Hello beautiful people! It’s Friday, the last day of the week! I was up bright and early to take my little sister to shadow a nursing student at my undergraduate school. My sister Grace is a junior in high school and interested in medicine – maybe nursing, maybe a physician. I think her confusion about which field to go in to is a very very real question that many young women and men struggle with.
We actually listened to a speaker last night who recently graduated from the IU Medical School and who had her first son during medical school. She is AMAZING! She is not only brilliant but genuinely cares about people and she is such an inspiration.
Anyway, some things to think about if you are trying to decide between nursing and medical school:
- You do not have to give up your dream of having a family. Yes, it will be difficult but if medicine is what you truly want to do you will make it work. I’ve heard this from so many fantastic physicians who do both. 🙂
- Medical school will give you greater autonomy in your work but it also comes with a HUGE responsibility. You still have a patient’s life in your hands as a nurse but ultimately a physician is responsible if a mistake is made.
- The level of knowledge in medical school is deeper and gives the entire picture. For me this was a big reason why I decided to go to medical school. I love knowing exactly why something happens in the body and why a particular drug works on the deepest most simple molecular level. It makes me so happy to get to the bottom of the big picture!
- Nursing school is generally 4 years of undergrad and medical school school is a total of 11+ years depending on the length of your residency. If you HATE school I strongly encourage you to rethink medical school. It is a lot of studying and will take up a huge chunk of your life.
- Nurses typically have a good work-life balance. You will be paid a very decent salary as a nurse, about $60,000-70,000 a year. As a physician you will make much more but in general you will also work a great deal more and will have spent many years accruing debt. I know many new nurses you have tons of free time and live quite comfortably.
- As a physician you will have to take standardized tests for the REST of your life in order to stay certified. Generally every 10 years but it may become more frequent. I do not believe nurses have to take as many re-certification exams.
- If you want your work to be your life go for medicine. I think this is a big reason why I’m so happy to take on all the down-sides of medical school. I love the idea that I will be able to live out my mission in life every day to the fullest capacity. I know that I’m a better person in every way if I have gone “all in” on my mission in life. Nurses can definitely also make work their life but for me it’s easier if I learn as much as I can about the field. 🙂
All in all, I think the best way to find out if you want to do nursing or medical school is to SHADOW. Shadow both and shadow all types of nurses and doctors. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they think and if they would do it again differently. If you really want to do medicine go for it and enjoy the process. 🙂 It’s a difficult but rewarding choice.
Also check out Andrea Tooley’s youtube videos that have to do with nursing such as the one about nursing before medical school (YES you can do that!!) and the one about Nurse Practitioners! Those two will give you some great insight into which is the right path for you.
Let me know if you’re trying to decide between nursing and medical school!
Are you a nurse? Would you recommend it?
If you’re in medical school do you wish you would’ve considered nursing?!