Is this a dumb/crazy idea?

whyjudywhy

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Jun 10, 2020
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    tl;dr: should I do an accelerated BSN before applying to med school?

    I am graduating after this summer as a psych major. My long term goal is to go to med school, but my sgpa is low so I will likely need to take some post bacc classes + I need to study for the MCAT. My concern is with my debt. I have about 50K in debt, a fair amount of it private. Obviously a psych major salary isn't likely to crack 40k starting. And college courses. MCAT prep, applying to med school isn't cheap. So one thought I've had is to do an accelerated BSN program after I graduate. Then I could work as an RN while I take more sci classes and study for the MCAT. My biggest concerns would be more debt and that adcoms might frown on me becoming an RN to only work for a few years.

    Some ProsSome Cons
    -Much better salary, especially if I work extra
    -High flexibility
    -More clinical knowledge/experience
    -If I can't get into med school, it would be a good career.
    ---I could go to NP school later on or use the experience to get into PA school
    -Money for applications, MCAT prep, more classes (+possible tuition reimbursement from jobs)
    -Improve communication/professional skills/etc.
    -Potentially boost my cGPA?
    -Even more debt load (possibility of good scholarships though??)
    -Might be frowned upon by med schools
    -Might be too busy working to study for the MCAT
    -Would have to move (only options in my area are extremely expensive and/or entry-level masters programs, which I don't want to do)
    -Could hurt my cGPA?
    -Could take a while (though usually only 12-18ish months)

    A related idea I've had floating around is LPN school, which would be a lot cheaper and potentially the same length or shorter, but less income opportunities.

    I appreciate any thoughts/critiques/being called a dumb dumb/etc.
     

    M&L

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      Alternative plan: get a job in an addiction treatment facility (they pay well, and they will take you with your psyche degree), it looks good on your resume for medical school, and if you dont get into medical school, you can always then go nursing or PA route.

      maybe i am wrong, but going RN route now for you as a stepping stone to medicine doesnt make sense. It sort of looks on paper like you dont know what you are doing. Plus nursing as an admirable hard profession, and you using it as a stepping stone for medicine might make you look bad for some people.
       
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      jhmmd

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        whyjudywhy said:
        tl;dr: should I do an accelerated BSN before applying to med school?

        I am graduating after this summer as a psych major. My long term goal is to go to med school, but my sgpa is low so I will likely need to take some post bacc classes + I need to study for the MCAT. My concern is with my debt. I have about 50K in debt, a fair amount of it private. Obviously a psych major salary isn't likely to crack 40k starting. And college courses. MCAT prep, applying to med school isn't cheap. So one thought I've had is to do an accelerated BSN program after I graduate. Then I could work as an RN while I take more sci classes and study for the MCAT. My biggest concerns would be more debt and that adcoms might frown on me becoming an RN to only work for a few years.
        Why are you interested in becoming a nurse in the first place?
         
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        GreenDuck12

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          tl;dr: should I do an accelerated BSN before applying to med school?

          I am graduating after this summer as a psych major. My long term goal is to go to med school, but my sgpa is low so I will likely need to take some post bacc classes + I need to study for the MCAT. My concern is with my debt. I have about 50K in debt, a fair amount of it private. Obviously a psych major salary isn't likely to crack 40k starting. And college courses. MCAT prep, applying to med school isn't cheap. So one thought I've had is to do an accelerated BSN program after I graduate. Then I could work as an RN while I take more sci classes and study for the MCAT. My biggest concerns would be more debt and that adcoms might frown on me becoming an RN to only work for a few years.

          Some ProsSome Cons
          -Much better salary, especially if I work extra
          -High flexibility
          -More clinical knowledge/experience
          -If I can't get into med school, it would be a good career.
          ---I could go to NP school later on or use the experience to get into PA school
          -Money for applications, MCAT prep, more classes (+possible tuition reimbursement from jobs)
          -Improve communication/professional skills/etc.
          -Potentially boost my cGPA?
          -Even more debt load (possibility of good scholarships though??)
          -Might be frowned upon by med schools
          -Might be too busy working to study for the MCAT
          -Would have to move (only options in my area are extremely expensive and/or entry-level masters programs, which I don't want to do)
          -Could hurt my cGPA?
          -Could take a while (though usually only 12-18ish months)

          A related idea I've had floating around is LPN school, which would be a lot cheaper and potentially the same length or shorter, but less income opportunities.

          I appreciate any thoughts/critiques/being called a dumb dumb/etc.


          This plan does not make sense UNLESS you want to be a nurse for a while. If your end goal is MD, you can start a postbac for that now and matriculate faster. It also may make you seem unsure of what you want since you will have graduated once with a psych degree, then a nursing degree, and then are doing classes to pursue a medical degree. As far as scholarships they usually only apply for folks earning their first degree, not a second. You can also look into jobs at universities and medical centers that provide tuition reimbursement if cost is a concern. Many schools l do this.
           
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          whyjudywhy

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            You should first try to apply to a ton of psych jobs and see if you can get a decent paying one. If that doesn't pan out (which I think it will) then revisit this nursing idea.
            That's my biggest issue though. I've been looking at jobs and I haven't been finding many more than like 35k. And I'm not eligible for a lot of them anyway because they require either 2000+ hours of supervised experience or research experience for RA positions (I didn't do a ton of research for my program). Everything else pretty much requires a masters or at least and LADC.
             
