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Nursing to Med School

I'm currently finishing up my 2nd year of a BSN program and am beginning to question if nursing is truly the right profession for me. There are many aspects of nursing that I love and I think I would be fulfilled working as a nurse for a few years, but overall I'm worried it won't be enough.

Nursing school isn't what I expected at all. I thought I knew what I was getting into since I worked as a CNA for 4 years in a wide variety of settings before starting the nursing program. After talking to many nurses about their own experiences I felt confident it was a good fit for me. However, I'm continually disappointed as I move forward in my program. While I've definitely learned a lot in nursing school, I mostly feel under stimulated and like much of my time is being wasted on useless activities.

I'm hoping I will feel differently once I start my integrative practicum in the ICU, where I will finally feel challenged and be learning things I'm actually interested in. But, once I get a good grasp on things (which I realize won't be until long after graduation) I can see myself getting bored again. After I graduate and work for a year or two I'm considering finishing my pre-reqs for med school while working as an RN.

I was curious if anyone else has made the transition from RN to med school. If so, why and what has your experience been like? Do you think taking one class a term (I just need chemistry and physics) while working full-time as an RN is doable? Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.

The only input I have, is that I once met a doctor who had been a nurse in her previous life. She was conspicuously the best doctor I had seen to date, all, as far as I am concerned, due to her nurse background. I would only advise you to stick it out with nursing school and obtain the license before making the move. You never know about the future. Medicine might not work out for you and you would have a nursing license to fall back on. Good luck.

Thanks caliotter3, I definitely intend to graduate and obtain my license!

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Has 12 years experience. Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

How is your GPA? Med school is ridiculously competitive. You really need to have a stellar GPA, a great MCAT score, and volunteering and shadowing hours as well. You will also need strong letters of recommendation from your science professors (not nursing profs). Some students have to apply for several application cycles to even get an interview. Be prepared to drop a few grand on your primary application, your secondary applications, and then travel/accommodations if you are invited to interview anywhere.

One of the ICU nurses where I work has been going through this, it can be a long road. I deployed with a surgeon who was originally an ICU nurse as well. And my husband is a med student, so I went through the whole ordeal with him. I have an all new respect for the people who make it in at all!

Thanks for the info Pixie.RN! I have a 4.0 in all my classes that would count toward med school pre-reqs (some biology, math, & English) and a 3.93 in my nursing classes. If you don't mind me asking...what was your husband's GPA, how many schools did he apply to, and how many cycles did he go through before being accepted? Do you think networking helps your chances of being accepted to med school? I work at the university that I also attend nursing school at. I think being an employee and getting to know faculty before I ever even applied to their nursing program (along with my GPA & experience) helped me get into their very competitive program the first time around. This university would also be my first choice for med school.

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Has 12 years experience. Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

They will look at your cumulative GPA — not just what counts for med school pre-reqs — and then your sciences. Grade replacement is not a thing for med schools either, so all attempts are factored in.

My husband's science GPA was somewhere in the 3.8 to 3.9 range, and his cumulative was a little less. He applied to something like 27 schools on the primary application, submitted about 15-20 secondary applications (additional fees for those too), was invited to interview at four schools, and got into two of them — happily in his first interview cycle. He also has military experience — 4 years as an Army medic — which is helpful on applications too, lots of places love veterans.

I have no idea if networking would help — you'd have to know who is on your admissions committee, I suppose. But there are a lot of things they consider beyond what is on paper; if you don't interview well, an acceptance is not likely.

Thanks for the clarification Pixie.RN! I've done some more research and finally wrapped my head around the admissions process and pre-req requirements. I'm still very interested in applying, but I think I will put it on the back burner while I figure out how to be an effective ICU nurse first! One step at a time!


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