NP vs PA vs CNS - page 2

by OriolesMagic

33,079 Views | 71 Comments

I am considering going for further education. I am an RN w/ a bachelor's degree (non-nursing) and a AA in nursing. I have 6 years experience, 3 years in cardiac acute care (stepdown). I would like information on differences... Read More


  1. 4
    CME is not nearly as intensive as a full recertification exam. I have Medscape on my phone and can usually get 2-3 CME with an hour investment reading articles and answering questions.

    I think it's rude and bizzare to assume PAs and MDs only care about money, while NPs are some heavenly saints that would work without salary if they could. Everyone cares about money to some extent, and most providers (of all types) care about their patients just as much.

    I may become an NP in the end, but I respect the PA profession a great deal. They have worked much harder to standardize their profession, and the classes they offer combined with the massive clinical hours is far above most NP programs. They teach skills in person and do not allow online programs so prevalent in nursing.

    Here's the curriculum for the PA program vs the NP program at Stony Brook University (well regarded for both PA and NP).

    PA:
    • HBA 561 Human Gross Anatomy
    • HAP 504 Professional Practice Issues


    Fall
    • HBY 501 Human Physiology
    • HAP 512 Principles of Clinical Pharmacology (continues in the Spring)
    • HBP 511 Pathobiology (continues in the Spring)
    • HAP 510 Clinical Laboratory Medicine
    • HAP 514 POMR: History & Physical Examination
    • HAP 516 Problem Based Learning (PBL) (continues in the Spring)
    • HAP 518 Medical Director Presentation Rounds (MDPR) (continues in the Spring)
    • HAP 521 Clinical Medicine I
    • HAP 528 Genitourinary, Sexual and Reproductive Health
    • HAP 532 Diagnostic Imaging
    • HAP 551 Research Design and Evidence-Based Medicine


    Spring
    • HAP 522 Clinical Medicine II
    • HAP 523 Clinical Medicine III
    • HAP 524 Clinical Medicine IV
    • HAP 534 Introduction to Clinical Psychiatry
    • HAP 545 Ethics and Health Care
    • HAP 540 Clinical Prevention and Population Health
    • HAP 549 Clinical Skills


    Year II

    Summer
    • Clinical Clerkships 1 and 2
    • HAP 561 Masters Project I


    Fall
    • HAP 562 Masters Project II
    • Clinical Clerkships 3 - 5


    Spring
    • HAP 563 Masters Project III
    • Clinical Clerkships 6 - 10



    NP:






    Graduation Requirements Credits
    Core
    HNG 519 Advanced Theory & Clinical Practice in Adult Health Nursing I 4
    HNG 529 Advanced Theory & Clinical Practice in Adult Health Nursing II 5
    HNG 539 Advanced Theory & Clinical Practice in Adult Health Nursing III 5
    HNG 549 Advanced Theory & Clinical Practice in Adult Health Nursing IV 5
    19 (minimum)
    Graduation Requirements By Individual Advisement (Gap Analysis)
    HNH 504 Quality Improvement, Safety, and Health Care Technologies 3
    HNH 505 Health Policy and Advocacy 2
    HNG 515 Advanced Health Assessment 3
    HNG 540 Pharmacology 3
    HNG 588 Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan







    libbyliberal, ruralmed, icecreamcake, and 1 other like this.
  2. 0
    Getting back to the OP question:

    If you need to work part-time or full-time while in school, it's only possible with NP. You may be able to work per diem in PA school, but I don't know. (Any PAs can chime in on this?)

    I honestly would have gone the PA route, only because of the surgical rotations involved in their programs. As of now, there are a few NP programs that are now offering surgical rotations as well. If you're considering a surgical specialty, then it may be a good idea to look into PA programs, but if not, there's no real difference between the two roles.
  3. 4
    Quote from kguill975
    Getting back to the OP question:

    If you need to work part-time or full-time while in school, it's only possible with NP. You may be able to work per diem in PA school, but I don't know. (Any PAs can chime in on this?)

