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Pa School Or Np???

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Old 01-06-2008, 03:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 1
slugger83 HB User
Pa School Or Np???

I have a question for all of you MD, NP and Pa's out there. I am about to go back to school and I want to either become a PA or a NP. I already have a BA but its not in biology or a science related field so I am enrolled in a preparedness for the health professions certificate program to fulfill the prequisites that I need at the local university. My question is do I go to get my RN and then NP, which will take 4-5 years or should I go to get my PA in 2-3years. Plus from the research I have done PA's get more pay in NJ. All you MD's which do you prefer??? Either choice is going to be a rewarding career but I just wanted to see what kind of input the professionals have out there. I have shadowed both and they both argue for thier sides but it seems like the same job to me.

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Old 01-26-2008, 05:23 PM   #2
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Posts: 44
cabikerchick HB User
Re: Pa School Or Np???

That all depends. In many cases you don't need your RN to become an NP. Many universities have "Entry Level" programs, and since you already have a Bachelor's you could enroll in one of these programs. They are generally 3 years long.
For PA, you should have a good chunk of hands on patient care experience, as most of the programs require it. A year at a minimum. There are also heavier pre-reqs in the sciences that are required to go the PA route.
The question of which profession to pursue really is up to you. NP and PA education are quite different (Medical model for the PA, Nursing model for the NP), have different clinical requirements, etc. The practice of each is even somewhat different, unless you want to go into family medicine where they might be similar in scope. If you want to do surgery, PA is the way to go, for example
So, a lot of it depends upon what you want to do in terms of practice. The roles have many similarities, but also many differences.

Hope that helped

Last edited by cabikerchick; 01-26-2008 at 05:26 PM. Reason: spelling

Old 01-27-2008, 10:38 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 163
txmomof3 HB User
Re: Pa School Or Np???

I am an NP and very glad that I chose to go that route. PA's are individually licensed, but part of their license will always have to be tied to a MD. My NP license is not tied to the MD I work with, which makes me more independent. The only reason I would go the PA route is if you want to work with surgeons.

Old 05-12-2008, 10:25 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Boston, MA USA
Posts: 92
hermes370 HB User
Re: Pa School Or Np???

what txmomof3 wrote is true ... from my experience surgeons/surgical specialists tend to work with PA's and non-surgical specialists/IM/FPs tend to work with NP's

NP's have far more independence .. just remember that the NP profession is evolving a lot ... just think in 2015 all NP's will be required to have a doctorate degree(granted it's a clinic doctorate vs a research doctorate) .. and many states are starting to provide NP's with no prescription restrictions(including controlled substances), NP's can function independently of an MD(although to be honest, most of the PA's I see now are also working independently independent of the law requires in terms of MD supervision)

and in terms of time you don't have to go the stanard RN to NP route, many programs offer a direct entry program during which you can complete your RN/NP in 3 years(i think from what I remember is that several institutions offer this in 2 years even ...) .. but you do have to have science background

but if you're interested in anesthesia, head the route of NP ... heck you don't even need an NP degree, but CRNA's have a great life and reasonable independence without the liabilities of an MD and call requirement

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