Friday, September 27, 2019

RN to MD - Registered Nurse to Medical Doctor

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RN to MD - Registered Nurse to Medical Doctor. The field of nursing can be used as a stepping stone to the next level of care delivery models. Although some Registered Nurses (RNs) choose the path of medical doctors (MD), those who do so can find useful and lucrative careers at the head of the health food chain.

How to become RN to MD?

Nurses have far greater insights into the world of medicine, the clinical and hospital environment, and interprofessional relationships that are needed in the medical world, than most medical students. It is not uncommon for medical students who come to clinical settings not to have past health care experience.

For example, in addition to their routine clinical rotations while in nursing school, most of the nurses had spent the previous few years in hospital or emergency department (ED) settings before they started medical school. Conversely, because medical schools usually do not require prior health care experience, most medical students have limited exposure to the clinical environment.

However, being a nurse is not enough for the education and necessary tests that must be accepted in medical school. RN with BSN is much closer to medical school requirements than RN ADN, but it is still a long way to go. That said, nurses who are veterans or active duty with the military usually have a special path to enter medical school, according to the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).

rn to md - registered nurse to medical doctor
RN to MD - Registered Nurse to Medical Doctor.

Educational Requirements to become MD from RN

Nurses with BSN are most likely to have completed basic anatomy, chemistry, and physiology. More in-depth course work is needed to be considered in a medical school program. Most schools require a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree.

Premedical requirements for most accredited medical schools include:
  • Biology (plus lab) at least 8 semester hours
  • General Chemistry (plus lab) at least 8 semester hours
  • Organic Chemistry (plus lab) at least 4 semester hours
  • Biochemistry at least 4 semester hours
  • Humanities (English, history, foreign languages, etc.) At least 24 semester hours
  • Mathematics (statistics and or Calculus) at least 8 semester hours
  • Physics (with lab) of at least 8 semester units

For many programs, applicants must provide evidence of these core characteristics: Excellence in academic studies, Leadership, Service to others and the ability of Teamwork.

This is done through letters of recommendation and through direct interviews with institutions.

Applicants to medical school must also take an exam called the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) which will test the understanding and knowledge gained in the above course.

The format and focus of the MCAT are updated occasionally by AAMC, the developer and test administrator. In the 2015 model, the average MCAT score was 500 while the scores of students attending Ivy League colleges such as Harvard Medical School had an average score of 518.

However, the MCAT score alone does not guarantee a place in an accredited medical program and this is where nurses can have an advantage.

Most medical schools are looking for candidates with good backgrounds in all fields. Nurses who have a solid GPA for their bachelor's degree, need pramedical courses, average MCAT scores and letters of recommendation still have aces in the hole: their proven ability to work in teams in diverse and very stressful environments.

This is a characteristic that is being sought by rich educational institutions such as Johns Hopkins University Medical School.

In this technological and simulation era, there are more online medical school programs available for potential students.

For example, the University of Oceania offers programs that have online didactic courses combined with clinical rotations throughout the country. The University of South Florida also offers a selection of online medical schools through their Morsani College of Medicine.

Nurses must realize, however, that many traditional schools do not accept online courses for many requirements.


After four years of medical school, MD then applies to a residency program to specialize in a particular medical field.

The first year of residency is considered an internship year in which the internship rotates through various specialties (general surgery, internal medicine, orthopedics, etc.) or rotates to subspecialty in a specific area.

Assessing and treating patients as teams with interns and other residents, attending lectures and being "ready to be called" at night for problems that may arise are the role of interns and residents.

The residency part of the training lasts for three years or more and can then move to more intensive training called fellowship. MDs in residency programs are usually paid between $40,000 to $50,000 per year.

License and Certification Board
After the residence or scholarship is complete, a license is required to practice medicine in each state. The license requires graduation from an accredited medical school and at least one year of residence, depending on the country.

There are several exams that must be completed, such as USMLE -, and usually letters of recommendation and background checks on malpractices are completed before the issuance of a license.

For board certification in a special area, MD must complete a special residency program and pass a comprehensive examination (usually written and oral).

Most boards require recertification every 7-10 years. According to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS -, there are 24 special medical boards in the US.

Medical School Fees
In addition to medical school fees, there are other considerations such as registration fees, MCAT fees, MCAT preparation courses, individual costs from medical school, and travel costs for medical school interviews. Nurses must also consider their credit score because loan costs and rates will vary based on credit scores.

Actual tuition fees vary based on each school. Tuition fees range from $24,843 to $48,843 per year. Total medical school debt ranges from $122,545 to $224,566 depending on the institution.

The average medical school debt is $164,776 for doctorates only.

When one considers the tuition debt and potential income lost during medical school, research shows that MDs are more than $400.00 in a hole before starting their career.

Comparison of RN to MD Wage
BLS states that wages for doctors and surgeons are one of the highest salaries of all jobs. The average wage for MD is more than $208,000 per year.

The more special the doctor, the higher the pay. (Read also: Registered Nurse Salary)

The anesthesiologist's average annual salary is $266,000 compared to a pediatrician's salary of $187,000 per year.

In contrast, the average salary for an RN ranges from $60,000 to $70,000 depending on the work environment.
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