There is no denying the fact that nurses and doctors play a key role in the healthcare industry and work closely to provide excellent patient care. Both have a diverse list of roles and responsibilities and share a common goal of helping people and saving lives. Many registered nurses want to advance their career and think should I become a doctor?
For many registered nurses, switching their career from nursing to medicine is a challenging task. Some wonder if it is possible to change their career and pursue a career in medicine. If you have a desire to become a competent doctor, then you should climb the healthcare ladder and take an advanced step from RN to MD.
Though it is not as easy as it sounds due to a rigorous medical school admission process, completing mandatory premed courses, years of study, clinical rotations and residency training. Pursuing a medical degree will become easier if you have a passion and burning desire to become a doctor.
Applying to medical school to get an MD degree and completing your residency training will make it possible to switch your career from a registered nurse to doctor. If you have finally decided to become a doctor and pursue your career in a competitive medical field, here is some important information that will help you switch from nursing to medicine.
Fulfill Medical School Admission Requirements
When it comes to becoming a doctor, you need to apply to a medical school to get an MD degree. You must be aware of all the medical school admission requirements you will need to fulfill to qualify for a Caribbean medical school. For instance, the high MCAT score, good GPA, letters of recommendation, and premed course prerequisites.
By fulfilling all the admission requirements, nurse practitioners can increase their chances of getting into a top medical school. Many nursing programs usually do not include medical school prerequisite courses or reading material required to get impressive marks in the MCAT. This is why aspiring doctors with a nursing degree are advised to take premedical classes to qualify for admission into medical school. There are some additional courses such as postbaccalaureate programs that you can take to gain the basic medical knowledge required to get into medical school.
Medical School Application Process
When you are aware of all the important medical school admission requirements, now is the time to submit your medical school application. You can’t start your MD journey without applying to a medical school. Make sure to choose the right medical school that can help you achieve your goal of becoming a doctor.
Many medical schools prefer RNs because of their previous experience in the healthcare industry. Some schools look at candidates’ undergraduate grades, while some medical schools accept students without MCAT. It is important to carefully go through the admission process and application components by visiting the medical school’s official website.
Obtain an MD Degree
Once you are accepted to a medical school, your journey of becoming a doctor starts. During the first two years, you will study the basic sciences to improve your medical concepts. While third and fourth years are based on clinical rotations to polish your practical skills and increase hands-on experience.
It is important to note that your previous clinical experience will help you during your clinical years, but it will not shorten the amount of time you spend in medical school. You have to complete the mandatory four-year medical doctor’s degree at all costs.
Understand the Rigorous Workload
Nurses who genuinely want to obtain an MD are advised to understand the amount of time, hard work and energy it takes. So, you should consider the tuition fees and the time required to learn the sheer amount of course material, perform lab work and extracurricular activities. Becoming a doctor is a lifetime commitment that will take you towards a rewarding career path.
Get Ready for Residency Training
Once you successfully completed the four years of medical school, and pass the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2, it’s time to apply to competitive residency programs to get advanced clinical training. You need to complete three to seven years of training, depending on the type of medical specialty you choose.
After completing the residency training and passing the USMLE Step 3, you are eligible for the board certification exam. Pursuing a subspeciality requires you to gain additional training by completing a fellowship program before practicing as a licensed practitioner.
It’s Time to Practice
After obtaining your medical license and board certification, you are ready to pursue a rewarding medical career. Switching your career from RN to MD is a long journey that takes almost ten years of education, depending on the specialization you choose. You can become a full-fledged physician after completing an MD program, residency and post-graduate training.
Keep in mind the role of a doctor is entirely different from nurses. Doctors focus on diagnosing the patient’s problem and creating a treatment plan. They make every possible effort to treat the patient by using their scientific expertise and knowledge.
On the other hand, nurses implement recommendations ordered by doctors, however, some advanced practice nurses have the authority to write prescriptions. Nurses monitor the physical and emotional condition of patients to ensure symptoms are detected on time and treated appropriately.
Are You Ready to Change Your Career from Nursing to Doctor?
Switching your career from a nurse to a doctor is possible when you have motivation and commitment. Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of how to change your career from a nurse to a doctor. If you have made up your mind, start preparing your medical school application and get ready for the interview process.