PA vs. NP in CHICAGO

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    Hi folks! I have a question. I am in the process of doing some research on midlevel providers in the chicagoland area. I know very little about this so I'm hoping some of you could offer me some insight. I am from the chicago area and I really would prefer not to relocate for jobs or school (all my family is around here, etc), but the chicago area has only 3 PA programs that I know of: Cook co (associates degree), midwestern, and finch university.

    The schools that offer PA programs don't offer NP programs and vice versa which makes sense since graduates of those programs would be competing for the same jobs. I have also noticed that here in chicago, there are more job opportunities in area hospitals such as Loyola, northwestern, and Rush for NPs maybe because those schoos train NPs. Another thing I noticed was when I did a job search on different PA and NP jobs web sites, there seems to be more opportunities for NPs than PAs in chicago.

    Another thing I wanted to mention is that when I went to midwestern for my PA interview, I had asked them about jobs in the chicago area and they all said, including the PA director, that the chicago market is very tight for PAs. I am really wondering why this is so.

    I wonder if it's because there are more schools that train NPs as opposed to PAs and from what I know the PA programs out here haven't been around all that long. I know midwestern's program started in 1992.

    I would still love to go to PA school but I am now wondering if when I graduate I would still be able to find work in the chiicagoland area. Well, I was just curious if anyone knew anything about this. Your comments are valued highly!

    Thanks!
  2. 47 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Do NOT commit to any school unless their willing to find you placement.
  4. 0
    Do you mean I should commit to a school only if they are able to find me work?
  5. 0
    You bet you!! My wife and I are both RNs. She wanted
    to be an NP. He hospital's DON encouraged her to go to St.Xavier's
    and the Hospital would help pay for the education and provide her a
    job. In 2-3 yrs, the DON was dismissed and the hospital not only refused
    to help pay for the education, they did not want and NP on site. AND after 17 yrs.,
    she had to take a leave for one semester to finish her clinical for St.Xavier. We refinanced the house and she graduated without a job.
    After many resumes and several
    years of practicing as a nurse clinician, and NP for a
    nursing home, she finally landed a job(officially
    office manager) She proved herself as an NP and next
    week, a new office manager will take her place and she
    will be a full time NP(still being paid RN wages. The
    schools are selling a pig in a poke. There are more
    NP than jobs and some hospitals(their physicians) will not
    work with NP's. I will retire while my wife MUST work
    to pay off the NP school loan. Think twice.
  6. 0
    That's very interesting blueblaze. I noticed that Rush and Loyola and Children's Memorial all hire NPs. Did your wife try those places? What kind of NP is she? Would you recommend me working at a hospital that hires NPs so that they can help me with my tuition reimbursement and help me find a job? I am trying to determine the best route to go.

    I actually work with a pediatric NP and she got her job through a clinical connection. Her training was at Rush. Blueblaze is it ok if I PM you about this?
  7. 0
    Quote from helper
    That's very interesting blueblaze. I noticed that Rush and Loyola and Children's Memorial all hire NPs. Did your wife try those places? What kind of NP is she? Would you recommend me working at a hospital that hires NPs so that they can help me with my tuition reimbursement and help me find a job? I am trying to determine the best route to go.

    I actually work with a pediatric NP and she got her job through a clinical connection. Her training was at Rush. Blueblaze is it ok if I PM you about this?
    I used to work at a hospital in Arlington Heights IL that hired NP's/PA's for ER and also some practices did likewise, to do rounds and things. I think the docs are mighty scared of these new providers because they are competing with the primary care docs for billing, even though it isn't supposed to be that way.

    Residents are cheaper, and are "doctors", so lots of hospitals with residency programs will not hire NP's/PA's. Too expensive. So trying to find a job connected with some of the smaller teaching hospitals might not be the best idea. Loyola and northwestern are the exceptions, but those hospitals are so busy that they keep everyone busy. JMO.

    There is also some companies that contract with hospitals to provide providers. You can check into some of those.

    Good luck.
  8. 0
    My wife got a position with an out clinic affiliated with a teaching hospital. Her job was RN. After several months, she will be practicing as as NP. She proved herself to the YOUNG physicians who NEEDED her and were not threatened by her. We are on the far south side and jobs are limited. I'm new to this type of thing(forum) You may contact me if it is OK with the system. I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean when you say may I PM with you.
    Blueblaze
  9. 0
    So, blueblaze, that's great that your wife was able to find a job as an NP. I know you said you are in the south suburbs and jobs can be kind of scarce out that way. I live in the western suburbs right near the 290 about 20 miles exactly west of chicago. So jobs out here are fairly plentiful. Do you think that if I were to pursue the NP route, I might be able to find work out this way? I checked with Loyola, Rush, northwestern, Christ and other hospitals and they all hire NPs.

    I have to tell you though I am slowly starting to lose my motivation these days. I was put on a waste list at College of Dupage and I am waiting to hear back from Depaul. If I don't get in for the fall, I may just chuck this whole idea and go back to doing case management, I have a degree in psychology. Instead of sending you a private message, I will just write messages to you on this forum.

    Thanks for you advice!
  10. 0
    My wife just called. Will not be home before 8pm tonight. Basically she is working a 10 hr. day with 2 hrs. travel for a "salary". Had she stayed in "nursing" she would have built up seniority, pay, benifit AND no 2nd mortgage, she wasn't around to see the kids grow up, etc. I know she sometimes regrets it. Hopefully, the future for her/me will be much better. If you have a degree in psy., I assume it it a B.S. degree. I don't know your age, marital satus(kid obligations), and if your just tires of being just a nurse. All these things must be taken into account. Just remember the old saying, "the grass isn't always greener on the other side". Employers are no longer loyal to their employees(not just nurses). And now they want to know where all the dedicated employees are. Life is just to long(short). Just enjoy what your doing.
    Blueblaze
  11. 0
    BlueBlaze - thanks for the honesty. I live in downstate Illinois and work at a teaching hospital in the ER as a case manager. I'm getting an MSN but a generic track. You are right - our hospital hires NP for the NICU and PICU - there are none in the ER.


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