Dec 28, 2011
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,

This is a somewhat unusual situation.... you can look through my post history to get more of my story. Basically, I decided my junior year of college that medicine was a better fit for me than nursing - though I decided to complete my major after seeking advice from some mentors. The jury is still out on whether that was the best decision, as I have experienced some fantastic things in nursing that have really helped to influence and shape me, though if I were to do it again I probably would have changed my major. C'est la vie.

I was wondering about how negatively it would affect me if I completed the pre-requisites I need immediately after graduating without working in nursing. I've already completed half of the pre-reqs (and yes I avoided the "nursing chemistry" type courses and did the actual prerequisites) and I would probably need another three semesters to finish the rest.

I have a >3.8 GPA, and I think with the proper studying strategy I have the potential to do well on the MCAT (scored in the 97-99th percentiles in college admissions tests). My ECs are average though I plan on improving them after I graduate.

I would like to get some experience as a nurse, both for personal benefit and to improve my overall application, though graduates in my area are taking months to find jobs... sometimes five or six months. That's time that I would ideally like to use to start pre-req courses. A part-time job that would allow me to work and take courses would be ideal, but that's not a given either.

Assuming I could have an otherwise strong application, does anyone have any insight into how graduating with a BSN but not working as a nurse could affect me (in the case I don't find that part-time job)? Would it be nearly impossible? Would a great PS explaining myself ameliorate the doubts this would bring up to admissions committees? I'm very open to DO schools and I understand that they may look more favorably on people with a background like mine, if that makes a difference. Thanks for any advice with this.
 
Aug 12, 2012
84
0
Idaho
Status
Pre-Medical
As long as you have a bachelor's and all the required prereqs, I don't think it would be that big of a hindrance that you didn't actually work as an RN. I would say you could benefit from doing quite a few hours of physician shadowing, volunteering with patients in some way, etc. to get some more healthcare exposure outside from doing clinicals. Still, I would say you have more patient interaction than many people I know who have applied to MD school.
Looks like your stats are pretty awesome though, and " I have experienced some fantastic things in nursing that have really helped to influence and shape me"...talk about the potential to make a great personal statement!
 

CrimsonKing

Living the dream
5+ Year Member
Dec 31, 2012
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It's better for you to do it now before you've started working as an RN. Once you start as an RN, you invite yourself to questions of why you left nursing for medicine. You will get such questions anyways, but they would be worse if you entered the field.
 

TriagePreMed

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Apr 28, 2010
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As long as you have a bachelor's and all the required prereqs, I don't think it would be that big of a hindrance that you didn't actually work as an RN. I would say you could benefit from doing quite a few hours of physician shadowing, volunteering with patients in some way, etc. to get some more healthcare exposure outside from doing clinicals. Still, I would say you have more patient interaction than many people I know who have applied to MD school.
Looks like your stats are pretty awesome though, and " I have experienced some fantastic things in nursing that have really helped to influence and shape me"...talk about the potential to make a great personal statement!
Actually, it very well might. This person wasted a seat to a potential nurse. Nurses that change after 5+ years are at least able to say they gave nursing a shot.
 
OP
G
Dec 28, 2011
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you everyone for your thoughts!

Triage, I honestly don't see it as me "wasting" a spot. I went to nursing school thinking full well that I wanted to be a nurse. Minds change, ambitions change, situations change, and people change. That's life, and a positive aspect of it in my opinion. If I had decided to leave nursing school, my seat would have remained empty. Attrition is a normal part of nursing school anyway - plenty of people who started in my program dropped out for either personal or academic reasons.

I might feel bad about if it there were a shortage of nurses in my area, but there is not. And as I have mentioned, the experiences I have gained in school have been very valuable in shaping me both personally and as a future professional.

Thanks in advance for any more thoughts/advice.
 

