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Apr 19, 2020
3
3
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi there,

I’m a 41 year old NP who is taking prerequisites and will be ready to apply in Spring 2022. I have been a full-time nurse/NP for 11 years and really always wanted to be a doctor, but didn’t have guidance as a youngster, went to a poorly performing high school in a rural area, and for many years, I simply didn‘t believe in myself or my abilities.

My question is this: 20 years ago as a college senior, I plagiarized on a paper. It was obvious, I was immediately caught, and in the meeting with the professor and the dean, I admitted it and was assigned what I believe was a fair and just punishment, which was an F in the class and a one-year hold on my diploma. They allowed me to walk in the graduation with my fellow students, but I didn’t officially graduate until the following June.

I can honestly say that this was a singular episode. I had never plagiarized before and I never have since. This episode haunted me for a long time and I did a lot of soul-searching to figure out how I got to that extreme point of desperation/panic. I now think there were a lot of reasons, but they don’t really matter. What matters is that I learned A LOT about myself from it and though I will always feel terrible about how I hurt myself and the other students in the class by violating my school’s honor code, I do think I eventually emerged from the episode a better person somehow. I developed more empathy for people who screw up, have remorse for it, and need a second chance.

I have gone on to get 3 more degrees, including a master’s in literature and a bachelor’s and master’s in nursing. I have never had any other academic issues. I maintained a 4.0 GPA in the nursing programs and currently have a 4.0 in my pre-requisite classes (I am taking them at a top 20 public university).

I have received post-secondary 3 degrees since the IA and have had to explain the IA on each application, so I’m familiar with that process. My question for all of you is—given this history, should I continue on this journey? Or will this sink any chance I have at successfully realizing my dream of becoming a physician? I am 41 as I mentioned and an NP—I know I might already look like a less favorable choice because of age and occupation.

Thanks very much for any guidance.
 

Goro

Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
60,292
90,561
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
20 years ago, Bill Clinton was president, the NY Yankees won the World Series and most SDNers were either not even born or were in diapers.

That was a different world and your IA will be viewed more as an artifact from a different time and person.
 

Supahchungus

5+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2015
211
782
Status
Pre-Medical
i think you should apply! 2 decade old IA is not the same as a 1 year old IA. It seems like you have had time to reflect on your actions and a long track record of honest behavior since then. Some schools might see your age as a downside, but other programs would probably love the experience and diversity you could add to the class. On one of my interview days (at a Top-10 medical school) there was a current first year medical student who was a former NP and was around your age.
 
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Itisnottoolate

2+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2017
120
104
Former NP and Current M1. It sounds weird to put former NP because I only recently stopped working. I am 34! Go for your dream. I had many poor grades in my transcript from 15 years ago. I didn’t have IA but I did have to overcome my low gpa from 15 years ago. Good luck!
 
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Jul 5, 2020
99
66
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I don't see a reason why anyone would hold that IA against you. It sounds like you take responsibility for your actions and have 11 years as a licensed nurse/NP without violations to prove that you've grown from it. Just be honest about it on your applications
 
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