LVN to RN to PA? Possible?

  1. Hello all,

    I am new to this forum and to this field so I am looking for all of the help and guidance I can get.

    Let me start by saying that I have not always wanted to become a nurse or doctor. However I have a very good friend that is an Ortho Surg and he wants me to desperately go to medical school and take over his practice when he retires. I have expressed an interest to him but don't think I have enough time left to attempt that feat.

    At the moment I think it is far more feasible to become a PA specializing in ortho vs. becoming an MD. My question is, can I go from a one year LVN program into an RN program and then into a PA program? Has anyone done this? If so I would love to know how and the steps I need to take in order to fulfill the same goals. Any help is appreciated more than you know because I am lost.

    Dave
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   klone
    I would think that getting an RN first if you know you want to become a PA would be the wrong track. I'm sure many of your science classes would easily transfer to a PA program, but I would think it would make more sense to just enter a PA program directly.

    Isn't it a 4-year degree program?

    ETA: Guess I'm wrong! According to one PA school, the prerequisite is simply 60 semester credit hours from another institution. I would think that an ADN would fit the bill.

    But could you actually go into private practice as a PA? Don't you have to be working under the auspices of an MD?

    Oops, wrong again! Farther down on the page, it says you must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university prior to matriculation.

    So I imagine a BSN could be ONE way of going about it. You could also get a pre-med degree, also. In fact, I'd think that might actually be better, because the medical model of healthcare and the nursing model are often very different.
    Last edit by klone on Mar 16, '05
  4. by   opeth84
    Quote from klone
    I would think that getting an RN first if you know you want to become a PA would be the wrong track. I'm sure many of your science classes would easily transfer to a PA program, but I would think it would make more sense to just enter a PA program directly.

    Isn't it a 4-year degree program?

    ETA: Guess I'm wrong! According to one PA school, the prerequisite is simply 60 semester credit hours from another institution. I would think that an ADN would fit the bill.

    But could you actually go into private practice as a PA? Don't you have to be working under the auspices of an MD?

    Oops, wrong again! Farther down on the page, it says you must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university prior to matriculation.

    So I imagine a BSN could be ONE way of going about it. You could also get a pre-med degree, also. In fact, I'd think that might actually be better, because the medical model of healthcare and the nursing model are often very different.
    Thanks for the info. I have done some research and my ortho buddy said to just go the PA route also. But it is a matter of living while I am in school. I was hoping to step into nursing for clinical experience and a paycheck to put me through school and then into a PA program.
  5. by   klone
    So are you thinking of getting into a BSN program, and then work as an RN while you complete the coursework for a PA program?

    That would seem doable. Although you should probably find out whether you're legally allowed take over an MD's practice and work on your own as a PA, or if you actually need to work FOR an MD (even if it's just on paper).
  6. by   ManyRN2B
    You would waste time if you went LVN RN to PA. Just go for your PA. Another option is get your RN then go become a NP. NP's are higher than PA as far as education and experience.

    Tiffany
    RN Grad 05/05
  7. by   klone
    Quote from ManyRN2B
    You would waste time if you went LVN RN to PA. Just go for your PA. Another option is get your RN then go become a NP. NP's are higher than PA as far as education and experience.

    Tiffany
    RN Grad 05/05
    Are you sure about that? Both are Master's level degrees, and both have the same level of legal independence (ability to prescribe, ability to be a primary healthcare provider).
  8. by   suzanne4
    A Nurse Practitioner can have their own practice and work under their own license. You see this quite often in midwifery, as well as medicine, and especially in rural areas. A Physician's Assistant, though they have a Certification, remember that their title is PA-C., works under the license of a physician. They cannot have their own office, nor can they take over an office for a retiring physician.

    They can get surgical privileges as an assistant, but not as the surgeon of record.

    There are still some differences between the two. In some states, a nurse practitioner can actually admit theirr own patients, physician assistants usually need to admit under a physician, though they may be following them exclusively. But, also remember that each state can set its own rule and regulations, so best bet would be to check with the state where you plan on working..................
  9. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from klone
    Are you sure about that? Both are Master's level degrees, and both have the same level of legal independence (ability to prescribe, ability to be a primary healthcare provider).
    As far as I know a PA has to work under a physician. NPs don't.
  10. by   suzanne4
    A nurse has a license, a physican's assistant has a certification, but not a license.
  11. by   ManyRN2B
    Another big difference is NP have wayyyy more clinical experience and education. There are 2 PA programs in Maryland that are 2 yr associate degree programs. So not all PA's have a Masters. In DC, George Washington Univ has a PA program that is a Bachelors. I have never seen a PA program with a Masters, of course I didn't look at that hard. I know when I had thought about being a PA, 10 yrs ago, this is the information I found.


    I guess saying "Higher" wasn't the right wording.
  12. by   klone
    Quote from ManyRN2B
    Another big difference is NP have wayyyy more clinical experience and education. There are 2 PA programs in Maryland that are 2 yr associate degree programs. So not all PA's have a Masters. In DC, George Washington Univ has a PA program that is a Bachelors. I have never seen a PA program with a Masters, of course I didn't look at that hard. I know when I had thought about being a PA, 10 yrs ago, this is the information I found.


    I guess saying "Higher" wasn't the right wording.
    Sorry, I was just looking at the school in Glendale, AZ. I noticed that a baccalaureate degree is a prerequisite and that it's considered a Master's program, so I ASSumed all of them were like that. My bad!
  13. by   ManyRN2B
    Klone,

    That's okay. It's different in each state.

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