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posted by [personal profile] dashingdeviant at 12:54am on 05/05/2009 under , ,
I'm still trying to plot my educational path, and my desire to become a radical lawyer continues to become less and less, and I'm more and more sure I want to spend my life working in radical community clinics teaching people how to watch out for themselves and their community health-wise, and empower them to use all the amazing non-allopathic healing tools at our disposal, and be there when they do need to see someone with a pretty high scope. Long-term, the main conflict is between doing an RN to Family NP path, and going to through a full-blown herbalist program while doing that, and just going all out and becoming a Doctor of Naturopathy, and working as a Naturopath.

The benefits of going through nursing would be:
-I will always be able to find a well-paying job anywhere, and it will be helping people.
-I could be an RN by the end of summer of 2011 - three quarters of prereqs starting in the fall, five quarters for an accelerated BN. I can then work for as long as I want before going for the NP (though by 2013, that will require a clinical doctorate and not a masters, however, that plays into the trend of the NP scope and utilization increasing in western allopathic medicine. I think.)
-Many of the situations I would like to work in, an NP will likely have the leeway to apply knowledge as an herbalist.

-More western allopathic medicine focused than I would like.
-Probably net longer education time than becoming an ND, as I wouldn't be able to start an NP program until at least 2012.
-While nursing is much more holistic than MD programs, I still think I would be happier with a more holistic, less allopathy focused approach.

The benefits of an ND would be:
-No need to juggle training as an herbalist with training in my degree programs that get me licensed; I can really only see maybe getting to go through the Elderberry School program and then informal trainings if I become a nurse, at least for a long while.
-More freedom to practice in the modalities I want to focus on, more independence from the system.
-Could be done other than continuing education (which I'll do either way) by the end of spring 2014.
-Will have a skillset that will be immediately apparent to anyone who look to work with/get employment from (whereas, with nursing, sure there will be a lot of jobs, but many of them will focus solely on western allopathy).
-Sarcastic: my mother can finally refer to me as her child, the doctor. Not that my parents really have much belief in non-allopathic medicine

-net more expensive than nursing, as I'm guessing that the NP portion of the nursing program lets you work as an RN at the same time. This would be going to school fulltime during the entire course of it.
-less job security. Being less enmeshed in the system means you have to make your own way more.
-While recognized as a physician, that is only in a limited number of states. Many states you can't practice due to it being practicing medicine without a license.
-All the education has to be done at one place, so it's committing me to live in the same place until I'm well into my 30s. That's kind of scary. Even though I like Portland now, I've already got itchy feet (as an aside, maybe I should find a way to spend the summer travelling, and just move back here to go to school for prereqs).

After talking to a naturopath a good bit about it, I'm once again leaning very strongly toward becoming an ND. It may be a more difficult path in the short run, but I think in the long run, I'd find it a lot more rewarding.

In the near term, I just wish I had the money to do the WFR course that's being offered out in Gresham in mid-to-late June. Because a) it would be really useful and b) I want to continue my training in some sort of organized way in the near term, especially since I'm going to spend a year going through prereqs (most of which will be pretty snooze-worthy for me, because I can't really see myself picking up too much out of a couple quarters of bio, a couple of quarters of gen chem, and a couple quarters of organic chemistry); at least I'll get to do a bunch of Spanish classes while I do that. I also really really wish I had had the money to do either the Elderberry or Arctos Schools of botanical medicine this year, because I really want some formal structure to learning herbalism (and I believe there is a lot of stuff you can't learn from books and would never to have pretended to learn it; what individual herbalists have taught me has been way more valuable, hour for hour).
location: Camp Good Neighbear
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
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