Jump to content

Deciding between nursing school and pre-med and medical school?

Pre-Nursing   (1,216 Views | 5 Replies)
by renae0404 renae0404 (New) New

884 Profile Views; 6 Posts

Deciding between nursing school and pre-med/medical school?

I was wondering if any of you (or someone that you know) considered pre-med before finally deciding on nursing school and how you (or they) finally made the decision?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

482 Posts; 3,841 Profile Views

I honestly did. The biggest deterrent was that med school just takes sooo long to complete. Now, on the path Im going on, I will be a nurse at 20 and a nurse practitioner at around 22-23.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6 Posts; 884 Profile Views

I honestly did. The biggest deterrent was that med school just takes sooo long to complete. Now, on the path Im going on, I will be a nurse at 20 and a nurse practitioner at around 22-23.

what can a doctor do that a nurse practitioner can't? and what can a nurse practitioner do that a doctor can't?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Article; 365 Posts; 3,930 Profile Views

I spent the first 1.5 out of two years at my school as a Biochemistry and Philosophy double major with a pre-med emphasis. Even though I worked hard and maintained a 4.0 throughout my courses (community college), I decided to make the change to nursing. I have quite a few reasons for making the change so bear with me as you read through them.

At the age of 25, I decided to change to pursue higher education. I knew I wanted to get into the medical field, but was unsure of whether or not I should become a doctor or a nurse. I have immense respect for both, but was unfamiliar with what a potential career as a nurse would entail and I had a mentor at my school direct me towards medicine with my academic track record and life experiences.

For me personally, I did not want to be in school trying to pursue a career as a doctor for years and years. It would take five years for my undergraduate, four years for medical school, and even more after that before I could really begin practicing. Getting accepted into medical school is not a guarantee regardless of how good your grades or MCAT score are. The other career options I would have with a science degree did not interest me and I did not want to really do law school. My nursing program takes two years to complete after being accepted and is affordable. The nursing graduates from that school are high in demand and tend to be hired quickly. The NCLEX passing scores are also very good. After two years, I can start working and from there decided if I want to get a BSN and work my way up the ladder.

It does not matter whether I am a nurse or doctor. I just wanted to have the right skillset and knowledge in order to help other people. I do not feel like one is better than the other and no, I do not feel like I am settling. If I feel the need to still pursue becoming a medical doctor, I can get my BSN, take the MCAT, and apply as my prerequisites are all done.

On a side note, I had heard that an NP needs to have their charts or a certain number of their charts checked off by a medical doctor. I could be completely wrong though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

liathA has 1 years experience.

14 Posts; 470 Profile Views

Medicine and nursing have very different education and career tracks.

To become an M.D. you need to complete your undergrad with a very high GPA, and other things to make you a competitive applicant for medical school. Even if you're a competitive applicant, there's no guarantee that you'll be admitted to medical school the first year you apply. Then, if you get into medical school you still have to maintain high performance, because you need to be a competitive applicant for your residency. According to statnews.com in 2016 29,000 applicants that year got matched to a residency program, but more than 8000 didn't. Then you need to pass your residency - several years where you'll work more than full time hours for low pay. The path to an M.D. is rife with potential failure and financial sacrifice. If you make it all the way to the end, then you will make more money than an NP will, but if you don't make it all the way you can find yourself saddled with an M.D. program's worth of debt but without the actual M.D. qualification that would let you pay it all back.

It's a long road, and it's a road that I wouldn't tell anyone to embark on unless they're fully committed and have a serious game plan, with contingencies in case they fail or get delayed at any point along the line.

Nursing, by contrast, can be got into with an Associate's degree, and with that qualification you can start earning a pretty respectable amount of money (according to forbes, an AAS in Nursing is the third most lucrative Associate's Degree, and even results in better wages than 75% of 4-year majors. Then a nurse can always advance their knowledge, training, and income by studying further while already working. An NP doesn't make as much as a doctor, but they also didn't have to go through 8-10+ years of making little or no money and/or accumulating debt before they could go into the workforce in the first place.

