Torn between Nursing and Medicine - page 4

by Loux | 16,077 Views | 121 Comments

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 love the nursing model; I want... Read More


  1. 4
    Now if I were a 17 yr old ( who was already in college and presumably capable of getting straight A's and A +; and OK with large time commitment and funding requirement) who posed this question....

    I would hope that I would have the foresight to choose medicine ( and the best MD program I could get into) instead of nursing.
    Many doctors are capable of taking a caring and holistic approach to p't care.
    Please don't let anyone tell you that only nurses are good at this.
    I would go for the surgical option ... however just be sure you are familiar with the hours trauma surgeons do.
    Go for your dream
  2. 6
    Quote from DNS on the go
    Nursing is very different from medicine. Physicians are educated to have a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the sciences.

    Nursing is a human service with the focus on caring and providing custodial care. Physicians are trained in research and advancing the profession of medicine. All physicians have the same background (3-4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, clerkship, internship, residency) and passing 4 national boards. Most physicians have much more training, master's and Ph.D's, fellowship and sub speciality residency, etc, etc.

    The vast majority of nurses are educated at the associate or bachelors level. Graduate work in nursing is non rigorous as is undergraduate nursing education.

    The goal of the training of a nurse and a doctor are totally different.

    My advice to this young lady is go for the prize, medicine. If you do not make it, nursing is there. That is why I ask, do you have the ability to get A's in the pre med classes and do well on the MCAT.

    As I stated above, I have worked with many nurses who thought they could do it ( get into medical school) and they were shocked to find out that the real Bio and the real chem required for medical school are not like the A&P for nurses or introduction to chem we took to get our BSN.

    Please do not think I am putting down nursing and nurses, but I have been around (maybe too long) and know what is going on.

    Additionally, I was a nursing lecturer at a major university. I can tell you that the caliber of the nursing students related to the other students at the university was shocking. The nursing students were so poorly prepared for college level work, that the nursing students were steered away from the general education classes that the rest of the student body took, with classes in english and psy etc set up for the school of nursin sort of like the way colleges have seperate sciences for nurses.

    Within the university's, their was a serious debate on how to address the poor academic preparation and ability of nursing students , education majors and other related majors. As I said, this is a major univeristy that prided itself as an elite university. It has many elite schools with the best of the best but the nursing school was not part of that best of the best.

    I have also taught at a major regional (level 2) university and at a local cc. Students who are studying nursing have serious academic issues. While their were a few who was not deficient, the vast majority had serious academic issues (english, writing and unfortunately some had basic communication issues).
    In my tenure in nursing, the profession has changed and not for the better. As the workforce has opened up for woman, high caliber woman do not see nursing as a career of choice. You might not remember or you may not have alive, but woman were systematically excluded from the prestigious careers irregardless of the females ability. Their was a time if you were a woman you were segregated to nursing, teaching or the typing pool. Sad but true. In those days, high caliber woman were carrying bed pans and turning and positioning old ladies. The world is different now and nursing as a career when so much is open to you just does not make it today.

    As a nursing teacher and as a chief nurse, I must tell you to really look at who is entering nursing. The last batch of nurses who graduated in the late 60's and early 70's is entering the end of there careers, the nurses that have entered the profession since the mid 70's is significantly poorer in quality and ability.
    I remember in the 80's the physicians openly discussing the poor quality of the new nurses. Nursing has responded by importing experienced nurses but the reality of nursing has not gotten better.

    Nursing is a noble profession and my lifes work but it has declined due to the poor quality of people going into nursing. The reasons are numerous and too many to discuss here.

    As I said before, I encourage thsi bright young lady to go for the prize, medicine.
    Brilliant post !!!

    I lament the lower academic quality of nursing education.
    Many of the older nurses who trained in the 1950's and 1960's were (are) highly intelligent and professionally capable.
    I note their children are often doctors.
    I have the sense that if these nurses were born a generation later .... then they would have chosen medicine, instead of nursing.
    Last edit by pedicurn on Jan 29, '11
    lilaclover, Fribblet, CCL RN, and 3 others like this.
  3. 1
    The goal of the training of a nurse and a doctor are totally different.

