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I applied to PA school about 3 times now and I need to consider other options as a back up. I am a bit older and don't have time to just wait. Now I was thinking going the nursing to NP route. The thought of nursing sounds miserable to me, but my goal would be to work 1 year or 2 then apply to NP school. I would like to work in specialties with dermatology being my favorite.

Nursing route would be a lot easier since if I do get into the school of my choice it is right near my living quarters. So no moving and can keep my job which is very flexible. If I had to do nursing forever however I would not consider this path. What are your thoughts? Do you think it is a good choice?
 
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I applied to PA school about 3 times now and I need to consider other options as a back up. I am a bit older and don't have time to just wait. Now I was thinking going the nursing to NP route. The thought of nursing sounds miserable to me, but my goal would be to work 1 year or 2 then apply to NP school. I would like to work in specialties with dermatology being my favorite.

Nursing route would be a lot easier since if I do get into the school of my choice it is right near my living quarters. So no moving and can keep my job which is very flexible. If I had to do nursing forever however I would not consider this path. What are your thoughts? Do you think it is a good choice?
This is the 3rd time you've asked the same question slightly reworded. The last post you said you were interested in nursing. In this post you state "the thought of nursing sounds miserable to me." If that's the case, don't become a nurse, that's an easy answer to your question.
 
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This is the 3rd time you've asked the same question slightly reworded. The last post you said you were interested in nursing. In this post you state "the thought of nursing sounds miserable to me." If that's the case, don't become a nurse, that's an easy answer to your question.
how do you know if this is the 3rd time I asked? There is an end goal in mind. Do nursing for couple of years and then apply to NP school
 
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how do you know if this is the 3rd time I asked? There is an end goal in mind. Do nursing for couple of years and then apply to NP school
I read your previous posts. If you don't like nursing, don't be a nurse. If you want to get into a decent NP school it will require letters of reference. You will only get those letters if you excel at nursing and distinguish yourself. You won't distinguish yourself if "the thought of nursing sounds miserable."
 

pamac

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To answer some of your questions in your PM about being a derm NP... Yes, in an independent state, you could open up your own derm practice. I have no idea how well that would work. You'd likely have to collaborate with MD's, or at least be able to refer out for skin issues that require an MDs scope of practice, (which would be quite a bit wider than your own.... Significantly wider).

I also don't know how many patients will want to show up to an NP solo practice with that limited scope. I see derm MDs being very territorial because it's an extremely lucrative and competetive area of medicine. It seems like if it was something that was easy for an NP to do, I would see more of them out doing it in their own clinics, but that's not common at all where I am. Admittedly, I'm not dialed in to a ton of NPs that are out running their own clinics, and the ones that I know about are mostly in primary care or psyche. In theory, though, an NP could go out and hang a shingle, but theory and reality frequently collide.

Theres a lot that people don't consider about what it takes to run your own practice in healthcare. It seems like it should be possible to have your spouse run the front desk and answer phones, and hire a medical assistant to bring people back and get vitals, but there is so much more. That's why you witness physicians banding together into larger and larger practices to pool resources. You need to have proper workspace, equipment, business arrangements for billing, insurance authorizations (if you can even get insurance companies to authorize you and your interventions), supplies, lab services, electronic medical records documentation software, etc. If one expects to be injecting Botox and prescribing acutane all day and making a lot of money, the real outcome might be disappointing. Successful practices are built up and have reputations behind their name, and you can't establish that if you aren't set up to solve a broad range of issues beyond just the stuff that you think everyone is going to come in for treatment of. Additionally, a lot of derm services are able to be addressed by family practice providers, so patients go to them for the easy stuff, and get referred to derm MDs for the hard stuff, leaving the "derm NP" in the middle doing the Botox injections that derm MDs give out already at a discount to get patients in the door of their clinic to offer other services to those patients and their family members. But in any event, I have a friend that is a dermatologist, and is in huge practice for a reason, and it's because working small isn't the way things are headed.

You asked about PAs in derm. A PA could not go out solo very easily, especially because I don't imagine many are able to find a supervising physician in derm willing to allow their supervisee to go and compete with their own lucrative practice... after all, a dermatologist will always be fine with the possibility of making even more money. I also don't see a PA in that situation being able to make a big enough payment to a dermatologist to sway him or her to go into that kind of arrangement. It's too much hassle for a physician that could just go out and open up a branch office across the street from said PA and be booked out 8 months in advance whole hiring their own PA. In the situation with a PA trying to run solo, the PA relies upon the MD for everything, whereas the MD relies on the PA not at all.

