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I'm 17 years old and im in Job Corps for the CNA program and will be going to advanced training to get my LPN. I've always wanted to be a neonatal nurse but with recent research I decided to be a NNP. But now with more research I've decided I either want to be a neonatologist or a Neonatal Surgeon. But I don't know how to go about that. Should I go to be a Neonatal nurse first? Will that change how much college I have to take before med school?

Willing to go wherever I have to get school done

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

If you want to be a neonatologist or neonatal surgeon skip nursing school and do pre-med in preparation for medical school. NNP will not help you prepare for medical school as nursing is one career medicine is different though both are in the healthcare industry.

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

JustBeachy's right. If you want to be a physician, don't take a seat in a nursing program away from someone who wants to be a nurse. Although nurses who then go on to become physicians are usually excellent physicians, the path you've described - CNA>LPN>BScN>NNP>MD would take you hmmmm... about 18 years. Even going the pre-med route will take quite a long time - 3 years for pre-med, 4 years for med school, 5 years for a peds residency and then 2 or 3 years for a neonatal fellowship to become a neonatologist. There isn't a specific specialty of neonatal surgery, you would need a pediatric surgical fellowship that will take a variable period of time depending on whether you want general surgery or specialist surgery like cardiothoracic, ear-nose-and-throat or neuro. But you won't have essentially wasted about 4 extra years of your life and a boat-load of money to get to the same place.

Thanks for the advice. I'm still going to go up to LPN to help pay for med school. But I understand where y'all are coming from by taking a spot from someone who wants their ending career to be a nurse. Still a lot to think about. But I have plenty of time to do it.