Need advice Nurse or Doctor - page 3

by confusedstudent_88

Hello everyone- I am having a slight issue. I was just admitted to nursing school but I feel like I want to be a doctor. I have had this nagging for some time and I finally have the courage to go for it. Do I continue on my... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from threebrats46
    Im In NY and so many new grads can't find jobs. I have friends in Cali and same story. One I know moved to Texas for work.
    It's not easy anymore! I would not be an RN unless your heart is into it,you will burn out quick, It's so different from being an MD.
    Yea that's what I was trying to tell some that replied to my post! I'm moving to Nebraska. The unemployment rate is 4% tons of jobs. Also Utah needs nurses.
  2. 0
    Quote from confusedstudent_88
    I planned on moving to where nurses actually do have a guaranteed job. I've been on the site for awhile now. Where I'm moving the unemployment rate is 4% I've done my research thanks
    *** Got to medical school. You already sound like a doctor.
  3. 3
    People often give (and take) advice to 'follow their dreams', or that 'education is always worth it'. If we all followed our dreams, I'd be working as a surfing instructor/ scuba instructor/ and skiing instructor. Education is valuable, but paper certificates from one university over another often don't translate into more earning potential. The reality of life is you have to eat and have shelter over your head and you need to find a job where you'll be happy so you can provide yourself with those things.

    A career is a business decision. You're deciding how much time and money to invest in preparing yourself for a job--hopefully a job that you'll pursue for a decade or more, anyway. So, you have to add up the expense of the degree, your lost income while completing the degree and residency program, and compare that to your expected earning potential when you finish.

    Med school costs (approx) $40K to $50K per year for 4 years and the average debt a graduating medical student carries is $150K. In your situation, you will probably need to take some rigorous science classes. That will take a year or two, and cost $15,000 for tuition. Do you have student loans to repay, already? If so, you may be $200,000 in debt by the time you graduate from medical school. Your residency follows which isn't highly paid. The salary escalates each year, but for about 4 years you will make an average of $50K per year--no overtime pay, no bonus for backshift or weekend. If you work 80 hours a week (not at all unheard of) you'll be making about $12.00/hour. Of course, your pay will increase once you're an independently practicing physician. Estimates vary, but you should make somewhere around $130,000 per year in family medicine. So, let's add this up:

    Two years tuition for pre-reqs: -$15,000
    Medical school tuition: -$200,000
    4 years of residency @ $50,000/ year $200,000


    Then consider becoming an RN and eventually an NP. If you do an accelerated 2nd degree program, it will take about a year to 18 months and cost $30,000. So, you'll be working as a nurse within two years from now. Nurses make somewhere between $40K and $50K per year, plus overtime. So if you work an extra 10 hours per week, you can boost your salary by $20,000/ year. After you have a couple years experience, you go to NP school and complete it in 3 or 4 years, while still working. Your employer may pick up all most of the tuition. When you finish, you'll be making somewhere between $80,000 and $120,000/ year.

    Two years BSN tuition: -$30,000
    Salary (5 years @ $50,000/ year) $250,000
    NP tuition (but could be reimbursed by your employer) : -$50,000
    NP Salary (3 years @ $90,000/year) $270,000

    My very rough estimate, and rounding and approximating salaries/ tuitions, etc, bring you to two different figures in the year 2022 (when you would finish your residency after med school). Going the med school route, you would be in debt by $15K to $50K. If you go the BSN to NP route, you'd be ahead by about $600,000. Obviously, you still need money to live during your med school years, and during your BSN years, but my comparison only takes into account tuition and salary.

    So, for about the same job description and duties, as an NP you'll be more than a half million dollars ahead in ten years from now.
  4. 0
    I can't imagine anyone becoming an Aide if they really want to be a Nurse. Or becoming a grounds crewman if they want to be a pilot. Of course you are awfully young, but if you want to be an MD, do it. Anyone can do anything with the right attitude and hard work.
  5. 0
    There are post-bacc programs for those that want to go to med school. I'd definitely look into those. From someone who is her mid 30s pursuing a major career change, I say follow your dreams. You are young enough to do so easily.
  6. 1
    Quote from PMFB-RN

    *** Got to medical school. You already sound like a doctor.
    Bahaha! Literally laughed out loud.
    PMFB-RN likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from Patti_RN
    So, for about the same job description and duties, as an NP you'll be more than a half million dollars ahead in ten years from now.
    This is a large part of why I chose nursing over medical school. I always dreamed of being a physician, but the REALITY was, being an NP could fulfill my lifestyle goals more completely. 20 years down the road, would I be better off financially as an MD? Probably. If we take out the reality that Physician's true salaries have been going nowhere but down in recent history.

