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#Medical Is going to Med-school worth it?

#Nursing is it worth it to go to med-school for nursing?

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Doc’s Answer

Richard unlike doctors, medical school is NOT required for nursing. Since nursing encompasses many categories, educational requirements differ depending upon the type of training your seeking. Licensed practical nurses often obtain a 1-year certificate or diploma from a vocational or technical school or from hospitals and larger colleges and universities. Licensed practical nursing programs consist of both classroom training and work-related study that takes place at hospitals or other medical facilities. General course topics include anatomy, first aid, pharmacology, patient care, nutrition, pediatrics, and surgical nursing. Aspiring registered nurses can obtain a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing from a junior or community college or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a college or university. Diploma and associate's degrees typically take between 2-years to complete, while bachelor's degree programs in nursing usually take 4-years to complete. All programs combine classroom learning with on-site clinical experiences. Some general major courses include anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and nurse theory and practice.

CHOOSE YOUR DEGREE
• LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE (LPN) – This is a 1-year program, offered at many community colleges and technical schools. This is an attractive option for students who wish to pursue more limited higher education, and/or to begin working sooner after high school. The disadvantages of this degree include a more limited scope of practice in comparison with RN’s, lower pay, and perhaps a shrinking number of jobs due to increases in healthcare educational standards and ongoing changes in healthcare regulation.
• ASSOCIATES DEGREE IN NURSING (ADN) – This is a 2-year program, offered at many community colleges. This degree will prepare you to take the nursing licensing examination (the NCLEX-RN) to become a Registered Nurse (RN). This can be a cost-effective option for many students. However, because it is not a 4 year degree, it will not prepare you as well to assume management or leadership positions later in your career. (RN to BSN “bridge” programs, for RN’s who hold an Associates Degree in Nursing and wish to earn a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, are also available, and may be attractive to RN’s already in the workforce).
• BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (BSN) – This is a 4-year undergraduate degree, offered at many public and private colleges and universities. It will prepare you to take the nursing licensing examination (the NCLEX-RN), to become a Registered Nurse, and to assume management and leadership positions later in your career, if you so choose. This is a longer, and usually more expensive, route to becoming an RN, albeit one that affords greater long-term opportunities. While many RN’s do not hold a BSN, for younger nurses the BSN is becoming a national standard, and RN’s without a BSN may find their career opportunities more limited both employer preference and possibly by future regulation.

Hope this was helpful Richard
Thank you comment icon Thank You Christina. Our generation has the ability and the responsibility to make our ever-more connected world a more hopeful, stable and peaceful place Doc Frick
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Mary Jane’s Answer

Hi, Richard! So first, just a clarification to save confusion when talking to people about career options: you go to nursing school for nursing and med school for medicine.

Regarding whether it's worth it, this is an important question and kudos to you for asking it! Many students fail to consider work-life balance and the emotional toll of caring for others as they think about working in healthcare. Burnout is a real problem with physicians and nurses. I suggest that as the pandemic conditions improve you try shadowing some nurses and ask them this question. Shadowing will give you a sense of their day-to-day experience on the job. Because nursing is so varied, you might try shadowing nurses in different settings, like clinics and hospitals, and in different specialties.

If shadowing isn't possible because of the pandemic, try reaching out to some nurses and ask if they would be willing to do an "informational interview" with you by phone or video. You might start with your own pediatrician's or family physician's offices since you already have a relationship with them. If you are polite and respectful of their time, most people are willing to help you explore your career options.

Ultimately, only you will be able to decide if it's "worth it". Do you like caring for people? Are you willing to learn both the science and the hands-on skills needed to be a good nurse? We know that there is a nursing shortage, so nurses rarely struggle to find jobs and almost always pay back their student loans (an indication they earn solid salaries). Many employers have programs to assist nurses in furthering their educations and there are opportunities for growth through management, research, and teaching if a person is interested in those areas. That said, we've seen the huge emotional and physical toll the pandemic has taken on our healthcare workforce, so you definitely need to be in it for the right reasons. Healthcare workers need to put patients first, even if it sometimes means missing time with family and friends or risking their own health. It's good you are asking these questions now! Good luck weighing the pros and cons!
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