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Advice--Where to go from here. Med School?



So, I am 23 years old, and graduated with a bachelors in a liberal arts field. This past year I've been taking prereqs for an alternate entry NON APN program that I've been really excited about but will take 2.5-3 years to complete. I have a lot of doctors in my family but due to a lot of crap that I went through in my childhood being a doctor never seemed appealing to me--seemed like a corrupt profession almost. I realize that everything has its pros and cons, and that nursing is not always a cakewalk either. I've started to feel anxious about my acceptance which I'll hear about in a month or two. If I get accepted, I can spend the last year or two of the program working part time as a nurse to help pay for the program.

So here's where my question comes in....I think that eventually I want to be a NP but not until I realize what type of NP I want to be. Right now I think I would lean towards FNP or Acute Care NP. CRNA is also crossing my mind but I don't expect to know if that's what I want to do at this point.

I volunteer in a PACU and I love it. That's part of the reason CRNA is crossing my mind.

So anyway, if I get into this program, I can apply my final year to be a pediatric nurse practitioner. I think that's great, but I'd prefer FNP because then you can treat both children and adults. I would need 2 years full time of experience before I could apply to FNP, which is fine, I don't mind going back after getting some experience, in fact, I might want to get more experience as a nurse before going back. But all in all this totals to about 4 years of schooling minimum. I could probably enter med school by the time I'm 25 if I wanted to, making me an M.D. BEFORE I could actually be a Family Nurse Practitioner. I know there would be a residency but I'm not extremely concerned about that. I would probably want to be a pediatrician or general practitioner.

So what I'm worried about is that before I could ever be a FNP, this whole DNP thing will take over. And from what I've looked at online, you can't even apply for the DNP until you're an APN already.

So we're talking 2.5-3 years for my MSN, at least 2 years of nursing experience, and possibly having a hard time finding a DNP program if they're phasing out the MSN because I don't have an APN certification already? On top of it, it looks like I'll have to get a 2nd master's degree if I want to be a CRNA.

So never being an APN? Should I just go to Medical School? I'm SO confused. I feel like I'd rather be a NP than a doctor, but doctors get paid more and it seems like it would almost be EASIER to go be a doctor at this point. Anyone still following me?

Edited by LizHope

Sorry if I overwhelmed anyone, I'm just feeling very confused about what to do at this point

Hi LizHope

I hope i can offer some advice....same position you are in right now last year. Graduated with a BS with the prospect of going possibly to med school....however, after taking the mcats and going through that process and even obtaining acceptance into a medical school i decided what i experienced not only in the application process, but also in interviews, and from family and friends who are docs (got ton just like you)...I decided that i could fulfill all my career aspirations be becoming a nurse practitioner. I guess what you have to decide is what you want out of life....if you rather work in an ICU like you mentioned over peds but that is what you'll end up doing as a doc then maybe becoming a crna would be more satisfying. Med school is only one hurdle, getting the residency of your choice is another. If you are flexible then i would say go to med school. If you are pretty dead set (like i am ) on a specialty and the lifestyle of the doc in that specialty is not for you, then re-evaluate. If you are going to want a family and all that comes along with that, also keep that in mind. The pay of a doc is extremely enticing but think about the big picture and where you see yourself in 10 years and what you can picture your life to be. Getting a job as a new grad nurse right now is difficult as well. Working and gaining experience for a masters program is not the same as sitting in a classroom listening to someone lecture ;) But possible the experienced NPs can offer better insight into the actual job satisfication as an NP since I'm not one yet. Let me know if you have any other questions :)

So danceluver what are you doing right now? I am pretty sure what I want is to be a NP part time and maybe teach nursing part time so that's why I think I'll go to this masters program if I'm accepted because it would be the first step towards both of those goals. Thanks for your reply danceluver I still don't really think I want to be a doctor but it does seem extremely enticing. I kind of am excited about where nursing might be headed in the next ten or 20 years though... I hope it is headed somewhere good

Same boat as you...applying to nursing programs hoping to get in somewhere! haha...I actually also very much want to teach as well, education is such a great career for nursing. So we have that in common :) I agree there are so many avenues in which to following nursing with after you have your license. The possibilities are endless!l

I think i'll have great peers in nursing school and possibly enjoy going to class a lot more because of the type of personality i have. Although nursing school is very competitive, my med school friends tell me everyone is out for themselves underneath it all, lol.

Hi Liz,

Not sure if you're still considering this, but I thought I would chime in. I've also been in your shoes before. It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what you'd be getting yourself into with medical school, and I think its very mature to assess whether its the lifestyle for you. But I also understand your point about not wanting to be working on becoming an NP for longer than med school will take. Both pathways are a big investment of time and money, so its important to chose wisely. I would suggest you consider some accelerated MSN programs where you do graduate eligible to be an ANP. Many of these programs will make you put down a specialty when you apply, but I think most are also willing to work with you if you change your mind throughout. If you think you're interested in pediatrics or family practice, you could pick one of those after doing some shadowing, while knowing you can change if needed. One nice thing about APNs is that you can add something on with a post masters certificate - so you could become an FNP, for example, and then later decide to go back for another year or so part time to do the PNP.

Hows your decision coming along? You are welcome to PM me if you'd like some more specific info about this.

Good luck!


My advice is to apply to as many direct entry NP programs as you can that guarantee you the NP track of your choice and see where you get in. Some are as little as 1.75 years to as long as 4 years. I'm 24 right now and started the direct entry NP program at 23 and am 1 year away from graduating with my FNP. I also think going the NP route will be more conducive to having a family in the future if you are headed towards that path.

aggie313: is your program a brick and mortar program or a distance education one? Do you need to find your own preceptors? Do you have any RN experience or going straight to the NP role? Pretty confident you'll find a job of your liking? Cuious, as i am slated to start one of these direct entry programs in the fall and some feedback is welcome!