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Thanks for Reading!

A little bit of Background: I'm an EMT, and I want to eventually be an ER Physician. In December 2018 I'll have a BS in Behavioral Health Psychology, and in December 2020 I'll have a BS in Nursing.

The way my BSN is structured, I have a significant amount of space left over for some extra education, and I was hoping I could get some insight into what a Medical School would think of adding any one of these degrees to my application.

I'm not looking for return on investment in terms of later earnings or even for better job prospects, so much as having a wider understanding of emergencies and emergency care in general. Plus maybe it could be a gold star that makes my application stand out for Med School and an EM Residency.

One option is a MA in Human Services Counseling with a Trauma/Crisis Cognate (online via Liberty University). This program doesn't lead to licensure as a counselor, and I'm wondering if a Medical School might look down on an online Master's Degree that was only for personal edification.

Another option is a (disgustingly expensive) MS in Disaster Medicine and Management (online via Philadelphia University), or an (surprisingly cheap) MS in Emergency Management (online via Arkansas State University). Same issue: will a Medical School look down on an online Master's Degree that was only for personal edification?

And then one more thing. In general, what do medical schools think of over-educated applicants? I don't mean to sound snooty or superior, I just don't want to hurt my prospects by seeming like I have no idea what to do with my life (however true that might actually be :) )

Thanks again for reading!


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Feb 29, 2016
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When do you want to go to med school? All you need is a bachelor's, so why not try to apply sooner? Nursing courses usually do not meet med school requirements, so when will you take those (if you are not already in your first bachelor's)?

Not accusatory or snarky, just want to understand your plan: is there a reason you want to be a nurse before a doctor? Do you intend to practice as a nurse?

I wouldn't worry about the impressions you would make with an MA/MS or about being overeducated. No one is too educated to be challenged in med school, and it's amazing how everyone ends up on the same plane once the rubber meets the road. I think most admissions offices realize that. The one thing I would wonder though is why you're going out of your way to get a nursing degree knowing beforehand that you want to be a doctor (which renders a nursing degree useless from a professional perspective).


Thanks for the reply, and the insight about the Masters Degrees. Given that they don't look down on them, I think I'll proceed with the BSN and the MA in Trauma Counseling. Here were the answers to your questions:

I have the prerequisite courses sprinkled into my BS BH Psy program and my BSN Program; some are CC and some are upper division.

Thank you for phrasing the question gently :). Yes, I do intend on being and practicing as a nurse first. The BSN only sets me back a year in terms of when I would start Medical School (if you look at the schedule I added below), but I would get clinical experience in Emergency Medicine, as well as an additional Bachelors and Masters Degree in Healthcare/Medicine on my Med School Application. Plus, if I don't get into Med School, I'll be well on the way to getting my AGACNP, and still be able to work in EM.

My Nursing program is a dual ADN/BSN program, where you get your ADN and RN License in Year 2 ('19), and your BSN in Year 3 ('20). I can squish Year 3 into a Spring and Summer Semester, and thereby be free to start Medical School in Fall of '20.

This is the schedule I'm working with. I know it looks a little crowded, but I carried a 4.0 all of 2017 averaging 24 credits a semester and working 16-24 hours a week, so I'm confident. If I need more study time, I can titrate down my employment :)


Thanks for reading and responding,

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Thanks for the input! Those are good (kinda scary) points.

I now work as an EMT in a Colorado ER. I talked to some ER RNs, and the consensus was, with 2 years of ER Tech Experience, I'd have a decent (not spectacular) chance of getting hired to the ER's PRN Roster. Shaky hours and minimal benefits, but, I'm told, it won't hurt anyone's feelings if I work short-term. Also, my old Nursing Home (where I worked as a CNA) hires New Grads to their PRN Roster as well.

I did visit that allnurses page, and it was as traumatizing as you promised. Over the next week, I'll try to talk to some of the ER Admin and my old co-workers at the Nursing home to get their opinions about my prospects. So I think I'll take your advice. Unless one of them says they are on board with hiring a New Grad short term, I will push back my attempted matriculation date to 2021 or later.

I'm so hesitant to lose the Nursing Coursework for a couple reasons. First, that would make all of my degrees online, except for the PreReqs. Second, If I didn't get into Med School the first time, another year of EMT Experience probably wouldn't help much. And if I never get into medical school, I'd be several years behind on Nursing. Long story short, I'm nervous :(

I don't mean to sound combative, I promise I appreciate the advice and I'm not just looking for someone to agree with me. Any brutal honesty is greatly appreciated :)


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I was just re-reading your post, and I saw the thing about the Nursing Residency. I've never heard anything about an RN Residency from any of the Nurses I've worked with. To make sure I'm reading it right, is that a 12,000 signing bonus you never collected and would have had to pay back if you did collect, or is it a 12,000 fine for leaving early, period?




That sounds terrible! I'm sorry you have to go through that on the coast.

I think the conditions are different here in Northern CO. In the last five years, UC Health opened 2 hospitals and 2 Stand Alone Emergency Departments, Banner opened two new hospitals, Centura Health opened a clinic, and next year UC Health is breaking ground on two more Hospitals! All this to say, everyone's competing to be the de facto provider here, and the growth is enough that nobody has the leverage to do that kind of crap to their nurses.

That reminds me of stories I heard in EMT School, about when our area had a surplus of EMTs, and the quid pro quo to work as a Technician in the ER was to "volunteer" for six months before you could be considered for a paid position. But, from what I've heard, then they got sued for the legal equivalent of Indentured Servitude and the practice was ended. Hopefully it dies an expensive legal death on the East Coast, too.

Thanks again for your advice! I'll get in contact with local employers to temper my expectations about employment, and manage my Med School Timeline appropriately.

Take Care,