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doujone

Nursing Student! Need Advise On Pre-Med

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Hi, i am a current Practical nursing student at seneca college. During my clinical experience i have found a greater interest in diagnosis and medication. I am interested in going to med school. My GPA is 3.0 and i don't know what to take or where to take my undergrad.I was doing some research and found Royal crown college, and Biztech college that offer a pre-med program that gives you guaranteed accepted into certain (mostly over seas) med schools. I wanted to know if anyone has gone to these schools or what you think about this pathway? I also thought about doing my rn (BScN) in order to get my degree, however i would need to fit the required bio them organic them ext, into another 2 years of school thereafter. Just for general information my graduation date is December 2015 and ill have my run diploma, and i also have a 4 year old son but traveling for education is something i would love to do. 

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The general consensus here is that going overseas for medicine is usually very risky and not recommended. The best thing would be to try to stay in Canada or the US (US you don't have a great chance at coming back to Canada for residency and even after there can be problems but it's doable).

 

From what you have written it sounds like your nursing training is at the college level right now. Is there a way for you to get your nursing degree in less time because of the training you already have?

 

I'm not sure how feasible it is to get a high enough GPA in nursing to get into med, so that is a problem. You could get a degree in anything really.

 

You might also want to consider whether you are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner or physician assistant rather than medicine. Both of these paths would also allow you to diagnose and prescribe which is your main interest anyways.

 

These paths aren't easy either, but depending on what your goals are they are definitely something to look into.

 

If you are dead set on med, I would pick a university program that I believed would enable me to get a high GPA. If you are interested in the States, Western or York could be good choices because marks over 80 are counted as 4.0s on their scale.

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If you enjoy nursing and would be happy with it as a back up career, then going for your BScN may be a good choice and definitely safer than the pre-med program to Carib (Avalon) med school, for the aforementioned reasons. You can apply to med school from nursing (e.g. after 2 or 3 years depending on the school) or after graduation while working as an RN. However, you would have to find a way to score high on the MCAT.... the way I see it is doing nursing gives you a great back up plan but means you need to do extra coursework/devise a self study plan that will enable you to ace the MCAT. Going the more traditional (e.g. science, life sci) route probably prepares you better for the MCAT but you don't have the safety career. Of course it's not just nursing vs the rest...as makingfetch said, you can choose other undergrad degrees as well. 

It varies, but it's definitely possible to get a competitive gpa through nursing. If you're considering BScN talk to students/people from the school you are thinking of and evaluate if you will realistically be able to score 3.8+ with the transition from practical nursing to BScN

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I will be able to get my nursing degree in 2-3  years. I will definately do my research and consider nurse practitioner and physician assistant. thank you for the informative reply :) @mekingfetchhappen

 

That is also possible. i may just continue the traditional path and do my bscn. get the best gpa i can get and study for my MCAT thereafter if med school is still my decision. thank you @chenoa

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It can be difficult to get into medicine with a BScN. Not impossible by any means, as I have at least one person in my class who is coming from a nursing background and know others, but it can be difficult because of the number of courses that are P/F, and the highly subjective component of many courses. As well, the course load may not be sufficient for some med schools to consider you full time.

 

That said, it is doable and there are several members of this site who did it.

 

I'd recommend sticking with a Canadian school, as others said. The match rates for people who go to overseas schools coming back to Canada are quite dismal. As well, your son may not be eligible to attend public school for free wherever you end up as you'll be a foreign national on a student visa. I'm not sure how that would work in the Caribbean, but it could be an unforeseen complication so I'd definitely not recommend that course of option for anyone with a family. :)

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Hi Doujone!

First off, Does anyone know if diploma college courses count towards the GPA for med school? I'm not sure as I only have undergraduate credits... I would look into that. You'll have to reflect on your study habits as a 3.0 is going to be a HUGE uphill battle if it counts, but there are a few schools that only look at the last/best two years of school... and some schools will drop your worst year.

I'm a fellow nurse who just graduated their BScN degree. I have a 4 year old daughter as well and have fit most of my UBC pre-requisite requirements into my BScN, and now only need to go back for 4 more courses to be eligible to apply to UBC. What University are you In Province for? 

If you do decide to do a BScN you will have a lot more wiggle room than I did because you are entering with a diploma and thus you won't have to take the course load I did... which is perfect as then you can fill it with science pre-reqs :) It's very busy but definitely possible. 

