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Nursing versus Doctors

Pre-Nursing   (2,101 Views | 8 Replies)

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I am planning to go to nursing school, although there is a part of me that is considering medical school. I see on some websites that Doctors can make twice the amount of money, that nurses with a masters degree can, which influences my decision. The question, how accurate are those statistics in real life?

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marie4nursing has 1 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics and Rehab.

40 Posts; 1,841 Profile Views

I am planning to go to nursing school, although there is a part of me that is considering medical school. I see on some websites that Doctors can make twice the amount of money, that nurses with a masters degree can, which influences my decision. The question, how accurate are those statistics in real life?

A career choice shouldn't be based on money or statistics. It should be based on your interests and career preferences. I did sometime ago wanted to choose between nursing and medicine, but I finally choose nursing.

I choose nursing because it take less time and less money on school to be a Nurse, if you get bored with one speciality you can easily transfer to another speciality(unlike Physicians) and you can actually have a life outside of work.

I also choose nursing over medicine because my aunt is a Physician. Yes she makes the money, but never gets to enjoy it. She has a big house and barely stays in it. She has no spouse,no kids, and no life. She works long hours and always being put on call at her hospital. Plus, Physicians get sued more than Nurses. They hold a huge responsibility.

Im not trying to scare you out of being a Physician. But just prepare to make life sacrifices to be one.

If you want to do medicine and have a life, be a Physician Assistant. They basically can do what a Physician does without the medical school expenses. If you decide to be a Physician, you can take a PA to MD program(if they have one in your area). PA is my backup career if nursing school doesn't work out.

Good luck in whatever you plan to do.

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19 Posts; 1,011 Profile Views

Good advice by the previous poster. First of all, you have to consider the cost and effect here. It's way cheaper to go to a nursing school but will be making less. It is however outrageously expensive to go DO or MD but will be making more money. With MD, think about the stress and payment of loans as well as malpractice insurance coupled with NPs and PAs taking their hours. I know nurse specialties such as Nurse Anesthetist do make more than some physicians (family practice). To really make money as a physician, you have to become a surgeon in a specialty which cost more money and time. SO u really need more than financial motivation to make such decision. How about you shadow a doctor and a nurse and compare .

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671 Posts; 11,109 Profile Views

What kind of role do you want to play in healthcare?

what aspects of each do you enjoy more?

Dont forget it's quite grueling for the med school process too. You've got to study for the MCAT which will change format in 2015 and you need a really good score too on top of an already really good undergrad GPA. interviews and such you'll have to do multiple ones. Although an interview doesn't guarantee you a spot. it's tough because you don't get in the first time you apply.

think about what you really want to do.

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RunBabyRN has 2 years experience and specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

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Not all physicians make more than nurses. Just FYI.

Have you explored the medical model versus the nursing model? Do you prefer to look at a patient as a series of symptoms and a disease process, or as a whole, addressing the psychosocial and having more hands-on time with patients?

I agree about trying to shadow each and see what you like.

What do you want to do? What is the draw for each role for you? What do you picture yourself doing?

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ixchel specializes in critical care.

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I'm going to have to disagree with a couple of previously made points.

First - it's okay to choose (in part) based on money. It is your paycheck, and not everyone comes to their career choice out of warm and fuzzy feelings for it.

Second - NPs in many states (well, at least mine, anyway) have more autonomy than PAs. If you want to consider a mid-level provider option, personally I'd favor NP over PA for exactly that reason. Before coming to a choice regarding NP vs. PA, look at type of education required, length of education required, legislation applicable to your area of practice in your state, and how you feel about the approach to care. Another thing about NP is that your education will be tailored to the specialty you prefer. My understanding of PA is that it is generalized. The bonus to generalized education is that you can bounce into a different field when you're tired of the one you're in, but you also don't get the depth of knowledge for a preferred specialty if, for instance, you know you only want to work in pediatrics, or mental health, etc.

To start, you need to figure out how long you're willing to go to school (based on expense and length of time), where you hope to end up (specialty-wise), what approach to healthcare you prefer, and how state legislation might impact your practice. What schools do you have access to? What do they require? What do they offer? You may find yourself with an answer just by looking at those things.

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verene is a MSN and specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

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Why are you interested in nursing? Why are you interested in medicine? The nursing model of care and medical model of care are two different mods of patient interaction and approach to health care, even though they do frequently work together. Which are you most attracted to?

While it is true that many doctors make more than nurses, they also have a much higher initial set-out cost in terms of paying for medical school. Region, specialty, and hours worked all influence pay as well, so a nurse could potentially make more than MD in salary depending on where s/he lives, practice area, and hours worked. Also not all compensation is in pay, there are other factors that may or may not be valuable to you as well. What do you want your work/life balance to look like?

How quickly do you want to go through schooling and start in on your career? Nursing can be done at ADN, BSN, MSN, and doctoral levels of practice. Taking varying amounts of time and money to complete. It is also possible to "pause" at one level, gain experience and then decide to pursue more education later. To be an MD you need at minimum medical school + residency and many specialties also require a post-residency fellowship. Many years of hard work for minimal to no pay, living on financial aid or resident's salary (~40K for 80+ hour weeks in many places) until your career actually takes off. When do you envision finishing the brunt of you education? Do you have plans to marry, have kids, travel, or other "big" life events - how would these educational options fit or not fit with those plans?

There are a lot of questions you should be asking in making this choice that have nothing to do with potential earning capabilities. Earnings are a piece of the picture, not all of it.

Edited by verene
typo

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jj224 has 4 years experience and specializes in Critical Care.

367 Posts; 7,288 Profile Views

When I was in college trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I talked to my cousin, who was a resident at the time. She said - if there's anything else on earth you'd rather do than medicine, don't go to medical school. If you think nursing school and clinicals are hard, medical school and residency is absurd. During those years, I barely saw her. Its a huge commitment bit if you're heart is set on medicine, go for it. Like everyone else said, nursing is great because it can open up the doors to many other opportunities if you don't want to remain a bedside nurse forever. You can become an NP, CRNA, teacher, adminstration, etc.

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NurseGirl525 is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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Like RunBabyRun posted, you need to look at what a physician does vs. a nurse. Although they work together, they are two completely different things. A physician treats the disease itself. A patient is going to come in and tell them their symptoms, a doctor is going to diagnose the condition and treat it. That is what they do.

A nurse on the other hand is treating how the patient reacts to the disease. They are treating the person. What do they need at that moment? Say a patient has a bacterial infection and are in the hospital, what do they need? Are they feverish, are they in pain, are they confused? What is it that they need and how can the nurse treat that? So you are looking at two different schools of thought.

I understand the money thing. You need to look at how you can support yourself and your lifestyle. What I suggest is reading up on the requirements for both physicians and nurses. Look at the levels of nursing and how much each makes versus a doctor. There is a lot to consider. If a physician goes into practice for themselves they are also business owners. Do you like the business aspect of it? Or would you prefer to work for someone else that will do all of that stuff for you? There is much to consider.

I like to live a certain lifestyle. I always live within my means but I need to make decent money to live where I am comfortable. That is a basic of life. I know many people think you should never consider money when becoming a nurse and it is a "calling". But honestly, it is something you have to consider. Some people want the big house and the nice cars. I live in a mid range house and have a nice car that I paid for but this is what I am comfortable with. My house is smaller than others but is very nice on the inside. I just don't want like 4 bathrooms to clean because I hate to clean. Lol. Some people are happy with an old car and the basic house. That is great for them. Everyone's happiness is different. It's what makes us unique.

So good luck on your journey. Research the jobs and schools. Research what you would like to do in life!!

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