older student FNP to MD


I have read a few postings re: nurses and older students considering medical school. Some of the stories are so inspiring!!!

Here is mine (I will try to make it short!)

I am and RN attending an FNP program. When I got my BSN,I was 31. My GPA was about 3.8. Currently while at NP school my GPA is still in the area of 3.8-3.9. I got As for both Patho and Pharmocology. Those are my favorite subjects. I am not too excited about politics and theory, especially when it comes to writing endless papers.

I was the only student to get an A among 60 students in microbilology class (my favorite subject as well)back in the old days.

I have been an RN for 6 years prior to quitting my job in order to raise two children who are now 6 and 8.

My dream after getting my BSN was to keep going on to Med. school. So, I took a couple of premed courses while working full time nights on an insanely busy cardiac floor (1:10 with minimal help). I was half awake during classes. So, surpise, surprise, I got a B in chemistry and decided that it was time give up.

While working on my BSN I spoke briefly to a med. school admission officer (my nursing school and med. school were in the same building). She was very negative about my prospects. I was told that it means nothing to them that I am a nurse and that they’d rather consider a writer, a musician, an artist or an engineer (!!!). What a slap in the face it was! I was in such a shock that I did not even mention that I had been studying art and literature prior to becoming a nurse and that I could freely converse about Degas and Dostoyevsky with her if necessary.

So this encounter plus demanding work, plus studying half awake and getting Bs, plus bio clock ticking discouraged me quite a bit back then. Now,I am almost 44 yo.o. and living with thoughts that I could have but I did not…

In my mind I keep repeating the same thing over and over again: why did I not withstand the pressures back then when I was still 31. The remorse of not pursuing med school is still keeping me awake at night!

So, my question is, how crazy is it at this point for me to consider medical school? Providing, I do not have to work to make ends meet (but still have to take loans for the med school) is it a completely ridiculous idea to start pre-med courses (I would have to take about 4 more courses if they’ll let me keep A&P as bio)?

What are the chances of getting “rural” scholarship? (I live in semi-rural to rural area)

I am very curious, love learning, even love being a nurse and making difference…

Does it sound crazy for me to dream? Am I too old?

Many thanks in advance!

I think if you have a dream that you think about everyday and you are not afraid to work hard, you should go for it. Try taking the prereqs and see what happens. If you are able to devote enough study time to the classes and have time for your family, then you’ll be fine. If you can commit yourself to practicing in a rural area, you’ll find several loan repayment options and employment openings. If you don’t mind relocating for med school, the options are even greater. There are several MD schools and DO schools that are trying to find students who want to practice in rural areas. There are also several new medical schools coming up (almost a dozen) and existing schools might have to increase enrollment to try to ease the physician shortage that we have right now. I think you picked a good time to think about it. Do some searching and talk to several medical school admissions officers to get an idea what to expect.

Thank you for your encouragement, barberry!

I talked it over with my spouse today about possibility of the medical school. He was not supportive at all. His opinion was that we all would suffer greatly because of my studies and residency and that I am out of my mind. He is a retired dentist and his opinion of the hardships of dental/medical school is not the most positive one. He still sees bad dreams about his schooling (he went to an IV-league dental school). He laments that I do not know what I am getting myself into…

Just how bad it is to go through pre-med, med school and residency and balance family life? Did anyone go through this? Is it doable? How much free time is it possible to have while in med school and residency? Am I really nuts?

My goal would be family practice, internal medicine or geriatrics…

This is my last chance :


Yes - it is possible to do it, though it is not for everyone. It works a whole lot easier to have a supportive spouse, which sounds sort of questionable for you. I did it starting at age 45 and spent 6 of the next 7 years mostly away from home.

as to rural scholarships - I assume you are talking National Health Service - there are two kinds there. The upfront scholarships are quite competitive and if succefull you have to commit to working in either desperately poor urban area or a way out of the way rural area. But there are also varius “after you finish” programs which offer loan repayment options. these are easier to come by and less restrictive. In fact… in most primary care areas (family practice - peds - internal medicine) … if you done’t find support for tuition repayment after you are done you are simply not looking.

from a purely practical standpoint you would do well to consider your options. What are your goals really? to tack MD (or DO) after your name? or to do the doctor stuff? I work with two nurse practitioners who do about 99% of what I do. Yes - I’m the “top dog” so to speak, and make a bit more, but depending on what you want… the difference may not be worth the cost.

just food for thought

Thank you for taking you time to answer.

Money is not the goal for me here; we are very financially secure. No debts, and everything is paid for. The initials behind my name is not it either. Many years ago while working as a tech on a surgical floor in a third world country’s hospital I was blown away by the magic that physicians did back there: no fancy diagnostic equipment, no medications, no nothing; just their good brains, passion for what they did and compassion that cannot be measured monetarily. Seeing them at work every day made the choice for me back then. Witnessing lonely patients die in dirt and pain and making someone feel better by changing their bed, cleaning their drinking cup and promising to hold their hands when they are dying is what inspired me…not the title or money. I sincerely believed I could make a difference… Forward 10 years: immigration and zero of everything: money, language, place to live, any sort of public assistance. In other words, I existed a’la good old traditional way of immigrant’s life. I worked as a live-in aide 24/7 to save for college. So,nursing school seemed like a reasonable option back then(I only needed AAS degree to become an RN). I graduated at the top of my class. However, by the then my bio clock started ticking, and I was torn between two choices: starting family or starting med school. I chose the former. So, here I am. Sometimes it just happens so that we cannot have everything, and I have to come to accept this.

I am sure I still can redeem myself as an NP. I loved what I did as a nurse too. Additionally, I have come to love cardiology. So, considering the rigor and time involved in learning this specialty when choosing the MD path, I would have stood no chance. But I can still do it as an NP in the same area!

Again, many thanks!

I am very happy I have found this forum (a bit too late though, LOL).