Army RN to Army PA? - page 2

I am currently in the process of getting my application in to the Army Reserves as an RN. I had every intention to continue my schooling and become an NP once I was established in the military. However, further research has... Read More

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    Just to second, Army nurses can apply to IPAP, I know 2 who just graduated and my husband graduated from IPAP with a few former army nurses 4 years ago. You do have to consider the effect on your career though, I can't remember how exactly it works, but if you are higher ranking when you begin the program you lose a little rank and have to regain it. No problem if you enter as O1 or O2 though. Also, do consider the Nurse Practitioner program also at USUHS, it has been more competitive in the past, because nurse corps is so huge and the only people applying to it are nurse corps, but that was back when IPAP was kind of a best kept secret and not so many people were applying to IPAP. Now IPAP is hugely competitive also. Also, if you intend on staying in the Army for a career, there are many more advancement opportunities for nurses than PAs in the Army, at least as it stands currently. PAs are in the same corps as the OTs, PTs, Dieticians, and for some reason, PAs cannot seem to get any of the high-ranking positions in that corps, even though they outnumber the others significantly. My husband is getting out for many reasons, but one of the big ones is that promotion potential is so poor right now, they are just now beginning to promote O3s to O4s off the 2009 list, almost 3 years behind because of lack of slots, and that is projected to get worse, not better. Just something to consider, I have to say, as far as educational preparation, my husband's PA program was superior to my NP program hands down, although it is a different approach, more of a compressed medical school experience, where NP school is an extension of nursing theory into advanced practice.

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    SNRachel has it right, it is harder to make rank as a PA vs. NP in the Army. The promotion list for Major just came out last week and the promotion rate for PA's was around 50% and NP's around 90%. With the coming draw down promotion rates for both PA's & NP's will decrease, no one knows by how much or when, but it will. The NP program at USUHS is now a DNP program starting with this May's class. Also, PA's for the most part are assigned to line units etc. with some assigned to clinics and hospitals. NP's are opposite and assigned to clinics and hospitals. This means that PA's deploy more and more often then NP's which is one thing you need to consider depending on what you want and need for your family.
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    Hi StudentNurseRachel,
    I've been a Flight Medic for a few years now, and I have applied to the IPAP. Why did you feel the IPAP was superior to your NP program?
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    I can't speak for the IPAP specifically, but generally PA programs have a great deal more clinical preparation than NP programs. You get a lot more practice with clinical skills. I don't know if that's necessarily better. It depends on the specialty that you're entering. You don't need those to do primary care, a place many PAs and NPs end up (the ones that I came in with without experience all did primary care).

    When I was a civilian, it also seemed to me that women's health and pediatrics are mostly NPs and surgery and ER are mostly PAs.
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    PAs also have the "cooler" jobs with many being in MEDEVAC units, Ranger/SF, infantry line and aviation brigades. NPs don't have that. The only NPs I ever saw on AD were in clinics with a select few as brigade "surgeons" but none in line units.
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    Yeah, every CSH/FST I delivered to had a PA...and a CRNA pushing gas. Getting into a SOF position would be a dream job. High tempo, but unlimited budget and training.
    Pixie.RN likes this.

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