Advantages/Disadvantages of NP vs PA Advantages/Disadvantages of NP vs PA | allnurses

Advantages/Disadvantages of NP vs PA

  1. 0 What are advantages and disadvantages of PA vs. NP? It's hard to pick which way to go. Combined degree may be too far away. thanks,
    J
    Last edit by sirI on Dec 2, '07 : Reason: post moved to single thread
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  2. 52 Comments

  3. Visit  sirI profile page
    #1 1
    Hello,

    I moved your post to its own thread for a better response.
  4. Visit  core0 profile page
    #2 0
    Quote from jzzy88
    What are advantages and disadvantages of PA vs. NP? It's hard to pick which way to go. Combined degree may be too far away. thanks,
    J
    I guess I can give you my gestalt. If you want to do surgery - especially CVS or ortho then PA is the predominant provider. Otherwise it really depends on the local environment including state licensure. PAs and NPs do essentially the same job in most practices. The most common reason given for RNs to go to PA school (small N here) is "I never want to take another nursing theory in my life".
  5. Visit  SuesquatchRN profile page
    #3 0
    Quote from core0
    The most common reason given for RNs to go to PA school (small N here) is "I never want to take another nursing theory in my life".
    HAH!

    You just KNOW people needed topics for doctorates with that nonsense....
  6. Visit  amzyRN profile page
    #4 0
    Quote from core0
    I guess I can give you my gestalt. If you want to do surgery - especially CVS or ortho then PA is the predominant provider. Otherwise it really depends on the local environment including state licensure. PAs and NPs do essentially the same job in most practices. The most common reason given for RNs to go to PA school (small N here) is "I never want to take another nursing theory in my life".
    Thanks for the info. I guess I'll see what I like when I get out in the field. I hope I don't regret getting a second degree BSN, when I could have probably went strait into PA school. I just thought that there were some advantages to the NP path. Now I've invested a lot of money and time in the BSN program and it sounds like being an RN wouldn't be ideal for me, since I want to do more of the med diagnosis part with a more holistic/humanistic perspective. I want to learn more about non-western medicine too, if just in books. Anyway, I'm hoping that I didn't make the wrong choice. Thanks again for the info,
    J
  7. Visit  core0 profile page
    #5 0
    Quote from jzzy88
    Thanks for the info. I guess I'll see what I like when I get out in the field. I hope I don't regret getting a second degree BSN, when I could have probably went strait into PA school. I just thought that there were some advantages to the NP path. Now I've invested a lot of money and time in the BSN program and it sounds like being an RN wouldn't be ideal for me, since I want to do more of the med diagnosis part with a more holistic/humanistic perspective. I want to learn more about non-western medicine too, if just in books. Anyway, I'm hoping that I didn't make the wrong choice. Thanks again for the info,
    J
    Getting medical experience will never hurt you. There are about 1/3 of the PA programs that will take students without medical experience. The others either require it or "strongly recommend it". Getting medical experience opens up a number of opportunities. PAs can do non western medicine if there physician is into that. I know several that work in "integrated clinics" with naturopaths and chiropractors. It really depends on the market and what area you want to practice.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  8. Visit  wtbcrna profile page
    #6 0
    Quote from jzzy88
    Thanks for the info. I guess I'll see what I like when I get out in the field. I hope I don't regret getting a second degree BSN, when I could have probably went strait into PA school. I just thought that there were some advantages to the NP path. Now I've invested a lot of money and time in the BSN program and it sounds like being an RN wouldn't be ideal for me, since I want to do more of the med diagnosis part with a more holistic/humanistic perspective. I want to learn more about non-western medicine too, if just in books. Anyway, I'm hoping that I didn't make the wrong choice. Thanks again for the info,
    J
    One of the biggest advantages with getting your NP over PA is that you can get your NP by going to school part-time and still working. I don't think any of the PA schools offer this option. There are a few states that allow totally independent practice for NPs also, otherwise the actual jobs differ very little (mostly in terms of speciality areas more than anything else).
  9. Visit  core0 profile page
    #7 0
    Quote from wtbcrna
    One of the biggest advantages with getting your NP over PA is that you can get your NP by going to school part-time and still working. I don't think any of the PA schools offer this option. There are a few states that allow totally independent practice for NPs also, otherwise the actual jobs differ very little (mostly in terms of speciality areas more than anything else).
    Independence has been addressed ad nauseam here. I used to think that the part time aspect was an advantage. Now seeing some of the posts here I am less sure. With PA school I could not see focusing on two different things and doing them well. I can't imagine it with NP school. There are one year full time NP programs (as well as two 15 month PA programs).

