It has been discussed here in the past. Possibly many times. With varying opinions. But anywayâ€¦. Has anyone, as a non traditional student, attended nursing school expressly with the intent of going to med school after? Any success?
It is my intention to attend nursing school with the express intent of eventually attending medical school. However, seeing how I haven’t even completed nursing school yet, I’m probably not going to be of much help to you.
On the bright side, I’ve been doing my research into the question, and I’ve found a multitude of people who’ve gone from RN to MD without a hitch. I really believe, especially with medical school, that it’s all about what you put into it. A’s in your courses (pre-reqs especially), knocking the MCAT out of the park, some volunteering experience, and good interview skills (sometimes this helps, apparently) will be what puts you into medical school.
What I’ve read so far is that in some schools (mostly osteopathic), they really seem to value past medical experience. I can’t say much about allopathic, however. Regardless, I can’t see how a few years of nursing experience could possibly be a detriment to the already stellar resume I mentioned above.
Anyway, good luck in whatever endeavors you pursue.
I would expect that having the kind of hands-on smell-the-patients clinical experience of a nurse would be a boon to any applicant. I’d be hesitant about going into nursing with the express intent of RN to DO/MD, though. Given the demand for nurses and the limited number of seats in any nursing training program, one might wonder about why you’re taking that spot without intending to become and remain a nurse. From what I’ve heard - all second hand, granted - this may be frowned upon by med school AdComs as well as your peers and supervisors in the nursing program.
What’s interesting is that the same question - actually a google search of “RN to MD” - is what brought me to this site in the first place. At the time, I was probably looking at nursing school in much the same way as you - a stepping stone, a waypoint, and yes, something useful and financially supporting in and of itself. It wouldn’t have been the right path for me, though.
It seems we have discussed this a number of times recently. Do a search and see if you can come up with some recent threads - I believe Mary had a very nice post on the subject in one of those.
Nursing will indeed gain you great clinical experience. However, I personally am opposed to people doing nursing with the intention of going straight to MD for the reasons Adam mentioned. You may want to research this with a few medical schools that you are interested in an get their opinion. You may also need to check into how long it will take you to get into a nursing program. Many nursing programs have substantial waitlists (there just aren’t enough nursing instructors to go around). There may be no waitlist on the non-clinical nursing courses, but there is often a waitlist for the clinical portions. A lady at my daughter’s daycare is on the waitlist for nursing - she’s currently scheduled for fall 2009.
Keep in mind that there is a substantial difference between doing nursing with the intention of working at least a few years as a nurse and doing nursing with the intention of going straight to medical school and doing very little work.
Yet another, not as trivial as you might think, consideration - you will not want to share your med school plans with your nursing cohorts. You will find yourself met with extreme hostility and suspicion. I have read and talked to several nurses who decided to pursue medical school who said that one of the worst mistakes they made was telling their co-workers or supervisors that they were working towards medical school. Not being a nurse, I can’t really explain to you why this is - perhaps one of our former nurses here can fill you in a little bit.
Please note that this is in NO WAY an anti-nursing post. Nursing is a great profession and I have nothing for respect for those who chose that pathway. Nurses can make or break a med student, resident or physician in certain situations and their value in the healthcare team is often not given enough importance by non-nurses.
Just some more food for thought . . .
DON’T DO IT. I cannot stress enough. If you don’t want to be a nurse, do not do it. Not only will you just make your road to med school longer, but it will add more misery to it. If you know now what you want to do, follow it. I knew I wanted to go to med school, but because of some extraneous variables I couldn’t control, I went to nursing school thinking it would be a good compromise. I don’t regret it in the least, it’s made me who I am today. But man is it going to be a long road for me to med school, and all the while I still have to go to work and seeing all the med students doing what I want to do. Torture I tell you (haha). Your time would be better spent taking pre-reqs and getting licensed to be a EMT or a CNA for experience. Plus, let me remind you, nurses, for all intents and purposes, hate the medical model, and in some translations, docs too. They’ll eat you alive. I’ve had to be pretty secretive about my desire for med school, through nursing school and even now as I go to work. As if I’m a traitor if I leave the profession.
