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Hello everyone,

I'm currently an RN working in obstetrics (have been doing so for 1 year since I graduated). Also residing in Alberta. My GPA is as follows:

1st year 3.23 

2nd year  3.45 

3rd year 3.8

4th year 3.86

My grades aren't great at all, which I'm fully aware of. I wanted to apply to medical school ever since I was in high school, but I really liked nursing and kind of stopped thinking about med school throughout my undergrad. Now that I have a bit more experience under my belt, I want to do more. I am also applying to become a Nurse Practitioner which I think can also bump my GPA because it is a Masters degree. My biggest concern now is my ECs and references. I volunteered a moderate amount in undergrad, but have no research experience. Along with this, I have lost touch with most of the people I volunteered with and so getting them as references would be difficult. In my career now, there are quite a few people I could ask for references for nursing related positions (managers, educators etc.) but I know that asking them for a reference for medical school might be strange and honestly a bit awkward. I guess if anyone else has been in my position - what would you do?

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I would not ask your manager for a reference unless you are 100% sure that they will write you an outstanding reference. In my experience, it can be quite toxic and unsupportive within the nursing field, especially when it comes to applying to med. I would tread carefully and be careful who you tell and trust. Do not be fooled by the niceties. 

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Hey there, I am an RN who was lucky enough to get in this cycle. Assuming your course load was a full one throughout nursing school and eligible for Western, then your best 2 years meet the cutoff and maybe queens as well. A good MCAT score thrown on top will put you in a good place to apply to those 2 schools. I think with extracurriculars, working as an RN more than covers anything clinical EC related, anything else you have on would be a nice bonus. I also agree with @orthoooo its a weird stigma of sorts applying to medicine from nursing and you only want people who will give you stellar letters of recommendation!   

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I generally agree that the nursing profession is not often supportive of nurses pursuing medicine, however the exception to that (in my experience) is academic nurses. Every nursing professor or nursing faculty that I have discussed my goals with has been very supportive of my pursuit, and I even got two letters of recommendation from nursing faculty an professors at my school.

Since you seem to be leaning towards getting an NP, I would suggest to try to build good relationships with the academic nurses that you encounter in the program and (if you feel that one or another is approachable) let them know about your plans.

It is also generally advised to have non-academic LORs, but that doesn't have to be in research, it could be, or it could be from volunteer work or another extracurricular. If you are in it for the long-haul, just keep that in mind and get involved with whatever opportunities come your way.

Good luck! we need more nurses in medicine.

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On 6/12/2019 at 8:39 AM, orthoooo said:

I would not ask your manager for a reference unless you are 100% sure that they will write you an outstanding reference. In my experience, it can be quite toxic and unsupportive within the nursing field, especially when it comes to applying to med. I would tread carefully and be careful who you tell and trust. Do not be fooled by the niceties. 

Thank you for this response. I definitely experienced some of this in school with other students who stated they want to pursue medicine.

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:47 AM, Pakoon said:

Hey there, I am an RN who was lucky enough to get in this cycle. Assuming your course load was a full one throughout nursing school and eligible for Western, then your best 2 years meet the cutoff and maybe queens as well. A good MCAT score thrown on top will put you in a good place to apply to those 2 schools. I think with extracurriculars, working as an RN more than covers anything clinical EC related, anything else you have on would be a nice bonus. I also agree with @orthoooo its a weird stigma of sorts applying to medicine from nursing and you only want people who will give you stellar letters of recommendation!   

Congratulations! I am in Alberta which might make that much more difficult (excuse me if I'm wrong, I read that out of province applicants have way lower chances). I also did not take into account my work, for some reason my focus is really on the ECs. Thank you.

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On 6/14/2019 at 12:21 AM, RPN-RN-MD said:

I generally agree that the nursing profession is not often supportive of nurses pursuing medicine, however the exception to that (in my experience) is academic nurses. Every nursing professor or nursing faculty that I have discussed my goals with has been very supportive of my pursuit, and I even got two letters of recommendation from nursing faculty an professors at my school.

Since you seem to be leaning towards getting an NP, I would suggest to try to build good relationships with the academic nurses that you encounter in the program and (if you feel that one or another is approachable) let them know about your plans.

It is also generally advised to have non-academic LORs, but that doesn't have to be in research, it could be, or it could be from volunteer work or another extracurricular. If you are in it for the long-haul, just keep that in mind and get involved with whatever opportunities come your way.

Good luck! we need more nurses in medicine.

Thank you for the advice, I will certainly build good relationships with the educators within the NP program. 

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Hi, I am an RN who got in 4 yrs ago, i asked my nursing professors and some of the doctors i worked with as a nurse to write me reference letters. I went through Carms this year and I matched into my back up specialty in the 1st round. We were all advised to back up with so many people going unmatched, I knew alot of the people last year that didnt match and joined our match so I backed up. My advice is think about it, if there is nothing else that would make you fulfilled other than becoming a doctor then go for it! But once you get in really gun for the specialty you want and have a back up in mind as well! It is getting more competitive each year to get into medicine, but once you are in it doesnt stop there. You then have to be competitive to match as well. As for being a nurse, I found the people I worked with as a nurse were then my supervisors in clerkship, some wrote me letters, some could not see me past being the nurse they worked with. I got asked at several schools during my carms interview how would it affect my residency given my prior nursing experience, especially if I see myself having any difficulty with the nursing staff, not gonna lie the question caught me off guard the first time. I guess the stigma of going into medicine after nursing is real. Anyways I hope this helps, feel free to dm me if you have any other questions. Best of luck!!  

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