Quote from FutureTraumaRN2018
This is my first post, so please be patient with me.
When I first started college, I was determined on becoming a physician. However, I didn't do so well my first year of college, so I knew I wouldn't make a competitive medical school applicant. Fast forward 4 years later. I am currently in Nursing school, set to graduate next year. I have near perfect grades, and have a CNA job at a hospital. My dream nursing job is to become an ACNP, specifically Trauma Surgery.
My question for any nurse practitioners out there: Do you ever feel like you 'settled' for becoming an APNP instead of becoming an MD? Do you feel like the physicians respect you? Do you have and maintain your autonomy?
My "dream" when I was younger was to be a doctor. Fast forward after HS graduation, life gets in the way and circumstances don't allow me finish college right away. Get just an associates in Microbiology & Physics saying "someday, I'm going back to school and getting into med school". Well, "someday" ended up being in my 40s.
At my age, I would never recoup the investment of med school (typically around $250 when all is factored in). I had decided to become a PA. However, PA schools want hands-on patient care experience prior to being accepted. So, I decided I would become a nurse. When I originally set out on my nursing career, I viewed it as a means to an end. I had no aspirations to do anything other than get the ADN for the RN so I'd have enough in-depth experience to be accepted into PA school.
Once I was in nursing school, I really enjoyed it. I like the connection nurses have with their patients, which I feel is sorely lacking on the medical side of the curtain (I'm looking at you, doctors). I started looking in to NP programs and comparing it with PA. After weighing my options, I decided to stick with nursing and become an NP. I don't feel I've settled. I just feel like I made a practical decision.
I'm still a student, so I can't answer on feeling "short changed" personally. However, working in the ICU, our doctors work hand-in-hand with the NPs. They are respected and valued on the team. On night shift, the NPs have a lot of autonomy and round for the doctors at night or are simply hospitalists. We also have NPs in the ER. I'll see what it's like when I start clinicals out in the clinic world