Is Nursing a good route?


I have looked around sporadically about this topic on this forum and get the general idea that there are many people who are not liking the profession, the risks involved with getting injured or infected on the job are significant (as it seems), treatment from supervisors and patients seem to eat away at people, and staffing concerns seem to contribute to nurses feeling overworked. Some of the positives I have seen within this profession is the ability help people first and foremost, but the salary (depending on location, years of experience and specialty) seem to pretty high, but variable.

With this very brief synopsis of what I am understanding of the profession, I am considering going into a BSN program after I graduate this May with master's degree in cognitive neuroscience from UT Dallas. My undergrad was in sociology and psychology, I have experience working in clinical neuropsychology at a prominent medical school, and during my master's I have been considering the PA route but more recently have been considering the RN route. My rationale for considering this is two fold; taking the pre-req's are inevitable regardless of which route I may decide on (FYI, PA route has many more courses than RN for admissions). If in the event I take the pre-reqs, I could simply apply to a BSN program, I am not concerned with the science background of things since I have a very very solid background in cognitive neuroscience, which needless to say involves biology, biochemistry, physics, pathology, neuropharmacology and more.

I feel that getting the BSN will allow me to enter the workforce quickly without having to compete for the few PA programs around a given metroplex (in this case, Dallas), or possible Miami. There are typically many universities with nursing programs (Dallas has at least 5 I can think of off the top of my head). After getting the BSN, I would ultimately want to go into a MSN program to become either a NP in psychiatry or to work in neurology (which I did for a while as a graduate student).

I wanted to see what I will be looking at. I am a big guy, I am 6'1, I am 400 pounds with hypertension and pre diabetic, so I am a bit worried as to the probability for me to be accepted into a BSN program, to survive and to adapt to a nursing program. For someone who has studied the human brain and the pathology of the mind, I have let go of myself for several reasons I wont go into. I had applied to a clinical psychology doctoral program and the odds look good, but not 100%. I am just not entirely sure about providing therapy and psychometric assessments all day (which is ultimately the smartest way to distribute one's time in practice).

Any questions or comments are greatly appreciated and expected.


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Welcome to AN!

I wanted to address the physical aspects of your post. I was almost 300 lbs at 5'4" when I started to pursue my nursing career, and I was working as a phlebotomist. I was always very strong, physically, I just out-ate all of my workouts. Only you can know if you can physically handle it, but I have never seen someone rejected from a program based solely on weight. You will need to be able to keep up, lift a patient, be able to be on your feet all day in clinicals, etc. I have found that being in shape REALLY helps with managing the rigors of nursing. It certainly CAN be done without being super fit (lord knows there are plenty of obese nurses), but it will make your life easier in the long run. Is this something you're working on, especially given that you are hypertensive and prediabetic?

Your GPA will be a bigger factor in your acceptance (you didn't post it here). Many BSN programs are impacted and very competitive (often equally competitive with PA programs), so a high GPA is very important. You'll also need to see if there are limitations based on your prior education, as some schools don't accept students with higher degrees. Have you looked at any direct-entry master's programs? That might be a consideration, if you already know you want to go for your master's. If you're looking at being a PMHNP (psych mental health NP), have you spoken with one to see what life is like from day to day? If providing therapy and psychometric assessments doesn't appeal to you, PMHNP may or may not be a good route to take. This isn't my specialty, so I can't speak to that very well (I'm sure others can!), but I think for many, this is a major part of day-to-day life. Check out the psych nursing forum here, though, as I am sure this topic has been covered.


22 Posts


Thanks for responding. Psychometric testing is the "niche" that psychologists hold. Granted, there are LPC's, LCSW and several other mid level practitioners who probably administer a handful of tests, but they don't amount to the 5 years of doctoral studies, 2 years of post-doc fellowship plus a pre-doctoral internship that focuses on the metric analyses of behaviors. This is what separates a psychologist from any other mental health provider, because they obviously conduct psychotherapy as well. So, with that said, I used to work for a psychiatrist who had two NP's, and really got to see how they functioned and enjoyed it. I have looked into direct entry programs, and I do like some of them. Some are literally a straight shot of earning the M.S. degree, some will get you a BSN en route and require you to work as a nurse for an amount of time to then return back to the program to finish the M.S. program (not a fan of that model).

My GPA breakdown for my undergrad is as follows:

Overall: 3.24

Last 60 hours: 3.77

Major GPA: 3.75

Minor GPA: 3.66

My master's GPA is currently at a 3.61 with the hopes it will jump to a 3.8 by the end of this semester since I am taking 4 courses. I have publications and posters at major neuropsychology conferences and academies, so I am hoping this will help too. I am also looking for programs that will waive the GRE with my master's degree, I am also looking for this in PA programs.