Nursing major or pre-med?

Hi, I’m a freshman in college and I’ve been dealing with the “which major” problem since high school. I’m indecisive when it comes to choosing a major. I want to choose nursing not because it’s a shorter education route, but because I plan on having it as a backup plan if medical school doesn’t work out for me. Except, I wanna go to medical school but I have lots of self doubt about my ability (mentally and physically) to graduate from med school. I also consider having my major be pre-med because I know if I don’t get my pre-reqs done at the end of four years, I’ll have to go back for another 2 1/2 years of college to complete those pre-reqs before even applying to med school.

Any advice?

Hey Ferndama
I had this same question (sort of) posted on the nontrad forum. If you look at my profile and question posted you’ll see a topic “how did you choose?” which essentially asked the same question. Dr. Gray answered it in Session 113 of the OldPremed podcast, go listen to it!

What you’ll hear in the podcast is the same dilemma I hear you struggling with which is 1.) You’re not sure you want to be a physician and 2.) You’re not confident enough in yourself to know you can do it. The first dilemma no one can answer for you. If you want to become a physician, go shadow some physicians and see if that’s a career you want to have. If you want to be a nurse then shadow some nurses and see if that’s a career you want to have. If you put in the work and dedication you can ABSOLUTELY can graduate from medical school, but it’s hard. The only reasons you can’t go to medical school or graduate is because you aren’t willing to put in the work or because you found another career you’re more passionate about. As Dr. Gray told me in the podcast…if you think you can’t do it, then stop it…have more confidence in yourself…you 100% can do it. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not just going to come to you because you want it, but it’s possible if you’re willing to put in the time. Choose nursing if you want to do nursing, choose music if thats what you want, you can study absolutely anything and still go to medical school, but don’t choose something because you’re afraid of failure.

I was considering doing the same route as you so I did a lot of research about it. A lot lot of medical schools will question why you majored in nursing and upon graduating want to go to medical school? I’ve read that admission committees can see that as ‘you don’t know if you want to be a physician’ or ‘that you think you’ll fail medical school and want a backup plan’…those things don’t inspire confidence in a committee. They do accept a lot of nurses that have worked as a nurse for some years and THEN decided to go to medical school. Also consider the level of medicine you want to practice, what fits your personality? Nurse Practioners can practice solo (without physician supervision) in 22 states. The level of medical knowledge isn’t as in depth but it’s a great career too. Look at all the opportunities you have, figure out what’s important to you (not your parents, friend, mentor, significant other), and shadow physicians, nurses, NP’s, PA’s, Physical Therapists, etc. to really see the reality of those jobs and if they fit your personality.

Also this is a marathon not a sprint…if it takes you 5 years to complete pre-reqs that is ok! Take everything a day at a time and do your best where you can. You are young and have a lot of life ahead of you. Don’t compromise your mental health for the sake of finishing a year or two earlier. Your success isn’t dictated by how old you are by the time you finish something.

Hope this helps! Wish you the best of luck in choosing!