Trained as Medical Doctor but Cannot Gain Acceptance Into Nursing

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I entered nursing in undergrad, by 3rd year my GPA was 3.5 until I failed a clinical rotation twice. This resulted me to be booted from the program. Before being booted I had already gained admission to medical school in the Caribbean. I completed my MD and 4 medical licensing exams physicians taken in the United States.

    Despite my competitive scores, I could not attain family medicine residency in United States. Wanting to become a nurse practitioner, I've been inquiring nursing programs that have accelerated nursing and direct entry masters programs. Both programs are giving me resistance because I have a taken nursing programs in the past and failed a class. I don't know what to do.

    Will this one nursing class failure haunt me forever and not allow me to ever return to nursing? I'm a registered physician in the United States and competently completed every board and clinical licensing exam a physician would take but I'm not qualified to enter nursing? I don't know what to do.

    Dear Wants to be Nurse Practitioner,

    Your situation sounds frustrating.

    A medical degree does not qualify one to become a nurse any more than a nursing degree qualifies one to become a doctor.

    Without knowing the details, failing a clinical rotation twice is serious and could be an indicator of aptitude, or simply lack of interest or focus? You were pursuing medical school
    while enrolled in nursing which speaks to a dual mindset.

    Each school has its own admission criteria, and chances are with persistence, you may find one that works with you. It's important to present yourself professionally, and when submitting
    written letters, etc., to proof read for grammar and spelling.

    From a nursing point of view, it could be that your commitment is under question.
    You changed from nursing to medicine when nursing did not work out.
    You are currently changing from medicine to nursing now that medicine has not worked out.

    With your education, have you considered becoming a PA?

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your and your next!
    Last edit by Nurse Beth on Apr 9
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,413; Likes: 4,217

    5 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    My guess would be that the lack of commitment is posing a problem appearance-wise. You will have to go with persistence at this point. I would also pursue a residency and try the PA route until you find something that pans out for you.
  4. by   zoidberg
    Given most PA programs are more competitive than Caribbean MD programs and will rack up more debt you may not ever be able to pay, I disagree. I think you should find ANY opportunity in rural america where an MD with no residency can do something (there are opportunities, but not in big cities). Do whatever it is you find. It will most likely be serving an under-served group/population. While doing this, maintain communication/keep trying to match with a primary care residency. Take anything. Good luck!
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    Nursing is not a consolation prize.
  6. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from zoidberg
    Given most PA programs are more competitive than Caribbean MD programs and will rack up more debt you may not ever be able to pay, I disagree. I think you should find ANY opportunity in rural america where an MD with no residency can do something (there are opportunities, but not in big cities). Do whatever it is you find. It will most likely be serving an under-served group/population. While doing this, maintain communication/keep trying to match with a primary care residency. Take anything. Good luck!
    Just wanted to give a shout out to your username!
  7. by   not.done.yet
    Nursing and medicine are two completely different professions that approach patient care from different perspectives. Being qualified in one does not necessitate being qualified in the other. You wish to return to nursing because you passed a Caribbean medical program but can't get a residency here. If I am a program director looking at your application, I can see you failed out of nursing school twice before, then passed medical school, but not well enough to get a residency here. This presentation might make me question both your motivation and your aptitude. Given how many applicants there are, this would probably make your application less appealing.

    I hope you find something that works for you.

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