Nursing vs pharmacy school

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by tsal714, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. tsal714

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    Hi guys,

    I'm a 4th year Canadian university student graduating this year. I will have a Chemistry degree. I chose Chemistry based on interest but I know that the job prospects in this field is not great (Nursing and Pharmacy are better) and there aren't a lot of demand for chemists. I've also always wanted to work in health care so I kind of regret taking Chemistry in the first place. I've decided to go into either a Pharmacy or Nursing school but I'm having a difficult time choosing between the two. I know I'll have to make the decision but I would love to hear other people's input (I think it would be best to hear from those who were in the same position before or those who have been in Nursing and/or Pharmacy school although anyone may feel free to respond). I would really like a good, stable, and in demand job.

    Why I'm thinking of choosing pharmacy:
    1) If I were to choose between the two based on interest I would pick pharmacy. I've worked at a pharmacy as a pharmacy assistant and I think it's a job that I would enjoy. I am also more interested in Chemistry though I didn't do well in Organic Chemistry. I enjoyed pretty much all Chemistry lectures I had - I liked learning the material and I usually don't find it difficult to pay attention in lecture unlike most of my Biology/ Biochemistry courses. That being said, I think I would also like Nursing but I'd probably like Pharmacy a bit more due to Pharmacy having more Chemistry involved.
    2) I've been told pharmacy is better since the work schedules for nurses are all over the place and nurses are often required to work graveyard shifts. A nurse's job is also usually much more physically demanding than a pharmacist's.

    Why I'm thinking of choosing nursing instead:
    1) Pharmacy requires more time and money- it is much more expensive (more than twice the accelerated nursing program) and it would be another 4 years. If I took accelerated nursing instead it would only be 2 years.
    2) I was told that pharmacists have more difficulty finding jobs than nurses since there's bigger demand for nurses just about anywhere.
    3) Pharmacists don't really advance in their careers unlike nurses who can advance as a nurse practitioner.

    I think the most practical choice would be accelerated nursing because of the reasons I mentioned above, but I'm worried that I won't like it or I may not be able to keep up with the physical demands of the job. However, I also don't want to go in pharmacy if pharmacists have worse/less job prospects than a nurse.

    Thanks for your input.
     
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  3. legaldrugnerd

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    Nursing has a higher job outlook than Pharmacy (and MD also). But I can't say I know any nurses who majored in chemistry then backtracked to do a nursing major. I'd do some research for your living area or where you intend on living and go from there.
     
  4. Hello tsal714!
    I myself was also concerned with going to nursing versus going into pharmacy. In my opinion... I am a princess... I don't like to do the stuff nurses do even if you want to become a nurse practitioner you have to become an RN first. This means cleaning excrement from other people... you know nurse stuff :hungover:. However, if you see yourself doing it go for it!!! ;)
     
  5. Also nurses in general have CRAZY hours (my aunts are almost all nurses except one who is a psychologist)
     
  6. tsal714

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    I've looked into it and there is an accelerated nursing program that I could join- it would only take 2 years.
     
  7. That's interesting but don't solely go by which career can finish faster... :)
     
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  8. lalaland33

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    Hi, it seems like you already made your decision with nursing? I just wanted to say that based on what my mom and sister are doing (mom is a registered nurse, sister is a nursing student/nurse assistant), it is a very physically demanding job. You have to be able to clean up other people's feces and work with catheters, etc.
    But....if you work hard enough and get through the first few years, like you said, you can move forward with your career by doing a masters/doctorate in nursing, nurse anesthetist, nurse practioner etc. and work in higher positions :) So if the physically demanding part of the job is making you worried, at least know that it's not the end of the road in that career.

    I also had to make the choice between the two and to be honest, I don't have the patience to do any of the above so pharmacy was a clear choice for me.
     
  9. I agree with lalaland33, mostly because of what my aunts have told me :thumbup:
     
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  10. tsal714

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    Hello, no I haven't quite made up my mind yet but I was leaning more on nursing mostly because it would be the most practical and there seems to be a greater demand for them. From what I've read, there's no way you can be a nurse practitioner without first becoming an RN and working for at least a couple of years so that is something to think about. Do you live in Canada by any chance? I wanted to ask if you knew of the job market for pharmacists. I've looked into this but I also like asking people in case they know. Thank you.
     
  11. tsal714

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    Thanks for your input! I've been spending some time on the more specific day to day duties for nurses but the ones I've found online are very general. Would you mind sharing what you know? Sounds like you know a lot about nursing.
     
  12. lalaland33

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    That's correct. I think it's recommended that you work at least 3 years before pursuing education as a nurse practioner but if you were wanting to get a masters or doctorate degree in nursing there's so wait time on it and you can land a managerial position with that.
    I don't live in Canada so I'm not sure about the job market there.
     
  13. stoichiometrist

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    I agree with this. We complain about retail pharmacy all the time, yet nursing is far worse.
     
