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RN to MD! Pursue a BSN or BS Biology/Chem?

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rntomd1

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Hi all! I know this has been posted millions of times, but I'd like an up to date answer.
I'm currently in my last semester of nursing school at my community college, finishing an ASN. I've always wanted to become an MD, and figured nursing would give me that clinical exposure and early entrance into the medical field. Now, my question is, should I complete my BSN and do the med school pre reqs after? Or pursue a BS in biology or chemistry once I finish my ASN. I know this is the road less taken, so supportive answers please! I appreciate all help.

Also:
How long would it take me to complete the BS after ASN?
How long are med school pre reqs, typically?
 

stickgirl390

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I’ve tutored many nursing students who have transitioned to BS. At least at my school, the two tracks barely overlap. The only courses that are common between BSN and the med school prereqs are things like English and Humanities. If you know your end goal is to apply to medical school, I would personally begin that journey sooner than later. I was able to do the med school prereqs in 2 years, and an additional 2 to earn the bachelors. If you get your BSN you could potentially add 2 more years on top of that, most of which you won’t be able to use towards your MD/DO pathway.

Again, this is only based off how it works at my local university.
 

curbsideconsult

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I’ve tutored many nursing students who have transitioned to BS. At least at my school, the two tracks barely overlap. The only courses that are common between BSN and the med school prereqs are things like English and Humanities. If you know your end goal is to apply to medical school, I would personally begin that journey sooner than later. I was able to do the med school prereqs in 2 years, and an additional 2 to earn the bachelors. If you get your BSN you could potentially add 2 more years on top of that, most of which you won’t be able to use towards your MD/DO pathway.

Again, this is only based off how it works at my local university.
I second everything stickgirl390 said. You will likely do double the work if you go BSN but want to do med school eventually.

When you transfer to your 4-year, you should major in something you enjoy while fulfilling med school prereqs. If you really enjoy bio or chemistry, more power to you.

You should be able to get clinical exposure if you become an LPN depending on how the job market is in your area. Working per diem would be a great way to earn money and get clinical experience while in school without overburdening yourself.

If you haven't done so already, you should start looking at volunteering activities. It doesn't have to be a thousand hours, just 2-4 hours a week doing something to help the needy that you enjoy doing will rack up hours pretty quick.
 
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rntomd1

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I second everything stickgirl390 said. You will likely do double the work if you go BSN but want to do med school eventually.

When you transfer to your 4-year, you should major in something you enjoy while fulfilling med school prereqs. If you really enjoy bio or chemistry, more power to you.

You should be able to get clinical exposure if you become an LPN depending on how the job market is in your area. Working per diem would be a great way to earn money and get clinical experience while in school without overburdening yourself.

If you haven't done so already, you should start looking at volunteering activities. It doesn't have to be a thousand hours, just 2-4 hours a week doing something to help the needy that you enjoy doing will rack up hours pretty quick.
Thanks! I will be done with my ASN (rn) this spring :)
 

Select All That Apply

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@rntomd1 There are online 1 year RN to BSN programs. If you decide to work in a hospital, certain hospitals will "require" that you earn your BSN after one year of working on the floor. How stringent HR is on keeping you to these standards likely depends on how badly the hospital is attempting to attain/maintain magnet status. Medical school pre-reqs can range from 2 to 3 years. However, you may have taken some of them at community such as a 4 year Biology I and II section with laboratory and a 4 year Chemistry I and II section with laboratory. This may or may not take off a year depending on how many pre-requisites you take, however medical schools are beginning to require Biochemistry I and II to be taken before your application will be considered which forces you to spend more time completing your pre-reqs.

@curbsideconsult As far as I'm aware an ASN is trained to become an RN. The scope of practice is different from an LPN and the job opportunities are much broader as well.
 
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curbsideconsult

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@rntomd1 There are online 1 year RN to BSN programs. If you decide to work in a hospital, certain hospitals will "require" that you earn your BSN after one year of working on the floor. How stringent HR is on keeping you to these standards likely depends on how badly the hospital is attempting to attain/maintain magnet status. Medical school pre-reqs can range from 2 to 3 years. However, you may have taken some of them at community such as a 4 year Biology I and II section with laboratory and a 4 year Chemistry I and II section with laboratory. This may or may not take off a year depending on how many pre-requisites you take, however medical schools are beginning to require Biochemistry I and II to be taken before your application will be considered which forces you to spend more time completing your pre-reqs.

@curbsideconsult As far as I'm aware an ASN is trained to become an RN. The scope of practice is different from an LPN and the job opportunities are much broader as well.
From what my nursing pals have told me, all the nursing degree rules have changed and, like you mentioned above, new RNs were having a really hard time getting a job because they didn't have a BSN. And this was 2-3 years ago. I can only imagine it's gotten harder. I suggested LPN because that was the one I was pretty certain would be easier to get a job with versus an ASN. I do realize LPN would be a step down.
 
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Melchizedek

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Couple of things to consider for the Bio/Chem major route:
If you happen to not get into medical school your first time around, what is your back-up plan?

Hospitals are more and more pushing to hire BSN's over ASN/LPN (for magnet status, JCO, other commissions and committee approvals etc.); even the LPN/ASN's hired are expected to go back to school for their BSN. If you plan on working through the time that you finish your bio degree, you might be relegated to jobs in places you don't like or for less pay that you'd be happy with.


Things to consider for the BSN route:
Most BSN classes are designated "nursing" classes and therefore don't count as hard-science classes for the AMCAS. Only those with specific class codes like PHYS, BIOL, CHEM, will count towards your pre-med requirements. This means you might end up taking more classes to hit the req's, adding to your overall time as an undergrad.

You will be working your tail off. Do you have the time management skills to juggle classes and clinicals for your BSN as well as volunteering, research, and shadowing to make yourself a competitive med school applicant?


Either route you take, you're going to be hit with these questions when you apply to medical school so be prepared for them:
1. Why did you study nursing if you want to go to medical school.
2. What do you think is different between the nursing role and the doctor role? Why is that important to you?
3. How do you justify the time/money spent by hospitals and universities preparing you to be a nurse, only for you to decide not to go into that role?

(I'm currently an BSN RN and these are questions that I was asked when I was applying)




ETA: I highly do not recommend online programs to go from associates to BSN. They're a joke, nurse managers know it, hiring managers know it, adcoms know it. Those programs are really in place to grandfather in the older LPN/ASN nurses that have been practicing for 20+ years so that hospitals can say they have BSN's. Newer grads coming out of a program like that are not looked upon favorably.
 
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Select All That Apply

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@Melchizedek Do the online 1 year ASN -> BSN programs have a clinical component to them? I was under the impression that they were completed through online coursework.
 

Melchizedek

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@Melchizedek Do the online 1 year ASN -> BSN programs have a clinical component to them? I was under the impression that they were completed through online coursework.
Most that I've come across do not. I edit added this to my first post, but again, most 1 year ASN to BSN programs are pretty much for older, experienced LPN's, so that they don't have to go sit in a classroom learning about stuff they already know, have seen, and learned about through experience. This is mainly so that hospitals can convert their LPN's to BSN's and boost their "minimum education level" and get better ratings/certifications, but without having to lose seasoned nurses. The online programs assume that you are choosing the online option because you are either working (which would be the equivalent of clinical component) or already have extensive clinical experience.
 
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