Anna Christensen has spent her career helping people. She has been a nurse, a sailor, a nurse practitioner and a supervisor. In 2010, Anna will add one more title—Medical Student.
Everyone will agree that Nursing is second only to Doctoring in patient care. But what most don’t know is that a BSN degree does not require the same prerequisites as a premed degree. Physics, Calculus, Organic Chemistry, and Zoology are not on the list for nursing. But they are pre-requisites for acceptance to medical school, and they are big components of the MCAT exam. So for those nurses who aspire to be doctors, it’s back to school.
Anna tells her story... “In 2004, I graduated with a nurse practitioner license and within a year realized that it wasn’t enough. If I had been a civilian at the time, it would have been my cue to start finishing prerequisites and applying for medical school. However, I was deployed overseas at the time, and still had four more years of obligated service to the US Navy. I tried a self-study program using a Kaplan book to take the MCAT in Tokyo, but my score wasn’t high enough. When I left the Navy, I worked 30 hours a week and crammed 30 credits of classes into one year. I used UWF for my pre-reqs and to boost my undergraduate GPA. Since most of my science courses were from 1991-1993, I used research experiences to bolster my application and provide me with review of things like gram stains, PCR and electrophoresis. I also commuted to USA Medical Center to work in the pulmonary hypertension lab there.”
Anna’s respect for the pulmonary group drove her selection of the University of South Alabama for medical school. She applied for early acceptance to the medical school at the University of South Alabama, and she was invited to join the class that begins in Fall 2010.
“Those of us that decide to leave an established career to pursue a 10 year dream of practicing medicine know that it is not as easy as it would have been if we had decided to do it from the beginning. However, I think that back then I didn’t have the study or life skills I do today. I feel very strongly about what I am doing. I also would recommend early acceptance programs, as the applicant pool is much smaller”.
Congratulations, Anna. You are an inspiration.