DiversityNursing Blog

Choosing Nursing School or Medical School

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jul 07, 2021 @ 12:14 PM

GettyImages-1270585032Many people interested in a career in healthcare originally think they’ll go to medical school and become a Doctor, but ultimately end up becoming a Nurse. Choosing between Nursing and Medical school depends on each person's career goals and what kind of studies they'd be most interested in.

It's important to explore both options because while they can be similar in some aspects, they are very different in others.

Length of Training

The length of training is a major difference. Nursing programs range from 2 years for an Associate's degree, to 4 years for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, to 6 years for a Master's. Medical school requires a minimum of 8 years of education plus residency.

Time Spent With Patients

Witnessing a loved one be taken care of by a medical professional is one reason many people choose to start a career in healthcare. If building a strong relationship with patients is meaningful to you, a career in Nursing is probably a better choice.

Often Doctors are in and out of the patient's room while the Nurse spends their entire shift taking care of a handful of patients. 

Like many of our Annual DiversityNursing.com $5,000 Education Award Winners, Shelah Roanhorse, our 2021 Winner, initially wanted to be a Doctor, but after her brother Nate became sick with cancer, she witnessed the dedication and care the Nurses gave him. She saw how involved his Nurses were with his day-to-day care. This greatly influenced her decision to become a Nurse.

Career Opportunities

There is a high demand for healthcare professionals.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects a shortage of between 54,100 - 139,000 Physicians by the year 2033.

And, According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of Registered Nurses is projected to grow 7% from 2019 - 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

Doctors may be limited by their specialty area. A Nurse could be limited too depending on the specialty, but Nurses can work both in and out of the hospital in a variety of settings including...

  • Educators at Schools of Nursing
  • School Nurses
  • Insurance companies as health coaches, case managers and Nurse navigators
  • On-staff Nurses at non-healthcare companies
  • Law firms as medical forensics investigators

Leadership Roles

There is a misconception that leadership opportunities are limited in Nursing.  

Many Nurses lead initiatives to improve quality of care and patient safety. Some Nurses join their healthcare organization's C-suite and become Chief Nursing Officers or Chief Diversity Officers.  

With ongoing healthcare reform and new models of care delivery across the U.S., the role of Nurses is likely to further expand and allow them to take on new and dynamic roles in healthcare.

Whether you choose to become a Nurse or a Doctor, both careers are extraordinarily rewarding. Try to learn as much as you can about both avenues of healthcare before making your big decision.

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Topics: medical school, nursing school, medical careers, nursing career, healthcare careers

Mentoring project aims to increase minorities in medicine

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

By KEVIN B. O’REILLY

A Web-based mentoring service launched in August 2012 has attracted 400 active users in its effort to help underrepresented minorities pursue careers in medicine.

The project, DiverseMedicine Inc., allows users to request a personal mentor to answer questions through the website’s instant messaging or video chat functions. High school, college and medical students also use discussion forums to cover topics such as admissions testing and residency applications.

The need for the service is great, say organizers of the project, which is open to all students online (link). Seven percent of medical school faculty are black, Hispanic or Native American, says the Assn. of American Medical Colleges. The share of medical students from underrepresented minority groups is about 15%, a figure that has not budged much since 2001.

Closing the gap

Courtesy|unlim|free|mug|photo|100x150|“One of the main reasons why there are so few minorities in the field of medicine is because of the mentoring gap. If nobody’s there to tell you how to get into medical school, you’re not going to get in,” said Dale O. Okorodudu, MD, the project’s founder and a senior resident at Duke University School of Medicine’s internal medicine residency program in Durham, N.C. Too many students do not get advice about postbaccalaureate premedical programs or health-related master’s degrees that can aid their chances of medical school admission, said Cedric Bright, MD. He sits on the project’s board of directors and is assistant dean of admissions at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

“This online component … provides a venue for folks to realize that there are role models out there that they don’t see that often,” Dr. Bright said. The American Medical Association is working to develop a LinkedIn-style mentoring site for medical students and residents to connect with practicing physicians.

Source: amednews

Topics: minorities, DiverseMedicine Inc, medical careers, physicians

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