    I honestly would have gone the PA route, only because of the surgical rotations involved in their programs. As of now, there are a few NP programs that are now offering surgical rotations as well. If you're considering a surgical specialty, then it may be a good idea to look into PA programs, but if not, there's no real difference between the two roles.
    You can work during NP programs because they are less intensive..
  4. 0
    Quote from kguill975
    Getting back to the OP question:

    If you need to work part-time or full-time while in school, it's only possible with NP. You may be able to work per diem in PA school, but I don't know. (Any PAs can chime in on this?)

    I honestly would have gone the PA route, only because of the surgical rotations involved in their programs. As of now, there are a few NP programs that are now offering surgical rotations as well. If you're considering a surgical specialty, then it may be a good idea to look into PA programs, but if not, there's no real difference between the two roles.
    There used to be a couple of programs where you could go part time the first year (essentially split the first year into two years). I don't know if they still exist. The second year you will generally put in more than 2200 hours which is pretty much a full time job all the while studying for boards.
  5. 2
    I work as an NP, and have colleagues that are NPs and PAs. Frankly, I feel that we are pretty much equivalent in knowledge. I did a "diploma to Master's" program. They "suggested/recommended" that we not work during the program, but since no one was volunteering to support my family, I worked. It was NOT easy, but possible. And my state CEU requirement is nothing compared to my national certification requirement.
    antania31 and BCgradnurse like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from IcySageNurse

    You can work during NP programs because they are less intensive..
    It has nothing to do with intensity. It has everything to do with what is offered by the program. Just like BSN school, most PA programs don't give you a choice of taking one class at a time (i.e. part-time). If I could have taken one class at a time at any of the two PA programs near me, I would have done it. Unfortunately, I'm not independently wealthy and I have a kid to take care of. If you think PA programs are more intensive, go for it. What's stopping you?
    BCgradnurse and SoldierNurse22 like this.
  7. 0
    You might consider the prerequisites in your search. Where I live, the PA program prereqs are the same for med school, while the NP prereqs are not. This is a factor in the length of your program. Also, my friends in PA school have less choice in their clinical locations, with some being sent out of state and even across the country depending on specialty with no expenses covered. University if Washington has CNS, DNP, And MSN programs for RNs without BSNs that can be completed mostly online and either ft or pt. Good luck.
  8. 4
    It is quite obvious why PA schools require more clinical hours than NP school. A person can do the PA route with no medical experience, thus having to be taught how to do everything from drawing blood to taking blood pressure. Most NP school require a person to have an RN license and most like a BSN degree, thus these applicants already know how to do the more the more mundane tasks. Also we all know that we actually get our solid education on the floor working. Books and clinically are great but nothing beats a good working experience.
    goldenmom321, pghnursedjg, antania31, and 1 other like this.
  9. 1
    Quote from lpn2rnSoon
    It is quite obvious why PA schools require more clinical hours than NP school. A person can do the PA route with no medical experience, thus having to be taught how to do everything from drawing blood to taking blood pressure. Most NP school require a person to have an RN license and most like a BSN degree, thus these applicants already know how to do the more the more mundane tasks. Also we all know that we actually get our solid education on the floor working. Books and clinically are great but nothing beats a good working experience.
    "Most" NP schools? I haven't done any official investigating, but there are, as already noted, large numbers of direct entry NP programs that take individuals with no nursing background or degree at all and turn them into advanced practice nurses. My graduate program combined experienced-RN students with the DE students, and I can tell you for a fact that the DE students, most of whom had little or no healthcare background or experience of any kind, and certainly no nursing experience, had the same number of clinical hours that we experienced RNs did. And my school had a much larger number of DE students than experienced-RN students.
    on eagles wings likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from elkpark
    "Most" NP schools? I haven't done any official investigating, but there are, as already noted, large numbers of direct entry NP programs that take individuals with no nursing background or degree at all and turn them into advanced practice nurses. My graduate program combined experienced-RN students with the DE students, and I can tell you for a fact that the DE students, most of whom had little or no healthcare background or experience of any kind, and certainly no nursing experience, had the same number of clinical hours that we experienced RNs did. And my school had a much larger number of DE students than experienced-RN students.
    Right, but those DE students went through RN school and clinicals, even if they didn't work as RNs. Many PA programs take people with literally no healthcare background at all.
    pghnursedjg likes this.


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