Why would someone choose to be a Nurse Practitioner (NP) instead of a Doctor (MD)?

Especially with Nurse Practitioner programs converting to doctorate programs, why would someone choose to become an FNP or PNP instead of becoming a family physician or pediatrician? The actual schooling would take the same amount of time and even though doctors have residencies after med school, they are generally paid a salary ($ 30-50k) during those years. A nurse practitioner would leave after 8 years making ~$ 80k but have the student loans of a doctorate program.

What would be the advantages of becoming a Nurse Practitioner?

I understand that it is difficult to get into medical school (and get THROUGH it as well) but nursing programs (even RN) are becoming increasingly competitive and demanding as well now. In my area, only about 3% of applicants get into a nursing program – at the university here OR even the community college.

I’m confused as to why someone would go to college for the same number of years to do similar tasks (consult with patients, diagnose and prescribe) for half the pay.

Alternatively, as more and more colleges transition to DNP programs versus MSN, do you believe there will be an overall salary increase for NPs?
Scrabble: I wasn’t implying that making a certain amount of money is a motivating factor. I was simply stating that it would not seem reasonable to be $ 150k in debt if you’re only making $ 80k per year. Paying $ 1200-1400 per month in student loans would significantly cut into the salary and you’d end up making less as a DNP than you would if you continued as an RN.

Best answer:

Answer by Pangolin
There is a world of difference between the intensity of the education that an NP gets vs. an MD. The duration of education is only one small factor.

I don’t think most NP’s have what it takes to get into medical school, although I have met some nurses who could easily have gone that route.

NP’s are NOT physicians and do NOT do the same things that physicians do. They THINK they do, but to those of us who are physicians, the difference is glaringly obvious.

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