pennington62

10+ Year Member
May 3, 2008
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Pre-Medical
I am a 46 y/o RN with a 2-yr AD from '91 who would very much appreciate some words of wisdom and perspective from those who have chosen a longer path to becoming a physician. I have worked in the OR since '82 and about midway into my 20's was told I had endometriosis and should not waste any more time and have kids. Well, my plans for continuing my education and getting pre-reqs for med school came to a halt when I ended up divorced with twins and was/still am the sole provider. I did finish nursing school in '91 in spite of having back surgery the previous year after being hit by a drunk driver. Since graduation I worked full-time as an OR nurse but was never being able to finish what I started due to parenting responsibilities.
Fast forward to '08, kids are 17 y/o and the burning desire has never left me. After reading posts of those close to my age and even older, I am very inspired and trying to figure out how to get back on track. I am so much older now that I don't want to make a stupid decision and end up wasting years going in the wrong direction.
Specifically---
1. Should I get a BSN and work on pre-med pre-reqs at the same time?
2.Should I forgo the BSN, focus on the pre-reqs, being a strong applicant, MCAT, high GPA etc? Do med schools take someone w/o a degree seriously?
3. I am not interested in becoming a nurse practitioner or anything along those lines so investing in my nursing career and getting more nursing credits in that area doesn't seem like good use of my time----would I be better off getting a BS in something else?

I am not looking for shortcuts---I am committed to this and realize I could be nearly 50 if I get accepted to med school. I am willing to do whatever it takes and feel the time is ticking by so it's now or never. I have put 100% of my time and energy into raising my kids alone but recently came to the startling realization that neither of them have any academic aspirations beyond doing the bare minimum and its all I can do to keep them from dropping out of high school. I feel my time and dedication would be better spent taking care of myself and following my dreams and let them find their own path.
Thank you in advance for any advice or encouragement. I am so glad to have found this forum and admire all of you who have never given up your dreams. :)
 

njbmd

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I am a 46 y/o RN with a 2-yr AD from '91 who would very much appreciate some words of wisdom and perspective from those who have chosen a longer path to becoming a physician. I have worked in the OR since '82 and about midway into my 20's was told I had endometriosis and should not waste any more time and have kids. Well, my plans for continuing my education and getting pre-reqs for med school came to a halt when I ended up divorced with twins and was/still am the sole provider. I did finish nursing school in '91 in spite of having back surgery the previous year after being hit by a drunk driver. Since graduation I worked full-time as an OR nurse but was never being able to finish what I started due to parenting responsibilities.
Fast forward to '08, kids are 17 y/o and the burning desire has never left me. After reading posts of those close to my age and even older, I am very inspired and trying to figure out how to get back on track. I am so much older now that I don't want to make a stupid decision and end up wasting years going in the wrong direction.
Specifically---
1. Should I get a BSN and work on pre-med pre-reqs at the same time?
2.Should I forgo the BSN, focus on the pre-reqs, being a strong applicant, MCAT, high GPA etc? Do med schools take someone w/o a degree seriously?
3. I am not interested in becoming a nurse practitioner or anything along those lines so investing in my nursing career and getting more nursing credits in that area doesn't seem like good use of my time----would I be better off getting a BS in something else?

I am not looking for shortcuts---I am committed to this and realize I could be nearly 50 if I get accepted to med school. I am willing to do whatever it takes and feel the time is ticking by so it's now or never. I have put 100% of my time and energy into raising my kids alone but recently came to the startling realization that neither of them have any academic aspirations beyond doing the bare minimum and its all I can do to keep them from dropping out of high school. I feel my time and dedication would be better spent taking care of myself and following my dreams and let them find their own path.
Thank you in advance for any advice or encouragement. I am so glad to have found this forum and admire all of you who have never given up your dreams. :)
You need to have a bachelor's degree in something. That "something" is largely up to you and your interests. You need to major in something that you can first, do extremely well, and second, you are interested in. If nursing fits that mold for you then getting a BSN is fine but do realize that you will need to take the pre-med pre reqs and excel in those too.

While there is no age limit for medical school, there is an energy limit. If you have the desire, the grades and the energy, being 50 and in medical school is no big deal. I had a classmate who began medical school at age 53 and is now happily practicing Family Medicine on a native-American reservation in North Dakota. He was very energetic and very dedicated to what he wanted to accomplished and got the job done. Age is not a barrier if you have the drive, grades and energy.

If medicine is your goal, find a major that will work for you. It is unlikely that you will gain admission into medical school without a bachelor's degree in something. That's your first goal now. Do realize that whatever you decide to get your degree in, you have to have a very high uGPA (again, this is easier in a subject that is of interest to you).

Also realize that while nursing may be the fastest route to a bachelor's degree for you, it is a terminal degree within itself. This may make nursing actually a longer path for you than if you set out into another field of interest. Again, you have to decide what you want to do but do not entertain the idea that you will get into medical school without a bachelor's degree.
 
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pennington62

10+ Year Member
May 3, 2008
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Pre-Medical
Thanks for the quick reply and advice......my challenge now is to determine whether to invest more in nursing or to choose an entirely different field of study. Either way, I feel it's important to not continue stagnating where I am at. I'll be 5 years older in 5 years and can either have progressed towards my goals or still wondering what might have been.
 

windjammer

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Oct 29, 2007
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Denver
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Pre-Medical
I would suggest completing a BSN, your almost done! You can do it online with many schools which would give you more time to complete your prerequisits.
 
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pennington62

10+ Year Member
May 3, 2008
3
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Status
Pre-Medical
I agree and am leaning in that direction because I am so close to finishing it and can do so online without disrupting my other plans. I plan on taking the pre-med science courses in a "brick and mortar" atmosphere when I finish the BSN. I believe that by then, I will be able to further downsize my expenses and lifestyle in order to cut back on working so I can go to school full-time. I have spent a lot of time pondering this....years......while raising my kids.....I guess I just needed some validation and I appreciate any constructive criticism sent my way.
 

spicey

10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2007
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Status
Medical Student
Im a RRT with a BS in Respiratory Therapy and i just got accepted to med school. My advice to you, get a BS in Something, such as Interdisciplinary studies, ie those majors that let you mix your classes and take what ever classes you need. That is if you are given credit for your nursing courses so that you are not starting from scratch. Then take your prerequisites. Im telling you this because most of my RT classes were classified as "other" as will your nursing courses. So focus your energy instead on taking your preqs and higher level science courses while earning your degree. These classes will be classified as BCPM which is what most schools focus on. Get my gist? Talk to a premed adviser at a college with a Medical school. Or you can also go in and talk to the Medical school people. When i was in undergrad i did my Premed reqs and used those to get in to the RT program to get my BSRT.I always knew that i wanted to become a doc so thats why i took that path.
Bon chance.