Need some advice...

I’ve been working in the medical field for about 10 years now. I’ve literally worked my way up from a janitor at a nursing home, to a tech in the emergency department, to a staff nurse in the ICU. It has always been my goal to be a physician, but I’ve had some personal struggles in my life, and I got of to a bit of a rough start in my college career. I was never able to finish high school (i.e. expelled) and thus I wasn’t exactly prepared for college life at first. It took me a few years to control my personal issues (a lot of it had to do with AD/HD). Right now I’ve never been happier in my life and I really want to prepare for med school.

I’ve spent the past 3-4 years working full-time and going to school full-time. I recently graduated with my bachelor’s in nursing this past December with a 3.92 GPA. I’ve taken and have at least a 3.5 GPA in the following courses: A&P I/II, microbiology, pathophysiology, statistics, psychology, and other social/natural science classes as well as English.

Unfortunately, I haven’t always been a good student. I previously went to a university where I took biology I/II and chemistry I and obtained Cs. I’m not sure of my exact GPA at this school (it is probably around a 2.0 and I have maybe 30-40 credits there). I know I need to retake these science classes as well as physics and organic chemistry. I would like to know if it is okay to take the basics (i.e. biology I/II and chemistry I/II) at a community college and then take organic chemistry at a university. I will be working full-time nights as a nurse, so my hours are a little difficult to work with. The community college has more options for class times than the university.

My question is this: should I take all the classes at the university even though it will take me a lot longer due to class availability and be more expensive, or is it safe to take the basic courses at community college and then transfer up?

I’ve looked at a few of the threads and the answers vary. I’ve even spoken to an advisor at the community college. Unfortunately, she wasn’t of much help trying to advise someone prepping for a graduate program. I just need a little advice as to what to do because nobody seems to know.

I’m so glad I found this site because it’s just what I have been looking for. Thanks for your advice in advance!


There is no easy or universal answer to your question, and you’d probably be better off talking to admission people in some of the schools you might be interested in eventually.

In my humble opinion you should take your time and go to a 4-year university to take the required classes. The reason is that you’ve taken them once and didn’t do so well, that’s why you should try to make every single piece of your applicatin (from now on) as competitive ans possible. You need to do well + you have to make up for whatever went wrong the first time. You proved your maturity and commitment by doing great in nursing school + working in healthcare environment for such a long time. Now you have to show them/ and yourself that you can handle hard core science classes. It would be even better if in addition to the basic classes required by med school, you also take some advanced biology/ chemistry (whatever interests you most).

Hope it helps,


Thanks for the advice. I’ve decided that it is probably in my best interest to just enroll in the local public university. It’s about $100 more per credit hour, but you’re right, it looks a lot better especially since I didn’t do well in the courses before. I just applied for admissions for the summer session. Hopefully it will work out for me.

How are you doing? Have you applied to med school yet?