    But my family life is of utmost importance. I do need a good career so my husband and I can give them all the things we want to give them, but not to the extent that I'm surrendering a large part of what I value about motherhood. I also need to be in the workforce sooner. Being a NP can provide that for me. And if I ever change my mind, medical school will still be there for me.

    Of course, I had kids young, before I had to make my mind up about which direction I should go. It's much easier to look at the present than the future. But when you're taking out loans, it's imperative. You're owned by you obligation to those loans no matter how much your life changes.
    SakuraChan likes this.
  8. 1
    you are still young so by all means go for it. However, I was a devoted pre-med for many years (which makes me an expert lol) so don't be fooled into thinking that you will be able to have a nursing job as a med school student, you simply won't have time.
    Check out SDN, (student doctor network) it is the MD allnurses.com equivalent. Put up your stats (GPA etc.) and people will comment and let you know what your chances look like. Also, medical school is INCREDIBLY difficult to get into. Many people spend years after their undergrad taking the MCAT, volunteering, obtaining LEADERSHIP positions, fixing their undergrad GPAs, and going through the time consuming and emotionally draining application process. Also remember that Med school may be four years but depending on your specialty, you will also have to go through internships (barely paid), fellowships/residencies (paid about the same as nurses in many cases). This means you will not start making above 100k for several years AFTER you graduate from med school.

    My point is... if you want to become a doctor make sure you are doing it because you want to be a doctor, not because you want $$$ or prestige; you will pay a very steep price.
    Hope this helps, and good luck
    confusedstudent_88 likes this.
  9. 0
    @ stephalump You make a great point. I am currently single and without kids. I would love to be able to have time with a family. I guess I never thought about the time commitment after I am done with school such as always having to be on call. I am definitely not in it for the money. I am passionate about both fields and can respect both. Thanks!
    Last edit by confusedstudent_88 on May 16, '12 : Reason: wanted to add users name
  10. 2
    I am currently a nurse and in medical school. I actually took a year off to pay off some bills. However I thought I would give my input you to help your decision out since this is your career.....it's extremely important and life changing.

    First of all I think it's important to follow your heart. If you listen to your calling, I think you may have an idea of what you truly want to do. With that aside, I can understand that a career in nursing and in medicine are over-lapping and very similar. For example an NP and a family practitioner have similar roles.

    Secondly recognize that the medical community has outlined roles that are particularly stringent in an academic or hospital setting. Meaning many physicians will 'respect' your role as an NP for example, however they will also acknowledge that you are not a licensed medical doctor. I am an ER RN and have worked side by side with many attendings from various specialties....lots of them treat their fellow NP's, junior residents, and PA's very similarly. When a complicated case arises, they seek advise from medical physicians higher up the ladder, while they will use you to treat the common mundane cases the majority of the time.

    So, in essence I think it's important to understand both what do YOU want to do, what are YOU comfortable with, and what do YOU want your job duties to be.

    Nursing offers GREAT flexibility, wonderful opportunity for growth, a consistent and stable career, and the ability to transition into many other avenues within the healthcare field and the ability to transition into other nursing fields.

    Depending on your specialty of medicine, and once you are an attending, medicine is an extremely rewarding career as well.

    I personally worked as a nurse for 3 years and the decision was easy for me.....I didn't want to be an RN anymore...I wanted more...I wanted to understand and have the knowledge of physicians I worked with that was nonexistent in nursing school. I didn't want to be a mid-level provider such as be an NP, PA or nurse anesthetist. I also was tired of working overtime shifts to get paid a decent salary. I just knew that I wanted to be a doctor and if I didn't follow my heart I would live to be old regretting the decision!! So I followed my heart and ignored the opinions of all the negative people along the way. People will tell you med school is too long, too expensive, not worth it, etc. etc. etc......If you are extremely determined, you will find a way. I have older classmates in my class, in their thirties and forties ( I am also 30), and we are all doing it. ...and yes I am in debt, I hate the feeling of not getting paid while in school, and the lifestyle change is difficult. However had I decided to stay as a nurse .....I would have hated it, because I wanted more. Keep in mind tho, this was my decision. I have many nursing friends who LOVE nursing, and they are some GREAT nurses.

    I know it's difficult to not consider money into the picture....but realize money isn't everything. As a physician and depending on the specialty you chose you will make a lot of money, despite your medical school debt. I have met many orthopedic surgeons, and anesthesiologists who are not burdened by finances, while there are many family practitioner's having to work 2 jobs in the first years out to make a decent living, but still LOVE what they do and wouldn't imagine doing anything else. There are also many nurses who work 2 jobs and work lots of overtime to make ends meets and also love it. Also in searching these forums realize you will always get a biased opinion....but ultimately the choice is something you will have to live with, so take these opinions with a grain of salt and follow your own.

    But whatever you decide is right for you, I do hope you make the right choice!
    Ant24 and SakuraChan like this.


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