Torn between Nursing and Medicine - page 2
Hello! I've posted here multiple times about dilemma I pose: my love for both nursing and medicine. I am currently a pre-nursing student, but I'm a bit hazy about my potential future as a nurse. I... Read More
7Jan 29, '11 by laneymareeQuote from carolmaccas66Don't stay in nursing. Go into medicine. I would urge you to try and find out how to make it happen, even if you have to work nights after school stacking grocery stores shelves (what I've done to get through study), or do any crappy job you can get to make ends meet.
I repeat: don't waste your time and money on nursing. Have something else you can fall back on, even if you start medicine and don't finish it, you can always go back to nursing later.
I have to disagree with this poster. I don't think nursing is a waste of time or money. I wanted to be an ER doctor from age 4 until being a junior in high school. Then, I started volunteering and spending time in the hospital and seeing that doctors spent about 15 minutes at a time with their patient. If even that. Nurses were the ones at the bedside, truly healing them.
There are specialties where nurses are given a lot of autonomy...on these floors, I see nurses every day telling the residents what orders to put in! ICU, PACU....critical care, you aren't just mindlessly following orders. This poster sounds a bit burned out in my opinion...
At the end of the day, you need to figure out what kind of lifestyle you want to lead and what context you want to see your patient in. That should lead you to your decision.
2Jan 29, '11 by erkantarik, BSNget master degree in nursing so you can practice medicine and be a nurse at the same time.
3Jan 29, '11 by LuxCalidaNPGood questions, OP! I grappled wih this question for two years as I prepared for either. It sounds like we have a LOt in common: I HAVE to critically honk and trouble shoot problems, I love differentials and systems thinking, and also really have a deep love for fellow humans. I ended up choosing nursing for a few snow reasons: As an FNP, I could still prioritize my rapport and presence with patients with more time with them, 2) I. Primary care, I could have the same scope as the family docs in the states I want to practice in, 3) that I could take a break and gain some great experience as a clinical nurse before going on to my masters (it's like you get a residency in the middle) (not to mention paying off some loans), 4) a big reason I would sacrifice 6 addditionl years of my life for education was to be called Dr. so-&-so (a dangerous reason to seek power), and most importantly, that the risk of my original inspiration for joining healthcare would be so warped and filtered by the medical education system that I would emerge, like SOOOoo many residents, a jaded, bitter person. A few people can make it through medical education without impairing their ability to normally and compassionately relate to the world, and they are amazing docs, but for me, the risk was too high to gamble those personal qualities. Lastly, I want to someday b a great dad, which can be hard to do when you're a physician. I love being an RN, I am supports in my critical thinking and problem solving where I work, and I am super excise for NP school!!!! Hope this helps!
2Jan 29, '11 by ImThatGuyI was originally a premed, but I was able to finish my first degree without taking a few of the prereqs. My intent was to finish, but like many college kids I wanted some freedom and a liveable income so I took my B.S. degree and my paramedic certification and got two jobs. One, teaching high school science, and the other working every weekend for an ambulance service. I didn't like classroom teaching so after a year and a half I quit and became a cop. I continued to work some as a paramedic, but my career became devoted to law enforcement. I continied, changed agencies, took a promotion that gave me little time to be out on the streets with plenty of time off, and my medical interests began to rekindle.
Long story short, I decided hat being a PA would be the right balance at this point in my life, but since PA schools are so focused on applicabts having a lot of prior healthcare experience I never applied since I hadn't worked in EMS in five years now. To nursing school I went. There's also only one PA program in my state, it's private, and I'm not moving out of state.
I do prefer the medical model too since it seems more conciseand the investigative process of a differential diagnosis appeals to me more than bedside patient care. I think your path is fine. Just take your premed courses as yu can, finish your BSN, and apply. You may face some criticism over getting a nursing degree, but you're young and have nothing to lose. Good luck!
0Jan 29, '11 by mowski1214To Imthatguy...
I liked your post. I am/ was in a similar boat and have chosen the BSN to NP route.
0Jan 29, '11 by nohikaTo clarify about DO...they "promote" that they really focus "on the whole patient", but that's a bunch of BS. The only difference between DO and "MD/allopathic" is that DOs take the COMLEX and learn OMM, or osteopathic manipulative medicine. That's it. They take the same classes, do the same rotations, etc. DOs (AACOMAS, the applying service) uses grade replacement, while AMCAS doesn't. It's challenging to get in either way.
I'm debating between nursing/medicine myself, and honestly considering the medicine route. I love the idea of differentials, figuring out what's wrong, and trying my best to "make it better" if at all possible. I'm particularly interested in NICU, PICU, or Peds Cardio, since I had open heart surgery at under three months old.
1Jan 29, '11 by PatMac10,RNQuote from carolmaccas66So does this mean that those who go to be RN or LPNs don't have "excellent grades" or "intelligence"? I am wondering if you meant what you said the way I am reading it, because of course you have your own opinion that you are entitled too. Seems harsh though.I have not read all these comments yet.
