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ZachD

Non Traditional (I think?) Applicant Looking for Options

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Hello! First, a little background. I currently have an undergraduate degree in Finance and Management Information Systems from a traditional 4 year school. I have since been working full time as a software engineer for almost a year now. This career path just isn't sitting right with me and after some research, becoming a PA seems like a better option for me.

That being said, I know it is a somewhat long road for me to get there. One path that I am considering is applying for a second degree program in nursing, becoming a RN, and then applying to PA school after 1+ year in nursing experience.

I understand that there are potentially other routes to take and would like to hear some opinions on how I might go about this.

Other information that may be useful:
Finished undergrad with about a 3.45 gpa (over 3.7 in sciences, only a few science classes)

Based in NYC, not planning on moving

I need to keep working during any school I do. In the RN example, I would be taking classes outside of my working hours (roughly 9 am - 5:30 pm Mon - Fri) until I can get a RN job, at which point I would quit my current job.

Please let me know if you need any additional info! Thanks

EDIT: Open to taking the GRE if that would be helpful for a path besides the RN path, pretty good at test taking so can expect to do well on that

Edited by ZachD
additional info

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I mean if you want to go through a whole nursing program and then a whole pa program, you can I just think that’s a lot. You could take just your prerequisites, but most of those are only offered at 4 year colleges so you might have to apply again to your alma mater as a non degree seeking student (just thinking out loud here, totally not sure about that). 

It definitely will be a long road but this profession is so worth it in the end. Highly recommend the gre it’s something simple that can help you stand out that much more 

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7 hours ago, Patricia5827 said:

I mean if you want to go through a whole nursing program and then a whole pa program, you can I just think that’s a lot. You could take just your prerequisites, but most of those are only offered at 4 year colleges so you might have to apply again to your alma mater as a non degree seeking student (just thinking out loud here, totally not sure about that). 

It definitely will be a long road but this profession is so worth it in the end. Highly recommend the gre it’s something simple that can help you stand out that much more 

I went to University of Delaware and have no plans or wish to move back there. Whatever path I choose forward would probably need to be New York based. Would it perhaps be an option to take these prerequisites at the school I plan to do the PA program at?

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Your cGPA is average and your sGPA is good. You have a great degree, so it’ll definitely make you stand out for PA school. I think you should complete your PA school prerequisites and gain patient care experience. Become a CNA, medical assistant, EMT, etc. You also need the GRE and volunteer experience. 

Becoming an RN is a good option if you want to play it safe. You’ll have a great career, a second degree, competitive PCE, and the option of applying to NP school. I heard it’s not recommended to work in nursing school. You would also have to complete prerequisites for nursing school. It could be a waste of time and money though, because you’d still have to take the prerequisites for PA school, take the GRE, gain PCE, etc. 

If you take the nursing route, it will take you at least 3 years before you can apply to PA school. If you do well in your PA school prerequisites and gain PCE, you could apply in 2 years. You could also keep your engineering job while taking your prerequisites for PA school. You could take 1-2 classes a semester. If you are the main financial provider in your household, the nursing route might not be the best option 

Edited by Potatolife

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6 hours ago, Potatolife said:

Your cGPA is average and your sGPA is good. You have a great degree, so it’ll definitely make you stand out for PA school. I think you should complete your PA school prerequisites and gain patient care experience. Become a CNA, medical assistant, EMT, etc. You also need the GRE and volunteer experience. 

Becoming an RN is a good option if you want to play it safe. You’ll have a great career, a second degree, competitive PCE, and the option of applying to NP school. I heard it’s not recommended to work in nursing school. You would also have to complete prerequisites for nursing school. It could be a waste of time and money though, because you’d still have to take the prerequisites for PA school, take the GRE, gain PCE, etc. 

If you take the nursing route, it will take you at least 3 years before you can apply to PA school. If you do well in your PA school prerequisites and gain PCE, you could apply in 2 years. You could also keep your engineering job while taking your prerequisites for PA school. You could take 1-2 classes a semester. If you are the main financial provider in your household, the nursing route might not be the best option 

Thank you for the reply! Yeah I'm 23 years old, so just fresh into my first job and am the only one providing for myself financially. I'm starting to think that the prereq while I work route is the best for me, but I would need to find a PA to shadow to get some health care experience. I have been looking at the PA program at The City College of New York. It seems reputable and has the required accreditations, but do you have any insight into this school? I can't really find a good source anywhere speaking to how "good" of a school it is and what kind of opportunities I'll have after. I originally chose this school because it is conveniently located for me and does not require the GRE or any specific kind of healthcare experience (meaning that shadowing a PA will suffice).

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There are so many countless threads on this exact question.  Do a little browsing here on the forum and you'll find more information than you'll know what to do with.

As an aside - shadowing does not count as HCE...usually anywhere.  HCE/PCE are hours that you are completing tasks (preferably paying jobs).  Shadowing is shadowing.  CASPA differentiates the two and shadowing likely A: won't count for HCE or B: will absolutely not make you a competitive applicant.

Edited by MT2PA
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On 5/9/2019 at 7:56 PM, ZachD said:

Thank you for the reply! Yeah I'm 23 years old, so just fresh into my first job and am the only one providing for myself financially. I'm starting to think that the prereq while I work route is the best for me, but I would need to find a PA to shadow to get some health care experience. I have been looking at the PA program at The City College of New York. It seems reputable and has the required accreditations, but do you have any insight into this school? I can't really find a good source anywhere speaking to how "good" of a school it is and what kind of opportunities I'll have after. I originally chose this school because it is conveniently located for me and does not require the GRE or any specific kind of healthcare experience (meaning that shadowing a PA will suffice).

This forum is filled with posts and information that will answer all your questions. You should navigate through it. Shadowing is not healthcare experience. Even if a school does not require a specific type of healthcare experience, shadowing a PA is not competitive at all. You will be competing against applicants who have phenomenal applications and thousands of PCE hours. Do not ever settle for the minimum requirements. The schools will know, and it won't look good

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