What do nurses think of Physicians Assistants?

  1. 1
    I am a nursing major and was told by a PA that I should forget nursing and become a PA. I explained that I felt the scope of practice was entirely different. I explained I felt I had more opportunities in nursing than as a PA such as CRNA,NP, etc...I was then told that NP's will be a thing of the past as doctors get rid of them and PA's will be the career of choice. This upset me and now I feel my choice in nursing has been bashed by someone who doesn't understand why I'd choose nursing. Do nurses like PA's or are they alot of trouble?!
    nursel56 likes this.
  2. 12 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    This is one perspective: I am an ER nurse. I
    work with PAs every day. Because they earn so much more than I do, I've given serious thought to going back to school to be a PA.
    The school is very close to my home and by
    signing a contract with our physician group I
    could probably go for free. I have decided not to do this for one reason--I think I would be bored to death. At our hospital the PAs see all the "clinic" stuff--pts. who
    could have or should have seen their family doc. They also do all the sutures and ortho
    cases. The nurses get the "fun" stuff--the traumas, the acute MIs, ect... the PAs never
    get involved in those cases.
    The PAs I work with are pretty good, but I'll
    stick to nursing. And in Ohio NPs are the latest craze. Check out this months issue of RN magazine for more.
    SILVACH24 likes this.
  4. 2
    I had been accepted into a few PA programs and had planned to attend (the nurses I had spoken to warned me away from nursing) when the financial aid statement came in and basically said, "You'll be 97 grand in debt". At the same time the job market for PAs is on the decline (apparently) due to an oversupply of new grads. The starting salary (average) from one of the better known PA schools in Pennsylvania has dropped significantly over the past two years ($12,000) That's a good indication of supply catching up with demand--not too surprising given the sudden increase in press the PA profession was given (the *HOT JOB* du jour).

    So to make a long story longer, I took a second look at nursing (thankfully). The advanced practice options for RNs are much greater than that of PAs. In most states (from my cursorial research) it appears that the nurse practice acts allow NPs (and other advanced RNs) more autonomy than PAs. Additionally, RNs may advance into management. In my area there are NO PAs in management and probably won't be (remember what ASSISTANT means).

    There are hospitals in the country that still value the RN, and pay them what they are worth. IF the RN profession ever gets its act together re: entry into the profession, a stronger central organization, more control over reciprocity issues, etc. RNs will be in a great position for changing health care and changing with health care.

    At this point I'm still very glad I didn't attend PA school, but until I start working (2 years yet) I won't be totally sure. If I ever suddenly realize I've made a mistake, I can always go back for a PA masters, although I don't plan on it.
    NeoNatMom and jbabyblu65 like this.
  5. 3
    I forgot one thing re: PAs seeing the routine ER cases. In Texas there is now an Emergency Nurse Practitioner program--first one in the country. I don't know what the scope of the NP in ERs is down yonder but it's an interesting development.
    J3w3lz88, itsmejuli, and jucris88 like this.
  6. 1
    PA's are not capable of carring a pt. load. They only "assist" while a NP can carry a pt. load. And another thing that is great about NP's is that they are nurses to begin with. With the expansion of the NP educational trac into areas such as Acute Care, Emergency Care and Pediatric Acute care they are also much more specialized than PA's. Support your profession!! NP's are the future and PA's are of the past.
    SuesquatchRN likes this.
  7. 0
    As a women's health nurse practitioner I feel it is important to educate my patients about what my role is as well as my education
    As far as I know PA's may come from any background (bachelor's degree) and then go to PA school where as I already have a nursing degree to build on. Clients are always asking me when will you become a doctor and my reply is always that I am very happy as a Nurse Practitioner. I value the nursing model of patient care which for me is treating the whole person and I try to incorporate this into my practice.
  8. 0
    i had no idea. what is the difference in education?
  9. 0
    This is a timely discussion for me. Currently, I'm advancing my nursing education, and am not in a position to choose NP vs. PA yet, but at some point in the future, I will be making that decision.
  10. 0
    Quote from codysfreckles
    i had no idea. what is the difference in education?
    There is a thread and more discussion on this topic in the specialty - advanced practice - nurse practitioner forum.

    Keep in mind this thread was started in 1999! The info is old and may be out of date.
  11. 2
    How irritating! I hate when people drag up old threads. Is there a feature available that would prevent that from occurring?
    RNKel and PolaBar like this.


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