Sorry about being negative…maybe I’m bitter about it. Maybe an unbiased approach would be for me to say that undoubtedly, if you go to nursing school(BSN), your road to med school would be no less than 9 years. 3.5 for school, .5 for board certs, at least 2 years reasonable experience, 2 years post-bac program for pre-reqs, 1 year give or take MCAT. And thats if your good at keeping your nose to the grindstone. Talk about burnout before you even get there haha.
Since I hate being so negative, I can say that the experience you gain is priceless. From the nursing perspective, you’ll learn everything there is to the hospital, procedures, bedside manner, problem solving, the list goes on. Maybe it’ll make you not so green when you get into med school…well at least thats my hope.
p.s…theres no way to do classes and full time work as an RN…I’ve tried and its setting yourself up for failure. so don’t expect to shave time in that area either…
Probably better to take more hard science courses than to waste a seat at a college of nursing. Nursing curriculum doesn’t include that much hard science. The more basic science you get under your belt, the better, if only to improve your ability to learn science. Take genetics, biochem, molec bio, A&P, cell bio, etc. Medical school is no joke and you need to be as well prepared as possible for those brutal first two years.
Take CNA/EMT courses as the poster above suggested, if you really want a quick dose of hands-on skills. You’ll get all that training and more later on, though.
Just to add my $0.02…med school admissions committees are likely to have a rather jaundiced view of an applicant who goes to nursing school and then applies to an MD/DO program. Perhaps if you spend a number of years in nursing and then “see the light…” But to jump from one degree to the next gives the impression of flightiness and indecision. Not something AdComms are excited to see in an applicant.
I have got an additional perspective…
I was an Associates Degree nurse, a â€œtwo year wonderâ€ (as I had heard over the years) and thus considered by some â€œin the businessâ€ in some way a lesser provider to a BSN, although the same amount of clinical time (four semesters) and the same NCLEX-RN (I discovered minimum number of questions on the NCLEX-RN was 73 when I took it) but of course without all the so-called social sciences and â€œmanagement theoryâ€.
Later when my responsibility involved hiring and orientation, I was simply amazed (well shocked and frankly frightened actually), the â€œfour year wondersâ€ as I began to regard them would come in and demand top dollar starting salaries and yet I could not account for all the time I had to spend teaching the â€œfour year wondersâ€ basic nursing skills, like basic Foley care or what a wet to dry dressing was, â€œI have never done a tube feeding beforeâ€.
Having been a commissioned army officer, I have come to understand that talent is where you find it and leadership is something you can’t learn from a book, either you are or you aren’t. It seems to me anyway that some more time could have been best spent on nursing and maybe less on so called â€œleadershipâ€ or â€œmanagement principlesâ€.
I did well as a nurse and was promoted rapidly, eventually to DON of a 250 bed facility making exactly $9 k short of six figures within 3 years of GRADUATION. While I was always interested in medicine, I am first a pragmatist who considers all options and available data. I looked into an RN to BSN with an eye towards perhaps being a mid-level practitioner. On the appointed day, I presented myself to the office of the RN to BSN â€œadvisorâ€.
OH boy, within 4 minutes my little man was hammering the inside of my head and within 10 minutes my eyeballs were starting to bleed. I was informed that, since I had no formal â€œmanagement trainingâ€, I would need â€œextensive courseworkâ€ to get me up to speed and furthermore I would have to do some further clinicals to â€œvalidate my clinical competenceâ€. Was this 40k state employee that stupid or unperceptive? Or maybe she assumed because I was an ADN, what could I know? I hit the door that afternoon with a spinning head but a new and pretty clear focus and direction was evolving.
So there you have it, this is how it started, that last final straw by another nurse! It worked magic in ways I could not have predicted! For many members here, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the unwillingness to accept that what whatever their â€œacademic stuffâ€ is it does not apply necessarily to medicine and thus is useless for that purpose.
After this experience, I had NO compunction about checking the ego at the door (actually I simply locked mine in the trunk in the parking lot) then simply and decisively do an about face march directly backward to the fork in the road (which with an AD was only a block or so), take the other fork and never look back!