For me, the comparison was a no brainer. I have enough college funding to pay for my AAS in Nursing, debt free, and I be in the work place making pretty good money inside of two years (and RNs in my state make better than the national average, partly because we have a shortage). I'd have to go into debt to pay for med school, and I'd be looking at several additional years of lost income on top of that - for me, that's just not a managable option. Really though, I've never been seriously interested in being an M.D. I did seriously look into becoming a Physical Therapist, but the math there is even worse than for an M.D. in its way - most PTs need an entry level doctorate to practice now, and PTs only make about $15k a year more than RNs in my state, and actually earn less than an NP would.

To me, becoming an M.D. mostly makes sense for high-performing traditional students with good sources of college funding. As a non-traditional student who did ten years in the military before I ever considered going into a health field, I'm impatient to get through school and get to the good stuff where I actually get to help people. Right now, nursing has on of the best education:income ratios in the healthcare industry. Eventually that might change as nursing participates in the same credential inflation as other allied health professions (PTs once only required a Bachelor's degree to practice), but for now the advantage stands.

All of that said, a good friend of mine became a nurse even though she really wanted to be a doc, because she couldn't afford medical school, and she hated it. She'd always wanted to be a doctor, and nursing was not her thing at all. She left nursing after only a couple of years for a career in management that had nothing at all to do with healthcare. The two are definitely not interchangeable. Doctors and nurses have very different roles, responsibilites, pay, levels of respect, etc. If anyone is already really invested in becoming a doctor I wouldn't encourage nursing solely on the basis of educational requirements / career path, but if someone is just interested in a healthcare career more generally it's an important factor to consider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

18 Posts; 635 Profile Views

Hiya!

Well, I'm fresh out of high school. I applied to several different nursing programs, and I decided on going to a small private nursing college because of the Scholarship money I received. I am a bit disappointed, because they only have set classes you can take, all of which revolve around nursing. I was hoping to take a few classes that interested me. Ah well. The good thing is that I will finish my degree by the age of 21, and I will have many years to work and pay off my debt.

My sister, on the other hand, is going to medical school (hopefully). Out of high school, she applied to a few places. One school had a program where you could go straight from high school into a two year program of your choice, then to four years of medical school. Once you were accepted into this program, you automatically have a seat in medical school. She got accepted, but she chose to take the traditional pathway of pre-med to med school. Her 4 years of pre-med is paid for in full.

My sister's grades are exceptional, and she has lots of volunteer work, internships, and good rec letters. To be honest, she is miles above me in many aspects. She has always wanted to become a doctor, and especially a surgeon. She is looking to become a neurosurgeon. I am certain that she will achieve her goals. I, however, have always fluctuated in my career path. First I wanted to be an archaeologist, then an FBI agent, then a lawyer, then a police officer, then an anthropologist. In my last two years of high school, I really tried to be realistic with my goals. I was interested in science, but my grades weren't high enough to get into a top level science program. I don't want to be stereotypical, but I am Asian, and I think that if I did anything not science related, my parents would kill me (not literally.) Just saying, everyone in my family is either a doctor or a computer scientist. In fact, my dad still yells at me to get into medical school after completing my BSN, just because he wants me to "be the best." When I was younger, I was adamant on not becoming a doctor, or anything medical related, but I have come to enjoy the field.

Anyways, I'm not really that studious. My gpa was always above 3.0, but I didn't feel that I was that into it. I don't think I have the passion to succeed in medical school, especially when all the students there will be the best of the best. Fundamentally, I think I enjoy nursing more than what a doctor has to do. I don't really have the personality to become a doctor. I am driven, but not really a Type A. I like people and I want to help them, but I'd rather interact with them more. These are a few reasons why I chose nursing school. The 4 years are a big plus. I can start working soon, and I can save up for grad school if I so choose. I can also help out my sis with med school debt. Of course, you can apply to med schools after nursing school. My mom said that the people who interview candidates like nursing school students, because they usually have a good personality, and are already familiar with concepts in medicine. However, your nursing teachers will probably be very antagonistic. They don't like people that take up nursing school spots that leave the nursing field. I don't know if it would be worth it going to med school after nursing school. You could always go to grad nursing school and make around the same amount as a doctor does.

Ultimately, it's 4 years with a job, or 4 years + 4 years + residency (4-6ish years). Also you aren't guaranteed a residency spot, even if you pass medical school. Are you up for all that hard work? :)

Edited by kai_altair
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.