From RN to MD: Taking Your Nursing Degree to Med School

Rey Palmares
October 8, 2018

Becoming a medical doctor isn’t new for nurses. Even if nursing and medicine are two different disciplines, nursing as a pre-med degree has its advantages.

Greater insights into the medical world

Medical students holding other undergraduate degrees, like Biology and Life Sciences, are often less experienced in the clinical scene. RNs turned medical students are already familiar with the hospital and clinical environment as years of clinical rotations and ER assignments are implemented in nursing school.

Nurses are familiar with medical terminology and possess technical skills ( i.e., IV placement and medication conversions) – which benefit them in medical school.

Teamwork and communication are vital in any healthcare setting and across all healthcare staff. Nurses sharpen these core abilities as they build and foster inter-professional relationships over time. Such characteristics are ideal for future doctors especially when clinicals start.

Better patient-physician relationships

Nurses have dealt with bedside care throughout class clinicals or practice. Nurse training in bedside care develops observation skills for conducting future diagnosis and treatment as doctors.

Nurses communication and patient care fosters an understanding of their needs and pre-emption of their condition. Additionally, nurses constantly practice compassion, patience, and empathy — these being personal qualities essential for future doctors to have.

Med School Admissions

Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, and Statistics are some of the academic requirements considered for admission to medical school. Some nursing school curricula do away with these subjects or do not discuss these in-depth.

If you are taking up nursing, consult an academic adviser or mentor on how you can handle these courses, as nursing school schedules heavily demand time. If you have already finished your degree, you can opt for post-baccalaureate coursework to complete the academic requirements and be admissible.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a prerequisite for admission into most medical school. It is administered for over 15 times a year, from January to September. Some schools set minimum cut-off MCAT scores that applicants must meet in order to be considered. You can learn more about the MCAT here.

Just as long as you complete the educational workload and other entry requirements and determine whether becoming an MD is the perfect career choice for you, there should be no difficulty in getting through the drawbacks you’ll encounter in medical school.


Writing should be one part informative and one part entertaining. It's what differentiates a generic piece of text from a well-written article. Rey Palmares dedicates much of his time to fine-tune that craft, juggling the joys and frustrations of writing with those of his law school life outside of the office. He's making it work so far.