Re: Nurse Practitioner vs Physician Assistant
The fundamental difference between PA's and NP's, as midlevel medical providers, is that the PA is able to work and switch to virtually any medical specialty area of practice while the NP is focused into a particular primary care area.
Because of the collaborative basis of PA practice (working under the supervision of physicians), an opportunity for continuing and diverse expertise in many specialty areas is possible.
This allows situations where, for example, a PA who switches from an orthopedics (or cardiology) practice to emergency medicine may provide more musculoskeletal injury (cardiology) experience and understanding to this new setting, than the supervising ER doctor.
This maneuverability between specialties, creates not only a career choice of unlimited professional growth possibilities and also can add a unique (generalist with multiple specialty training) dimension to any healthcare specialty team.