Many nursing students wonder if they can go to medical school after they graduate nursing school. The medical profession has many wonderful employment opportunities for those who wish to enter this amazing field. Students have so much variety when it comes to choosing between various positions in the medical profession. Some students struggle to decide if they should attend nursing school or medical school. The decision is a personal one that students make with much careful consideration.
What Is the Difference Between a Nurse and Doctor?
Although doctors and nurses both provide quality care for their patients, their jobs are vastly different in many ways.
Doctors are responsible for providing diagnosis and opinions about their patients’ health. General practitioners and primary care doctors are the leaders when it comes to providing routine medical treatments, but doctors can also be surgeons, dentists, and specialists—just to name of few. Doctors are the brains of the hospital although they depend on nurses for a great deal of assistance. They provide a diagnosis so that the nurses can take the patient into their care for treatments and various other medical services.
Doctors are in charge of authorizing nurses to perform tasks. Doctors have greater responsibility and decision-making power than nurses do. Doctors are limited to providing care in their specialty areas; if they are not qualified to make a diagnosis, they pass their patients on to a doctor who does specialize in the patient’s area of care. Doctors must also attend college for 8 years or more before they earn their degrees.
Nurses provide physical treatment and aid to their patients. They can become registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, administrative nurses, and head nurses—depending on their education level. Nurses provide the support for patients at the request of doctors. Nurses and doctors depend on each other to do their jobs.
Nurses can perform tasks ranging from changing beds to handling medical machinery and equipment. Nurses can provide a wider range of care than doctors can. Nurses are patient-oriented and task-oriented individuals who have close relationships with their patients. Nurses can advance their educations to earn master’s degrees and doctoral degrees in the nursing field.
Can You go to Medical School with a Nursing Degree?
It is possible to attend medical school with a nursing degree. It is important to know that if students plan to graduate with a nursing degree and attend medical school, they will have to take additional courses to meet the requirements to apply for medical school. It depends on the programs in which students are enrolled, but they may be looking at taking an addition 60 credit hours to fulfill the requirements to apply for medical school. Many of the science courses taken in nursing school do not correlate with the requirements for admission to medical school. Students will have to take a number of science courses that students will have to take before entering medical school.
The experience that nurses get in the field may actually serve as a benefit when students apply for nursing school. Some see the decision to attend nursing school and then attend medical school as a waste of time, but students have a degree and career in nursing if things do not go as planned in medical school.
Nursing Salary Vs Medical Doctor Salary
The biggest difference between doctors and nurses is salary. General doctors can earn average salaries of $160,000 annually while surgery and emergency room doctors earn average salaries of $240,000 annually.
Nurses have diverse salary ranges since they have many levels within the profession. Registered nurses earn annually salaries of $57,000 annually while staff nurses earn average salaries of $39,000 annually. Advanced practice nurses make even greater salaries that other nurses do. They earn average annual salaries of $157,000.
Nursing school and medical school both provide students with the opportunity to provide quality health care to their patients. The decisions to attend medical school or nursing school are both great decisions but personal ones.