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Double-Major?

RawritsmeRawritsme 0 replies1 threads New Member
edited May 29 in College Majors
I will be going to college in the fall of this year and I want to double-major in nursing and biology. In the future I would like to become a neuroscientist who is able to do clinical trials. I want to double major in nursing because I will be to get hands on experience while also being able to help with the cost of medical school. This all boils down to the question: is it a good idea for me to double major in nursing and biology an is that doable?
edited May 29
1 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Double-Major?

  • juilletjuillet 12783 replies163 threads Super Moderator
    Probably not. Or at least, not in four years.

    Nursing is a specialized professional field with a specific sequence of coursework you need to complete. Nurses also must do clinicals in their third and fourth year of college. The sequence of classes + the practical experience required in clinicals usually doesn't leave nursing students with time for a second major. It's not impossible - I do know someone who double-majored in nursing and economics - but it can be quite difficult, especially with another science major with highly sequenced courses.

    That said, though, I think you can do what you want to do without double-majoring.

    Neuroscientists usually aren't MDs - that's a neurologist you're thinking of. A neuroscientist usually has a PhD in neuroscience or a closely related field and has done lots of research on the brain and its functions. Most neuroscientists do not conduct clinical trials, but some do.

    Physicians with MDs can become researchers, but that usually requires a little extra specialization after medical school, since med school doesn't really focus on research. Most of the MDs I know who do research did a postdoctoral fellowship (which is like a 2-3 advanced research internship) to develop the research skills they needed to move into clinical research. Many clinical trials are conducted and led by MDs, but not all of them are.

    However, nursing research is also totally a field - and there is a shortage of researchers in the field. A nurse practitioner with a PhD in nursing can do clinical practice, lead clinical trials as a principal investigator and/or collaborate with other researchers on clinical trials, AND teach nursing courses to undergraduate and graduate students. There are a lot of open positions for nursing researchers and professors at universities and institutions across the U.S., so if you are interested in working as a researcher and professor one day (which many people who conduct clinical trials do), this is an excellent way to do so.

    Check out the Hillman Scholars program (https://hillmanscholars.org/about/) - it's an accelerated BSN-to-PhD program. You can do it at Penn, Michigan, or UNC. You could also get a traditional BSN and apply to a nursing PhD program (or an MSN first and then a PhD, depending on your career goals).

    (However, if you KNOW you want to be an MD, double majoring in nursing is not necessarily a great idea. The nursing and medical models of health are very different, and there are lots of other ways to get hands on experience. You could become an EMT or paramedic, for example.)
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