Just introducing myself. I’ve never been on an internet forum before so bear with me.

I’m 33, and have decided I want to go to medical school. I received an associates degree in 1997, so I imagine I will have to start all over again. My last semester in junior college was an absolute disaster as I never thought I would have the opportunity to return to college so made no effort whatsoever. I’m not sure how much this will hurt me now.

I would like to start this summer. I know I need to do the prerequisite coursework, and get a BA/BS, but I’m not sure what the best route to take with that is. I’m leaning toward nursing, as that would be my backup plan at this point. Any thoughts?

Welcome!!! I am sure that you will find this forum as supportive and encouraging as I have…It’s full of wonderful people with lots of wisdom!

I’m just beginning my journey, but I just wanted to welcome you as you start yours! As for your question… just one thing to offer for your consideration: nursing is a truly valuable field, and I respect every nurse I’ve ever met or worked with. They work hard, and their contribution to patient care is unbelievable. Definitely a worthwhile profession! Having said that, the work of a nurse is quite different from the work of a physician. If what you really want to do is the work of a physician, but you default to your backup plan without even trying–will you always look across the exam table at the physician you are working alongside with deep feelings of regret? (Or even the opposite–if you go for an M.D., will you regret not being a nurse? Only you’ll know that answer for sure…)

I guess you just have to figure out what work you really want to do, and aim for that. Shadow some physicians and nurses, and really get a feel for the educational and training paths, and lifestyles, for both. I’m guessing that you’ll know for sure either way what will be best for you!

Good luck!

I agree with carrieliz to the extent that you should select a career that you have an interest in (not just as a “fall back” per se).

In terms of your major, select one that you are truly interested in, keeping in mind that you have the general requirements (Gen Bio, Gen Chem, OChem, and Physics) to take.

Good luck on your journey!

I had one other thought. It might be difficult to matriculate as a degree-seeking student with a poor academic record previously. Taking a few community college courses and having some demonstrated success there might help you out if that’s the case.

I’d explore options for getting the bachelor’s degree first, but if there is a roadblock there, that is one way around it. Community colleges generally accept anyone, and use placement exams to figure out what level of courses you can succeed in.

Something else to consider about a nursing major is that the grading scale for nursing schools tends to be pretty skewed. For example, many schools use 94 and above as an A, 86 and above as a B, and 80 to 86 as a C. That can really kill you in the GPA department. You have to get an 80 to pass a nursing course.


Thank you for that information. I did not realize that about the grading in nursing school.

As far as my grades go, I graduated with a 3.2, but had a 4.0 going into my last semester. My last semester was straight D’s… Im so proud.

Thanks for welcome from everyone.

I know it seems a little defeatist to be talking backup plan before even really starting, but I would hate to get a BS in something that I cant use to get a job should I not be able to get into medical school. Nursing would be my second choice, yes I would rather be a doctor, but ultimately I could be happy as a nurse, especially an NP.

you inspire me. I am also an Rn who wants to move on to the next level. I have a family and each day I think about going back to school at 47 to fulfill pre-requisites. I sometimes feel intimidated because of possible younger folks in the class. Thank you for sharing.

Younger people in the class often translate to younger people who come to you with questions because they value your clinical background.

THere is another student at my school in 2nd year who was a labor and delivery nurse for 20 plus years and started her post-bacc at 46, matriculated at 48.

Having spend your time working clinically can make those “years” you are worried about into great assets in your application.