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  14. AslanMacit

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    Pharmacy hands down (for me personally at least.)
     
  15. I am not entirely sure if the same process of becoming a nurse practitioner in the U.S. is the same as in Canada,
    however I did minimal research and the requirements depend on your province. I also found that nurse practitioners in Canada have two specialties.... primary healthcare nurse practitioners and acute care nurse practitioners. I think the difference between these two is what settings you want to work in.
     
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  17. I don't live in Canada but I did research about it and it seems that Canada lacks pharmacists in a greater scale than the U.S. ... it is voted one of the Canada's best jobs in 2016 by Canadian business.
     
  18. tsal714

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    This is my main concern with nursing. From your signature it sounds like you're encouraging people to not take pharmacy?
     
  19. tsal714

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    Mind sharing your reasons?
     
  20. tsal714

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    Read that article too. I think they had pharmacist at #10 and nurses at 3. Something like that.
     
  21. stoichiometrist

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    Think of the rude and entitled patients + family members, 12+ hours on your feet with no breaks, not nearly enough time to care for your patients due to understaffing, and working weekends, holidays, and overnights. Add to that having to lift heavy patients and being exposed to bodily fluids and pathogens.

    Speaking for the USA, I don't recommend the health professions for the most part. Most of them are completely saturated with graduates and are far more stressful than other professions. There are other professions that are stable, in demand, pay well, and offer a better qualify of life, i.e. computer programming, finance, accounting, engineering, etc.
     
  22. lalaland33

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    Nurses definitely get breaks and there are protocols for dealing with patients with diseases like C.diff so that you don't end up in a hospital bed yourself. But yeah, it's going to be tough. If you can work for at least 3 years as a nurse, you have a lot of options ahead of you :)
    Otherwise, try to get some experience in pharmacy as a technician and see if you like it and if you do, that might be a better route for you.
     
  23. Mcar11

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    Hi there!

    As a non traditional, (much older lol) med-student, with several friends who are active nurses, I can tell you that these are all bad primary reasons to go into nursing.

    Nursing requires a great deal of unappreciated, underpaid, very hard work. Most importantly, it requires a passion for medicine and patients. Perhaps I missed it, but I saw nothing indicating your desire to work with people. You HAVE to love what you do. If you don’t, you will be miserable and bitter about your choice every day and your patients WILL feel it.

    If I were you, I would investigate your options regarding Chem a bit more. Beyond pharmacy there is R&D, technical writing, forensic science—some very lucrative fields under the right circumstances.

    If nothing else, you are young! :) Find an internship or very intense medical volunteer work that will give you some exposure to nursing.

    Don’t wait forever to go back to school like I did, but do yourself a favor and don’t jump into such a mental, physical, and financial investment lightly.
     
  24. sspharmy

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    Based off what you wrote I would go with pharmacy. I think that to be a successful nurse you have to be extremely compassionate toward others, much more so than any other health professional, and truly love what you do. If you don’t feel that way about nursing, don’t go into it. You would only be doing your patients a disservice.
     
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  25. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt

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    Maybe it's different in Canada, but in the US, pharmacist schedules are also many times swing-shifting and all over the place (including 3rd shift.)

    You have experience working in pharmacy, and you like it, so that seems to be the way to go. I wouldn't even consider nursing, unless you are able to shadow or get some other direct experience to see what nursing is about.
     
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  26. giga

    U.S. Public Health Service Pharmacist

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    I would recommend shadowing nurses or working as a nurse's aid to get some first hand experience - even though you have family members who are nurses, you won't really know if you like it or not unless you try it out yourself.
    Also, why not medical school or dental school? What about optometry or podiatry? Or why even limit yourself to clinical work? Why not business, research, academia, or government (i.e. regulatory) work? Shadow as many different professionals as you can before making a decision. As I've gained more experience working in healthcare as a pharmacist I've learned a lot about different career paths that I wish I had known before I had gone to pharmacy school - a lot of the assumptions I made about different professions and specialties ended up being inaccurate. So my best advice is to actually go out there and try things for yourself. Reading things on the internet is fine, but is no substitute for shadowing/interning/volunteering.
     
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  27. caroliiine

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    Hi. maybe you've heard about unsafe nurse to patient ratio. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Nurses, healthcare providers, and the scientific community understand that unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios contribute to increased morbidity and mortality for patients.
    In 2018 nurses from around the United States will gather in Washington DC again to raise public awareness regarding safe nurse patient ratios.
    More info here: nursestakedc

    If you want to help us, please share the info: Raise public awareness regarding safe nurse to patient ratios! - Medcourses US - medical courses, conferences, events
    nursestakedc
     
    #25 caroliiine, Feb 5, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  28. darknecrosforte

    darknecrosforte SDN Lifetime Donor
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    No.

    At least correct the spelling mistakes in your spam if you're going to hijack threads with your terrible advertising.
     
  29. caroliiine

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    I'm not interested in arguments. Have a great evening everyone! :)
     

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