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Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree


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I was in your situation 3 years ago.. finished degree #1 and didn't have a decent gpa and was contemplating doing a second ugrad in Nursing. Now 3 years later I have finished a compressed Nursing degree and have been accepted to Medicine at NOSM for the fall. I highly recommend Nursing as a 2nd undergrad degree for a number of reasons.

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In other words, don't worry about it... med schools WILL consider those grades as undergrad grades and WILL count that degree towards your med school applications.

 

Yeah exactly :) The rules they follow say no particular degree is considered more valuable than any other (pretty much universal rule). All that matters then is raw GPA for the schools point of view.

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Benefits of doing a Nursing degree as a 2nd ugrad:

 

1) In general, it is quite doable to do very well in a Nursing degree academically because there is that lack of competitiveness in many other science ugrads (like life sci for example). If you work hard, you should be able to achieve a high gpa.

 

2) The clinical components of Nursing prepare you so well for medicine.... for both being a student in med school and for being a future doc. You develop bed side care and practical skills of medicine that are so essential for being a good doc.

 

3) IF medicine doesn't work out, you have nursing to fall back on as a career.. where you can still be immersed in the clinical environment and make a very good wage, and be mobile!

 

4) IF medicine does work out, you can work as an RN throughout your med school part-time or casual and make some decent money.

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4) IF medicine does work out, you can work as an RN throughout your med school part-time or casual and make some decent money.

 

I thought about this initially, but med school is really a full time job in itself. And even if you could work casual (once again, I find this rather hard), you certainly couldn't do it during clerkship, as you're already working full time hours plus call on certain rotations. So I wouldn't recommend working as a nurse during your med school training. I have a few nurses in my class too and I don't believe that any of them are working now (part-time or casual). Focus on school for now...money comes later.

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I thought about this initially, but med school is really a full time job in itself. And even if you could work casual (once again, I find this rather hard), you certainly couldn't do it during clerkship, as you're already working full time hours plus call on certain rotations. So I wouldn't recommend working as a nurse during your med school training. I have a few nurses in my class too and I don't believe that any of them are working now (part-time or casual). Focus on school for now...money comes later.

 

This doesn't apply to me, but couldn't a former nursing student (i.e., someone like steelie) work in nursing over the summer months? (the summers not in clerkship/ electives).

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This doesn't apply to me, but couldn't a former nursing student (i.e., someone like steelie) work in nursing over the summer months? (the summers not in clerkship/ electives).

 

Or maybe do some limited nursing in a specific area of the hospital they are interested in? Kind of like an observership in some sense (obviously not exactly the same, but still)?

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Absolutely.. I know of 2 friends who just finished first year Meds who worked as a nurse full-time in the summer prior to 1st year and casual throughout first year. Both told me they actually picked up shifts because they had extra time on their hands and casual was not enough. One of the guys told me that during night shifts, where some of the nurses would sleep or read novels, he would bring in his school books and study... so for a few hours in the night he would get paid to study. Also, both students told me that first year Meds was a breeze for them because of their clinical knowledge obtained from Nursing, so they didn't have to study as hard as other students. There's also a break at Xmas and of course the summer going into 2nd year. So.... this translates into thousands of dollars and excellent prep for meds.

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Absolutely.. I know of 2 friends who just finished first year Meds who worked as a nurse full-time in the summer prior to 1st year and casual throughout first year. Both told me they actually picked up shifts because they had extra time on their hands and casual was not enough. One of the guys told me that during night shifts, where some of the nurses would sleep or read novels, he would bring in his school books and study... so for a few hours in the night he would get paid to study. Also, both students told me that first year Meds was a breeze for them because of their clinical knowledge obtained from Nursing, so they didn't have to study as hard as other students. There's also a break at Xmas and of course the summer going into 2nd year. So.... this translates into thousands of dollars and excellent prep for meds.

 

That's what I figured...

 

I guess it's a personal choice; some may or may not choose to work during med school depending on their individual situation.

 

I know I would...but I also like my jobs...and would need the $.... :)

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That's what I figured...

 

I guess it's a personal choice; some may or may not choose to work during med school depending on their individual situation.

 

I know I would...but I also like my jobs...and would need the $.... :)

 

Yes, I guess in a 4 year program you can work during summer months off. I'm in a 3 yr program so I like to enjoy my short vacation and avoid work of any kind during my one week off ;)

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I had considered this as an option, since U of T offers a compressed 2 year nursing program, and I'm considering it more as people respond to this thread.

 

However, I was concerned that this approach might look bad on a med application ("first, you did an undergrad you didn't use... THEN, you became a nurse... THEN, you tried to become a doctor?" how do you know THIS is what you want to do?"). However, I'm extra concerned, because I'm grad student... they might think that's a few too many degrees!

 

any thoughts on this? would it look more "together" to re-do the science pre-reqs rather than doing another degree? or would that look better?

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I had considered this as an option, since U of T offers a compressed 2 year nursing program, and I'm considering it more as people respond to this thread.

 

However, I was concerned that this approach might look bad on a med application ("first, you did an undergrad you didn't use... THEN, you became a nurse... THEN, you tried to become a doctor?" how do you know THIS is what you want to do?"). However, I'm extra concerned, because I'm grad student... they might think that's a few too many degrees!

