Should I Become a doctor or NP?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am a new grad nurse that has a passion for learning. All throughout nursing school I desired to learn more and more. I wanted to know everything I could and I felt the nursing curriculum didn't satisfy my thirst for knowledge I knew from the beginning of nursing school I wasn't going to stop at my degree.

    I was going to continue my education I have put a lot of thought into backtracking and doing the pre reqs for medical school. I'm young 23 so i wouldn't be behind at all but I also think the most direct path for me would be nurse practitioner.

    I have done extensive research on both and I just can't come to a decision my heart pulls me in the direction of medical school but my mind guides me towards nurse practitioner. My biggest fear is not being happy as a nurse practitioner or not really enjoying my young adult life because of the serious commitment of medical school. Can you please give me some sort of guidance and professional opinion thanks so much.

    Dear Undecided,

    Congrats on being a new grad! Consider giving yourself a year to learn your new role and take that time to watch what NPs and doctors do.

    You would have to backtrack to change to a medical career track. There are pre-requisites, MCAT testing, application and acceptance to medical school. Medical school will take approximately twice as long as NP school to complete.

    NPs are gaining in autonomy and respect, as well as meeting the demand for primary care providers. Both careers can be rewarding and fulfilling, as can nursing!

    Your say your heart is telling you one thing, and your mind another. If you are passionate about being a doctor and willing to commit to the rigors of medical school, follow your heart. At the same time, you may be in love with the idea of becoming a doctor, but if it doesn't work out....loves tend to change over time.

    Talk to people you trust and who care for you to get your thoughts and fears out. It will help you come to clarity about the best path for you.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by Nurse Beth on Nov 2
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,536; Likes: 4,549
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho