NP needs advice!

Hi. I have been a family nurse practitioner for about 10 years. I love what I do, but whenever I consult with an MD, I am always left with the thought that I should have gone to medical school. It is actually more than that…it is the feeling, or rather the desire to know much more than I do now, but realizing that without the intense training of medical school, no amount of reading is ever going to get me to that point.

Why I didn’t go is another story. Briefly…parents who not only did not encourage higher learning, but rather discouraged it, and despite good grades (skipping 7th grade, honors courses in high school), only wanted for me to get a “good job as a clerk typist in the post office with good benefits and a pension”. Any time I tried to bring up going away to college, my father (who was a gambler) refused to allow me to take loans out. Since I graduated high school at the ripe old age of 16, who was I to argue? In any case, after I got my first job as a secretary at a place with tuitiion reimbursement, I started taking courses. To make a long story very short, my first bachelors was in veterinary science. I decided several years later to go to school to become an NP. Even as I was attending nursing school, I was thinking, “I really should be going to medical school” Then life happened…married, kids, etc. My husband and I had many heart to heart talks about my upbringing, and how I really should have been a doctor. Now that my youngest will be entering kindergarted next year, I have decided to apply. I have many pre-reqs to take (many of which I have already taken, but are too old for the med schools to accept) and am signed up for bio and chem for the fall.

Here’s the dilemna…I’m 44, and won’t be able to even start med school until about 47. The two docs I have asked for advice so far have told me that I’m crazy. One of them actually told me that she wishes she were an an NP!

Question…am I crazy???

hey there NP! welcome to the world of non-trads. even though I’m at the ripe age of 26, I feel like anyway I can help encourage someone will only benefit us both down this journey. if you read any of my blog you’ll see that I freely admit that I’m crazy and doing this I think requires someone to be crazy… haha but who isn’t these days! heck, I’ve seen how unhappy people get in ruts in their corporate jobs and pretend to be comfortable with the “staying 25 years with the company just to get laid off at year 23” ouch! I want to make a difference in other’s lives rather than just a company’s stock price. It seems as if you truly have a desire to better yourself and have come quite a long ways from the way you were brought up. see we generally take the shape of our surroundings, much like liquid in the matter state for all you chem geeks out there like me! I have to tell you going for something such as this takes guts no doubt…and i’ll leave you for now with a quote from Anthony Robbins…

“when you talk about something…it’s a dream

when you plan for it…it’s possible

but when you DO IT…IT’S REAL!!”

Miller J.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. My husband and I both admire Tony Robbins as well. It sounds to me as if you are definitely making the right choice as well.


Go for it!

  • NP2MD Said:

Here's the dilemna...I'm 44, and won't be able to even start med school until about 47. The two docs I have asked for advice so far have told me that I'm crazy. One of them actually told me that she wishes she were an an NP! I crazy???

NP-2-MD, my premed advisor told us that if you haven't had at least three physicians tell you you're crazy, that means you haven't been talking to enough physicians!

Face it, we're all a little crazy. And we all want to do something great with our time, so that's why we're here. You were meant for greater things than your family allowed, that much is clear.

I'm starting medical school at 48. There are some here starting in their 50s. Don't let your age be a factor in this decision. Look, you're going to turn 51 eventually. Ask yourself--would I rather be a physician at 51, or my current role at 51? Either way you'll be there in the wink of an eye.

You already have a leg up with your present medical training. I would think that for you, medical school and residency would be a very pleasurable experience, since you have so much knowledge and experience. You'll be showing your classmates how to start IV and other tricks of the trade. You'll know your anatomy and physiology. You'll know how to manage your time.

If it's what you want to do, go for it and don't let anyone tell you ever again that you can't or shouldn't! Best of luck,

I can only echo what Terry says. I’ll be 45 when I enter (3 years down the road)…but I’ll be 45 anyway…so lets take age out of it.

If this is what you want to do…do it!


There has to be a reason it is bouncing around in your head You should go for it! If you have accomplished what you have already then you have the ability! Age is just a number…Remember that!!

Thanks for all of your encouragement and words of wisdom. What keeps me going in this incredible journey is the thought that I’m going to be 52 no matter what I do, so I might as well do what I want! I’ve been trying to figure out how to take the MCAT by this summer, but I don’t think it’s possible to squeeze in all of my pre reqs by then, so it probably will have to wait one more year. Until then, I will come here for encouragement and do my best to stay positive.

My husband tells me all the time that he thinks med school will be breeze for me. While that may be an exageration, I do think that the fact that I am a primary care provider certainly can’t hurt. I also have a mean way with blood draws and cathether placements. Thanks for your encouragement. We will be approximately the same age when we start. Do you have any idea which specialty you will pursue?

Some of the coolest docs I have met were formerly nurses. It seems like a great combination. Maybe all docs should spend a year doing a nursing internship or something like that. (hah! dream on!)

I’m going into primary care, probably with a focus on pain management and osteopathic manipulation. I just finished an 18 month massage therapy course and really liked it. In fact that was my plan B in case medical school didn’t pan out. Anyway–just study hard, get great grades, and you’ll get where you need to be. And don’t forget to enjoy the process–school rocks!