 

any thoughts on this? would it look more "together" to re-do the science pre-reqs rather than doing another degree? or would that look better?

 

As an uninformed opinion, I would think you are good to go with the compressed degree as the truth shall not lead you astray, i.e., you took this degree to raise your GPA and to better prepare yourself for med at the same time. Moreover, if you don't get in immediately, so the story goes, nursing would be a way to obtain valuable experience with patients in healthcare from a perspective other than as physician, and you will stay in this field. This is good for the first application cycle anyhow, and if you are strong otherwise and make it to the MMI, it is irrelevanet and if they have the trad. interview style, your enthusiasm will come through. No?

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Speaking from experience, nursing will only help you in your pursuit to become a doctor.

 

From the applicant's perspective, nursing will immerse you in medicine, which should be the field you're passionate about if you want to get into med school so badly. So if you don't get accepted to medicine, there should be a burning desire to get into clinical practice.. to develop bedside care, to assess patients, to work alongside physicians and other HCP's, and to get exposed to various areas of clinics/hospitals you will eventually work in. This is much more appealing to me than playing with enzymes in a lab all day x 2 years.

 

From the school's perspective, they should recognize that you have chosen the best stepping stone for a career in medicine by going through nursing. Having completed the degrees you have mentioned plus the nursing degree shows that you are dedicated to your goal of becoming a doc.. and will do anything to get there. It would be much worse if you started some of these programs and didn't finish them. Plus, if you get to the inteview stage, you will have so much clinical experience to draw on for scenario/ethical questions that will give you a leg-up on other students. I know with the med school I got accepted to, there is a very high % of students that have a nursing ugrad degree. This cannot be a coincidence.

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I totally understand you steelie and I think you make a really good point. However in my case, my current GPA is around 3.1 and the minimum GPA for undergrads at U of T is 3.6. SO I would have to rely completely on my Nursing degree to boost my GPA by at least another 0.5 to get it past the minimum of 3.6.

 

On the other hand, the minimum GPA for graduate students at U of T is 3.0 which I already have. I can probably boost my GPA more by taking some graduate courses. So based on my logic, it would be safer for me to do a MSc degree because if I'm unable to boost my GPA past the 3.6 with a nursing degree than I would be in BIG trouble. But if I apply with a graduate degree then I already have met the minimum requirements plus I don't have the financial burden of paying for Nursing school since MSc tuition is paid by university. Is my logic wrong?

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I totally understand you steelie and I think you make a really good point. However in my case, my current GPA is around 3.1 and the minimum GPA for undergrads at U of T is 3.6. SO I would have to rely completely on my Nursing degree to boost my GPA by at least another 0.5 to get it past the minimum of 3.6.

 

On the other hand, the minimum GPA for graduate students at U of T is 3.0 which I already have. I can probably boost my GPA more by taking some graduate courses. So based on my logic, it would be safer for me to do a MSc degree because if I'm unable to boost my GPA past the 3.6 with a nursing degree than I would be in BIG trouble. But if I apply with a graduate degree then I already have met the minimum requirements plus I don't have the financial burden of paying for Nursing school since MSc tuition is paid by university. Is my logic wrong?

 

I think you would have a very tough time getting accepted with only a 3.1. Meeting the minimums doesn't mean that you will be competitive. So now, if you enter your MSc, you will be relying solely on your MSc to get you in, cause your 3.1 will not help you get you an inteview or get you into the program. You gotta think that the majority of people that apply to meds have gpa's well over the 3.1 mark. To be completely honest with you, unless you have 14's on your MCAT and a stellar interview, that 3.1 will not be good enough. Check the UofT threads, I'm sure you'll find that not many people have 3.1's.

 

So basically you're at a point now where you're starting over, either with your MSc or another ugrad. Another thing to consider is that if you cannot be successful in a ugrad nursing program, you will not cut it in medicine. That thought alone should motivate your ass to do well in your nursing studies.

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hi everyone,

 

I am almost in the same situation. I did my undergrad in engineering and finished PhD in 2006. After 2 yrs of postdoc research, I decided to switch to health care! I plan to apply to med school this year and thinking of applying to compressed BScN or MSc physical therapy as a backup (just in case I cannot get into med school). MSc PT may be better at the financial side, since I have a good shot at getting Ontario Grad Scholarship, but nursing seems more versatile. Comments or suggestions?

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Goldenhamster: You need to consider that once you enter a Masters program, you won't be able to apply to med school until youur last year of Masters program - so, if you intend to apply to med in the upcoming cycle, you are better off going the compressed BScN route.

 

There are exceptions to this rule. McMaster will allow you to apply to med school during the first year of your masters program so long as you have a letter from your supervisor/director of graduate program stating that they are aware of your intent to apply to medical school. Some other med schools may allow entry into the program prior to the completion of your masters as well. I would check out the requirements of each individual school that you are interested in applying to for further information.

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There are exceptions to this rule. McMaster will allow you to apply to med school during the first year of your masters program so long as you have a letter from your supervisor/director of graduate program stating that they are aware of your intent to apply to medical school. Some other med schools may allow entry into the program prior to the completion of your masters as well. I would check out the requirements of each individual school that you are interested in applying to for further information.

 

Thank you TonesRN for the correction, and interesting...hm, so if I don't get in this cycle and go for a Masters, I still may be apply to apply depending....

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