Nurse Practitioner or MD?

Hello, I am a 23 year old RN with a low GPA (3.09). I did not take school seriously and was very immature during school. I am set on medicine, however I don’t know if I should get my masters in nursing and become an NP then on top of that do probably a years worth of science prereqs as my BSN didn’t cover them all. I would be around 26 or 27 by the time I would be applying…so kinda on the older side for med school!! Or, should I just go straight to taking my science prereqs, study hard for the MCAT and just cross my fingers I get accepted? I am leaning more towards the first, but would like others input. Thanks for reading!

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Just my humble opinion 26/27 def not too old for med school. Im late thirties and going for it, dont let your age detour you from pursing medicine at any level. First thing first would be to decide on what you want to really do. This is the most important decision that only you can really make. You dont want to spend extra time on classes you dont need if you want to be an NP. The path of the physician is long and rigorous, but attainable if you fully apply yourself. You have to decide that being a physician is what you want to be You already have RN experience and are in the nursing field. This gives you great insight to the professional development and opportunities within the nursing field. You can always interview and shadow NPs to get an idea of their day-to-day duties, path to becoming an NP, and their likes and dislikes of the position to see if its a better fit for you. Also Shadow physicians to see the same things, then make your decision.
If you are worried about your stats there are many post bacc programs that can help you get that GPA up. This is not an issue if you can trend that GPA upwards through the program (Dr. Gray talks a lot about this important fact for GPA).
I was deciding between being a physician or a physician assistant and decided on that later as I desire to have the greater depth of medical knowledge and decision making in patient care. PAs are a great choice, but for me I knew I wanted to be able to do more.
Again, you will have to decide, take the time to research both and look at both the good and the bad and how either will affect your family in the short and long future.

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Thank you so much for your reply😊 Have you gotten accepted yet? I really don’t want to be an NP but was only considering it just to bring my GPA up then do a post bacc. I just don’t know if I should complete an NP program first or jump right into the post bacc. I feel the safest route would be to get a master’s rather than jumping into a post bacc, but then again that’s a lot of time wasted IMO

First, NP school is difficult and I would not bank on it to bring your GPA up. Do not go to NP school as a stepping stone for med school. NPs are important in the healthcare team and going to school for that and knowing you don’t plan to actually practice it seems like a massive waste of time and takes away from someone who actually wants to be an NP.

Second, 3.09 is actually not too bad. Assuming you have your BSN, med school realizes those classes are hard and you can explain that. Watch Dr.Grays video on an upward GPA trend and shoot for that in post bacc science classes to demonstrate academic commitment. I am a very similar story as you, have been a nurse 2.5 years and am in my last semester of pre-reqs. I have taken 31 credit hours and have a 3.95 GPA in my post bacc, all BCPM!

My recommendation would be to just do a post bacc, focus on getting As. Take 1-2 years doing that and also focus on excellence within nursing. Precept, charge nurse, assume leadership and get involved with the department. Don’t neglect other aspects of the application process like volunteering and physician shadowing either. Do that and with healthcare experience of being a nurse you can be a strong applicant without wasting time in NP school.

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Just wanted to agree with the above posts. Also a nurse (yay career changers!), taking my MCAT this spring. I am also 27, this is not even close to “too old”. Too old is anything over the average life expectancy.

Remember: You are like any other applicant. You will get no extra treatment because you are a nurse. NP school is brutal, and you should not rely on this to raise your GPA; if anything, there is a chance it will lower it. Also, don’t do an NP program with the goal of not being an NP - shadow shadow shadow. Crush your postbacc science courses to show an upward GPA trend. Crush the MCAT (reddit resources are phenomenal, no excuse to do poorly). Keep doing what you always do, hopefully :wink: , with volunteering/leadership/shadowing/ECs/clinic/etc. Do not treat this like a checkbox simulator - it is important that you find meaning in what you are doing. You’ve got this if it’s what you want!