Nursing is a very valuable degree as it offers you a wonderful, fulfilling career. It also gives you direct patient interaction, and opens up many opportunities to become involved in your community. It also removes your 'rose coloured glasses' as you are exposed to many of the harsh realities of healthcare. One thing to watch out for is that a BScN has A LOT of pass/fail classes, and may make you ineligible for some schools or some weighting schemes (UOttawa).

Nursing does make it hard to prepare for the MCAT. I wrote it once and will probably need to re-write next cycle after I am more prepared. But there are many people who come from non-science who score well on it. You know yourself best and will be able to reflect on what the best plan is for you to deal with the MCAT.

If you have any other questions feel free to PM me or post on here and I will try and answer them :) Good luck!

Rachel
 

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College courses do not count at any school I am aware of. They will require a transcript, but typically only count university courses, and most schools only count university courses taken towards a degree (eg. Unclassified/non-degree classes don't count as part of your GPA but can be prereqs.)

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yes my college courses do not count, and thank God becuase those were my worst years. however, moving forward... i know some schools want you to have 3 years of university courses, and i only need two to finish my BScN. I was thinking of using my third year to finish up any science course i would need to apply for med school. I am in ontario but I'm willing to travel to other provinces. 

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You have a lot of factors to consider! Like ppl said above, nursing can be difficult to get a high GPA and pass/fail grades can make you ineligible for weighting formulas.

 

Ontario is the most difficult place to be in terms of stats needed. For context, I will tell you my situation. I am a lawyer and although I did a BSc in biology, I did not realize at the time that medicine was a better fit for me. My cGPA is 3.59. At the time, I only cared about having an 80 or over average to get me into law, so there you have it.

 

The only schools that I would be eligible for are Mac and U of T. I applied to Mac this cycle but I did not get an interview. They look at your GPA and verbal section of the MCAT (now called CARS I belive). I wrote just the verbal section of the MCAT and got an 11, which is a good score that made it possible, but not likely, that I could interview at Mac. Someone posted that they were accepted recently with my exact stats actually!

 

My wGPA for U of T is 3.8, and they only require a 9/9/9 on the MCAT as a cut off (in that if you meet the cut off, they don't further scrutinize your MCAT in the process).

 

It seems though that a 3.8 wGPA for there is quite low, so there has not been much of a point for me to write the entire substantive MCAT just for a shot.

 

Ottawa is entirely GPS based and does not require the MCAT. They do have specific science prereqs, unlike most schools, and a super high GPA cutoff (although there is a weighting formula that favors your more recent years). If you can get a 3.7 for your best 2 years, you can get an interview at Western if you meet their MCAT cut offs which are quite high.

 

In terms of pre reqs only Ottawa has strict ones and U of T has some pretty lose ones, like you need to take some science courses and some arts courses etc.

 

Point being it's a complicated game to get into med in Ontario, but if you learn the rules ahead of time, especially ahead of choosing an undergrad, you can come out ahead. And also, have a backup plan. Everyone needs a backup plan and it sounds like you already have that and you already have your foot in the door for health care.

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thanks for the background, it really put things into perspective @makingfetchhappen

yes it does sound like a complicated process. I think I'm going to go forward with my BScN and get the best GPS possible and see what my next move would be from there. I am going to try to fit as many bio and them and organic bio as i can into my schedule without over loading. 

for western a 3.7 for my best two years seems like a good shot because ei will only be in university for 2 years to complete my BScN. 

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Hi, i am a current Practical nursing student at seneca college. During my clinical experience i have found a greater interest in diagnosis and medication. I am interested in going to med school. My GPA is 3.0 and i don't know what to take or where to take my undergrad.I was doing some research and found Royal crown college, and Biztech college that offer a pre-med program that gives you guaranteed accepted into certain (mostly over seas) med schools. I wanted to know if anyone has gone to these schools or what you think about this pathway? I also thought about doing my rn (BScN) in order to get my degree, however i would need to fit the required bio them organic them ext, into another 2 years of school thereafter. Just for general information my graduation date is December 2015 and ill have my run diploma, and i also have a 4 year old son but traveling for education is something i would love to do.

