Hey everyone!! I’m a senior in highschool, and I was admitted to UPENN’s College of Arts and Sciences. Initially, I thought I wanted to become a PA (physician assistant) studying Health & Societies with a concentration in public health, but now that I’ve done a lot of research on what I want to do in the future with my career, I am considering nursing (NP) because it is much more direct, which will save me time and money. I know I don’t have to do this so early on, but I am a planner. I have steps for what I plan on doing and it just makes my type A personality a little more sane if I figure this out. There’s really no big difference between the two careers (PAs have lateral mobility, while NPs focus on a specific population), but other than that, they are basically the same for what duties and roles they have in medicine.
Reasons for NP:
- Direct options (no need for different prereqs. BSN will be accepted at any university for MSN or DNP programs).
- FNP - although it’s not lateral mobility, I plan on specializing in general pediatrics, urgent care, adult, family. Thus, FNP would allow me to do that. I’m not that big on extensive specialties (derm, neuro, cardio, oncology). I love kids, so most likely I would be working in general peds.
- Clinical hours and experience gained during undergrad. Penn has one of the best nursing programs in the US. They have connections to many hospitals and that would allow me to gain hands-on learning experiences early on. (Lab simulations, clinicals)
- If I wanted to become a doctor, I have that option through a DNP program
- Job security
- Deeper connections with patients. (nurses generally spend more time with patients)
- Saves time and money - my original plan of becoming a PA would overwhelm me during undergrad and post-grad because I would be scrambling to find clinical hours and gain certifications as a (MA, CNA, EMT, ER tech), but if I choose nursing, I would be focusing JUST ON NURSING. I would be gaining hands-on experience as a nursing student, and after undergrad, I have the option to work as an RN (gain more clinical experience) without extra certifications and paying extra money for classes. Plus, I wouldn’t have to take long gap years to get those hours for MSN programs (most just require 1 year of being an RN), while Pre-PA applicants generally have over 3,000 hours. I honestly think I would be much more overwhelmed choosing the PA option, which is why I don’t think it is a good fit for me.
- If I were to choose the PA route I would have to try and find jobs during my semesters on and off (I live 1.5 hours away from Penn), and I don’t think healthcare employers would hold my position during my breaks off from school.
Opinions? I personally think that NP is the route for me. It’s that feeling that you have when you know something is just RIGHT. I made a pros and cons list (which favored NPs).
I have put a lot of thought into this process. I am interested in hearing your opinions on my plan or what you think I should do.
Also, not sure if you know the answer to this question, but are students generally allowed to transfer internally into nursing?
Sorry. I know this is long.