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From Nursing School To Medical School


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Hello!

I'm new on this forum so this question might of been asked before, but i was wondering if i had any chances to get into medical school after my nursing degree. I'm from Montreal, Quebec and I've done a lot of volunteering work like a humanitarian trip to Haiti, volunteering in a children's hospital for 2 years, scouts for 5 years, etc. I'm open to any medical school in Canada...so if anyone knows someone who's done it, please share!

 

thank you  :lol:

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Some people do this switch, it's not that uncommon. It all comes down to your GPA and ECs (for McGill & out of province schools). You can apply to all the French Schools + McGill, should you wanna stay in Quebec. If you'd like to broaden your horizons then you might wanna write the MCAT ... but again whether you'll be competitive out of province highlight depends on your GPA and ECs. Most schools value research experience - so it might be something to look into, if you haven't already. 

 

There's a section in the forum dedicated to the Quebec med schools. That's most likely where you'll be considered most competitive. I also think you might wanna check out other posts made about this topic - you'll probably find more information over there. 

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  • 5 months later...

Hey SNJ,

I know this thread is older now but I thought I would give some info as well. I completed a BScN and am now an RN working in an emergency department. While I do love my work I am applying to Medical School. There is a doctor at my hospital that was a nurse before he became a doctor as well, so it is possible. I know of two RNs that are now in their second year of medical school, I know one that is applying at the same time as me, and I know of 3-4 others that are considering writing their MCATs so they can apply as well.

It is definitely possible, but having Nursing as a background has its pros and cons. Firstly, I did not take courses such as Chemistry and Biochemistry, but instead took Pharmacology and other nursing related courses. For some medical schools it eliminates my eligibility as they require certain prerequisites which I could not take. This can also make the MCAT difficult, but with good preparation it should not be a problem. I would recommend seeing how many/which medical schools you can apply for with your current courses and move forward from there. Work experience as a nurse will also make it easier to prepare for interview questions that relate to healthcare. 

Lastly, I have heard that some medical schools in the US do not like taking Nurses as they need to "Re-Train" their thinking style from Nursing to Medicine. I don't know if thats true, but I don't think Canada has the same mentality. Both are excellent professions in need of highly qualified individuals and if you are committed to becoming a physician then don't let anything stop you.

Hope this gives you some starting information.

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While it is relatively rare there have been about 5-6 people I know off that have come through the forum over the years and done it. There are some quirks with nursing degrees that can be a bit annoying (like pass fail courses in our system etc). I don't know about the US but in Canada I have really valued the nurses I know that have become medical students - diversity is strength in medicine :)

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On 14/10/2017 at 10:25 AM, PreMed_Rain said:

Hey SNJ,

I know this thread is older now but I thought I would give some info as well. I completed a BScN and am now an RN working in an emergency department. While I do love my work I am applying to Medical School. There is a doctor at my hospital that was a nurse before he became a doctor as well, so it is possible. I know of two RNs that are now in their second year of medical school, I know one that is applying at the same time as me, and I know of 3-4 others that are considering writing their MCATs so they can apply as well.

It is definitely possible, but having Nursing as a background has its pros and cons. Firstly, I did not take courses such as Chemistry and Biochemistry, but instead took Pharmacology and other nursing related courses. For some medical schools it eliminates my eligibility as they require certain prerequisites which I could not take. This can also make the MCAT difficult, but with good preparation it should not be a problem. I would recommend seeing how many/which medical schools you can apply for with your current courses and move forward from there. Work experience as a nurse will also make it easier to prepare for interview questions that relate to healthcare. 

Lastly, I have heard that some medical schools in the US do not like taking Nurses as they need to "Re-Train" their thinking style from Nursing to Medicine. I don't know if thats true, but I don't think Canada has the same mentality. Both are excellent professions in need of highly qualified individuals and if you are committed to becoming a physician then don't let anything stop you.

Hope this gives you some starting information.

Hey PreMed_Rain,

Thank you so much for your response, it reassures me that some people are going through the same questioning and path as me. I have all the prerequisites because I did my DEC in science. I was wondering if it would be in my advantage to do the MCAT? My Gpa isn't high enough so I was counting more on my EC's and Casper.

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On 14/10/2017 at 9:55 PM, rmorelan said:

While it is relatively rare there have been about 5-6 people I know off that have come through the forum over the years and done it. There are some quirks with nursing degrees that can be a bit annoying (like pass fail courses in our system etc). I don't know about the US but in Canada I have really valued the nurses I know that have become medical students - diversity is strength in medicine :)

Hey rmorelan,

Thank you so much for your response, like you said, diversity really is strenght in medicine! :D 

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On 10/17/2017 at 1:03 PM, snj said:

Hey PreMed_Rain,

Thank you so much for your response, it reassures me that some people are going through the same questioning and path as me. I have all the prerequisites because I did my DEC in science. I was wondering if it would be in my advantage to do the MCAT? My Gpa isn't high enough so I was counting more on my EC's and Casper.

Hey SNJ,

In my opinion I would say write your MCAT. Having your MCAT will allow you to diversify where you apply, gaining more experience in the application and interview process, and increasing the likelihood of gaining admission into Medical School. I have seen far too many people that apply to only one medical school for year after year, becoming frustrated with their lack of success. However, being an RN puts you in a special position as having to wait an extra year (or several) is not as difficult as it may be for applicants without a profession to fall back on.

Although it is 100% possible to get in based on ECs and Casper alone, as I said before MCAT will allow you to apply to more areas and strengthen your application. I'm not a complete fan of Casper as it is difficult to gauge your success as a repeat applicant as there is no feed back. That being said, it is being used by more schools. Make sure you keep involved with your ECs even while working.

