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Looking ahead to CRNA Med School


Hi everybody,

This Spring I was accepted into a nursing program which I should graduate from in 2017 with my BSN. I've completed the first year of the program which is just generals and pre-reqs.

I know I'm looking several years ahead with some of these questions, but I'd like some advice from some people who have or are doing this. I don't want to just stop at the bachelor's level.

Before you say that nursing isn't a good degree to seek if I want to go to med school, I know that nursing isn't a "standard" degree to get before med school, but I think it would give me some slight advantages over those who pursue the more typical pre-med school degrees like biology or chemistry. I don't have much interest in research or academia; my goals lie in patient care. Thus, I have chosen nursing as my bachelor's degree. If I don't get into med school then at least I can fall back on my nursing degree and still care for patients.

My first semester of actual nursing courses will only have two classes: "Nutrition and the Role of the Professional Nurse" and "Foundations of Nursing - Health Promotion." I completed A&P2 so that's why I just have the two classes as of right now. That's just 11 credits so I'm looking to add another course to bump me up above 12 credits, which is full-time status. Are there any courses which I could look at to give me an edge or help prepare me for either CRNA or med school?

  1. What are the requirements for CRNA schools?
  2. What are the requirements for med school?
  3. What are some of the challenges that I might face obtaining a BSN and then applying for med school?
  4. How stiff is the competition for CRNA and med school?
  5. Ballpark figure, what is the cost of CRNA vs. med school?

Is there any other information or advice you could give me? Thank you in advance for your help!


Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

Questions 1, 2, 4, and 5 are questions you can research on your own elsewhere - and questions you probably should answer before you make any other decisions.

As far as challenges faced from having a BSN, that's going to vary. Obviously if you attend a CRNA program, there won't be a challenge in that regard considering it's necessary to be a nurse to be an advanced practice nurse. As far as med school goes, it's all conjecture. Some adcoms don't like seeing people with "back up plan" degrees. GPAs in nursing school are historically lower than in other degrees, because of the level of difficulty. Also, you're looking at a long college road, because almost none of the requirements for med school will be met in your BSN program.

Kuriin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 5 years experience.

You're in college. Time to do some research on your own. Not trying to be mean or anything, but, you have plenty of time before you can get into CRNA school (6 years, minimum), and requirements (prerequisites) for medical school are different from nursing school.


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

Requirements vary. You need to do your own research on these things.

You should do some research and shadowing in each field. The paths for CRNA and med school are very different. If you're set on med school, you want a major that will include the prerequisite courses, but you also want a degree that'll lead to a job, I suggest a B.S. in Medical/Clinical Lab Science. Just be aware that the lab science field has no upward mobility, so you'll be stuck at a lab bench making ~$40-50K/year should you not attend medical school (...or NP/PA school). If you're confident you want to be a CRNA, carry on and do well.


Specializes in Critical Care; Recovery. Has 2 years experience.

Wow, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all, lol. I recently talked with a 3rd year medical student (DO) who said that his 5 years of experience definitely helped him. He said that it didn't help with the "hard" sciences of course (like biochemistry) since this is not a requirement for most nursing programs. I have a BSN with just over 2 years nursing experience. It takes a lot of effort, stress, and is time consuming. Don't take it for granted that you will even make it through nursing school (I failed one semester). I second the notion that nursing schools can cause your GPA to go down. There is a high probability that you may not make it into medical school with a lower GPA since they are highly competitive. Not to mention, you will still have to take several additional courses, and the MCAT after you obtain your BSN before you even apply to medical school. CRNA program are also highly competitive and unbelievably tough (so I've heard). If I was sure I wanted to be a doctor, in the interest of time and money, I would probably take the courses that are prerequisite for med school and apply directly to one a medical school. As a sidenote, there are several good videos on YouTube that describe all aspects of medical school. Just look up ftplectures on YouTube. Also you can watch the video entitled, the four years of medical school. These are all very interesting. I've also seen videos about becoming a CRNA. I wish you the best either way. Personally, I'm going for nurse practitioner since I can go half time and take online courses!

