I am an FNP and love my job. Sometimes I feel like a resident because of the workload, plus, I'm still learning. However, I really love being an NP.
Personally, I think being a PA is not as great as being an NP. Think about it...An MD is the highest you can go in medicine and an NP is the highest you can go in nursing (aside from a Ph.D.). A PA kind of floats in the middle with no real theoretical basis to their practice. An NP can do both medicine and nursing, but a PA can only do medicine. That's just my opinion.
Also, PAs don't make a lot more money. The money you make depends on where you work and what you can do. I work in a family practice and make pretty good money for a young NP with less than a year of experience. A PA's pay may be higher if he or she worked in a surgical setting.
I think of a PA as a Doctor's helper and an NP as someone who practices independently with their own set of theories. Remember, an NP gets his or her own license and a PA practices under an MD's license.
I just think NPs get more respect...but, again, that's just my opinion.
Mar 28, '01
I agree with Chris FNP, I did extensive research on the NP vs PA routes and interviewed as many NP's and PA's as I could. They all have their own biases, but I think the deciding factor for me was that the NP practices under his/her own license. I pursued the RN first, plan to work for a couple of years as an RN, then apply to NP programs. Different regions of the country may vary in terms of the job market for each, I would research what the job market is in your area and talk to as many practicing NP's and PA's as possible.
Mar 29, '01
I am currently getting ready to graduate from Case Western with a bachelors degree in Biology and Chemistry. I was once on a pre-med track but decided not to pursue it for a couple of reasons. One is that I am over 30 and would really like to start a family fairly soon, another is that I cannot relocate which makes med school a more difficult choice.
Anyway, there are so many options out there for science majors--it's hard to get the fact and even harder to choose. I have finally decided on the ND program at Case's nursing school. It's 4 more years and I will get a RN, MSN, and ND degree. The people there seem wonderful and this program just seems to feel right for me.
Then I look into the message boards and become plagued with questions that I do not know the answer to. What really is the differance between NP's and PA's? Do PA's really make more money? (Having worked for quite a few years, I know money is not the primary consideration--but I would still like to know.) Is it true that NP's have a hard time finding employment? (I live in Cleveland--I can't relocate to a rural area). Is it true that the future of both NP's and PA's is precarious? (I wouldn't think so--but that is something I have been seeing over and over again). Also, NP's I have personally spoken to seem to LOVE their jobs--is this true for the NP's on this site?
I am still set on becoming an NP--but I like to be as informed as possible. Any info. would really help.