RN to PA RN to PA | allnurses

RN to PA

  1. 1 Has anyone ever thought about doing a PA program or is anyone doing a PA program? This is what I really want to do and I even moved two hours to the town where the school is to do this. Im still in the process of RN to BSN as a bachelors degree is necessary to do the program but I was wondering if anyone had any tips or advice or if they could share their experience? Thank you!
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  2. 47 Comments

  3. Visit  Jules A profile page
    #1 4
    I don't have any first hand experience but work with a PA who was a RN. They work as a hospitalist, are very good and seem to fit in better with physicians than many of the local NPs.
  4. Visit  casias12 profile page
    #2 6
    You are much better off going from RN to NP. A nurse practitioner will always be a better degree. PA's will never operate independent of physicians in any state.... ever. NP's, on the other hand, have independent practice in many states now, and will gain ground in others. NP's can do everything a PA can do, but with more autonomy.
  5. Visit  ICUman profile page
    #3 10
    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.
  6. Visit  matthewandrew profile page
    #4 4
    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.
    NPs are able to attain full practice authority because their advanced education and training is based on a specific population and focus. This is very different from PAs who are trained as generalists... hence, the required physician supervision/collaborative agreement. NPs not only have graduate degrees "based in science" but they are also able to build their knowledge from their previous hands-on nursing experience. From my experience, NP graduates have far superior clinical knowledge/experience than their PA graduate counterparts in the specific specialty focus of their education/training. The DNP degree is a relatively new degree meant to replace the MSN. I don't think anyone is really qualified to refer to DNP courses as "fluff" unless you have the "DNP" initials behind your name.
  7. Visit  babyNP. profile page
    #5 4
    I agree that PAs have an advantage over NPs for certain aspects. To play devil's advocate, one thing that doesn't get mentioned much is that it's harder for PAs to practice overseas- even doing volunteer medical work. Doctors without borders won't accept them at all, for example.

    That being said, you'll probably find better information on a PA forum. This is an advance practice nursing forum, after all Best of luck to you.
  8. Visit  casias12 profile page
    #6 3
    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?”.

    Anyway.

    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.
  9. Visit  Will352nd profile page
    #7 1
    There were 3 nurses in my cohort (PA). One failed out in the second semester, one graduated but had difficulty the whole way through, and one was a rock star; one of the smartest people I know. For the two the passed, their background helped and hurt them...it is hard to break bad habits/assumptions.

    Just know the with a BSN, you will still need do a lot of extra courses to be eligible to apply. Good luck.
  10. Visit  ICUman profile page
    #8 0
    Quote from matthewandrew
    NPs are able to attain full practice authority because their advanced education and training is based on a specific population and focus. This is very different from PAs who are trained as generalists...
    Really? Then what does that make an FNP? A generalist. Yet...they don't require physician supervision?
    Hmm.
  11. Visit  ICUman profile page
    #9 5
    Quote from matthewandrew
    The DNP degree is a relatively new degree meant to replace the MSN. I don't think anyone is really qualified to refer to DNP courses as "fluff" unless you have the "DNP" initials behind your name.
    Touche', however, there are countless beyond countless posts on this website from NP students claiming how useless DNP fluff and nursing theory classes are, and how they'd much rather it be clinically based. PA's aren't subjected to that. They have the benefit of all those extra clinical hours. But yes, RN experience can make a NP/PA much better versed in their specified field of practice.
  12. Visit  ICUman profile page
    #10 1
    Quote from casias12
    a wise physician will tell you they prefer an NP because of the autonomy.
    A bold comment to think you can speak for what so many physicians prefer.
    You realize many physicians check the NP's orders before signing off in many practices? The same that they do for a PA. So really, the extra autonomy depends on the practice setting.
  13. Visit  ICUman profile page
    #11 0
    Quote from casias12
    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.
    Please share a specific example of this.
  14. Visit  Aromatic profile page
    #12 3
    But I guess on the serious note I am not sure which one I would do. Of course if you dont mind the sacrifice med school is worth it but if that is out of the question I would ask yourself the following:

    1. Do I want to take all the prereqs for PA school - gen chem, o chem, physics, biochem, etc
    2. Cost- PA school usually costs more
    3. respect- overall PAs do have more respect from their medical counterparts
    4. what do you want to work in- if primary care or psych i would lean toward NP. specialists usually (not always) hire more PAs
    5. please dont take the medical vs nursing philosophy into account, the holistic care tag nurses use to stand out is taught in MD schools also, and DO schools, and PA schools, prior to popular belief it is NOT nurse-specific. We just do not call it "holistic" we call it "patient centered" which is the SAME THING.
    6. consider the credentialing agencies that keep your license worthwhile. who does a better job at this.

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