I personally really, really would not encourage someone with intelligence and excellent grades to go into nursing. If you have the grades, and can make all the pre-requisites required for entrance into your choice of college/university, go for it. Don't stay in nursing. Go into medicine. I would urge you to try and find out how to make it happen, even if you have to work nights after school stacking grocery stores shelves (what I've done to get through study), or do any crappy job you can get to make ends meet.
I repeat: don't waste your time and money on nursing. Have something else you can fall back on, even if you start medicine and don't finish it, you can always go back to nursing later.
To be honest, I went back and forth as well. I started college this past fall @ 17, but have been taking college classes since 15. I wanted to be an Anesthesiologist, Psychiatrist, and Cardiologist, but I ended coming right back to nursing by the middle of my junior year in HS. Not to brag on myself by any means, but I was considered intelligent. I was an honor and AP student, and also in the top 10% of my class upon graduating. My point is, that I didn't choose nursing as an alternative to Medical School or "easy way out", so to speak. I made a decision based on what values nursing is built upon, how flexible the field is, and how long I wanted to be in school. Nurses are so multi-talented and gifted it is ridiculous. I so want to be in school until I'm almost 30. I want a profession that will allow me to have that patient contact that I so desire or allow me to have an office job, if I wish in the future. I want to be in a humble profession where most are happy being where they are, but where advancement is also possible.
You seem to be a intelligent person who knows what you want. It seems, that deep down inside, you might really lean towards medicine and that OK. I, of course, could be wrong. Regardless of what my perception is, or anyone elses for that matter, do what makes you feel right. People looked down on me for not choosing medicine and purusing nursing , but what do I care it's my life! Lolz!!!
0Jan 29, '11 by AyelofloQuote from nohikaI enjoy reading about why you are considering the medicine route. You have exposure to healthcare so I'm sure you know what you are looking for. The reason is that some people think that just because they had "a childhood dream of being a doctor" means thy deserve admission into med school and to become doctors. Most children dream. It's fantasy. When you wake up from a the dream, you are in real lifeI'm debating between nursing/medicine myself, and honestly considering the medicine route. I love the idea of differentials, figuring out what's wrong, and trying my best to "make it better" if at all possible. I'm particularly interested in NICU, PICU, or Peds Cardio, since I had open heart surgery at under three months old.
Others work in healthcare for the experience just to boost their chances of being admitted into med school. And guess what, they start to complain cos they have to work night, answer their phone at 2am, gave their family time interrupted, etc. They simply do not understand the demands of the career choice. Good luck with your decision. All the best
My MD friends say that primary care, endocrinologists, and anesthesiologists have better job options in many states across the board. The rest have a tough time. But, every career has it's tough periods too
4Jan 29, '11 by DNS on the goLet me ask you a question and be honest with yourself. Can you get A in the pre-med classes. If you can, go for medicine. Medicine is a much more established profession with a much stronger hold on the power and structure of healthcare. Nurses are important but the doctor is the boss.
Second, do not fret about what speciality in medicine you go into. The purpose of the 3rd and 4th year of medical school is to give you a brief but objective feel for each of the main areas of medicine and allow you to sample selected sub-specialities. Second, you have to interview and be accepted into your residency training.
You are young, if you want to be something, go for medicine. If you let this opportunity pass you by, it will be gone. Do your best in the pre med classes (general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, genetics, Cal, Physics, etc) and prepare for the MCAT's.
Nursing is a profession that can be rewarding but many nurses are burnt out, living from check to check. I have seen to many nurses work until there bodies gave out to have nothing ( I mean nothing for their time and effort).
As for the drama about how hard life is as a doctor and being on call, the reality is very different. In Medicine you earn your stripes. As a medical student, as a clerk (3rd and 4th year) as an intern and resident things are tough. Once you are past your residency (either passed your boards or doing a fellowship/sub speciality) life is good. As the doctors will tell you, your life is now your own. That is why you have residents, to do your scut work.
Please do not let other's peoples ideas change your mind. As for PA/NP etc, they are better off then a floor or bedside nurse but you are still not in the drivers sit. For those that tell you they chose NP for the hours/lifestyle over an MD, please take this with a grain of salt. Every PA I have worked with tells me and those that will listen that they got into medical school but chose PA for the hours, to be close to the patient, etc.
This brings me to my initial question: Do you have "A" grades in the Pre-med classes. If you do, go for medicine. I should warn you, since nursing is not a rigorous major, medical school admission committes do not view this major favorable. I used to work in a very large hospital and occassionally a nurse who went back to do the pre med classes made it to medical school-so it can be done but these are nurses who have hard core nursing experience (ER, ICU, etc) under their belts. I have known several nurses who went back to do the classes and either could not muster the grades or did not make it through the pre med classes let alone the MCAT. Getting A's in pre-med classes is very hard. Their are no dummies in the class so the competition is fierce. Nursing classes and nursing sciences are not academically demanding. They are perceived as hard due to the poor academic ability of the nursing students but these classes are not serious study of the science but rather a light survey of the bio, chem or microbiology, etc.
