New guy here

Hello fellow non-trads,

I just wanted to take a second to introduce myself here. I’ve been a big fan of the old premeds podcast as well as the other 73 or so podcasts that Dr. Gray does, and he made this seem like a very chill and welcoming community to be a part of.

So my story: I’m 27 and have been a nurse for about 5 years now, currently working in a busy urban ER. I fell into nursing somewhat serendipitously and got lucky that I enjoyed it. My path to nursing was itself atypical, but that’s another story. I very much enjoy my job, but since the second semester of nursing school I knew that I was eventually going to want to be in a provider role. Prior to nursing school I had never really been exposed to healthcare science and I quickly fell in love with anatomy, physiology and patho as I was introduced to them. The obvious vertical movement for me at this point would be going to NP school, and while I’ve tried to convince myself that I’d be just as content with that, I know deep down that I wouldn’t feel fulfilled. In fact, at first, I was quite distraught with this conclusion. It was something of a diagnosis by exclusion because I desperately searched for something in the “midlevel” realm that I believed would be as satisfying. Unfortunately it was something of a square peg/round hole situation, and I’ve come to accept (with much support and coaxing from my family) that my path is the path of the old premed. I’m currently working on my prereqs with as much gusto as one can summon for something like organic chemistry, and hoping to get in some research next year.

A few questions I had: How will admissions committees look upon my transition from nursing? Have any other nurses out there, on here, done this, and how did their nursing peers respond? How vital is shadowing if I log thousands of hours in patient care a year?

I’d love to hear back from anyone out there!

  1. As long as you can explain the path you took to get where you get, the admissions folks probably won’t really care. I only had 1 interviewer question anything I did on my path, and of all things it was why I got an MBA instead of something else or nothing at all.

  2. Can’t comment on this one based on my experience.

  3. There is an arguable difference between shadowing and patient contact hours. In a non-physician field, you’re around patients but aren’t necessarily gaining the full scope of what the physician does. The theory is you may see the physician working but don’t see the “behind the scenes” stuff that goes into decision making and stuff. The shadowing requirement will vary among schools, but there were definitely some that delineated shadowing vs other clinical experience.

Hey! Did you listen to the recent show I did with Renee? She talked about the transition from nursing. I also have another one coming up with another nurse turned medical student! This is Renee’s -

Also - the one coming up with Sarah, we talk specifically about how the other nurses respond!

Shadowing is important. Clinical experience for you isn’t because of the nurse experience.

I actually really enjoyed the interview with Renee. It was one that kind of verified for me that, if being a physician is really what you desire, being a midlevel will still feel unfulfilling. One of the main reasons I worried about that she actually spoke of when she said the NPs and PAs have a very broad medical knowledge, but not a very deep one. As someone who prefers to understand the nuts and bolts of a condition down to the cellular level, it was a point that really resonated with me. I look forward to the upcoming interview though!

Edit: that was my mistake. I was thinking of the interview with Kate, who was a nurse midwife. I’ll listen to the interview with Renee on my way to work today though.

How will admissions committees look upon my transition from nursing?

Explain it well like others have said and you’ll be golden. Don’t put anything negative about our field as a means to the transition. I had an interview where the interviewer didn’t have access to my files before hand, so I told him I was a nurse. The atmosphere in the room changed and we ended just talking politics as he gave me good marks on all of his questionnaires.

Have any other nurses out there, on here, done this, and how did their nursing peers respond?

A bunch of nurses have done this. I used to think I was a rare breed, but it’s not all that uncommon. I had great support where I worked, but it was annoying being called “smart” or “doctor” all the time. They mean well, but it was embarrassing at times. I had awesome support from the physicians around me and gained pearls of wisdom from several I worked with. I ended up shadowing a few. I would tread carefully if you plan to tell your coworkers.

How vital is shadowing if I log thousands of hours in patient care a year?

Shadowing is vital and not a huge hurdle, so get it on your application if you can. I managed 60 hours and wish I did more just to explore other specialties. I know we work closely with doctors, but shadowing will still be worth your time since we aren’t in nurse mode when we’re with the physician. I loved seeing how they juggle consults, discuss tests, and just the workflow of the day. I learned about some medical decision making that would never cross my mind when I was a floor nurse. Shadowing is different from clinical experience and is vital. Hit 60-100 hours and you shouldn’t need more.

Hi, LVN here.

It’s always a bit of an explanation when I say I’m going back to school. Everyone assumes I’m working towards an RN. Like you, I just don’t think I would be satisfied at that level of education and practice, or as an NP. Unfortunately for me, this means that all of my Nursing pre-reqs are pretty much worthless, but I’m moving forward and not looking back.

Thanks for asking these questions. Responses have been very helpful for me as well.

Wishing continued success on your journey.