Nursing major vs. Premed major

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    Hey all, I'm a freshman in college who's wanting to become a nurse. But one of my friends, who wanted to be a nurse, might be changing from nursing to premed. Mainly because he thinks the nursing program is too competitive (to get into this nursing program you need around a 3.6) and also that the last 2 years are going to be really tough if he does get into the program. We had the president and vice president of our nursing association reveal to us some of the realities about the nursing program. Lets just say two girls were crying by the end...

    Anyways, from what I understand, he wants to change his major from nursing to premed because he feels like premed will be easier then nursing. He was also thinking about getting his degree in nursing and then after applying for med school, then if he can't get in, he still has his nursing degree (is this a good idea?)

    All this made me start wondering what would be best for me, as I understand where he's coming from. If anyone has something to say about anything I mentioned, or has some advice feel free to post
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    [quote=ghaleon128]Hey all, I'm a freshman in college who's wanting to become a nurse. But one of my friends, who wanted to be a nurse, might be changing from nursing to premed. Mainly because he thinks the nursing program is too competitive (to get into this nursing program you need around a 3.6) and also that the last 2 years are going to be really tough if he does get into the program. We had the president and vice president of our nursing association reveal to us some of the realities about the nursing program. Lets just say two girls were crying by the end...

    Anyways, from what I understand, he wants to change his major from nursing to premed because he feels like premed will be easier then nursing. He was also thinking about getting his degree in nursing and then after applying for med school, then if he can't get in, he still has his nursing degree (is this a good idea?)



    in my honest opinion... go to med school. with the way things sound there, by the time you get into the nsg program, you could knock out your bs in pre med.

    these days, after 6 years, you can probably get your md before your rn.
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    Quote from ghaleon128
    Hey all, I'm a freshman in college who's wanting to become a nurse. But one of my friends, who wanted to be a nurse, might be changing from nursing to premed. Mainly because he thinks the nursing program is too competitive (to get into this nursing program you need around a 3.6) and also that the last 2 years are going to be really tough if he does get into the program. We had the president and vice president of our nursing association reveal to us some of the realities about the nursing program. Lets just say two girls were crying by the end...

    Anyways, from what I understand, he wants to change his major from nursing to premed because he feels like premed will be easier then nursing. He was also thinking about getting his degree in nursing and then after applying for med school, then if he can't get in, he still has his nursing degree (is this a good idea?)

    All this made me start wondering what would be best for me, as I understand where he's coming from. If anyone has something to say about anything I mentioned, or has some advice feel free to post

    Just wondering what makes you guys think that becoming a doctor is going to be easier than becoming a nurse? Yes, the four years of premed undergrad might be easier than the nursing program - but remember if you don't get good grades you won't get into medical school. Then, med school is another four years of pretty intense education, very competitive because then you're applying for residency programs and everyone wants to get their first choice. Then there is three years of residency after that during which time you'll be at the hospital for over 24 hours at a time, learning how to be a doctor on NO SLEEP. If you choose to specialize after that, like go into something like emergency medicine, you need to do a three year fellowship where you will, again, be at the hospital for 24 hours often working on no sleep.

    Nursing school is a hard four years, getting that BSN. No doubt! But when it's done, it's DONE. You're DONE. You take your boards and work as a nurse. You can further your education, yes, but that's optional. You can start living your life after nursing school, if you haven't started yet that is.

    It all depends on what you want to do. Nurses and doctors do VERY different things. It's like apples and oranges. You have to decide first what type of career suits you best. Don't go into medicine simply because nursing school seems too hard. And don't go into nursing just because medicine will take too long. You'll never be happy with your job if you don't go with your instincts. If you focus on how hard school is, how long it is, or how much moeny you'll make...let's just say that it's not a good idea!

    Do some soul searching, I say. Good luck!
    Last edit by Gompers on Sep 24, '06
    Magsulfate, rwright15, and Krither like this.
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    Huh? Pre-med might be easier than nursing school but medical school is a heck of a lot harder than nurisng school.

    If you want to be a nurse, be a nurse. If you want to be a doctor, be a doctor.
    nessajune21 likes this.
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    Then there is three years of residency after that during which time you'll be at the hospital for over 24 hours at a time, learning how to be a doctor on NO SLEEP.
    My friend's girlfriend is in her residency and I wondered why she had any free time at all ( he tells me about social events they attend). Turns out that the 'work for a long period of time without sleep' days are over, at least in her program.
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    Quote from Medic2RN
    My friend's girlfriend is in her residency and I wondered why she had any free time at all ( he tells me about social events they attend). Turns out that the 'work for a long period of time without sleep' days are over, at least in her program.
    Most residents still have to do a couple of 24-hour shifts each week. They do limit how many hours you can be at the hospital in a row, and how many hours you can be there per week. This is a new change in the past five years. However, someone still has to be on call, so there ARE overnight shifts that last for 24 hours or so - as in you come in at 7am one day and stay until at least 7am the next. If you get sleep or not depends on how busy your unit happens to be or what floors you're covering.

    I've worked in a teaching hospital for the past 8 years and like I said, there has definitely been a decrease in hours for residents, but the fact is that overnight call and long shifts are part of residency.
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    One of our ED docs was an ED nurse for years before going back for his MD. I have talked to him at length on how medical school compares to nursing school and he talks like medical school is twice as difficult as nursing school and talk about competitive...

    Depends on what you want to do (as a previous poster said). Do you want to treat the disease or the patient? Do you want more "do" time and less paper time (be a nurse), if you want less do time and more research and study work (be a doctor), if you want more money and less time at home (be a doctor).
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    Thanks for the clarification Gompers!
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    To get into med school you also need a 3.6 gpa (minimum), and pre-med courses are a lot harder for some people (higher level physics, 2 semesters of organic chemistry, etc.).

    Becoming a physician is a long road, and you can't count on being done before the age of thirty, even if you do opt for family practice. I do not envy my friends from college who are just beginning their residencies right now. By comparison, I am preparing to buy my second house with my husband, have been on quite a few trips, and have had time for my family. It all comes down to priorities and what you want out of life.

    I suggest that you shadow a nurse and a physician and use that information to make your decision. Just because something is easy doesn't mean that it will be right for you.

    Good luck with your decision.
    Aongroup1990, TheSquire, and caffeineRx like this.
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    Nursing and medicine are vastly different. Find out more about what is available in each and then decide which would be right for you. There are great career opportunities in nursing including all of the various graduate specialties you can pursue to become an advanced practice nurse. I would say do what you think will fit your lifestyle the best and make you most happy. Good luck!


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