Additionally, go see the colleges premed counselor. He or she can guide you. If you get into medicine, do not let this opportunity pass you by. Best of luck.
PS...I am not negative about nursing, just realistic. I like my job and it does pay the bills but I know I could have done more with my life. I hope this young lady never has to feel the regret I have.
6Jan 29, '11 by Newby'sWife07I'm 24, and I am in the same boat. I have wanted to be an MD for as long as I remember. I took all of the AP courses and health related courses I could in high school in order to prepare. I waited a while before going back to school for financial reasons, but I decided I would get my RN and maybe NP and go from there. I'm planning to volunteer at a hospital across the street from my school to get a feel for how things work. My gripe about nursing is that they seem to be responsible for everybody's mistakes. Pharmacy made a mistake? Well, the nurse should have noticed that med. was supposed to be this med. Patient upset? They yell at the nurse because the MD. is god. From what I have heard (and read) on these posts, that seems to be the norm. My gripe with MD, however, is that you don't get the one on one with the GOOD patients that nurses do. I may get my NP and be perfectly happy with that, because it seems to be a good balance between the two. I'm in pre-nursing now, and plan to apply in the fall for nursing. I have made straight A's so far, but medical school is a whole different territory. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen, and you seem very intelligent. I have learned long ago to not listen to what other people have to say, because usually, they talk you down so that you won't be more successful than them. It's a sad truth about human nature. Go for it, and Good luck!!!
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember: Amateurs built the Ark, Professionals built the TitanicLast edit by Newby'sWife07 on Jan 29, '11 : Reason: misspell!
3Jan 29, '11 by SAHMStudentIf I was your age and could do my life all over again, I'd go to med school. I'm smart enough, but went through a lot of crap as a teen, and ruined my grades. I didn't go to college until I was in my 20's. I love my life, my husband, my daughter, and want more children, so nursing definitely fits the lifestyle. But if I could be your age, with your drive (be careful not to burn yourself out) and then come out at 27 with an MD...that leaves plenty of time to marry if you choose, and have children if you choose....well, I say go for medicine.
3Jan 29, '11 by Cinquefoil, BSN, RNQuote from DNS on the goI completely agree that nursing and med school classes are a whole different animal; and understand that you're not talking about me particularly when you talk about "poor academic ability". You're generalizing based on your own personal experience.I have known several nurses who went back to do the classes and either could not muster the grades or did not make it through the pre med classes let alone the MCAT. Getting A's in pre-med classes is very hard. Their are no dummies in the class so the competition is fierce. Nursing classes and nursing sciences are not academically demanding. They are perceived as hard due to the poor academic ability of the nursing students but these classes are not serious study of the science but rather a light survey of the bio, chem or microbiology, etc. .
However, just to show that some nurses are intellectually capable of pre-med classes, but choose not to take them, my prerequisites for nursing were shared by dozens of pre-med students all ferociously vying for their "A"'s.....yet who was first in class in A&P? For two of the terms, it was a nursing student. (On the third term this person fell to third by using more time to tutor classmates) Hahah! Go nursing brainiacs!
2Jan 29, '11 by AyelofloQuote from DNS on the goO-chem and Biochem are premed. Many nurses have to take them for BSN.Let me ask you a question and be honest with yourself. Can you get A in the pre-med classes.
Okay you are kidding, right? Are you implying that people go into nursing cos they were not capable of scoring A's in premed classes??? Somebody who has on-stage theater experience is likely to memorise stuff in Anatomy class faster that the other person who is having learn the skill of massive memorization
If you don't have a good grasp of Algebra, Logarithms, Calculus, you will struggle with Physics and Chemistry. Trust me. Unless you wonna put in the extra time to do emergency brush-up on the Math topics that you are lacking, concurrently!
Some nurses majored in Physics, or chemistry and they were honor students, before they decided to switch careers into nursing for job security. Some people have bachelor's in music, or theater and decided to study premed courses to get into nursing school.
If you don't enjoy what you are studying, chances are, you will tune the instructor out during lessons, you will not do your homework well, you will not study much and you will fail your classes. If you are a visual learner, you should get your hands on similar textbooks that have CDROM. I learn better with those and by attend lectures, watching the instructor, hearing his/her voice echoing in my head.
For some students, they need a little more time to absorb the material as a slower pace. Some have family issue, financial worries, adjustment of personal qualities in order fulfill their academic demands. Many nurses are scoring high marks on MCAT these days. Pharmacology is not gonna be new to them if they chose to enter medical school. There is the advantage of working knowledge.
An nurse who works with EKG rythmns will grasp that much faster at med school. What about the nurse who works in OR.
Some take massive student loans so that can have time to keep up with the study and not be distracted by financial worries.
In nursing school, many students struggle as well. Program starts with 70 students and only 18 are able to graduate and take the NCLEX. What do you think is going on?