How do I accomplish pre-med with my job????

Hi Everyone! I am somewhat new here but was on here a few years ago. I’m really stuck and would love any thoughts. I am 32 and work as an RN. I just took a great job as an acute dialysis nurse, only problem is it is daytime hours, 10-14 shifts x 4 days a week. I really want and NEED this job and I think it will be awesome experience added onto my previous ICU and medical-surgical experience. I was going to return to school in the Fall to study biochemistry and social justice at a great school. Now that I took the job I can’t do school because there are no evening courses really or weekends only, plus I will work every other Saturday. My job is flexible in letting my pick the block schedule I want but I need to work days. There is an opportunity for an evening position coming this Fall but there will be only one opening since it is a new thing my company is doing(have evening acute nurses). I have personally thought that on-line study would be great for me since I know I could do well with that, but I know I would not be able to do a biochem degree that way. I know you do not need a science degree for med school, biochem is a extreme fascination for me. Here are the two things I considered: 1) doing my RN to BSN on-line(I am a 2 year RN) and then doing a postbacc program or 2) picking a degree that is totally on-line. I just don’t know about #1 because med schools may ask why I chose to continue my RN and just do a post bacc???(I don’t know if that is true or not, does it look good or does it look weak?) and #2 I am not sure how to choose a good on-line school and what would I study? Most on-line schools I see are business related. I’m really excited about pursuing my pre-med goals but I feel like I am stuck right now as how to pursue that. I would appreciate any comments and any ideas of the pros and cons of my two options and any other options and any personal experience. Oh yeah, got the wedding thing coming this year! YEAH!! My fiancee, Easter(yes that is his real name , he is from West Africa) and I are getting married Christmas Day this year(it’s his birthday, yes Easter was born on Christmas, We are having a small intimate wedding so no big stress over plans and all, which is odd since I am Italian and we love big weddings! I appreciate your time thanks so much! Mehgan

Hey Mehgan. Congratulations on the job and the wedding. It sounds like you have quite the set of decisions before you.

Hopefully you’ll hear from several different people with different viewpoints to give you some things to think about.

Are there any other universities where you are that do offer night courses? I’m assuming no, but thought I would ask.

I’m not sure about this, but you can contact med schools in which you’re interested to discuss this further with them, but my guess is that they would really frown upon an online degree, even if you were to go into a formal post-bacc program at some point in time. I’ve not done an online program before, but I think it’s important to note that the classes you are taking for pre-med are your foundation for both the MCAT and medical school. It is to your advantage to get the best education you are able to in preparation for medical school.

And then there’s always the option of just waiting a half or full year to see if your schedule becomes more flexible.

Good luck with everything!

Hi Larry, Thank you for your thoughts. My ideal would be to take classes at a college since I really do want to study biochemistry. I just don’t know with my job, I have no option to leave my job either, I’ve been a nurse for 8 years and jumped around jobs getting great experience but then realized to late it was hurting my resume. If I could get the evening position that would work great but there is no guarantee. I’ll keep seeing if anyone has any other thoughts but thank you so much for your input and congratulations!

I agree that you have a pretty difficult schedule right now. If there are no colleges other than the one you checked on to take your classes and you are committed to the eventual goal of medical school, then you might consider changing jobs. You didn’t say why you needed to work days, but at some point its all about which is most important to you. As a nurse for 18 years before I started medical school, its my opinion that different jobs don’t hurt you much at all. The demand for nurses is too high, the overall promotion opportunities are small incrementally, and many of my former supervisors seemsed to hop from job to job without much of a problem. That isn’t hard to do when EVERYONE needs you!! I worked in home health while finishing my undergraduate degree because I could pick the hours and days I was available. The downside to that type of work is that there are no benefits, just a higher rate of pay, but depending on Easter’s benefits after you are married, perhaps that wouldn’t be a problem either. In any case, best of luck as you pursue your dreams.

Are you absolutely sure there are no evening courses. I would assume there are but you may have to drive quite a bit to get to them. I say this because I’m in Maryland and we have colleges all over the place. A friend needed to take a specific course at a specific time so was limited. For an entire semester he drove 90 miles to get to the school that fit his schedule. He literally drove by about 4 or 5 other schools on his way to the one that fit his schedul. To make matters worse his car died halfway thru the semester. My point is if you have placed limits on yourself because of your job then you need to be flexible in other areas. Alot of things would factor into driving a great distance so just be aware of those.

I wish I could offer any real help but the truth is it comes down to what do you want more. Most physicians have sacrificed a great deal to get to where they’re at. I had similar issues once upon a time and went seeking help from my MD. His advice?

“Decide what it is you want and go after it. If it means quitting work and taking out loans then that’s what it means. You’re not going to stumble into medical school with a half-hearted effort”

I’m not questioning your desires just telling you what’s been told to me and what I’ve heard from other OPM’s who are now MD/DO.

Take what you can use. Discard the rest.

Hi there:

I am in somewhat of a similar boat. I currently work full-time days in healthcare IT. But, I am anticipating, as I continue to move forward to reach my goal, to leave the day job and take a job that will allow a little more flexibility (so I can take the premed courses I need). I’ve been a respiratory therapist for over 13 years and plan to work PRN, etc. I’ll have a daughter in college to continue to support. The timetable hasn’t been established yet, but I know it’ll have to be done.

One great advantage you have is your profession. As a nurse you can find a job almost anywhere that will offer you the flexibility to attend classes when needed. It’ll be a sacrifice, but the reward will be great.