Need advice Nurse or Doctor

  1. 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 path and become a nurse then go back to school for a med degree or do I start taking the prereqs for med school and go from there? I am moving away from my home in Cali to Nebraska for nursing school and figured id go to school there because of the cost of living.

    Do I get my nursing degree and have a guaranteed job while working towards a med degree (more debt) or do I just go for my med degree (less money... but still a ton of money).

    Thanks for your input!
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    About confusedstudent_88

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 64; Likes: 6
    from US


  3. by   Stephalump
    Er, do you have a degree in anything yet? Either way, I personally wouldn't do a degree in nursing as the pathway, unless you're only sort of committed to attending medical school, and need a ready back up plan immediately. I say that because the most important thing to do us major in something you and are good at so you can have as high a GPA as possible in addition to pre-med requirements. Graduating from nursing school with a 4.0 is quite a feat.
    I was pre-med and majored in psychology and theatre and it was great
    If you really need the money, maybe. Job market isn't great, so it could take a while to reap the benefits, but having health care experience looks fantastic. But, personally, I would just become an MA or something. I can't imagine pouring out my heart trying to get through a program for something I don't even want to do, and possibly suffering from a too low GPA because of it.
    Last edit by Stephalump on May 15, '12
  4. by   theantichick
    You didn't mention how old you are, if you're married and/or have kids.

    Personally, if I had my life to do over again, I'd go to medical school. If you're young, not married (or have a VERY supportive spouse), and don't have kids - just figure out how to get through medical school, delivering pizzas if you need to if your goal is to become a doc.

    If you take a detour through nursing school, you'll find that nursing is a different profession than being a doc. While you would definitely get some insight into what other people you will be working with actually *do*, it's not really going to prepare you for medical school. You also may get stuck in a career you hate. (Of course, you may love it, too... you never know.) Also, medical school isn't flexible, and it's not normally something you can do "around" a nursing job. Your *life* is medical school, and if you have to in order to have a place to live and eat, you get a job that flexes around your school.

    Now, if you're older like me (I'm 42 and will graduate with an AAS at 43), medical school probably isn't an option no matter how you slice it. My plans are to work as a nurse (preferably in ER) while I advance my education, eventually becoming a nurse practitioner which will allow me to function much as a primary care physician does, either in practice with a MD/DO or on my own.
  5. by   confusedstudent_88
    Hello. Yes I already have a Bachelors in psychology. I am 23 and have no kids. Thanks for the advice ladies. I just have a big decision in front of me. I am worried I won't be able to make it. Just have to believe in myself.
  6. by   theantichick
    Oh, yeah, definitely... if I were you I'd get my prereqs that hadn't been taken already out of the way, take the MCAT and push through. There's plenty of places where the wash-out factor is high if you truly aren't meant to be a doctor, but you're young and if that's your dream, your goal, go for it. Just remember all the people who have done it before, and know that if they can do it, you can!
  7. by   Stephalump
    Good luck! Nothing is could always just start taking your sciences and see how you do. Nursing school will still be there if you find it to be a bit too much!
  8. by   AnonRNC
    Why do you think you want to be nurse? Why do you think you want to be a doctor? Have you written pros & cons? Can you shadow a doctor, a nurse and a nurse practioner? Have you read extensively about both (all) professions?

    You're young enough to do whatever you want. And you're right: it is a big decision. Regarding being worried you won't make it: talk to an academic advisor, better yet, someone from your B.A. program who knows you well. Does that person think you have what it takes?
  9. by   confusedstudent_88
    Hi AnonRNC! I made a pro con list. I used to work for a doctor and I shadowed a nurse and an np. I've done soo much research on both my head is going to explode! I spoke to a few close people and they believe in me and stand behind me 100%. Told me they were happy actually. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy for changing my mind not after I worked so hard to get into nursing school!
  10. by   mrmedical
    I asked myself this same question in college and the advice from my peers and doctors and nurses was the same: if you really want an MD or DO go for it. Don't go through nursing school just to apply to medical school, that will be a much longer path to the same outcome. If you truly enjoyed the medical science: bio, a&p, micro, neuro and want to be involve in more deeper application and at the forefront of research and treatment go get that MD.

    You're 23 and got an undergrad. Do those last couple prereqs, shadows some doctors, prepare 6months for the MCAT and pass it, then prepare your CV for the adcoms. You got a good support system, and as long as you're disciplined enough to stay on top of studying 5-7 hours a day for the first two years and preparing for Step I and II, you'll be OK. Most likely you'll have to take out a loan, it it might hurt looking at all that money, but remember becoming a physician you're returns are gradual not instant.

    The face of medicine is rapidly changing and we are needing good doctors just as much as good nurses these days.

    Addendum: what ever your choice, pick the one where in 20 or 30 years you can look back without regrets. Sounds romanticized, but true.
  11. by   GitanoRN
    everything is possible when you believe in yourself... i have no doubt you'll do just fine, as i wish you the very best in all of your future endeavors...aloha~
  12. by   roser13
    "Do I get my nursing degree and have a guaranteed job while working towards a med degree"Please read more threads here. There is no "guarantee" in nursing anymore.
  13. by   Dixielee
    You sound like you've already made up your mind, but I will add my 0.02 worth since I am here

    If you are not absolutely committed to being a nurse, then don't take the spot of someone who is. Nursing school is no easy path to anything and you are most certainly not guaranteed a job on graduation (or any other time for that matter). While many areas of nursing are more "medical" models than others, there still is a different focus to each.

    At your age, I would get into a premed track, take lots of biology, chem, physics, etc. Focus on the hard sciences and work toward taking the MCAT. If there is a fairly young doctor you can talk with about the things you should look toward and can give you some ideas about how medicine is changing, you might have clearer focus.

    There are hoops to jump through and problems that plague any profession, but if you want to be a doctor, then why would you do anything else? I was in school with a young woman who really wanted to be an archeologist, but thought she could be a nurse first to fund her true passion. She flunked out during her second clinical rotation.

    This dilemma is like saying you really want salmon for dinner, but the steak is on sale so you get it instead. It fills the belly, but is not really what you wanted.

    Life is way too short! Go after what you really want!
  14. by   confusedstudent_88
    Quote from roser13
    "Do I get my nursing degree and have a guaranteed job while working towards a med degree"Please read more threads here. There is no "guarantee" in nursing anymore.
    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