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RN looking to apply to PA school


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Hello all!

My name is Emma and I'm currently practicing as a registered nurse. I've always known that I didn't want my education to stop at the baccalaureate level, but I feel like I have so many questions; I'm not even sure where to start. 

Obviously my educational foundation has been based on the nursing model, but there's something about the medical model I find interesting. I've done some research in regards to schools and have narrowed it down to a few in my region. I have yet to take the GRE and there are quite a few science courses I still have to take, so I'm not quite ready to apply but I am definitely trying to get my ducks in a row.

I guess my main question is this: are there any nurses out there that made the leap from RN to PA? Do any of you (not just RNs) have any advice related to the GRE/upper level sciences/etc.? I'm very excited to learn and thank you in advance.

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I am not, and have never been a nurse.  But I can say that the nurses in my PA program cohort were some of the strongest students in our class, and very well prepared.  You'll be a competitive candidate.

Is there a specific part of the GRE or science courses you are worried about?

 

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I've been a cardiac IMU & CVOR nurse for 3 years & am applying for PA school for the first time this round. I hadn't taken any classes since the NCLEX, so I was really worried about all of that too.. but all I can say is just get started! the biggest hurdle for me was just saying "oh well" & taking that first class... it really sucked, having to go back & start from what seemed like square 1 - since I had to retake quite a few classes that I had already taken in nursing school.. since my nursing program didn't require many of the lab components of bio 1, micro, etc. I had to go back & retake them. But honestly, the classes seemed so much easier now that I've been a nurse, you'll surprise yourself. & I HATE CHEMISTRY with a passion.. again.. I took genchem/orgo 1 in nursing school but didn't have to take labs... so I have to retake them, as all of the schools around me wouldn't let me just take the lab alone. but, do as many as you can at community colleges and you'll be fine.. seems like a lot of waste when you could just go to NP school at first.. that's what I battled with the longest - is the switch worth it when you could essentially do a very similar job as an NP in less time with less money spent to get there? but after working in CVIMU with NPs.. that's when I decided there's no way I'm going to NP school. I never noticed how pronounced the differences in their philosophies were until I had to work with both NP's and PAs on the same floor. PAs are just so much more well trained it seems (in my opinion), so if you're one of those people who want to be a rockstar - make the switch! Cant speak much of the GRE as I take it tomorrow:( I'm super scared about it, esp. since I've been taking genetics & chemistry right now in summer school, working 12's on my 1 day off && attempting to study for this God awful test at the same time. Im just accepting that I won't be stellar at it & submitting anyway. Hoping my experience will matter more than the GRE! Good luck!

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3 hours ago, LA_RN14 said:

I've been a cardiac IMU & CVOR nurse for 3 years & am applying for PA school for the first time this round. I hadn't taken any classes since the NCLEX, so I was really worried about all of that too.. but all I can say is just get started! the biggest hurdle for me was just saying "oh well" & taking that first class... it really sucked, having to go back & start from what seemed like square 1 - since I had to retake quite a few classes that I had already taken in nursing school.. since my nursing program didn't require many of the lab components of bio 1, micro, etc. I had to go back & retake them. But honestly, the classes seemed so much easier now that I've been a nurse, you'll surprise yourself. & I HATE CHEMISTRY with a passion.. again.. I took genchem/orgo 1 in nursing school but didn't have to take labs... so I have to retake them, as all of the schools around me wouldn't let me just take the lab alone. but, do as many as you can at community colleges and you'll be fine.. seems like a lot of waste when you could just go to NP school at first.. that's what I battled with the longest - is the switch worth it when you could essentially do a very similar job as an NP in less time with less money spent to get there? but after working in CVIMU with NPs.. that's when I decided there's no way I'm going to NP school. I never noticed how pronounced the differences in their philosophies were until I had to work with both NP's and PAs on the same floor. PAs are just so much more well trained it seems (in my opinion), so if you're one of those people who want to be a rockstar - make the switch! Cant speak much of the GRE as I take it tomorrow:( I'm super scared about it, esp. since I've been taking genetics & chemistry right now in summer school, working 12's on my 1 day off && attempting to study for this God awful test at the same time. Im just accepting that I won't be stellar at it & submitting anyway. Hoping my experience will matter more than the GRE! Good luck!

LA_RN14-

Thank you for this response!! Do you mind if I private message you? I have about a billion questions.

The last big exam I took was the NCLEX, so I am in the exact same boat...I took an intro to biochem/orgo class my freshman year of college which I ended up dropping because I was young and stupid (not that it would count for PA school, but some chemistry experience would've been nice). I've only been a nurse for about six months, but before even starting my RN program I knew I wasn't going to stop school until I had a Master's degree. 

It's interesting you say that about PAs and NPs- I've weighed the pros and cons of both, and the medical model seems way more interesting (at least to me). Plus I feel like PA students get more in-depth with their A&P/patho/pharm classes which is what I'm interested in. 

It's going to be a long yet rewarding road! Good luck on your GRE!

 

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I was an RN for 5 years in the ICU before PA school. Even did a few semesters of NP school (paid for by my employer). You'll be competitive and you'll definitely have more robust training. 2.5 years as a PA now.

as far as the GRE, didn't study much for it. I paid for it on the math section, but my verbal saved me.

i had all the pre-reqs except orgo and gen chem. Took gen chem and only applied to schools that didn't require orgo.

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17 minutes ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

I was an RN for 5 years in the ICU before PA school. Even did a few semesters of NP school (paid for by my employer). You'll be competitive and you'll definitely have more robust training. 2.5 years as a PA now.

as far as the GRE, didn't study much for it. I paid for it on the math section, but my verbal saved me.

i had all the pre-reqs except orgo and gen chem. Took gen chem and only applied to schools that didn't require orgo.

Thanks for your response!

I could definitely do my own research on the topic, but I figured I'd reach out because you attended a school that didn't require orgo: are there many that don't require it? I know someone has already mentioned that schools on the west coast don't as much, but I'm currently living in the south and about to transfer to the St. Louis area. I would go to a school on the west coast if accepted, obviously, but I was just curious.

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7 hours ago, ekauffman said:

LA_RN14-

Thank you for this response!! Do you mind if I private message you? I have about a billion questions.

The last big exam I took was the NCLEX, so I am in the exact same boat...I took an intro to biochem/orgo class my freshman year of college which I ended up dropping because I was young and stupid (not that it would count for PA school, but some chemistry experience would've been nice). I've only been a nurse for about six months, but before even starting my RN program I knew I wasn't going to stop school until I had a Master's degree. 

It's interesting you say that about PAs and NPs- I've weighed the pros and cons of both, and the medical model seems way more interesting (at least to me). Plus I feel like PA students get more in-depth with their A&P/patho/pharm classes which is what I'm interested in. 

It's going to be a long yet rewarding road! Good luck on your GRE!

 

Sure! I'm new to this forum deal so idk how you do that, but if you do then shoot!

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11 hours ago, ekauffman said:

Thanks for your response!

I could definitely do my own research on the topic, but I figured I'd reach out because you attended a school that didn't require orgo: are there many that don't require it? I know someone has already mentioned that schools on the west coast don't as much, but I'm currently living in the south and about to transfer to the St. Louis area. I would go to a school on the west coast if accepted, obviously, but I was just curious.

When I was applying I had at least 12 schools on my list that I met the prereqs for.

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