Nurse Practitioner or Physician's Assistant?

  1. 2
    Well, I graduated with an associate's degree, and passed my NCLEX in January. I've been working in an LTC since Feburary. I have an opportunity to return to school, and I've already been accepted to a local college to complete a bachelor's in Nursing. This is the quandry I am in. I'm realizing that nurses are not respected or well treated, and I don't like it. I don't know how long I'll be able to put up with it. I have been headed toward Nurse Practitioner. Is physician's assistant a better goal? What are the differences? Is the same amount of schooling from associate degree RN?
    34years and lindarn like this.

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  2. 111 Comments...

  3. 3
    you must obtain your masters for both professions.
    from what i know, pas are paid more, however, they work under the supervision/license of an m.d.

    nps start off making a bit less, but they pretty much get to "sail their own boat" in figurative terms. when becoming an np, you must specialize in something.

    if i am correct, pas can move from field to field and they do not have to "start all over again" per se.

    if anyone wants to follow up on this, that would help. i'm sharing what i personally know of the two, as i have started to do some research on both potential paths .


    Last edit by *guest* on Aug 24, '09
  4. 6
    Check out this thread found in the NP forum. Should answer a lot of your questions:
    Differences (Educative/Clinical) between NP & PA


    Good luck with your career plans.
  5. 3
    Quote from arelle68
    I'm realizing that nurses are not respected or well treated, and I don't like it. I don't know how long I'll be able to put up with it
    I wonder if some of this is due to the LTC environment you are in? It'd be a shame to base your conclusion about how nurses are viewed and treated from just one work environment.
    PurpleLVN, arelle68, and lindarn like this.
  6. 4
    I completely disagree that "nurses are not respected or well treated." This statement indicates that you are not in a good facility that recognizes the importance and value of nursing, not that it applies to nurses as a whole. At my facility, nurses are very well respected. You really need to get out from wherever you are working! See a few other places, and don't let wherever you are working jade you!

    In general, NPs and PAs are paid pretty much the same. The "freedom" a NP has at his or her practice depends greatly on the state wherein the NP practices and the nurse practice act. NPs often are more respected coming right out of school because of the knowledge base and experience they bring with them, versus most PA students, who often have little clinical experience before going to school.
    Crux1024, Jellicoe13, arelle68, and 1 other like this.
  7. 10
    Quote from arelle68
    Well, I graduated with an associate's degree, and passed my NCLEX in January. I've been working in an LTC since Feburary. I have an opportunity to return to school, and I've already been accepted to a local college to complete a bachelor's in Nursing. This is the quandry I am in. I'm realizing that nurses are not respected or well treated, and I don't like it. I don't know how long I'll be able to put up with it. I have been headed toward Nurse Practitioner. Is physician's assistant a better goal? What are the differences? Is the same amount of schooling from associate degree RN?
    From where you are you could do either. There are bachelors, associates and certificate programs out there so potentially you could apply directly. Most likely you will need additional coursework to apply for any PA program. A bachelors will also allow you to apply for masters PA programs which account for 80% of the seats out there. For NP you will need a BSN. For PA programs with a BSN you will also probably need additional coursework such as A&P, chemistry and possibly biochem and ochem depending on the program. The other difference is that most NPs programs will allow you to work some while you are in school while most PA programs will not.

    From a practice issue you have to look around and decide what you want to do and if there is an advantage for a particular provider. Every area is different depending on local practice patterns and BON rules. From a PA standpoint we have our own licenses for the most part. The scope of practice is determined by the supervising physician. For NPs the scope of practice is determined by their certification, training and state BON. For example where I moonlight the practice won't hire NPs because of scope issues in the ER. On the other hand several large ERs in town are pretty much all NP. There are certain areas such as surgery where PAs tend to be more common.

    Realistically within a practice NPs and PAs will do the same job. The pay is very similar and the opportunities for practice ownership are basically the same.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    Grindaholic, HappyDay, wih02906, and 7 others like this.
  8. 0
    I have found that in my area, the nurses are very highly respected by MDs. Also, we have more NPs than PAs. I think it is a matter of preference and future goals; also, I notice that our MDs tend to higher more NPs.

    Just something I've noticed. Moreover, we do not have any Anesthesiology Assistants (is that a PA too?) we only have CRNAs.

    Our hugh group of 20 doctors won't hire them.
  9. 0
    The major difference is P.A.'s are trained by M.D.'s while NP's are trained by nurses. Some groups(doctors) don't care for hiring Np's for this reason and then some don't care one way or the other. I have friends that are in both professions and they indeed do about the same jobs, but P.A.'s are paid more at least in my state they are..As far as Anesthesia Assistants go, there are only some states that allow them and alot of resp. therapist go that route. Crna is the best way to do the anesthesia route, even though they basically are reimbursed by medicare the same amount of money; Crna's make way more money!! and they have more freedom administering their drugs IMHO...
  10. 0
    PAs are paid more, in general. I have seen some of nurse practitioners working on the floor, because they are not paid much more than staff nurses, and there seems to be too many of them nowadays. That's just my obserwation. And you're right, most of the nurses are treated horribly in most of the hospitals, management will never support them, because patient's satisfaction is the ultimate goal, so employees don't matter.
  11. 0
    Physician Assistant schools is considered more intense than NP schools. It is like an abbreviated medical school, so people can't usually work when they are in them. And if you go to the studentdoctor.net, doctors seem to have more respect for PA's as well.


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