will having having nursing degree hinder my options?

Hi all,

First of all, I wanted to thanks hosts of Old Premed podcasts. I find the podcast tremendously helpful! I plan to listen to every single episode!

This morning in fact, I have listened to episode #23 which has mentioned that having NP degree is a plus. I am a FNP now with several years of experience in primary care. Back-track to late 1990-s when I first tried to take pre-med courses after I earning BSN degree. I had an informal interview session then with Adcom rep. from a medical school (same school that I also got my nursing degree from). Adcom has told me that my nursing degree would not earn me any stars and stripes whatsoever in the eyes of med. school adcoms. Moreover, they’d prefer arts and humanities majors because of their “renaissance man” mind set, ability to think on multiple planes and creativity, qualities highly valued in medicine. My dedication to nursing meant nothing according to adcom. That interview took spirit out of me. But I still pulled myself to take one pre-med class, got a decent grade and gave up… (I also was a new nurse working grave yard shift in critical care). What I did not tell Adcom is that I have informal fine arts background (drawing), have strong interest in history and love literature; that the reason I had gone in to nursing was for it to be a stepping stone to become a physician and would allow me, a penniless immigrant from third-world country, to survive whileI am reaching that goal. But, I felt like it would not matter to the adcom since I was a viewed as a “nurse” and I also sensed adcom’s impatience. So, like an obedient citizen I’d pursued an NP degree in hopes that it would be a compromise.

The thought of becoming a physician has never stopped gnawing at me however. I have read somewhere on the blogs that “one does not chose medicine, it chooses him/her”. I like this aphorism very much! And now, pushing 50 and thinking that if not now, then never, I am dead set on giving it another try. Is it possible that I have a chance, nursing or not: my GPA has consistently been 3.8, I love to study, I love patient care, I love family medicine setting, I am strong mentally and physically, I am still curious about the world despite being “pushing 50.”

Apologies for the tangent…

SO, please-please-please someone clarify for me, is it a benefit or it is not to have nursing background after all?


I don’t think it’s a hindrance at all, especially with the team-approach to healthcare taking front and center. Having experience as another member of the team can be a benefit and help you better utilize your resources. Definitely be ready for the “why change,” “why now,” and “why did you pursue nursing if you wanted to be a doctor” type questions.

It seems like you’re redoing the prereqs, but just as a note to other nurse-to-doctor folks: When I was applying a couple years ago, some schools stated that they don’t accept “nursing” courses (ie “chem for nurses” or whatever) as a prereq and require the courses to come from their respective science departments (ie Chem 101, taught by the chemistry department, and not NURS151, chemistry taught by the nursing department). It may be different now, but do your research.