 

I did my LPN-BN through Athabasca and you could probably do it in 2 years if you put your mind to it. It is however expensive as hell and you would need to do 3 clinicals in Calgary or Edmonton. But it is an online degree and some schools don't like that (I have to use by BA as my qualifying degree at the U of M even though it's a 3 year general and my BN is a 4 year honours but it's online).Then you need to do your prereqs on top of that. I never ever ever recommend doing a nursing degree if you want to be a physician. It's a terrible undergrad. It's super stressful and a really good GPA is hard to get with all the subjectivity in marking assignments (I got a 4.0 in my LPN but only a 3.3 in my BN). As well it can mess up full time status with the P/F clinicals. You would be so much better off finding a school that wouls transfer some of your LPN credits and doing a general science degree. Do your electives in things you like to get good grades and pick a stream that allows you to get your prereqs in easily.

 

Avoid international medical education at all costs. It's expensive as hell and an be very difficult to get back to Canada if that's what you want. Also having a child in medical school requires a lot of support (as I'm am sure you have found in nursing school). I'm sure going to New Zeland or Ireland sounds glamourous, but being out there all alone at a very stressful time would be very difficult.

 

I think the U of M is the only school that accepts college grades (thank god because college is where I got most of my As which are going to allow me to apply).

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College courses do not count at any school I am aware of. They will require a transcript, but typically only count university courses, and most schools only count university courses taken towards a degree (eg. Unclassified/non-degree classes don't count as part of your GPA but can be prereqs.)

Actually, they do at UBC, as long as they are real courses that are university transferrable :)

 

One of the reasons I couldn't apply to 2yr ontario schools is that I had a mix of college and university courses concurrently....i assumed that if UBC accepted them, other places would too :P

 

Thankfully it worked out anyways hah.

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I did my LPN-BN through Athabasca and you could probably do it in 2 years if you put your mind to it. It is however expensive as hell and you would need to do 3 clinicals in Calgary or Edmonton. But it is an online degree and some schools don't like that (I have to use by BA as my qualifying degree at the U of M even though it's a 3 year general and my BN is a 4 year honours but it's online).Then you need to do your prereqs on top of that. I never ever ever recommend doing a nursing degree if you want to be a physician. It's a terrible undergrad. It's super stressful and a really good GPA is hard to get with all the subjectivity in marking assignments (I got a 4.0 in my LPN but only a 3.3 in my BN). As well it can mess up full time status with the P/F clinicals. You would be so much better off finding a school that wouls transfer some of your LPN credits and doing a general science degree. Do your electives in things you like to get good grades and pick a stream that allows you to get your prereqs in easily.

 

Avoid international medical education at all costs. It's expensive as hell and an be very difficult to get back to Canada if that's what you want. Also having a child in medical school requires a lot of support (as I'm am sure you have found in nursing school). I'm sure going to New Zeland or Ireland sounds glamourous, but being out there all alone at a very stressful time would be very difficult.

 

I think the U of M is the only school that accepts college grades (thank god because college is where I got most of my As which are going to allow me to apply).

 

As BizMarkie said RPN is very different from the BScN programs (I am an RPN with lots of friends bridging at the moment) if you found college work hard then you might struggle with the change of pace at university. I'm not going to judge as I don't know the Seneca program well and don't know how they mark their tests but Mohawk was fairly strict with marking and friends with 3.5-3.8 have told me they didn't expect University to be as big a jump as it was (Mo-Mac collage bridging). Do you have an offer for BScN at the moment? If you are working in an associated hospital Nippissing online is a good alternative to Athabasca as you can carry out your clinical in your hospital, but they don't let you progress though the program as quickly as Athabasca.

 

If i've sounded a little bit of doom and gloom, as people have stated there are ways to get work the system to get in you will just need to try hard get your university GPA as high as you can and work hard for MCAT. I chose a different route mainly due to my age and family with a previous degree from the UK and 3.0GPA I went to college at Mohawk gained my RPN with a 4.0 GPA and worked for the last 9 months in an ER department, I applied and was accepted into the PA program at UofT. For me this 2 year route works out the best, NP would be 3 years of bridging + 2 years of working then going back to school for a Masters (approx. 7) if I where to try to become a Physician I would want to work on the MCAT for at least 3 months full time before attempting it then apply for next cycle then approx. 7 years, that would put me in my forties and I want to have time to start a family before then.

 

Wish you the best of luck in what ever path you choose to follow.

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