So, I’m a little lost to say the least.
A little bit of background…ER is all I’ve ever known as a workplace setting in my adult life. I worked as an ER tech in a busy hospital throughout nursing school, and then continued as an ER nurse at a teaching hospital. I’ve been experiencing some general dissatisfaction with my job. Originally I thought I just needed a change of scenery, so I’m currently working as a travel nurse. However, after some serious introspection I believe that I need to pull a career change and go into medicine. Not to be cocky, but I’m good at my job and can appreciate how important a good nurse is to any team, but I think my desire for more detailed knowledge coincides more with medicine. I’ve been encouraged by the EM residents I’ve spoken with to look further into it…
That being said, I know CRNA is also an option. My concern there is the market being flooded with CRNAs now that they’re becoming a bit more popular.
Now for the questions!
I’m 26 years old, so I don’t really have a lot of time to waste. My BSN GPA isn’t stellar by any means (worked two jobs to put myself through nursing school), but I’m hoping to improve that with postbacc classes. Is there any advantage in taking a formal postbacc program versus a DIY format? Are there good resources to know if you’re headed in the right direction if you take an unstructured approach? WhIch MCAT program works best for studying? I likely won’t take it until after I’ve completed some more of the prereqs, but I’m not sure where to even start with prereqs themselves. Luckily I have a job where I can move anywhere, and I can always return to ER or ICU in Phoenix.
A lot of the prereqs I need to complete as a premed will work for CRNA programs, but I’m just not sure how happy I would be as a CRNA either. Definitely do not want to be an NP. The financial undertaking for both is a little nerve wracking too.
I’ve only spoken to a couple of people about this because I’m a little nervous to start. Looking so far down the road feels very overwhelming and I don’t know how much support I would receive from my nurse friends/family. Also, looking on student doctor network has made question whether I’ll ever be accepted to any medical school ever! What do you guys do when you deal with discouragement?
I think the major advantage of a structured program would be access to advisors and potential recommendation letter writers. Some programs have linkages to medical schools which provide you a “better shot” at some schools, all depending on how well you do and what the agreement is.
With either approach, make sure you are taking all of the classes that the medical schools you are interested in require. Not all schools have prescribed prereqs, though it definitely doesn’t hurt to cover your bases by taking the “standard” load, which typically includes a semester or two of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and now possibly social sciences. Honestly, it’d be good to review the websites for medical schools that interest you or to buy a subscription to MSAR (MD schools). DO schools have a PDF document that describes all of their schools available for free online.
Please review school sites to figure out if prereqs taken through a nursing program count or not (not sure what you’ve taken). I remember reading at least one school that didn’t accept nursing credits unless the course number specified a science department (ie Chem 101, not Nurs 210 or whatever the equivalent is). May not hold true with all schools.
I know quite a few people on this site have taken commercial MCAT prep courses, myself included. I liked the Kaplan On-Demand program I did, but I’m sure the other ones have their pros/cons as well. I couldn’t tell you if any one is actually “better” than another.
PS…26 isn’t old Oldest guy in my class is 41, I’m 5th oldest at 33. There are stories on here with people older than that.
I can see that it’s a tough choice for you. For sure, you should try an American medical school before you go International.
Don’t worry too much about the GRE. The MCAT is what’s important.
Hang in there!
Hello my fellow Old Meds:
I also started the journey from RN to MD. I became an NP in 2006.
I decided on an International Medical School and I’m currently a third year student at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences St. Lucia. I have no idea how long it will take and yes incurring debt is a big concern.