I know a few PAs in derm and they are very well taken care of by the places that they work.... I believe they are probably the best paid PAs I've run into. They likely make as much as the average Psyche NPs I've met. I think their doctors pay them well because there is always the chance that another MD will try to poach them to leave and go to their practice. But there's really nothing to keep the docs from deciding to pay them $90k per year, except maybe that chance of putting effort and money into a PA and having them go work for another doctor if they don't pay out to keep them around.
 
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thank you for your very informative post pamac. I don't plan to open a solo practice at all and am aware of the stresses that come with it. I do know that a PA has the ability to switch to different specialties with ease, but I don't think its the same for NP. NP can work in derm and are treated relatively the same as a PA I am assuming? I plan to work for a large group practice
 

pamac

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PAs switching specialties isn't as easy as it sounds. When they do that they risk watering down their experience. If you spend time in derm, and that's all you know, you have to think that an ER would have reservations about you compared to another PA that demonstrated more background in that area.

Why have you had such a hard time landing a PA spot after 3 tries? Even before I submitted my application to PA school the first time, I knew what would hold me back. You should have some idea as well. Your backup plan of nursing could take a long time, and you never know what is going to come up in life to make things complicated. The NP path is very deliberate and has good places to stop along the way, but it can be long. But I can appreciate your position right now. I can give encouragement and say I have seen people buckle down and go from zero to NP in just under 4 years. And the thing about those cases were that it was all in their hands. The step that is the most uncertain is just getting into and through RN school, because even though it's not really hard, the faculty don't make it easy. In fact, they can be very petty. But nursing can be extremely petty.

I look fondly ahead to a new career and not being part of the machinery that is nursing politics. There is large emphasis on issues that ultimately are based on other's perceptions (and more frequently misperceptions) of your inner workings... Which oddly enough primarlily a superpower that self proclaimed strong willed women possess. I'm not saying that males arent responsible for some nursing nonsense, but it's more rare to see because males are about 6% of the nursing workforce. Among the other 94%, only 10 percent of female nurses have to be capable of making you miserable to almost double the entire population of male nurses. On the flipside, if 10 percent of male nurses are punks, that's far less than 1% of the nursing population that could potentially make their coworkers miserable at their job.
 
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I'm still wondering why you would consider becoming a nurse if you find it so distasteful? It seems to me that, perhaps, you think that becoming a NP will somehow make you a physician. That's not the case. IDK. It seems so nonsensical to "dread" becoming a part of the healthcare team. What, exactly, is your goal for wanting to become a mid-level healthcare provider? Is it money? Seems like a lot of effort to do something that you may not like -- after all, the things that you might dread about potentially being a nurse (interacting with patients, seeing patients' butts/body, doing gross medical things like wound care) are all things that would be pretty central to many physician/NP practices. Ideally, you'd be well trained in all the grossness that goes along with healthcare. Wiping the occasional butt is small potatoes. Generally speaking, people who go into healthcare tend to enjoy the intricacies of the human body and the human experience. Certainly, it would make nursing and being an NP more enjoyable.
 
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Because I was bored, I looked at your many posts. First you were considering PT -- but you thought it would be boring. Next, it looked as if you thought about Pharmacy. Now you're thinking PA/NP. You're in your late 20's with a biology degree. You don't appear to have a career, as such, at present. It seems as if you don't particularly like people, but think that something in healthcare would be appropriate since you have a biology degree. Plus, you want to make 6 figures. So, nothing boring, nothing that could be considered "icky", nothing where you're having to deal with people problems (aka patients), and a huge paycheck. IDK. Most jobs in healthcare can be boring, icky, and tend to be people oriented.

If you like science, you might consider dosimetry. No patient contact and the pay is good. Plus, they'll likely let you wear a white coat.

As with most things, there are trade-offs. A high paycheck usually means 1.high level of difficult training/education (or/and) 2. high responsibility (or/and) 3.lots of experience (or/and) 4. unpleasant work conditions.
 

pamac

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And all of those tradeoffs could possibly exist for you as a provider... at the same time.

There are easier ways to make money than going through all the trouble of going into a medical provider field.

