MARIETTA — A graduate in respiratory therapy, Washington State Community College student of the month, Ethan Lantz of Parkersburg, is laying the groundwork for his future.
He embarked on nine years of study in pursuit of his dream of becoming a certified nurse anesthetist. Lantz has a strategy to become a CRNA and he is about to complete the first phase, an associate degree in respiratory therapy. After being accepted into Washington State’s Associate of Nursing degree program, he will begin Phase Two, followed immediately by earning his Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Phase Three.
“I’ve always had an interest in nursing anesthesia and felt that RT and nursing together would provide me with the best foundation for success in a CRNA program,” Lantz said.
For the 20-year-old Parkersburg native, choosing where to start college was the easiest part of his plan. Washington State not only has the programs it needs, but it is also renowned for being the best.
“Washington State has a long history of graduating excellent clinicians in the local community,” Lantz said. “They are highly regarded by employers, and Washington State graduates have a very high pass rate.”
The institution’s recent approval to offer a BSN has further strengthened Washington State, he said.
The fourth and final phase of her plan applies to anesthesia nursing school. Although having a BSN is the only requirement to apply for a program, Lantz hopes her degree and background in respiratory therapy will give her an edge.
“I believe understanding the intubation, respiratory physiology and vent management learned in the RT program, along with the critical care knowledge the RN program will provide me, will make me an ideal candidate for a CRNA program,” Lantz said.
The decision to pursue a career as a CRNA rather than an anesthesiologist was the best decision for him personally and it depended on time and opportunity.
Becoming an anesthesiologist would require an additional eight years of study after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. More important than time to Lantz, however, are the vast opportunities available to nurses.
“There are a lot of nursing specialties that, as I get older, I might want to pursue,” he said.
Lantz will graduate with her respiratory therapy associate in May. He will apply for the Washington State DNA program this fall.
If accepted, he will begin nursing classes in the fall of 2023.