Tildy

12 yrs old, feels like 84
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Apr 4, 2007
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Assuming I could have an otherwise strong application, does anyone have any insight into how graduating with a BSN but not working as a nurse could affect me (in the case I don't find that part-time job)? Would it be nearly impossible? Would a great PS explaining myself ameliorate the doubts this would bring up to admissions committees? I'm very open to DO schools and I understand that they may look more favorably on people with a background like mine, if that makes a difference. Thanks for any advice with this.
There is a persistent belief on SDN that there is a nursing shortage and that medical schools look down on nurses who apply to med school. Some believe this is worse if they never worked as nurses, some believe it is better if they tried the field.

In my view and experience, medical schools appreciate nurse applicants. EVERY career changer must explain their reasons for the change and EVERY medical school applicant needs to demonstrate, via shadowing or other experiences, their understanding of the medical field and the role of the physician in it. I know of no evidence that this is different for DO vs MD schools and I doubt it is for most schools.

I do not think it makes any difference for MOST adcom members at MOST schools if you ever were working as a nurse as long as your explanations and understandings of the fields are clear and well expressed.

There are exceptions to everything of this sort. But, one should hardly plan on working in a field you don't want to work for years just to satisfy anyone.

And of course, as you know, there isn't really a nursing shortage and, in general, med schools never really cared if you took someones "place" in nursing school by applying to med school.

As always, YMMV.
 

ToldYouSo

Student
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Oct 11, 2008
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Agreed, as long as the degree was earned and any student loan is eventually paid off you are absolutely free to do whatever you want and don't have any public obligation to practice as a nurse nor feel bad for "taking" a spot from someone, which you didn't do. We don't berate engineering pre-meds for not practicing as engineers afterwards. If the sdn mantra that "major doesn't matter" is really true then it doesn't matter.
 
OP
G
Dec 28, 2011
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks so much for that post Tildy - it's great to hear that what I've been reading on SDN about this may not be completely true in reality.

My decision to enter medicine is infinitely more informed than my decision to enter nursing. I hope that as long as I can communicate clearly why medicine is the best fit for me that I can succeed in conjunction with a strong application overall. Thanks again.
 

TriagePreMed

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Apr 28, 2010
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts!

Triage, I honestly don't see it as me "wasting" a spot. I went to nursing school thinking full well that I wanted to be a nurse. Minds change, ambitions change, situations change, and people change. That's life, and a positive aspect of it in my opinion. If I had decided to leave nursing school, my seat would have remained empty. Attrition is a normal part of nursing school anyway - plenty of people who started in my program dropped out for either personal or academic reasons.

I might feel bad about if it there were a shortage of nurses in my area, but there is not. And as I have mentioned, the experiences I have gained in school have been very valuable in shaping me both personally and as a future professional.

Thanks in advance for any more thoughts/advice.
I can definitely understand a change of mind and am not stating what I personally feel but rather what I've heard about nursing applicants without experience.
 
Aug 12, 2012
84
0
Idaho
Status
Pre-Medical
Actually, it very well might. This person wasted a seat to a potential nurse. Nurses that change after 5+ years are at least able to say they gave nursing a shot.
You make an excellent point. I made that comment based off of a friend that was in the same situation. She was asked at every medical school interview why the change, but that aspect of the issue never arose. I suppose it depends on the particular school and interviewers though.
 
OP
G
Dec 28, 2011
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,

Graduation is looming for me, and I would appreciate any additional thoughts as I mull over my options.

Ideally I would like to start taking the classes I need as soon as possible - though the other option is to find a job and work for a while. Any other thoughts on how bad it would look to graduate with my BSN without working in nursing? I do think I have good reasons for the switch which would be outlined explicitly in my PS.

I have completed half of the pre-req's at my four year university - any thoughts on how it would look to take the additional courses at a CC? A CC would cost 1/3 as much as a university, plus classes would be a lot smaller... I figure that might make it easier to get to know the instructors. I've already done well in upper-level science classes at a four year school, so I'd hope it wouldn't count against me too much.

As I stated before, I am completely open to DO schools. With my stats so far, and assuming I do well on the MCAT and have good LOR's, is it unreasonable to assume that a DO acceptance would be extremely likely for me?

Thanks again for any advice/thoughts!