I have questions... have you ever gotten any interviews during your 3 PA school attempts? What are your grades like?

I don't usually try to delve into someone's motivations for going into a career, because at the end of the day most jobs are just jobs. You don't have to be in love with them to do them. I shoot for the more achievable aim of simply being able to not hate my job. But the problem with medical careers is that they require planning ahead, and even taking a plunge before you really know what you are getting into. I had to believe I would be fine with nursing for me to have the motivation to get up and go to nursing school every day. Being a nurse was an important part of the other piece of my long-term goal of NP. You need to decide if you will have that motivation to keep going. You might have to camp out for a while as a nurse if things don't line up perfectly. I enjoy my job in nursing enough that I could do it indefinitely if I had to. But I'm interested in making more money and having some other perks that come from having a better position as an NP. They are completely different roles as well.
 
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And all of those tradeoffs could possibly exist for you as a provider... at the same time.

There are easier ways to make money than going through all the trouble of going into a medical provider field.

I have questions... have you ever gotten any interviews during your 3 PA school attempts? What are your grades like?

I don't usually try to delve into someone's motivations for going into a career, because at the end of the day most jobs are just jobs. You don't have to be in love with them to do them. I shoot for the more achievable aim of simply being able to not hate my job. But the problem with medical careers is that they require planning ahead, and even taking a plunge before you really know what you are getting into. I had to believe I would be fine with nursing for me to have the motivation to get up and go to nursing school every day. Being a nurse was an important part of the other piece of my long-term goal of NP. You need to decide if you will have that motivation to keep going. You might have to camp out for a while as a nurse if things don't line up perfectly. I enjoy my job in nursing enough that I could do it indefinitely if I had to. But I'm interested in making more money and having some other perks that come from having a better position as an NP. They are completely different roles as well.
This is what I was getting at as well. Nursing school has its own pain, you should at least at the START want to be a nurse before you begin it.
 

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I'm less inclined to think that someone has to want to be a nurse. Its a bad omen if they hate the idea of being a nurse, just because it may take a while to get through. I didn't want to be a nurse for very long, and went into it knowing that, but I also didn't despise going to work every day as an RN. But folks can say the same about medical school, I'm sure. A lot of it depends on the level of disdain.

I wasn't going to apply to PA school more than a couple times. I applied once as a practice run for what I had planned to do the next year. My applications the first time went out fairly late compared to what I would have done under ideal circumstances, and definitely later than I could afford given the fact that I had some grades that were lower than they should have been. I received interview invites at a few places, which was a surprise to me. I only bothered to attend one interview because I landed a spot in nursing school and saw a path that fit more with my long term goals. I knew nursing wouldn't be a bad place to go for me before I went on to the next level, and offered a lot of stability if I needed to fall back on it. But I faced my PA school weaknesses head-on, and was already working on improving on them so that I could land a spot in a program. If it didn't work out, I was looking at podiatry school or even Caribbean medical school, but wasn't at all eager for those two paths. Applying repeatedly to PA school without making significant improvement doesn't make sense, especially given that admission is more competitive year by year.

I guess if someone wants to blow through nursing just to get to NP, then hating being an RN might be a decent catalyst for motivating them, and I've even seen that a couple times, but I've also seen folks bow out in the middle of their program as well.
 

FNP_Blix

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I applied to PA school about 3 times now and I need to consider other options as a back up. I am a bit older and don't have time to just wait. Now I was thinking going the nursing to NP route. The thought of nursing sounds miserable to me, but my goal would be to work 1 year or 2 then apply to NP school. I would like to work in specialties with dermatology being my favorite.

Nursing route would be a lot easier since if I do get into the school of my choice it is right near my living quarters. So no moving and can keep my job which is very flexible. If I had to do nursing forever however I would not consider this path. What are your thoughts? Do you think it is a good choice?
I say you keep pushing for PA school. You only tried 3 times and honestly the track in nursing is longer in most cases. Apply a few more times, get some more healthcare experience under your belt and you should get in...If you don't like nursing, or the thought of being an RN is "miserable" then you shouldn't be going this route.
 

pamac

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I'm thinking PA would be a good plan as well, albeit with some significant introspection on why you aren't getting interviews. If you are getting them, then that is reason enough to stick with that plan, because it means the solution just involves some minor tweaking of your approach, which could ultimately just come down to minor aspects of presentation. Nursing would take you years more work.... Up to 5 or 6.... Or more. Accelerated bachelors programs are out there, but you might have to retool your prereqs to get in, which is more time. And the academic element comes in to play. You still have to be able to perform well to get into nursing schools, get through them, and get into and through NP school.
 
