How to tell parents i'm not going to pharmacy school?

  1. I've been taking prereqs to get into pharmacy school for about a year and a half now and was starting to fill out the pharmcas application for admission to the fall 2018 semester, but after taking the PCAT, I decided that it wasn't for me. I've been working in a pharmacy as a tech for 3 years and I do not want to do this for the rest of my life. Most of the prerequisites for pharmacy school overlap with nursing so I was able to take my HESI A2 and apply for admission for the spring semester. I should find out by the middle of October if i've been accepted or not.

    I decided not to tell my parents that I've changed majors until I am actually accepted into nursing school since I've changed majors 50 times and obviously never got a degree in any of them. (I've been in college since 2012). My dad constantly makes jokes about me having been in college for 5 years and still having no degree. I want them to actually take this one seriously, if that makes sense. Recently though, my mom has been talking about how she "tells everyone her daughter is going to be a pharmacist" and stuff like that. It makes me feel really guilty about not telling them that i'm not doing that anymore.

    Should I continue to let them think i'm still trying to get into pharmacy school? Or should I tell them that I applied to nursing school? I'm so scared they're going to be disappointed or angry at me. How should I tell them?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Kayleigh817
    I've been taking prereqs to get into pharmacy school for about a year and a half now and was starting to fill out the pharmcas application for admission to the fall 2018 semester, but after taking the PCAT, I decided that it wasn't for me. I've been working in a pharmacy as a tech for 3 years and I do not want to do this for the rest of my life. Most of the prerequisites for pharmacy school overlap with nursing so I was able to take my HESI A2 and apply for admission for the spring semester. I should find out by the middle of October if i've been accepted or not.

    I decided not to tell my parents that I've changed majors until I am actually accepted into nursing school since I've changed majors 50 times and obviously never got a degree in any of them. (I've been in college since 2012). My dad constantly makes jokes about me having been in college for 5 years and still having no degree. I want them to actually take this one seriously, if that makes sense. Recently though, my mom has been talking about how she "tells everyone her daughter is going to be a pharmacist" and stuff like that. It makes me feel really guilty about not telling them that i'm not doing that anymore.

    Should I continue to let them think i'm still trying to get into pharmacy school? Or should I tell them that I applied to nursing school? I'm so scared they're going to be disappointed or angry at me. How should I tell them?
    You obviously know your parents much better than strangers on the internet do. Do what you think is best ...or maybe confide in a relative or family friend who knows something about the three of you.
  4. by   Pixie.RN
    Are they paying the tuition? Then yes, immediately. If not, wait until you know for sure... If you are sure this time! I hope you find a path beyond "professional student" — I understand, I have spent a lot of time in school too! But I did manage some degrees, haha.

    Have you considered that you might find work as a clinical pharmacist? Much different than retail! My brother-in-law is a pharmacy student.
  5. by   RNintraining817
    They paid my tuition with a college savings plan when i was in like 3rd grade, but that has pretty much ran out and i've no degree to show for it as of yet... I will be paying for nursing school myself. I couldn't ask my parents to give me any more money as I feel they've given me more than enough help school-wise.

    I've considered all aspects of pharmacy and I really do not want to be in that profession for the rest of my life. I feel there is much more flexibility in nursing than in pharmacy, and more patient interaction. I've also talked to a lot of pharmacists and almost all of them have told me the market is way oversaturated.

    I'm currently working in a clinical/retail sort of combined setting at a Hospice pharmacy. We don't have almost any communication with patients, only nurses. I've definitely gotten to see a lot of the clinical side of things and while I am very interested in pharmacology, I just think nursing is my true calling.
  6. by   Pixie.RN
    You are going to be that nurse who is a pharmacology resource for everyone! Best of luck!
  7. by   Tajin
    I have a similar story to share with you. My best friend was a pharm tech for about 4 years at Target (now CVS) while we were completing our undergrad together. He was so set on pharmacy school until one day he realized he didn't want to do that anymore. It probably didn't help that we live in a supersaturated state (California) and a handful of new pharmacy schools just opened up so it'll only get worse in the future. Anyways, long story short - he decided to become a physical therapist instead. He volunteered and shadowed PT for a year, and got into a competitive california PT program on his first try.

    I think you made the right choice. Pharmacy is not the same as it used to be. The number of applications have dropped, standards have lowered, and schools are getting more expensive. There are a lot of statistics backing my claim. Meanwhile, nursing is a versatile career like you said. If you don't like acute care then you can switch to SNF or whatever you want. You can go back to school to become an educator, NP, CRNA, etc. The cost of nursing school is no where close to pharmacy school and the pay is comparable (at least in California). I was talking to an old neighbor of mine the other day, he is currently a pharmacist. He says hes been working a per diem job working 10-20 hours a pay check. He's having trouble finding any full time work as a pharmacist. This will only get worse in the future with the amount of new grads the U.S. is pumping out every year. Also, have fun as a pharmacist when Amazon starts rolling out their own pharmacy plans.

