Blessing in disguise? Cold feet?


I'm 27 yo with 4 month baby. Waitlisted to my local med school this year. Need to reapply (hating the thought of studying for MCAT exam again, ugh). Recently learned about an accelerated BSN program at my local school that is tuition-free if you work at a local hospital for 3 years. Intriguing...

Wondering whether this is a blessing in disguise or cold feet? [Granted I would need to get in to the nursing program and I understand they are competitive.] I've signed up to complete remaining prereqs needed over the summer and fall while I try to make up my mind.

I really love my baby and spending time with her. I love that nursing could be a FT or PT career and you can switch fields, practice settings, and even practice options (bedside, research, admin, teaching), etc. Still hard work and rewarding for the right people in the right setting.

On the flip side, I've spent so much time trying to become a doctor that it's hard to let that go. I know these are two completely separate careers that happen to work side-by-side. I'm just wondering whether I really want to work 80 hrs a week for 4 years in residency and then 60 hrs a week thereafter as a doctor. I feel more and more like perhaps not. While income potential is certainly greater, $100K in loans is not fun.

Is there anything you might recommend to help me consider my options? Thanks, and I apologize if I sound pretentious or something.

Sidenote: It's not at all logical, but I'm not willing to move for a PA program and there isn't one near me. Hence the medical school option (where I would be willing to move) or nursing school option.

shoegalRN, RN

1,338 Posts

I went to nursing school with someone who was in their 4th year of medical school and then decided to take the plunge in nursing instead.

The reasoning was they didnt want to spend so 70+ hours a week working in their residency and they eventually wanted to get married and have kids before the age of 30.

She is now an ICU nurse and work 3 days a week. Just recently got engaged.

I say anything is possible. Go for it!

Good luck to you!


1,714 Posts

Look into shadowing a nurse - you probably had to do something similar with a doc prior to applying to med school. Maybe shadow more than one, and see what it's like on a med-surg floor, vs. an ICU, vs. a specialty area like psych or L&D. Don't "settle" on nursing school just because you got waitlisted once - if being a doctor is your dream, you'll be disappointed as a nurse. They're very different careers, and nursing doesn't get nearly the respect of medicine. Taking a few more classes can't hurt your application for either though, and you did just have a child so life probably seems pretty crazy right now. Take some time and research your options.


1,191 Posts

Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management. Has 20 years experience.

I like to tell people that I started out in Med School but decided I wanted a *real* challenge and went into nursing instead.

I would suggest that you really consider what it is you enjoy about medicine and evaluate whether that's actually medicine or nursing or maybe something else. Most of the new docs I've worked with went into medicine because they wanted to care for patients, help people, and make good money. Then they become residents, find they have no time to build relationships with their patients, are always on the run, no time with their own families, and between loans and insurance nowhere near the money they thought they'd have.

If you want a mix of patient care and diagnostic/prescriptive ability, consider becoming a nurse practitioner.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,023 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

i was going to medical school, but i foolishly got married. then i had a husband to support and went to nursing school instead. i've never regretted it. my lifestyle is so much more pleasant than 80 hour weeks and frequent call would allow!


1,982 Posts

Have you though about eventually becoming a Nurse Practitioner as a goal after nursing school? I believe that they have more options the PAs do. You would have the autonomy of a physician, a higher income than a stafff nurse, but a more normal life than a doctor has. You could also shadow a nurse practitioner to see if you would like it. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN

Spokane, Washington

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

Are you thinking of applying to nursing school for 2009? Isn't it too late? (it is where I live). If it is too late, you have awhile longer to think about what you really want to do. In the meantime, maybe make a list of the pros and cons of each profession and choose the profession that offers the most positive benefits for you and your familly. Good luck with your decision.


88 Posts

you ought to go to medical school. i know that by going you are heading for a lot of stress, and fun-filled days fraught with long hours, a life and career you must learn to balance---nonetheless all of these constitute a rewarding experience. moreover, i observed plenty enough in nursing school of how doctors interact with their patients and colleagues alike, being a doctor gives you more freedom and challenges that, to me, is very attractive. you can do some of that in nursing (scope of practice etc) however being a physician, the doors are pretty wide open for you. not to mention the many and wonderful puzzles which you can contribute in solving. you've gone this far, you ought to take it all the way while you are still young.

azhiker96, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,127 Posts

Specializes in PACU, ED. Has 16 years experience.

Even if you decide to go into nursing, that doesn't preclude a switch later. I know a great anesthesiologist who was a nurse before she went to med school. She gives great reports and even helps hook up monitors to the patients.


38,333 Posts

I once knew a doctor who had been a nurse prior to becoming a doctor. She impressed me as being one of, if not the best, healthcare practitioners I have ever met. I am certain that her background as a nurse contributed to her success as a fine doctor.

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