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I'm thinking PA would be a good plan as well, albeit with some significant introspection on why you aren't getting interviews. If you are getting them, then that is reason enough to stick with that plan, because it means the solution just involves some minor tweaking of your approach, which could ultimately just come down to minor aspects of presentation. Nursing would take you years more work.... Up to 5 or 6.... Or more. Accelerated bachelors programs are out there, but you might have to retool your prereqs to get in, which is more time. And the academic element comes in to play. You still have to be able to perform well to get into nursing schools, get through them, and get into and through NP school.
I have gotten a couple, but if I want to really change I will need to retake classes to improve my gpa thats my biggest problem. Which is more time and money. ABSN program I could get in right now and there is 2 programs that are close to where I live. Financially it would be better to go this route. I plan to work for a couple of years as a nurse then eventually go for my NP.

I think more than anything I just want to get life started already, I just feel like life is slipping away. Parents getting older, friends on with their lives, etc.. Plus I come from a poor family and it pains me to continue to leech off my parents when I could have just became an engineer or computer science and have my life together already. However I don't think those fields plays to my strengths. I think saying nursing would be miserable is too strong of a word. As I get older I realize like you don't have to love your job you have to be okay with doing it. I feel like I would be okay with doing it or can tolerate it, plus the endless opportunities that comes with it makes sense.
 
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I say you keep pushing for PA school. You only tried 3 times and honestly the track in nursing is longer in most cases. Apply a few more times, get some more healthcare experience under your belt and you should get in...If you don't like nursing, or the thought of being an RN is "miserable" then you shouldn't be going this route.
I am picturing ABSN route which is at most 2 years + 1 or 2 years working as a nurse + 2 years as a NP. I feel this route is very attainable. Since both absn and np programs are right where I live which financially would not put me in major debt because I have a very flexible job that pays decently that I can still keep.
 

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I am picturing ABSN route which is at most 2 years + 1 or 2 years working as a nurse + 2 years as a NP. I feel this route is very attainable. Since both absn and np programs are right where I live which financially would not put me in major debt because I have a very flexible job that pays decently that I can still keep.
I don't know why you think nursing would be any easier or shorter. You should just go after the career you want the most...Nevertheless, its your journey & everyone has their reasons. If you do the nursing route, at least you plan on getting the 1-2 years RN experience before going to NP school. Best of luck to you.
 
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I don't know why you think nursing would be any easier or shorter. You should just go after the career you want the most...Nevertheless, its your journey & everyone has their reasons. If you do the nursing route, at least you plan on getting the 1-2 years RN experience before going to NP school. Best of luck to you.
I wouldn't say shorter per se, but it will allow me to have a career quicker which is my biggest worry. I will be okay having a professional career as a nurse since it is much better than me struggling making slightly above minimum wage.
 

pamac

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I am picturing ABSN route which is at most 2 years + 1 or 2 years working as a nurse + 2 years as a NP. I feel this route is very attainable. Since both absn and np programs are right where I live which financially would not put me in major debt because I have a very flexible job that pays decently that I can still keep.
For you, the accelerated BSN is the only way I would do nursing, and it sounds like you have nearby options and a good plan. I can appreciate the notion of not throwing more money at PA, and opting for the sure thing, which I've said in the past is one of the aspects of nursing that I liked... there is a surefire process to advancing through the ranks to NP that offer great options along the way.

I'd apply for NP school as soon as you get your bearings and get off of RN orientation where you will work. You'll need to have some letters of recommendation to get into NP school, so that's something you will want to move towards as soon as you hit the ground as an RN, obviously keeping in mind that it will take a little while for a coworker or boss to get to know you enough to give you a good letter.

I think once you get into nursing, you'll find it is better than you might expect. The things that I am critical of are things that I wouldn't have known much about before I became a nurse, and every job has those kinds of aspects. I'm not a people person by default, but I think that's different from not liking people, and we sometimes have preconceived notions of what makes us tick.

