Best NP or PA Route- Opinions Please!

  1. Background: I have a B.S. degree with all pre-medical pre-requisities for either an NP or PA route. My first semester as an undergrad, I wanted to transfer and pursue nursing. Due to my family footing the bill and saying no, I didn't (There are a lot of shoulda, coulda, woulda's on this topic). So, I stuck with what I was doing and decided I could do the next best thing- PA school after I finish my undergraduate. I was doing really well in my classes, was really interested in chemistry, and wanted to pursue pharmacy instead. I worked at a retail pharmacy for a year, and planned on becoming a Pharm.D. But was really jealous of the nurses and doctors I talked to every day. I wanted to be on the front lines, not behind some counter. I was almost done with school, and still undecided on pharmacy, nursing, PA, so I finished up.

    Current: I applied to two schools for the next year: ABSN, and DE MSN (with full intention of working as an RN 2-5 years before practicing NP). I have graduated, am working as CNA right now to gain patient care experience, and learn humility. I have been accepted to both programs. I don't know why, but I'm not feeling a big pull for either. Should I go for the ABSN, DE MSN, or apply to PA school on a whim I might get in? My GPA is not a pre-med GPA, but my pre-req's are mostly As. I'm afraid if I don't take my spot in the DE MSN, I may not get into PA school for a while. I want to get going on this, as my boyfriend is waiting on me to find a school and place for us to settle down in. He just graduated too, and his field is flexible. Staying in WI is important to us. Moneys not a real issue, but I'm more frugal than most.

    Let me know if you need clarification. I have been reading these boards like crazy, and truly appreciate the good intentions and honesty of the posters.
    Last edit by char332 on Mar 14, '12
  2. Visit char332 profile page

    About char332

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   danceluver
    What are your particular interests in the medical field? Do you want to specialize? If you want do be involved in a surgical specialty i would say go PA; but if fields such as ob/gyn or peds or primary care interest you, you likely will get a stronger education in a NP program. I love the flexibility of the NP degree because you will always have an RN license to fall back on and essentially you have several roles RNs and NPs fill. If you interests change to more administrative type activities, RN is a really good thing to have as well.
  4. by   Tinabeanrn
    Well since you are accepted into the ABSN and Direct entry MSN and neither are calling to you, I'd go with PA. Its 2 years, you will learn medicine and I think you will be happy. Dare I say that PA/NP do pretty much the same things in the hospital setting. They are both midlevel providers. And in 2 years you would be done. It is not easy to get into the two programs you got into, so I think you must have grades that are good enough to get into the PA program as well. Now if you had your BSN and you were asking PA or NP, I'd say NP no doubt. Because you would have nursing school and nursing experience under your belt and you would not need that extensive training that you would receive in a PA program. But to go through BSN or MSN and then work for a few years and then go back to be a NP, seems you'd be better off going the PA route. My bff is a PA, she precepted me and I am a SNP. She's great and she said the program was a good program. I wish you luck in whatever it is you do. Most important thing is to follow your heart...once everything is said and done you will probably be kicking yourself and wishing you were back behind the pharmacy counter. I was a pharm tech too once upon a time and I keep thinking, why didn't I become a pharmacist?? lol J/K
  5. by   NPluvsalsa
    I agree with TIN if your not a nurse already, I'd do PA... They are trying to take the NP master level programs to DNP which will be three years instead of two.. I guess 4 if you have to obtain an RN... 2 years for the PA, and PA on the average are still making more than NP's by 5-10 grand... Something for NP to think about with all this additional education push, and classifications... PA's are PA's and can work in any setting.... NP are categorized family office some hospital rounding, acute hospital er, WHNP only takes care of women... It's just too much etc... They also have a very good scientific program, I was impressed with PA to go from no medical background and to function so well after two years...
  6. by   Creativetype
    I am accepted into a BSN program which doesn't start till early next year. I am also wait listed at two PA schools. Getting into PA school is brutal. It can be done obviously but many PA schools get 500-1200 applications for 30-40 spots. So many very qualified and very smart people are not getting in. I could be one of them. So, I would have a back up plan just in case you do not get in. Then it's up to you how long you wish to keep trying for PA and putting your life on hold. I have no issue with either field. Part of me like the security of RN as I get older. Also, PA's have to take a board every 6 years I believe right now which coudl be 10 soon I heard. So when I am 65 and still wanting to work, do I really want to take a national board and if I don't do well, I am out of a job? You're younger so you don't have to worry about that I would think. I'm in my 40s already. But again, PA is much more difficult to get into and it's smart to have a back up plan. If you don't get in this year or next for PA, are you willing to put your life on hold to try again a year later and might have the same results? But if you do go for it, I do hope you get in first time around. There are some great stratigic books you might want to look into that help, one is by Andrew Rodican 3rd edition. And no, I am not Andrew lol.
  7. by   myelin
    just to clarify, PAs don't make more than NPs once you correct for gender. Female PAs and NPs make the same money as do male PAs and NPs. Women make less money (unfortunately) and since there are more female NPs than PAs, it drags down the average for the field.
  8. by   ivanh3
    I will echo some sentiments on this thread. If you are not a nurse and you want to be a provider then perhaps PA training would be more appropriate assuming you have all of the pre reqs.

  9. by   thedewey
    Anyone know any information on Northern Arizona University's new PA program starting in August 2014??