41 y/o guy considering going back to school for PA or similar

  1. I'm not in the profession at all ... yet.

    I'm a 41 year old male, live in Memphis, and am fed up with the corporate world in which I've worked for so long. I come from a "medical family" (from GP's to dentists to radiologists to veterinarians), majored in Biology, and have a strong desire to do some giving rather than taking for a change, so a career in healthcare appeals to me on many levels. I'm thinking PA rather than LPN, etc because I perceive that it gives additional advantages when interacting with patients. Any thoughts on this are appreciated.

    There's a lot of information out there, much of it contradictory, so any guidance is appreciated!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    By PA do you mean Physicians Assistant? That is a post-graduate degree and unrelated to nursing. You might ask what it's about on a PA forum perhaps. I'm not familiar with what they do or their education.
  4. by   CHATSDALE
    i knew a rn [not required] in the pa course..she said it was the hardest course she had ever taken...but she just about doubled her salary, she had hours that she chose, autonomy she was very happy and proud
  5. by   jmh_memphis
    Thanks for your input. I'm told that the Physician's Assistant program is indeed tough, but the reason I'm posting in this nursing forum is that I'd like to consider alternatives as well. I see the PA program as being very related to nursing, but have not ruled anything out -- or in! Thanks again.
  6. by   nurseabc123
    Quote from jmh_memphis
    Thanks for your input. I'm told that the Physician's Assistant program is indeed tough, but the reason I'm posting in this nursing forum is that I'd like to consider alternatives as well. I see the PA program as being very related to nursing, but have not ruled anything out -- or in! Thanks again.
    Try www.physicianassistantforum.com
  7. by   Tweety
    Thanks for taking the time to clarify.

    There is a world of difference between an LPN and an PA.

    An LPN is a bedside nurse, so your presumption that a PA would have more hands-on is not true, unless you work with a surgeon in the OR. The nurse is with the patient 24/7 and the PA's come and go.

    The PA is an advanced degree that requires a Bachelor's degree of some sort. (Your Biology degree, I think is good for that). The LPN is a one-year technical certificate that you can get with a high school diploma. (This is not to insult the education of the LPN).

    PA's make on average probably 3 times what an LPN does. PA's are much more autonomous working independently doing assessments and prescribing care. LPNs work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse performing care and administering medication (the short and abbreviated version, the role is much more complicated than that).

    Registered Nurses make more money, can be prepared at an Associated Degreed level or a bachelaurreate level, and have a wider variety of jobs, and in many areas are more in demand than the LPN.

    If this sounds like a slam to LPNs, I sincerely apologize because that's not my intention. The LPN is a valuable member of the health care team, providing hands-on care that makes a difference in people's lives and indeed saves lives.

    The Advanced Registered Nurse Practioner compares more to a PA than does an LPN.

    Please feel free to ask any questions you have about nursing here or on any of the other forums (a better idea since this is the Introductions Forum).
  8. by   jmh_memphis
    Thanks for taking the time for such a detailed response. Your information is extremly helpful and much appreciated. I'm really at a crossroad and, as has been said, "Doing the right thing is easy -- it's knowing the right thing to do that is hard." I'm just beginning my homework so I need all the info I can get.

    MH
  9. by   RANGER777
    I THINK YOU MEANT NURSE PRACTIONER OR PA. MY HUSBAND IS 42 AND JUST GRADUATED LAST SPRING AS A NURSE PRACTIONER, HE HAS BEEN WORKING AS A NURSE FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS BEFORE HE GRADUATED.
    HE WAS IN BANKING BEFORE THIS. HE WANTED A MORE REWARDING PROFESSION. HE IS REALLY GLAD HE MADE THE CHANGE. YOU AREONLY 41 AND PROBABLY HAVE A GOOD 30 YEARS OF WORKING AHEAD OF YOU, DO SOMETHING YOU LIKE. YOURE NEVER TOO OLD TO LEARN!
  10. by   chuck1234
    Quote from jmh_memphis
    I'm not in the profession at all ... yet.

    I'm a 41 year old male, live in Memphis, and am fed up with the corporate world in which I've worked for so long. I come from a "medical family" (from GP's to dentists to radiologists to veterinarians), majored in Biology, and have a strong desire to do some giving rather than taking for a change, so a career in healthcare appeals to me on many levels. I'm thinking PA rather than LPN, etc because I perceive that it gives additional advantages when interacting with patients. Any thoughts on this are appreciated.

    There's a lot of information out there, much of it contradictory, so any guidance is appreciated!
    It depends on which school you are trying to get into...
    Even in New York City, some schools require you to have a year in the medical field, and one school requires you to have a 4-year-college degree...but this is a two year program.
    I know at NYIT the PA Program is a 4 year undergraduate program.

    Good luck!

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