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Can I become an NP and then become an Paediatrician? And how would I do that

I want to become a Paediatric Nurse Practitioner but I’ve been thinking for the idea of becoming an Paediatrician can I become a nurse get my degree and license then go to med school? How long would it take me? How would I go about doing that? #nurse #pre-med #medical-school

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Kae ! Honestly I don't know too much about NP but I do know you obtain a nursing license and then go for a master's or doctorate (from my friend who is in nursing school). However I did attach a link below to give more information about this! I would like to add what I know for medical school however! So, if you aren't exactly sure if you want to be a pediatrician then yes being an NP is great as well! You get to work in healthcare and help others! However I would assume that regardless of being an NP if you do want to transfer over to being an MD in the U.S. you will most likely take the MCAT and apply like a regular candidate. I don't think there are transfers programs however this may be different for Canada so therefore I would double check! I do know of a couple students in my siblings' medical school who were a nurse then took the MCAT and applied to medical school, so it is definitely possibly! However, I also think that being a NP does take time and money in its own rewards therefore possibly get experience in both being a physician and an NP to make a good and solid decision. Of course you may go for NP and then work and also apply to medical school later on but in terms of efforts it may take more time and money- just something to think about. If you can shadow a physician and an NP as well as do some research in both fields it may help shed more light onto the situation!

I truly hope this helps!
Best of luck!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

https://nurse.org/resources/pediatric-nurse-practitioner/how-do-you-become-a-pediatric-nurse-practitioner
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Raquel’s Answer

Hello Kate, it is absolutely possible to go from being a nurse to a doctor. I am a nurse and am working on finishing prerequisites for medical school at the moment and my husband is starting medical school in the fall so I know quite a bit about this!

There are a lot of paths to becoming a nurse but the most direct path that is beneficial for either of your goals is to go to a 4 year university and get your bachelors in nursing from the get go. You need a bachelors to become either a doctor or an NP so this is the best way to start. Each nursing program has different prerequisite courses so research programs you are interested in and what their specific requirements are. Once you get your bachelors then you have other decisions to make. Although it is technically possible to become an NP and then become a doctor it isn’t the best course of action. A nurse practitioner is very similar to a doctor, both are providers but they have different schooling and different scopes of practice. I would not recommend becoming a pediatric NP and then going to medical school, I would choose one or the other. The best way to figure out which career path is best suited for you is to shadow people working in each profession. Reach out to a few local pediatricians as well as a few pediatric NPs and see if you can follow them for a few days. This way you will get an inside look at what their day is like what they do. After shadowing both jobs you will know better which one you connect with, NP or physician. I would also do research to learn specific differences between the two.

If you decide to become an NP, after getting your bachelors in nursing most programs require 2 years of nursing experience before applying to a program. You can become a nurse practitioner through either a masters or doctorate degree, it differed program to program. This will be an additional 2 - 4 years of graduate schooling.

If you decide to become a doctor, you will need to make sure you have completed the prerequisite courses for medical school. I do not know the specific requirements for Canadian schools but as far as US schools go, the classes you will have taken to get your bachelors will likely not have included all of the medical school prerequisites. So you will either need to add them into your course load while in school or take the extra classes after graduating. You will also have to take the MCAT which is the entrance exam for medical school. You will need to get a good score on this to get accepted, and your score will largely impact the level of school you can get into. Medical schools also require extra curricular including volunteering, research, leadership positions, and shadowing. After getting accepted to medical school you will complete four years of schooling and then a residency, pediatricians are often an additional four years.

Either profession is excellent and you will be able to be a provider for children and make a big difference in their lives. Best of luck!
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Jeanne’s Answer

There is an advantage to being a nurse before becoming a doctor. The socialization process for the two is very different. Nursing is much more of a hands on caring position and emphasizes the whole person. Medical school is more of a fix the problem type of orientation. Both are necessary but the combination is great.
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