Quote from ICUman
I would still become a PA over an NP even considering the autonomy. They are more thoroughly trained and can switch specialties easier, and receive more clinical hours in their programs. If I don't do CRNA I'm definitely doing RN to PA like you are.
Also, this will vary on region, but consider job prospects for PA vs NP. NP's at times have trouble finding employment, and when they do, it can be at quite low pay. PA's seem to somehow avoid these issues for the most part.
Plus PA's don't have to deal with all the extra nursing DNP fluff. They have a good strong solid master's degree based in science.
You are entitled to your opinion, but you are wrong on a few key points. How do they say it? “You don’t know what you don’t know?”.
Training is only a tiny portion of becoming an advanced clinician. PA’s are presumed to “hit the ground running”, because their schooling is more focused. I agree that a lot of NP education is garbage nursing stuff. I used to find LPN’s to be better nurses early on, and some became better than RN’s overall because they were very task-oriented. But they had limits in their scope of practice that required an RN to do some of their work, and ultimately pushed them out of almost every hospital I know of. Why choose a degree that has more limits than the alternate choice?
PA’s are having the same job issues as NP’s, although they have still managed to hang on to a small pay advantage in most areas. In Florida, there is a shortage of jobs for both. Many postings are for NP/PA, but a wise physician will tell you they prefer an NP because of the autonomy.
As for changing specialties, NP’s can work wherever their scope allows. Primarily, adult (now adult-gerontology), or FNP (all ages). I happen to be an adult ARNP, and have found absolutely zero limit as far as changing or considering changing specialties. The only limit I have is not treating under 18, which is fine by me. But I could add a post-master’s certificate for family NP if I wanted it.
In the real world, I just trained with a PA, and interviewed another PA who will be making exactly the same as the NP’s in our company. I know many NP’s who are functioning in roles that a PA could not do. But I don’t know any PA’s functioning in a role that an NP couldn’t do.