why a nurse and not a doctor

Nurses General Nursing


I am wondering what people think is the advantage to being a nurse, as opposed to a doctor. Just curious.


184 Posts

why does no one ask 'why a nurse and not a welder?'

Nurse and doctor are two completely different professions. I became a nurse because I wanted to do what nurses do. I have never even considered doing what doctors do. Its not always an either-or thing, one can (and often does) enter the professions of nursing without considering medicine. So I cant really answer your question because i have never really considered it. I CAN say that after watching the residents at my hospital, I am GLAD i never considered it.


120 Posts

I am wondering what people think is the advantage to being a nurse, as opposed to a doctor. Just curious.

Well, for one thing, it is a lot harder to become a doctor, a lot more years of school and a lot more studying. It's not that doctors are more intelligent, anyone with an average IQ and a lot of self discipline can become a doctor.

And when you consider the years and years of school and the cost, student loans to pay back, , the cost of running an office and hiring employees, etc...doctor's actually don't make all that much. I for one, would not bemoan anyone with the gumption to sacrifice most of their younger years studying their ends off and being that dedicated to their career making $150,000 a year.

If you want the good pay without all the extra years of school you might consider

a nurse anesthetist, though it is not an easy process to become one of those either.


146 Posts

Specializes in MICU, CVICU.

I chose nursing because being a medical student isn't as conducive to having a family as being a nurse is. Family is very important to me and it was one aspect I was not willing to compromise on. I also felt that I could achieve my career goals through a CRNA program or an NP program with less financial and time commitment. Nursing is such a flexible career. You have so many more options as a nurse than a doctor. You can choose which shift, which days of the week, you can work anywhere. You can also switch areas of specialty if you get bored or burnt out. Physicians don't have this much flexibility.

I used to want to be an MD but I don't want that anymore. My brother-in-law is in medical school and he's never home. He studies until 2 am. He's an incredibly smart guy too. I guess I finally realized that medical school and the MD lifestyle would cause me to sacrifice more things than I was willing to sacrifice. And as a nurse you get to know the people, not just their pathologies.

Jolie, BSN

6,375 Posts

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health.

Like the others, I became nurse because that's what I wanted to be. I've always had an interest in nursing care of patients, not medicine.

It used to irk me when people implied that I'd sold myself short by not becoming a physician by saying things like, "But you're so smart, why not be a doctor?" Now I just remark how lucky they are to have an intelligent nurse.

My older sister is an internist. She is extremely unhappy with her career choice, in large part because of the lack of autonomy in her practice caused by having to answer to insurance companies. She said the other day that if she had it to do over again, she would become an NP and practice in a teaching role, such as diabetes education. I was touched by her remark that I had thought out my career path far better than she did.


168 Posts

I wanted to be a nurse because we get to spend more time with our patients. I dont just spend 5-10 minutes with them and then go to the next one. I like being able to talk and care for them as they should be.

I wouldnt say that becoming a DR. is "harder"....but it is longer and costs more.

I enjoy helping people when they need it most and working 3 days a week is a major plus!


4 Posts

I guess I just asked because although I know it isn't an either/or decision, I can see how they are pretty similar. I think it would be enticing to become a doctor if it wasn't so much money and if you had a second in the day to spend time with friends and family. I don't think that it is necessarily better to be a doctor. I mean I am not a nurse but I know that I am the type of person who would want to spend more time with patients as opposed to spending about a minute with 50 patients. I commend nurses tremendously, probably why I am going into it. I guess I just hear a lot about nurses not being respected by doctors, and wondering why some nurses wouldn't choose to go to medical school instead. But your replies were very educational. Thanks.


138 Posts

someone showed me the statistics the other day on how often doctors get sued. i did not keep the stats, but basically, the answer is, a lot. more likely to get sued at least once than not get sued. yuck! so i get to work my *** off and do my best and then get sued? no thanks.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,540 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I'm glad I'm not an MD. I work my three 12-hour shifts and go home and have a life.


6,620 Posts

I wanted to spend time with my patients, and I didn't want to be concerned with the business aspect of things like doctors have to be. I also love the flexibility of nursing. I can switch specialties, or move around the world if the mood strikes me.


1 Article; 3,037 Posts

Specializes in Medical.

I must say that I'm concerned at how often my colleagues ask why I'm not studying medicine - the implication is that if you're intellectual (vs smart) and interested in further education then nursing is a waste. What a sad indictment!

I love the care and connection I have with my patients. Tonight is a perfect case in point. My patient told me things she's never told anyone, about being abandoned by her mother and raised by her cold grandparents, who told her she was sinful and born in sin, who told her on her first menarche that her period was a sign of God's condemnation of her sinfulness, about being molested by her mother's boyfriend...

She's been cared for by a lot of doctors, and by some great nurses, but it's because of my relationship with her over the last few weeks, and the fact that I had time and space for her tonight, that she was able to share this. I would never have been priviledged like this if I had pursued a medical career.


1,711 Posts

I must say that I'm concerned at how often my colleagues ask why I'm not studying medicine - the implication is that if you're intellectual (vs smart) and interested in further education then nursing is a waste. What a sad indictment!

Shouldn't be too much of a surprise with the popular attitude of nursing being "blue collar" rather than a profession. Most people who place priority on education do not wish to be considered blue collar employees. I wouldn't consider medicine as an alternative, though. I like having a life away from work.

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