Nursing School to Postbac to Medical School

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OPM 294: Nursing School to Postbac to Medical School

Session 294

This nontrad is finishing up their nursing degree but is now considering medical school and wonders if they should jump right into a postbac to take prereqs.

Questions answered here on the podcast are taken directly from the Nontrad Premed Forum over at Please go ahead and register for an account, ask your question, and have fun with the community.

Also, please be sure to check out all our other podcasts on Meded Media as we try to bring you as many resources as you need on this journey.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[00:49] The MCAT Minute

The MCAT Minute is brought to you by Blueprint MCAT.

It’s November, which means the new MCAT cycle is just right around the corner. And if you’re applying next cycle, you ideally want to take the MCAT by January through March. Or April, at the latest, so you can get your score back and put the prep and test out of the way. Then you can focus on your primary application, your secondaries, and everything else that comes with working on your application to medical school.

The later you take the MCAT, the later your MCAT score comes in, and your application is complete. And to have your application complete at medical schools, you need to have that MCAT score. So the earlier you take it, the better off you will be. All that being said, take the MCAT when you’re ready.

[02:33] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“I am a BSN student starting my last semester of nursing school next month. My nursing degree will be my second bachelor’s degree as I also have a previous degree in psychology. I always considered medical school but pushed the idea away because I didn’t think I was the type of person or student who could handle premed or med school. 

However, over the last few years, I have really evolved as a student and I now believe I could do it if I put my mind to it. I have excelled in nursing school but as I near the end, I find myself feeling a sense of “that’s it?” I want more out of my career than I feel I’m going to be able to get from nursing.

I don’t have any premed classes besides some very basic chemistry classes that I’m not even sure would meet the chemistry requirements. So I have a lot of schooling to do before even thinking about the MCAT or applying. 

My question is this: should I jump straight into a self-paced (but not DIY–the university has a program that is custom-tailored to each person’s needs) postbac after I get my RN license? That would mean working (not sure if I would be able to swing full-time, possibly part-time which may be hard as a new grad RN) and taking at least a class or two each semester. Or do I get some work experience as an RN and then start the postbac?”

[03:48] The Right Answer

It sounds like this student has done a lot of research here knowing their classes aren’t going to count as med school prereqs. And so, they’re thinking to do a postbac program and take more classes.

Do what is possible for you. There are no rules when it comes to this. There’s no right path. And so, figure out if you need a break from classes or you want to get some work experience.

'At the end of the day, you have to make the decision that is right for you– and only for you.'Click To Tweet

You may have some external pressure from a significant other, from family members, or friends. They may say why waste time working as a nurse when you want to go to medical school. But there’s no right answer here.

Obviously, the longer you put off studying your postbac, the longer it will take for you to take the MCAT, apply to medical school, and get into medical school. 

The whole MCAT application process is a very long process all by itself. And you are still probably a year or two away from being able to start that process because of all the premed classes you have to take. And so, do some reflection and introspection. And figure out if you’re ready to just work part-time and go back into classes? Or work full-time and take a break.

[07:07] What AdComs Might Think

A lot of people are scared that if they work full-time, they’re going to get used to that full-time salary. And maybe just forget about med school because it’s going to be too hard to then come back and work part-time and start school all over again. Those are very logical thoughts that happen but you just have to get into this momentum of doing it.

Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong. A medical school will not look at your application and question why you did a BSN if you didn’t even work as a nurse. The admissions committees are not going to expect you to do one thing or another.

“Do what's right for you and what's in the best interest of you and your family and loved ones.”Click To Tweet

There are no expectations from medical schools. Working as a nurse will give you some great clinical experience. Get some shadowing and just go live your life.


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