Nurses must apply to medical school and complete all prerequisites just like any other applicant. Nursing experience does not improve your chances of being accepted. It may, however, put you in a better position than someone with no medical background. Nurses will have already met most of the prerequisites and may have an advantage in the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Your prior knowledge should help you get a better score and improve your likelihood of acceptance.
Finish any undergraduate requirements. Nurses with an associate’s degree must complete at least three years of college. Many RNs have two years of college and will need to return to school. It is best to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which is a four-year program. Many schools have transition programs that will lead to a BSN for those already in the field.
Complete any prerequisite classes required by the medical school that you want to attend. Many of these classes will have been part of the nursing curriculum. Take additional classes if your GPA is below the school’s requirements.
Prepare for the MCAT. Take practice examinations, attend study groups or take an MCAT prep course.
Register for a testing day, request special accommodations, if necessary, and pay the examination fee (see Resources section).
Take the MCAT and wait at least 30 days for your score to become available. View the results through the Score Reporting System (see Resources section). Decide if you want to release the score to potential schools, or if you want to retake the exam for a better result.
Send your application, transcripts, MCAT score, letters of recommendation and any other necessary items to the medical school. Follow any other instructions that each school may have, such as attending an interview.
2016 Salary Information for Physicians and Surgeons
Physicians and surgeons earned a median annual salary of $204,950 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, physicians and surgeons earned a 25th percentile salary of $131,980, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $261,170, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 713,800 people were employed in the U.S. as physicians and surgeons.
Risa Edwards is a librarian who works for a small private university. She has a degree in geology and library science, but is interested in topics from across many disciplines. Edwards enjoys using her research skills to help others as well as continuing to broaden her own knowledge.