Before nursing school, I realized that life moves fast, and it isn't helpful to carry the perspective that I would relax and be happy once I got to a certain checkpoint. I was going to try to live a normal, well adjusted life and move along towards my goals as a side note. But obviously that's easier to do if you have money and time, and school and work limitations sap both of those. RN school was something that demanded a lot of time and effort, so that happy-go-lucky mindset I wanted to have took a backseat to what I needed to get done to be successful. But I found a way to at least appreciate what I had in my life, and worked hard to treat obstacles as something to enjoy as I was overcoming them rather than as a burden. Any long process should be tackled that way, or else the rewards at the end of the journey might seem fleeting. I still struggle with living in the moment, but I'm better at it than I used to be. If I had done medical school back in the day, I would have been a miserable medical student because of my former outlook. A lot of that mindset is what plays into being a procrastinator.... you put things off, but are miserable the whole time you are putting things off, then when you are done with it, you are still miserable because of the memory of having to work really hard to throw things together at the last minute. On top of that, you are miserable because of the next thing on your plate that you put off because you were hammering away at the last challenge, and you are not looking forward to the next thing you have after that to do. That's no way to live when you have a long term goal in mind.
 
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For you, the accelerated BSN is the only way I would do nursing, and it sounds like you have nearby options and a good plan. I can appreciate the notion of not throwing more money at PA, and opting for the sure thing, which I've said in the past is one of the aspects of nursing that I liked... there is a surefire process to advancing through the ranks to NP that offer great options along the way.

I'd apply for NP school as soon as you get your bearings and get off of RN orientation where you will work. You'll need to have some letters of recommendation to get into NP school, so that's something you will want to move towards as soon as you hit the ground as an RN, obviously keeping in mind that it will take a little while for a coworker or boss to get to know you enough to give you a good letter.

I think once you get into nursing, you'll find it is better than you might expect. The things that I am critical of are things that I wouldn't have known much about before I became a nurse, and every job has those kinds of aspects. I'm not a people person by default, but I think that's different from not liking people, and we sometimes have preconceived notions of what makes us tick.

Before nursing school, I realized that life moves fast, and it isn't helpful to carry the perspective that I would relax and be happy once I got to a certain checkpoint. I was going to try to live a normal, well adjusted life and move along towards my goals as a side note. But obviously that's easier to do if you have money and time, and school and work limitations sap both of those. RN school was something that demanded a lot of time and effort, so that happy-go-lucky mindset I wanted to have took a backseat to what I needed to get done to be successful. But I found a way to at least appreciate what I had in my life, and worked hard to treat obstacles as something to enjoy as I was overcoming them rather than as a burden. Any long process should be tackled that way, or else the rewards at the end of the journey might seem fleeting. I still struggle with living in the moment, but I'm better at it than I used to be. If I had done medical school back in the day, I would have been a miserable medical student because of my former outlook. A lot of that mindset is what plays into being a procrastinator.... you put things off, but are miserable the whole time you are putting things off, then when you are done with it, you are still miserable because of the memory of having to work really hard to throw things together at the last minute. On top of that, you are miserable because of the next thing on your plate that you put off because you were hammering away at the last challenge, and you are not looking forward to the next thing you have after that to do. That's no way to live when you have a long term goal in mind.
Yes! You sound like me a lot of ways. I also have that kind of procrastinator mentality and look through the future while still being miserable haha. I appreciate your responses since you bring a lot of wisdom to the posts. All in all the main thing I want is a career where I am not absolutely miserable, make a decent income that allows me to independent, and is stable. I have friends who worked in various professions, get laid off, financially struggling, etc.. I am not a big spender and a simple man. I live a low cost lifestyle.

Also another big thing that I look at too is debt. Some programs far exceed the cost of return. If it doesn't make financial sense then whats the point. I feel that nursing checks off on all those things where it makes sense.
 
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Yes! You sound like me a lot of ways. I also have that kind of procrastinator mentality and look through the future while still being miserable haha. I appreciate your responses since you bring a lot of wisdom to the posts. All in all the main thing I want is a career where I am not absolutely miserable, make a decent income that allows me to independent, and is stable. I have friends who worked in various professions, get laid off, financially struggling, etc.. I am not a big spender and a simple man. I live a low cost lifestyle.

Also another big thing that I look at too is debt. Some programs far exceed the cost of return. If it doesn't make financial sense then whats the point. I feel that nursing checks off on all those things where it makes sense.
Good luck in nursing.
 
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