Philosophy followed by history are the best majors for pre-med. I believe Philosophy majors are the highest scoring on GRE and MCAT.

Philosophy followed by history are the best majors for pre-med. I believe Philosophy majors are the highest scoring on GRE and MCAT.


I think you'll find Biology and Chemistry majors more commonplace.....and more useful, both in application (once in) and competition for admission before that.

While philosophy strengthens one's ability to reason (as do much of the material covered in much of the Humanities)--and therefore might help with an MCAT score-- I don't know I'd suggest it as a pre-med option when the competition for admissions to medical school is so tough.

Interesting data, and not what I would have expected! Thanks for posting links. I do wonder what weight the MCAT has (if it has?) over the matriculated major the med-school applicant has. I would have a hard time imagining that a philosophy major is more desired over a hard-sciences major when it comes to admissions, but that's my guess, not fact.


Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

Medical schools are notorious for telling you it absolutely doesn't matter what your major is. They look for well-rounded individuals, and the science and math requirements are enough that you shouldn't really "need" more science courses. They don't hurt, of course.

The only consideration of major I've ever heard is that it is taken into account when they look at GPA. For instance, student who studied electrical engineering and MIT would be forgiven for a gap that a student who studied philosophy at the local state college wouldn't be forgiven for.

You can Google questions 1 to 5. You probably would have found your answers faster than logging on here and that would help you more by far compared to people spoon feeding you. Don't worry about any of it, you have years to understanding nursing before all else.

Wrench Party

Specializes in Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgical. Has 3 years experience.

I went after a biochemistry degree my first time in college, for several reasons:

1) I like science

2) the degree covered me for the hard sciences required for many of the other health care professions (dentistry, medicine, veterinary, pharmacy)

3) I could get a job with it after graduation.

You'd be quite frankly better off getting a hard science or life science degree and taking your pre-requisites required for med or professional school, than getting a nursing degree and tacking on pre-med courses to it. Nursing school is just as hard as pre-med and science courses, because of the clinical component.

PiperLambie, BSN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 3 years experience.

New pre-nursing member here. The only reason I feel qualified to make a comment is that my wife is a physician, which means that she and I have both experienced all of the aspects of becoming a physician. In addition to the big differences that everyone else has mentioned, also be prepared for a second mortgage payment after med school, because you will be financing nearly (if not above) 200k for the venture, followed by a three to 10 year commitment at a relatively low wage for residency and/or fellowship, depending on your specialty. Not to discourage you from medicine if you want that over nursing, but med school is a commitment unlike any other I have ever seen, and if you decide you don't care for it, finding a job of comparable pay to get rid of the loans without living on the "30 year ramen plan" is going to be tough, unless you are really good in the casino or playing the powerball.

I struggled with the same question as the OP when it was finally my turn to go back to school, and settled on nursing with a goal of becoming a practitioner at some point, as my happy medium. This was partly due to my age, the already accumulated amount of school debt under our roof, and the feeling that I can be happy in doing this job. Of course, everyone's situation is unique, but FWIW this has been mine with the physician side of things.

windsurfer8, BSN

Specializes in Psych/Military Nursing. Has 14 years experience.

Ok..so you decided to go to nursing school and want to be a Doctor. Cool..now..stop thinking about being a doctor and focus on getting your BSN. If you are planning to go to school to be an MD or a CRNA you will need excellent GPA from nursing school which is going to take MAX effort. If you graduate nursing school with a strong GPA..THEN worry about everything else. You are putting the cart before the horse if you think you are going to just walk through nursing school. Focus on being a NURSE. You say the BSN will give you good experience? Well.you better get the experience. I worked for 4 solid years after getting my BSN before I even considered more school. I am not saying you can't or won't do it...but just focus on nursing school. One step at a time. All that future planning won't mean a thing if you screw up in nursing school.