care?

10.20.2015 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
Your registered nurse experience could replace your critical care experience in our CRNA program.

You’ve made the decision to be a CRNA. Starting the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree at Texas Wesleyan is the way to get there, but are you qualified to apply for the program?

One of the program requirements is one-year of critical care experience. Wondering what we mean by critical care? Here’s a detailed description of skills possessed and areas managed by a critical care nurse.

Critical Thinking & Psychomotor Skills

We’re looking for developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills. This means the ability to objectively evaluate a situation calmly and make good decisions. It means you are coordinated and physically able to connect your critical thinking skills with the quick, smooth and often extremely precise actions needed with patients and instruments.

Patient Assessment & Advanced Monitoring Techniques

The ability to thoroughly assess a patient is critical. CRNAs make their own pain-management care plans and are frequently in emergency situations, which both require quick and accurate patient assessments.

Advanced monitoring means you have knowledge of the monitors, and you understand and can interpret their readings. You know how to troubleshoot when you get different readings, and how and when to remove the monitors safely from the patient.

RNs in critical care areas manage the following on a routine basis:

  • Vasoactive drips
  • Critical care pharmacology
  • Invasive hemodynamic monitors
  • Cardiac assist devices
  • Mechanical ventilation

Now that you know what we mean by critical care, assess your experience against our description. Does it match? If it does, make sure it also meets the following timing requirements:

  • Have at least one year of full-time critical care experience by Feb. 1 of your start year.
    • For example, if you start in fall 2017, it must be complete by Feb. 1, 2017.
  • Have a least one year of full-time critical care experience within three years of your start date.

Want to learn more about our program? Visit our website at  

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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.