If you are currently pursuing a nursing degree but would like to later become a medical doctor, you may be wondering if your nursing degree will help or hinder you in your efforts to apply to medical school. This is a legitimate question but there is not just a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Whether or not you can get into medical school with your nursing degree will depend entirely on your nursing school curriculum and if it satisfies the medical school’s prerequisite requirements. Read on, and learn about common admissions requirements to a medical school and which courses you may need to complete in addition to your Bachelor of Science in Nursing courses.
What Are the Prerequisite Medical School Requirements?
If you are a pre-med student, many people assume that you need to be a science major when you are earning your Bachelor’s degree. While having a science degree will most definitely be the quickest route to meet the medical school prerequisite requirements, it is not the only way to do this. The requirements vary from school to school, but in most cases you must have completed the following courses to gain acceptance into a program, regardless of your major as an undergraduate:
- One year of English
- One year of physics
- One year of biology
- Two years of chemistry
If you have all of these courses under your belt and have completed them at an accredited school (please see: How Can I Find Out if a Nursing Program is Approved or Accredited?), you are a step closer to acceptance. If you are enrolled in a BSN program, you will probably have to take additional courses, which will require a longer time commitment.
Passing the Medical College Admission Test
Just like you must pass a Graduate Record Examination to enter into graduate school, you must pass a Medical College Admission Test to gain entry into a medical school. The MCAT exam will test your knowledge and abilities to see if you are prepared for the rigorous course requirements. The score will help the council with their admissions decision. A high score is very important when you have a BSN instead of a science degree.
How Much Time Will it Take to Meet Requirements?
You must complete the additional coursework outside of your BSN curricula if you want to meet prerequisites. After you have earned your BSN, you may be able to enroll in the additional coursework to earn a second degree or to minor in another field. You should let your academic counselor know your intentions as you choose courses. Typically, you need additional time in chemistry and physics, but this must be verified. If you take additional courses as you work, it may take an additional 2 to 3 years to complete them.
It is possible to go from being an RN to a doctor, but you should consider which pathway is best for you. If you are currently a nurse, see if you need additional coursework to apply to a medical school. If you are in school now, schedule the additional science classes in order to shorten the process so that you can apply to medical school with a nursing degree.