BSN or Biology

by allie127 allie127, BSN (New) New

Specializes in Behavioral Health/ Mental Health.

I am currently going into my second year of nursing school. I changed my minor from psychology to chemistry to help get the necessary requirements for medical school. My vision with it is to get all the requirements to medical school and if I don't get in I have a nursing degree to fall back on. But now I'm realizing I'm more than likely putting too much on my plate by studying nursing and chemistry while being in the honors program at school. So I have been debating changing my major to biology and apply to medical school.

one of my top concerns is not making enough money to support myself or even not finding a job if I were to study anything other than nursing. I'm also afraid of the uncertainty of getting into medical school.

Being a doctor has been a dream of mine since I was little, but when highschool came around I had to think realistically and decided on nursing. With the possibility of applying to medical school depending on how my undergrad went. I have a passion for helping people and science. I think I could be a great nurse but I hope I'm not settling for nursing.

I don't see myself working at in a hospital setting. If I were to be a nurse I would like to work maybe as a psychiatric nurse, mid wife, case management. Something that won't physically burn me out. If I were to be doctor I would love to be a psychiatrist and maybe work in a private practice or be a plastic surgeon.

my main question is based off of experience or personal opinion is nursing or biology more marketable? Is being a doctor overrated? Considering the time and cost it takes. Would you say it is worth it? Is biology a useless undergrad degree?

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 45 years experience. 7,899 Posts

Nursing is not a consolation prize. If you want to be a physician, be a physician.



Specializes in Ambulatory Case Management, Clinic, Psychiatry. Has 15 years experience. 366 Posts

would you consider np? if you would feel like you're "settling," go ahead w plans to be an MD.


14,633 Posts

welcome to allnurses! Only you know if you're "settling for nursing." If you really want to be a physician, you'll never be happy in nursing.

I mean, there is nothing wrong with having a back up plan, but it sounds like you don't want to be a nurse at all. If you want to be a doctor then go ahead and concentrate on putting your energy into that, while you are young, preferably. (I've just watched a dear friend dedicate the entire decade of her thirties to medical school and a fellowship- whilst raising four children- something she could not have done without the full support of her husband.). I'm a little concerned that you aren't completely knowledgeable about exactly what both careers and specialities entail. Psych nurses, midwives, and case managers don't have easy jobs. Plastic surgery is surgery- and the sheer responsibility sounds rather stressful to me- it takes a certain personality type to be a surgeon. Perhaps you need to shadow both doctors and nurses in the specialties you've expressed interest in and re-evaluate your choices from there.

Personally, coming from a completely non-medical related profession (that I excelled at and did for well over a decade)- I found it way more stressful than being a floor nurse on an intermediate/ICU step down unit. It's all perspective. I have no desire to be a doctor and I don't envy those that are. We have two different professions. If you were a nurse, would you have a complex wondering 'what if' and envy them for doing what you decided not to do?

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 10 years experience. 3,131 Posts

I have a Biology degree. Unless you take it to the terminal level, there are no jobs for a BS in Biology other than teaching HS Biology. It did help me when I lost my teaching job and when I applied to an ADN program, I did not need any prereqs. I was a pre-vet Biology major.

If you think you will be burned out as a nurse, I think you have a big surprise in medical school and beyond. 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of med school and the anywhere from 4-6 years as a resident and then a fellowship. I work at a teaching hospital and those residents have it ROUGH. If you are planning on psych, that is a whole other business. That is probably one of the toughest specialties whether in nursing or medicine. Whatever path you choose, there are dues to be paid in the beginning. I know psychiatry physicians have extra training. you could be adding another 2 years on top of what I mentioned before.

I LOVE our psychiatry residents. They are really kind. My friend is a psych nurse and she loves it. I think you have to have a true passion for that specialty regardless.

Good luck with whatever you choose!!


RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience. 4,555 Posts

If you do decide to take the medical school route, make sure this is what you really want. Getting into school takes tremendous determination. Forget about what the minimum requirements to apply say. To have a chance in these competitive days means going well beyond the minimum requirements while keeping stellar grades and an impressive resume.

Nursing has become more competitive too. There are always more people applying than the schools can take, especially the top-rated schools.

Maybe some up-close career exploration is in order, so you can decide which direction to take.

I agree that if you want to be a doctor, go for it. You shouldn't settle. However, if you feel that nursing is something you might want to do, look into being a Nurse Practitioner but I'd recommend working as a nurse for a little while before you go back to NP school.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,776 Posts

While nursing and medicine have obvious overlaps, they are different professions. Nursing is not "doctor lite". Also, you may want to consider that jumping onto a nursing forum, being a non-nurse, and talking about "settling" for it as a profession might be more than a bit insulting.



482 Posts

Change your major to biology. Take the MCAT. Apply to med school. If you dont get in, you have a biology degree to fall back on and you can apply to an accelerated nursing program and become a nurse in just over a year. Mic drop.



368 Posts

This is good advice...take the MCAT twice if you have to. One of my daughters did so and was admitted to several medical schools including USC. Please know that it is a very time consuming and expensive application process. This daughter graduated from college with a 4.0 with a degree in biology. She just finished her residency and just started her Fellowship. She is 29 years old.

Study hard, there is no substitute. Work on your interpersonal skills for interviewing. It can make all the difference.

It is all in what YOU want to be 8-10 years down the road.

DEBT: Please consider the financial burden of medical school. Medical school tuition is quite expensive whether public or private school. You will not be allowed to work during school nor will you have time. My daughter's med school roommate during all 4 years of school is currently over 1 million dollars in debt from undergrad and med school. She is a surgeon now, but under enormous stress with that crushing debt.

Edited by twinsmom788
Had another thought



Specializes in Urgent Care, Oncology. Has 8 years experience. 983 Posts

My BFF of 18 years was Chief Rez in Psychiatry at a pretty prestigious University. She just finished and moved to Las Vegas where they pay her great $$$. It is what she loves to do but she tells me it is not for everyone. If you really want Psychiatry there are usually residencies is Psych that go unmatched so it is something to consider. Just keep in mind the debt - she's $200,000 in the hole but her first year salary is more than that so she should be able to pay it off reasonably quickly.