April 12, 2019


Introducing a new series to the blog, SRNA Spotlight! This series will feature interviews with multiple SRNAs and highlight their journey to CRNA school. Up this week is Charnelle, or as she is known to many, Nurse Nelle! 

1.) How far along in CRNA school are you?

"I will be completing the program in 2019!"

2.) What kind of ICU experience did you have prior to starting CRNA school?

"CVICU- 3+ years"

3.) Do you have certifications? If so, which ones?


4.) Did you always know you wanted to be a CRNA?

"No, I actually wanted to be a Pharmacist.  After completing an internship at Walgreens, I realized I didn’t have the passion for it.  I decided to pick up a job at a group home for adults and realized that it was something that came very easy to me.  A few weeks later, I switched my major to nursing. With my love for pharmacology, it was the best of both worlds. I didn’t actively pursue CRNA school until I was in the CVICU.  Everything happened so fast. I started in the CVICU as a new grad and one day I realized that I could actually start preparing to apply. I’m incredibly glad that I decided to continue my education."

5.) What do you value about the CRNA profession?

"I value the art and science of anesthesia the most.  It’s a dynamic profession that requires situational awareness, ability to gain trust quickly and understanding of many different conditions and anesthesia principles.  Every case is a blank canvas. Some use various mediums, others stick to one simple brush. It is such an amazing profession that goes beyond just 'putting someone to sleep'."

6.) What's something you wish you knew before starting CRNA school?

"I think I was pretty well prepared for a majority of the things that I would come across, but one thing I wish I knew was how much I would change from the program.  It challenges you on so many levels and I thought I would be able to walk-in with the same studying strategies I used in nursing school. That was not the case. While I was able to find a balance between school, work, social media, traveling and spending time with friends and family, there’s only so much 'preparation' you can do mentality for the complete life change that’s going to occur."

7.) Any final advice for those who want to pursue CRNA school?

"You ARE smart enough, but you have to be willing and ready to commit and put in the necessary work.  It’s a long and tough road, but it’s well worth it."

How you can find Nurse Nelle:

Instagram: @Iamnursenelle

April 1, 2019


Hi, Everyone!

I have gotten an abundant amount of requests to share my study tips for the dreaded pharmacology course in nursing school. Pharmacology can seem very overwhelming, especially if your school combines pharmacology and pathophysiology like my university did. However, if you take the time to organize your study methods before you start this class, it will make it so much easier to learn and recall these drugs down the line when you are practicing as an RN!

My first tip is to focus on the mechanism of action. Once you understand this aspect, it makes it so much easier to understand the side effects and adverse reactions. This method will help you learn more effectively, rather than memorizing all of the side effects of a drug and forgetting the information after your exam. 

There are some aspects of pharmacology that you just simply need to memorize. There are so many tools out there to help you memorize information. Some of my favorites to make flashcards are Quizlet and Anki. I also used to create Excel sheets (pictured above) and would list the drug name, class, mechanism of action, side effects, etc. 

For the pathophysiology portion of the classes, I would make my outlines (tutorial listed on my blog here). Some of the other tools I used to help my understanding were Khan Academy and the MedMaster podcast. 

The most important thing to remember here is do not cram. This is a course that you need to prepare well in advance for your exams. Study well in advance and try to apply what you're learning to what you see in clinical! Look up the medications you're giving to patients and understand why you are giving them. I still look up medications today as an RN! 

I hope these tips were helpful. There's no right or wrong way to study for pharmacology or any course in nursing school. Find what works for you and run with it. You guys got this.