When it comes to nursing, there’s no right path. Some RNs come to the profession straight out of a four-year baccalaureate program, while others find their way after investing years in another career. And still others turn to nursing after exploring other educational tracks, including medical school.
If you’re having second thoughts about becoming a doctor, here are 4 reasons to think about nursing instead:
You can be a nurse faster.
Becoming a doctor is a worthy pursuit, but it’s a long one. Medical school typically takes four years to complete; factor in three to eight years for your internship and residency and the four years (or more) it took to earn your bachelor’s degree, and you could be looking at 16 years of education and training.
The path to nursing, however, is much faster. Your first bachelor’s degree qualifies you for Utica’s Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program in New York, which can be finished in just 16 months full time. After you graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination to earn your RN license. The combined power of your nursing degree and RN license means you’ll meet the minimum qualifications for any entry-level nursing position – all in less than two years.
You’ll accrue less debt.
All those years of medical education quickly add up. The Association of American Medical Colleges released a report in February 2013 stating these key facts about med school debt:
- The price tag to attend medical school is at an all-time high.
- Four years of med school can cost more than $200,000.
- 86 percent of 2012 med school graduates reported a median amount of $170,000 in total education debt.
On the other hand, a nursing career can be financed more easily and less expensively. Tuition, program and laboratory fees for Utica’s accelerated nursing program in central New York come to $49,875 (not including shoes, books, CPR certification and health insurance). Plus, Utica offers a variety of financing options to help you achieve your nursing goals.
Nursing job prospects are growing at a faster rate.
Physician and RN jobs are expected to grow at similar rates – 24 percent and 26 percent between 2010 and 2020, respectively. And yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that job prospects are excellent for RNs but only good for physicians. Why the difference? In both instances, technology plays a big role. The bureau states that advancements in medical technology will allow physicians to treat more patients in the same amount of time, thereby reducing the number needed on staff. However, those same advancements are driving the need for more RNs – specifically RNs with a bachelor’s degree – to manage the growing complexities of healthcare delivery and shoulder more responsibility than in decades past.
You’re prepared for the demands of nursing school.
Students who come from liberal arts backgrounds like communication or business have to adjust to a scientific curriculum. However, pre-med majors are usually well versed in social and biological sciences – you’ve probably even met some of Utica’s nursing school prerequisites, which include anatomy and physiology I and II, chemistry and microbiology. Click here to learn more about program eligibility.