The ultimate question and aspiration of all nurses are Can You Become a Doctor after Nursing? One of the main reasons that motivate nurses to aspire to become doctors is the passion to go the extra mile for patients as well as earning top dollar working as a doctor. This urge is usually present in Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who’ve accumulated 10 or more years of experience.
Can nurses decide to go to medical school and become doctors?
How Long Does It Take to Become a Doctor If You Are a Nurse Practitioner?
Here are the steps that will help an RN or APRN transition to medical school and graduate as a medical doctor.
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1. Choose a Medical School That Offers You A Good Head Start
Some medical schools have special programs that take into consideration the academic and professional experience of applicants. Such programs are a huge benefit because APRNs and RNs get to complete the Bachelor of Science medical degree in three years or less instead of four. This option also helps a student save money because an academic year in medical school ranges between $16,000-$20,0000.
2. Allocate Sufficient Time and Money for Medical School
It’s hard to succeed in medicine as a part-time student. A nurse will have to prepare for a full-time program and that might mean temporarily relocating to a different city or state that’s near the medical school. Students also have to allocate money for requirements such as textbooks and other medical equipment required during clinical practice.
3. Prepare to Sit for The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) Exam
The MCAT exam is used to assess whether an applicant for medical school possesses the required level of knowledge in crucial subjects such as Critical Thinking, Biology, Chemistry, and Physiology. This test is also important because failing on the first attempt might force an applicant to wait for several months to receive another attempt.
4. Complete The Bachelor of Science Medical Degree In Three Years
After passing the MCAT, applicants usually begin their studies after three months to allocate time for preparation. Once studies begin, it’s important to attend all the classes and complete assignments because professors use class attendance and performance to calculate each student’s GPA.
5. Prepare for a PostGraduate Residency Program
Doctors receive licenses to practice medicine after attending residency programs that provide specialization in different career paths. Students can spend two to four years in residency depending on the duration of the postgraduate medical course.
Is Becoming a Doctor Really Worth It?
Nurses who choose to advance in their career by joining medical school also benefit from;
1. Attaining The Highest Level of Job Satisfaction
Doctors rank highest on the hierarchy of medical staff and this gives them a wider scope of authority and roles in hospitals. A nurse may have fantastic leadership skills but they cannot make independent decisions since authority lies with APRNs and physicians.
Some nurses also learn how certain medication works based on years of experience with patients however the law forbids RNs and other junior nurses from prescribing medication. This can be frustrating however the only way to overcome such limitations is by choosing to upgrade from RN to MD.
2. Freedom to Practice Independently
Registered Nurses have to attend a two-year postgraduate program to attain the freedom of independent practice, however, some states don’t give full permission. APRNs in Arkansas and California need physicians in their team as a requirement for opening private medical facilities. Such laws limit a nurse’s level of job satisfaction.
Doctors, on the flip side, have few requirements to meet when setting up independent clinics or hospitals. There’s no need for retraining because the state requires doctors to have served under the supervision of another physician or specialist for a period of three to five years.
3. Access to The Best Salary Packages in The Country
The national demand for doctors far exceeds the current supply of professionals graduating from medical school annually. This consistent shortage forces hospitals and other medical facilities to create permanent job positions for doctors with attractive salary packages.
Take The Leap of Faith and Become a Doctor
It’s easy for APRNs and RNs to make the transition because they already have enough experience necessary to make it in medical school. This decision also enables aspiring doctors to derive maximum job satisfaction because doctors have the largest scope of authority.