    Yeah, the goal remains on paper if you are coming from a trainer's standpoint. My goal was to pass NCLEX, get a job and pay my bills. And I have achieved it. The one who is studying is the one who knows what his/her goal is.

    If you do not make it, nursing is there. That is why I ask, do you have the ability to get A's in the pre med classes and do well on the MCAT.

    Not all schools require MCAT. Not all colleges require SAT's You don't get a free RN license for dropping out of med school. What do you mean by "ability"? A king is born to be king. A queen is born to be a queen. Everything else outside of these, you have to work for it.

    As I stated above, I have worked with many nurses who thought they could do it ( get into medical school) and they were shocked to find out that the real Bio and the real chem required for medical school are not like the A&P for nurses or introduction to chem we took to get our BSN.

    What do you mean by "real Bio and the real chem?" Let me tell you this: You need to understand that 1+1=2, and not 11, in order to understand why 1+1+1+1=3, not 111. If the "real" Chemistry required is Chem240 for example (or whatever the course ID is), don't you think you have to master Chem 101, build on your knowledge with the next Chem class, until you are ready to handle Chem240 or the "real Chem" that is required for med school? Why do you think the classes have prerequisites? Even before you take Chem101 (General Chem), you need to be up to speed with Intermediate Algebra, Geomety, etc., otherwise you will have a tough time graspingTetrahedrons in General Chemistry, and you will for sure complain that it's very hard. If Genetics is very hard, then what bio course should you have studied in order to better prepare you for Genetics class? That is why academic advisors can help students to plan their classes in order to achieve their goals

    Additionally, I was a nursing lecturer at a major university. I can tell you that the caliber of the nursing students related to the other students at the university was shocking. The nursing students were so poorly prepared for college level work, that the nursing students were steered away from the general education classes that the rest of the student body took, with classes in english and psy etc set up for the school of nursin sort of like the way colleges have seperate sciences for nurses.

    Give it a few more years, and if nursing profession continues to guanrantee a better job security and decent wage, your survey will show that more people have Bachelor's degree in different fields of study like Computer Science, Education, etc., and are entering nursing to earn a second college degree. At that point, I'm sure your understanding of "caliber" will take on a new meaning

    Within the university's, their was a serious debate on how to address the poor academic preparation and ability of nursing students , education majors and other related majors.

    What date did the debate happen? Did the debate make it into any of the school's publications? I wonder if the school has a library. Hmmm. The purspose of a school is to teach, not to attract the "best" cos the best do not need to be students in the first place. If the candidates are already the best in their field of choice, they should be admitted to the school to take professor jobs

    As I said, this is a major univeristy that prided itself as an elite university. It has many elite schools with the best of the best but the nursing school was not part of that best of the best.

    Too bad the school does not have a name

    I have also taught at a major regional (level 2) university and at a local cc. Students who are studying nursing have serious academic issues.
    While their were a few who was not deficient, the vast majority had serious academic issues (english, writing and unfortunately some had basic communication issues).

    Did you actually teach at a University? Your way of writing is highly questionable.
    So they allowed prospective nursing majors to get a waiver for the requirement for High School graduation, just because they were interested in Nursing or did those prospective nursing students have to take High School classes and pass so as to earn High School diploma? If the university you are talking about has no such requirement for the completion of a High School education, or it's equivalence, then my next question is, is the university accredited for real?

    In my tenure in nursing, the profession has changed and not for the better. As the workforce has opened up for woman, high caliber woman do not see nursing as a career of choice. You might not remember or you may not have alive, but woman were systematically excluded from the prestigious careers irregardless of the females ability. Their was a time if you were a woman you were segregated to nursing, teaching or the typing pool. Sad but true. In those days, high caliber woman were carrying bed pans and turning and positioning old ladies. The world is different now and nursing as a career when so much is open to you just does not make it today.

    As a nursing teacher and as a chief nurse, I must tell you to really look at who is entering nursing. The last batch of nurses who graduated in the late 60's and early 70's is entering the end of there careers, the nurses that have entered the profession since the mid 70's is significantly poorer in quality and ability.
    I remember in the 80's the physicians openly discussing the poor quality of the new nurses. Nursing has responded by importing experienced nurses but the reality of nursing has not gotten better.

