NP / PA / MD career existential crisis ???

  1. Hi everyone!
    I'm a freshman in college (18) and I'm currently in a direct entry 4 year BSN program. Since last semester, I've been considering switching to a another science major and pursuing the pre-med track, but I just can't make up my mind because so many factors are going into my decision.

    To sum things up:
    -I took the "nursing specific" bio & chem last semester and realized how much I actually enjoy science, I'm taking A&P I as well as the gen bio for science majors this semester and I also love it. I got an A in bio, B+ and chem and am pretty sure I have As in anatomy & bio right now. My gpa from last semester is a 3.83
    - I knew (or thought I knew) since high school that I wanted to eventually go back to school and be an NP, but I hadn't even considered med school until last semester. If I know I want to be a primary care / community health provider right now, should I change my major and give med school a shot?
    - I really want to be able to take upper level science courses out of sheer curiosity & desire to learn. I got accepted to a summer research internship but was told that nursing on its own doesnt really allow for basic science resesrch long term.
    -Although I'm interested in science ^ I know I won't be happy unless I get to help & take care of patients directly. I love working w/ people too much. One thing keeping me from committing to pre med is having to wait so long for patient contact. If I end up switching I'd still want to get a CNA so I can get that experience quicker.
    - Med school is just SUCH a financial and personal risk for me. I don't want to potentially be rejected and then have to either reapply or find other options. I also feel guilty for missing out on family time & putting off having any real money saved up despite my mom being fully supportive regardless of what I do. (Shes a single mom and I'm an only child)

    I'm just very conflicted & confused & doubting my choices I'll definitely shadow different professions hopefully this semester to really understand the roles & responsibilities but if anyone has any general advice for me I would really really appreciate it.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   ivyleaf
    have you shadowed nurses, doctors and nps? that may help you mAke a decision. if you start out in nurs ing you can always go back and do np,pa, md. once you are out in the world making money and paying off debt though, it is harder to think about sacrificing 10+ yrs for med school
  4. by   Simplistic
    Sounds like you want to be a doctor. Go for it! Your grades are pretty good so far and you will make so much more money.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    Quote from coolsongno2
    Hi everyone!

    - I knew (or thought I knew) since high school that I wanted to eventually go back to school and be an NP, but I hadn't even considered med school until last semester. If I know I want to be a primary care / community health provider right now, should I change my major and give med school a shot?
    Nurse Practitioners have increasingly assumed the role of Primary Care Practitioner across the US AND have created their own health clinics to provide health care, especially to underserved communities. They are the backbone of for-profit clinics established by major pharmacy chains CVS Minute Clinic and Wallgreen's Take Care clinic.

    About Nurse Led-Managed Care
    Nurse-managed health centers, often referred to as nurse-managed health clinics or NMHCs, are run by nurses – many with advanced practice degrees who serve as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, and public health nurses. Nurses have the expertise to diagnose illness and prescribe medication, to make referrals to specialists, to provide pre-and post-natal care, and to offer a wide variety of other primary health care services.
    The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium (NNCC) supports nurse-led care and nurses at the front lines of care. Check to see if there is clinic near you where you could discuss the NP career:NNCC Locations


    - I really want to be able to take upper level science courses out of sheer curiosity & desire to learn. I got accepted to a summer research internship but was told that nursing on its own doesn't really allow for basic science research long term.
    Hogwash!
    Nursing science research is part of most university based nursing programs along with academic medical centers. Are you aware of the National Institute of Nursing Research part of the US governments NIH (National Institute of Health)?

    NINR is pleased to announce the release of its Strategic Plan: Advancing Science, Improving Lives: A Vision for Nursing Science. Building on the programs of research described in the Institute’s 2011 Strategic Plan, past scientific accomplishments, and current research priorities, four areas of scientific focus are highlighted in our new Plan:
    • Symptom Science: Promoting Personalized Health Strategies
    • Wellness: Promoting Health and Preventing Illness
    • Self-Management: Improving Quality of Life for Individuals with Chronic Conditions
    • End-of-Life and Palliative Care: The Science of Compassion

    NINR also identified areas vital to advancing the Institute’s research portfolio, which are emphasized throughout all programs and activities at NINR:

    • Promoting Innovation: Technology to Improve Health
    • 21st Century Nurse Scientists: Innovative Strategies for Research Careers
    There is a wide spectrum of nursing beyond hospital walls that is available to you that will meet the needs you expressed. With your interest in science, a career in nursing research may satisfy you.

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