    Back to your question, I would just tell my parents. You can explain to them why you want to switch and give them the facts, but if they're anything like my parents - they won't care lol. But it's okay. They'll eventually come to their senses and agree with the choice that makes you the happiest.
  8. by   elkpark
    "Mom, Dad, I've given this a lot of thought, and I'm not going to pharmacy school. I'm going to nursing school."

    Although, if it is true, as you say, that you've already changed majors "50 times," I imagine it's going to be a hard sell to get them to take you seriously on this one. What makes you think that you're more serious about nursing than you have been about all the other majors?
  9. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from Tajin
    I have a similar story to share with you. My best friend was a pharm tech for about 4 years at Target (now CVS) while we were completing our undergrad together. He was so set on pharmacy school until one day he realized he didn't want to do that anymore. It probably didn't help that we live in a supersaturated state (California) and a handful of new pharmacy schools just opened up so it'll only get worse in the future. Anyways, long story short - he decided to become a physical therapist instead. He volunteered and shadowed PT for a year, and got into a competitive california PT program on his first try.

    I think you made the right choice. Pharmacy is not the same as it used to be. The number of applications have dropped, standards have lowered, and schools are getting more expensive. There are a lot of statistics backing my claim. Meanwhile, nursing is a versatile career like you said. If you don't like acute care then you can switch to SNF or whatever you want. You can go back to school to become an educator, NP, CRNA, etc. The cost of nursing school is no where close to pharmacy school and the pay is comparable (at least in California). I was talking to an old neighbor of mine the other day, he is currently a pharmacist. He says hes been working a per diem job working 10-20 hours a pay check. He's having trouble finding any full time work as a pharmacist. This will only get worse in the future with the amount of new grads the U.S. is pumping out every year. Also, have fun as a pharmacist when Amazon starts rolling out their own pharmacy plans.

    Back to your question, I would just tell my parents. You can explain to them why you want to switch and give them the facts, but if they're anything like my parents - they won't care lol. But it's okay. They'll eventually come to their senses and agree with the choice that makes you the happiest.
    What is funny is that I have heard similar complaints about the state of the nursing profession — markets saturated with nurses, schools "pumping out" new grads (same phrasing, even!), nurses losing jobs to unlicensed assistive personnel, etc. A lot of these issues are regional, some areas have a greater need than others.
  10. by   Julius Seizure
    Please, please consider shadowing a nurse in the hospital for at least 12 hours (one shift) before committing to this new path. I'm not saying its wrong, I'm just saying that you want to be really, really sure. School is expensive.
  11. by   RNintraining817
    That's the main reason I haven't told my parents and wasn't planning on telling them or anyone else for that matter for a while, because I wanted to make sure I was really serious about nursing school. It feels more right to me in my head to go the nursing route. I feel better about this decision than I ever did about going to pharmacy school.
  12. by   RNintraining817
    That is a great idea. I'm sure I could shadow one of our Hospice nurses for a day... I've not even thought about doing that. Thanks!
  13. by   Union-Jack
    Quote from Kayleigh817
    They paid my tuition with a college savings plan when i was in like 3rd grade, but that has pretty much ran out and i've no degree to show for it as of yet... I will be paying for nursing school myself. I couldn't ask my parents to give me any more money as I feel they've given me more than enough help school-wise.

    I've considered all aspects of pharmacy and I really do not want to be in that profession for the rest of my life. I feel there is much more flexibility in nursing than in pharmacy, and more patient interaction. I've also talked to a lot of pharmacists and almost all of them have told me the market is way oversaturated.

    I'm currently working in a clinical/retail sort of combined setting at a Hospice pharmacy. We don't have almost any communication with patients, only nurses. I've definitely gotten to see a lot of the clinical side of things and while I am very interested in pharmacology, I just think nursing is my true calling.
    If it was me, I'd wait until I was accepted based on the fact that you will be financing your schooling. Aside from anything, pharmacology will be *really* helpful for you as a nurse, so nothing is wasted, in my opinion.

    Do you live with your parents? That always makes a difference about telling them!
  14. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from Kayleigh817
    That is a great idea. I'm sure I could shadow one of our Hospice nurses for a day... I've not even thought about doing that. Thanks!
    That sounds like a great opportunity. I would pick their brains and make sure I had as much info I could to make the decision. Ask them about the differences between working there vs. in a regular hospital, etc. Chances are, you will work for at least a few years in a regular hospital so its good to know what to except.

    Good luck to you

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