If you consider your GPA isn't high enough to be competitive there is the possibility of graduate work to improve your GPA. Many schools provide a small, yet significant, 0.2 addition to your GPA if you have a Masters. Some schools have 1 year masters degrees or online degrees that are beneficial, such as Memorials 1 Year course based Masters of Public Health. Lastly, some schools have an increased value on "Mature" applicants, which is characterized as individuals 25years and older. There are many factors to consider together that make a strong application and it is beneficial to improve as many components of the application as possible.

All the best

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  • 1 year later...

I am writing on behalf of a young Canadian friend who is in the fourth year of nursing school. He is under the impression that Canadian medical schools place a great weight on the number of courses taken per semester.  Since nursing students spend their final semester largely on the hospital floor, they often would be taking only two conventional courses, thus appearing to be underperforming.  If true, this  seems to be an insoluble barrier to nurses going on to medical school at some point.  Any thoughts from our neighbors to the north?

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On 10/9/2019 at 2:22 PM, cynthia olds said:

I am writing on behalf of a young Canadian friend who is in the fourth year of nursing school. He is under the impression that Canadian medical schools place a great weight on the number of courses taken per semester.  Since nursing students spend their final semester largely on the hospital floor, they often would be taking only two conventional courses, thus appearing to be underperforming.  If true, this  seems to be an insoluble barrier to nurses going on to medical school at some point.  Any thoughts from our neighbors to the north?

-

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2 hours ago, cynthia olds said:

I am writing on behalf of a young Canadian friend who is in the fourth year of nursing school. He is under the impression that Canadian medical schools place a great weight on the number of courses taken per semester.  Since nursing students spend their final semester largely on the hospital floor, they often would be taking only two conventional courses, thus appearing to be underperforming.  If true, this  seems to be an insoluble barrier to nurses going on to medical school at some point.  Any thoughts from our neighbors to the north?

Hello! As Yeslcan55 said the admission process in Canada is quite different from the admissions process in the States! From my experience applying to Medical Schools there was only one university that I considered applying to (Dalhousie) that had a course load requirement, AND they did have exceptions for nursing students due to the special circumstances of their curriculum. Additionally, although nursing students are taking fewer courses, many of those courses have the same credit hours as 2-3 regular undergraduate courses, so it shouldn't be a factor anyways. If your friend is concerned about the course load, some Canadian medical schools have sections for "Any Additional Information" where the applicant can explain if they wish. That was not something that I considered as even though I did not have a full course load during my last year of nursing school I did not think it would be an important factor in my application. All the best with applying!

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  • 1 month later...

@snj

I'm a nurse (2 years as care aide first, then 6+ years as nurse) and I'm just taking the pre-MCAT sciences now, one at a time, (on the first!) while working full time remote nursing, and I'm 30 years old.

I gave up on this dream at least 10 times in my life, but I'm now at the point where I have 100% committed to it and will simply do what it takes to get there.

If you want to be a physician, it is doable, and if the issue is that you simply don't believe in yourself I will come back when I'm accepted and light a fire under your butt! 

I hope since 2017 you have taken some steps forward to this goal.  There are a few forums on here with people who are 48 years old and up speaking to applying as mature applicants, and if that doesn't put it into perspective, I don't know what will!

It's never too late to work toward your dreams, or to realize your true potential.  All you have to do is decide to begin the journey.

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  • 5 months later...
On 11/21/2019 at 4:29 PM, mdforme said:

@snj

I'm a nurse (2 years as care aide first, then 6+ years as nurse) and I'm just taking the pre-MCAT sciences now, one at a time, (on the first!) while working full time remote nursing, and I'm 30 years old.

I gave up on this dream at least 10 times in my life, but I'm now at the point where I have 100% committed to it and will simply do what it takes to get there.

If you want to be a physician, it is doable, and if the issue is that you simply don't believe in yourself I will come back when I'm accepted and light a fire under your butt! 

I hope since 2017 you have taken some steps forward to this goal.  There are a few forums on here with people who are 48 years old and up speaking to applying as mature applicants, and if that doesn't put it into perspective, I don't know what will!

It's never too late to work toward your dreams, or to realize your true potential.  All you have to do is decide to begin the journey.

Hi mdforme,

I came across your reply on this forum and I was just so inspired. I’m in a similar situation, I have been a nurse for 6 years now. I have dismissed the idea of pursuing medicine but I know deep down that becoming a physician has been my ultimate dream. I would like to connect and ask you some questions on the steps you’re taking to finally pursue medicine. 
 

thanks

K.

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/21/2019 at 2:29 PM, mdforme said:

@snj

I'm a nurse (2 years as care aide first, then 6+ years as nurse) and I'm just taking the pre-MCAT sciences now, one at a time, (on the first!) while working full time remote nursing, and I'm 30 years old.

I gave up on this dream at least 10 times in my life, but I'm now at the point where I have 100% committed to it and will simply do what it takes to get there.

If you want to be a physician, it is doable, and if the issue is that you simply don't believe in yourself I will come back when I'm accepted and light a fire under your butt! 

I hope since 2017 you have taken some steps forward to this goal.  There are a few forums on here with people who are 48 years old and up speaking to applying as mature applicants, and if that doesn't put it into perspective, I don't know what will!

It's never too late to work toward your dreams, or to realize your true potential.  All you have to do is decide to begin the journey.

Hello mdforme,

I know I am a few years later to visit this discussion, but I am really inspired by you. I am going into fourth year Nursing at the University of Ottawa. I have considered being a physician a few times in my life, but each time I have been discouraged. I would love to connect with you! 

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