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            M&L

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              That's my biggest issue though. I've been looking at jobs and I haven't been finding many more than like 35k. And I'm not eligible for a lot of them anyway because they require either 2000+ hours of supervised experience or research experience for RA positions (I didn't do a ton of research for my program). Everything else pretty much requires a masters or at least and LADC.
              find a job as a program assistant in ADDICTION TREATMENT FACILITY. I did that with NO psych degree. It pays well, and will give you enough money to prep for application cycle. Also, hours are usually flexible in those jobs.
               

              curbsideconsult

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                That's my biggest issue though. I've been looking at jobs and I haven't been finding many more than like 35k. And I'm not eligible for a lot of them anyway because they require either 2000+ hours of supervised experience or research experience for RA positions (I didn't do a ton of research for my program). Everything else pretty much requires a masters or at least and LADC.
                You'd rather spend more time and thousands of dollars more obtaining a second bachelor's in order to become a nurse rather than get paid around $35k now with a degree you basically already have in hand? After half a year to a year's worth of experience you can apply to other jobs that are higher paying rather than saddle yourself with even more debt for a career you don't want.
                 
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                anewmanx

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                  Go military officer. AFAIK it qualifies for public service loan forgiveness. Immediately use your newly obtained tuition assistance and fat paycheck with free food/housing at your first permanent duty station to do your prerequisites at night. Two birds one stone. Air Force is a comfy lifestyle.
                   
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                  stayathomemom

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                    Besides the previous arguments, getting into an ABSN is typically pretty competitive, and there are a lot of people who intend to practice nursing trying to get in. Morally, I would say I can't agree with using it as a stepping stone to getting an MD/DO because it takes away that opportunity for a future nurse, especially since it's unnecessary in your pursuit of becoming a physician.
                     

                    whyjudywhy

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                      Okay all fair points.

                      Follow up: would doing an LPN or medical assistant program be more viable or would that have the same negative associations? I could get either done in about 2-3 semesters for <10k (plus a lot of the schools have good scholarships and I could get out of a few classes e.g. A&P).
                       

                      stayathomemom

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                        Okay all fair points.

                        Follow up: would doing an LPN or medical assistant program be more viable or would that have the same negative associations? I could get either done in about 2-3 semesters for <10k (plus a lot of the schools have good scholarships and I could get out of a few classes e.g. A&P).
                        I think it's a better plan than the first one. Are you considering CNA? I think CNA would be easier to obtain than LPN and better clinical experience than med assistant. I still think if you can get a job doing what you're already qualified for is going to be the most straightforward option.
                        How low is your sGPA, and what's your (reasonable) goal sGPA? How long will that take to achieve?
                         

                        whyjudywhy

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                          I actually already am a CNA. But the issue is that I'm pretty much stuck working in nursing homes/assisted livings which isn't bad experience but I don't know if it's the best clinical experience. I've tried to get hospital/clinic jobs but most of the time they seem to want people who already have worked in similar settings, so I haven't gotten anything. Plus the pay isn't exactly amazing (about $15/hr if I'm lucky unless I work in an absolute ****hole). If I went the LPN or MA route I could make $20-25+/hr.

                          Does anybody have any thoughts on which one of those two would be a better option? I would think MA would have an advantage of working more directly with physicians, but the pay is usually less. Would going the LPN route be frowned upon in the same way as an RN program?
                           

                          samc

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                            I actually already am a CNA. But the issue is that I'm pretty much stuck working in nursing homes/assisted livings which isn't bad experience but I don't know if it's the best clinical experience.

                            This is already more clinical experience than 99% of applicants. Just go with what you already have. I'm not an admissions person, but it could be that getting a whole separate credential during the med school process could make you look indecisive/flaky. Why not apply for some BA-based jobs and see what happens?
                             
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                            stayathomemom

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                              This is already more clinical experience than 99% of applicants. Just go with what you already have. I'm not an admissions person, but it could be that getting a whole separate credential during the med school process could make you look indecisive/flaky. Why not apply for some BA-based jobs and see what happens?
                              Agreed. The thing with clinical experience that I *think* the adcoms are looking for (or at least one aspect of it) is that you feel comfortable physically helping/touching patients, getting up close and personal and being ok with that. It shows you've experienced the...intimate...aspects of caring for another person and mature enough to handle it and know what you're getting into.
                               
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                              8YearsLate

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                                I'm saying this from a very respectful and encouraging place. You are obviously very motivated, but maybe take a little time to breathe and truly map out your next moves. I planned out my return to college for over a year before I took the leap. I worked, volunteered, shadowed, discussed the idea with family, did a ton of research, calculated cost (pre-med, applications, interviews, possibly moving, and then finally, medical school) and ROI, and even researched other medical careers (shadowed an NP and PA for a day, etc.)

                                If you entered into college not realizing your career path was not something that you liked/afforded you the lifestyle you want, got a CNA cert you don't use, and are now considering just "winging" nursing school for the sake of money or a resume slot, THAT indecisiveness is going to be evident to professors, adcoms, etc.

                                You want your heart to be 100% in this. You do not want to get down the line and realize that A) you don't really want to be a physician or B) you really do, but you've wasted resources and inadvertently foiled your own plans. It's okay to slow down. And it's okay to work at whatever job makes you happy and pays the bills for a while. Everyone and their mother has student loans. They won't bankrupt you. Pay what you can and don't let Sallie Mae make your decisions by-proxy. Good luck!
                                 
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