    What change would you like to see? Do you want to see nurses answering the call lights in exactly one second? I want to meet that caliber of a nurse. When I am able to witness that speed of answering a call light, I'll let you know what a huge advancement it is, in the field of nursing

    Nursing is a noble profession and my lifes work but it has declined due to the poor quality of people going into nursing. The reasons are numerous and too many to discuss here.

    Start with one, and after that, tell me the next reason, bit by bit

    As I said before, I encourage thsi bright young lady to go for the prize, medicine.[/quote]
    boipoka72 likes this.
  4. 0
    OK guys, lets stop the bickering please and get back to helping the OP.

    I'm removing posts that are not helpful, I've not sent you a PM but it you can't find it you know what's happened to it.

    If you feel that you can't stop bickering please bypass this thread completely.
  5. 0
    Hello there I have my BS in Bioloogy and am currently in medical school I am in my first semester and hate this school. They do not teach here. I am in a caribbean school. I am really thinking of becoming an NP or getting into the DNP program. I am so confused but so misrable here. Can you give me any advice. I want to stay in the medical feild but I dont know if medical school is for me anymore.
  6. 2
    Quote from cindyq
    Hello there I have my BS in Bioloogy and am currently in medical school I am in my first semester and hate this school. They do not teach here. I am in a caribbean school. I am really thinking of becoming an NP or getting into the DNP program. I am so confused but so misrable here. Can you give me any advice. I want to stay in the medical feild but I dont know if medical school is for me anymore.

    Try a medical school inside the United States next time.
    coast2coast and DNS on the go like this.
  7. 0
    I spent over $4,000 trying to get in and two years and never got in. I am here now and I do not know what to do. I mean it is not like I did not try the US I did I was never accepted though. That is the only reason I am here in the caribbean, and I am trying to decide whether to stay and tough it out even though I hate it or go back home and apply for nursing to become an NP or DNP. That is where I need advice.
  8. 2
    I know that you want to make sure that you are making a decision that you are going to be happy with, in the future. It makes me wonder: Have you worked in healthcare before? I mean, like CNA, secretary, volunteer at a hospital, or any other job that allows you to work in sick people in some fashion? That will you to some of the roles in healthcare. It could give you a chance to join a dietician, PT, MD/DO, Nurse, etc at lunch time in the cafeteria to talk a little bit. It allows you see what roles they are playing and how they do their work. Maybe you need a break to know exactly what you want. Because, when you are finally decide exactly what you want, it will spark a passion to achieve it and your passion to achieve will be hot like fire, and you will fight every obstacle to achieve your dream
    Faith213 and Cinquefoil like this.
  9. 0
    Yes, I volunteered for ten years and I shadowed two different pediatric doctors. I loved working with them and working with sick people. I speak with my own doctors and get their input. I think my problem is the island that I am on and the faculty here and how unhelpful they are...I can' t take a break now I just got to the island and just started medical school. I think it's the school and the island that gets to me...
  10. 0
    Please give this some thought cos I'm worried about you.
    If you are not a native of the island, I'm inclined to think that you are having a culture shock. You are probably not used to what is "normal" on the island. Those who are used to what is "normal" expectation on the island, have a way of rolling with the punches. It's a big adjustment if you are an international student because many of such students give up and decide to go back to their home country, to an environment that they are more used to. It's a huge stress if you never experienced the culture prior to starting school on the island! The food, the social structure, what society considers to be acceptable or unacceptable,etc. Culture also determine how students interract with their instructor. In some areas of the world, asking a question of the teacher is considere rude. A student is only to listen and learn.
    Also, are you are under family pressure to achieve that goal. Are your peers and other people always asking you, "when will you finish?" Talk with other students who are not from there and how they are coping. Usually international students share info with one another for example in local ingredients you can use as substitute for your cooking. I know it's hard. You will need to try to remind yourself that you are going through a big adjustment. You will need to motivate yourself, one day at a time. You will need to try to reach out more to other students and study with them if you are not doing a lot of that. Always remind yourself that others have done, so you will get through it as well. We all help each other.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top