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  10. Visit  ILoveIceCream profile page
    #8 0
    I think the fact that PAs are trained as generalists is an advantage and a pro for going that route. I've heard a lot of people say that FNP is the NP specialty which allows the most flexibility. That being said, it seems that a PA would have even more flexibility than an FNP (to work inpatient and surgery and stuff).

    Question: Are there advantages to being a specialized NP (like psych or pediatrics) rather than a PA working in psych or peds?
  11. Visit  DaisyRN, ACNP profile page
    #9 0
    Quote from core0
    independence has been addressed ad nauseam here. i used to think that the part time aspect was an advantage. now seeing some of the posts here i am less sure. with pa school i could not see focusing on two different things and doing them well. i can't imagine it with np school. there are one year full time np programs (as well as two 15 month pa programs).

    david carpenter, pa-c
    [font="comic sans ms"]
    david,
    i know you're probably well aware of my np program (1 year for the acnp portion after 6 core msn courses are completed), just because we frequently comment on the same threads, but there are several people in my class that have worked throughout... i do not know how they managed to be honest with you. especially this semester... we completed 2 168-hr clinical rotations from aug-december. it was like a full time job with 3-4 days/week in clinicals and there were some that worked on the weekends on top of that requirement. it can be done, but i didn't do it. *haha*

    like i mentioned in another posting, each program is set up differently. personally, i do not agree with the programs that set up didatic content separately from clinical experience... especially if these are offered part time. i think application of what you are learning in your didactic courses should be "applied" at the same time. it reinforces what you are learning and allows for greater recall and recognition. to me, the part time option would just hinder the ability to retain information if it were spread out over x number of years.

  12. Visit  core0 profile page
    #10 1
    Quote from ILoveIceCream
    I think the fact that PAs are trained as generalists is an advantage and a pro for going that route. I've heard a lot of people say that FNP is the NP specialty which allows the most flexibility. That being said, it seems that a PA would have even more flexibility than an FNP (to work inpatient and surgery and stuff).

    Question: Are there advantages to being a specialized NP (like psych or pediatrics) rather than a PA working in psych or peds?
    None really. The difference is going to be whether the local area hires PAs or NPs. There are only about 200 Psych NPs and CNS produced each year. On the other hand there are only about 400 PAs working in psychiatry plus another 120 or so working in addiction medicine. So I would guess if all the NPs found jobs there is more opportunity as an NP. But there are definitely areas that being a PA is an advantage just as there are areas that being an NP is an advantage.

    Peds is very similar. It is a little more confused now there is a acute care and primary care NP certifications. There are some programs that do both but most make you choose. Also NNP is a separate certification so there is not much overlap. If you wanted to work peds and neonatal critical care you would need two NP certifications. Once again it depends on your local situation. When I was in Denver two hospitals used only PAs in the NICU while the others used only NNPs. Part of the reason that the two hospitals use PAs is they can use them to cross cover the peds ER and PICU. Part of it is institutional memory.

    In my mind this is actually the advantage of the generalist educational model. The ability to shift between specialties. I have moved between Peds GI, adult GI, and now peds and adult liver transplant. This would be very difficult under the NP process.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  13. Visit  amzyRN profile page
    #11 0
    Quote from core0
    Independence has been addressed ad nauseam here. I used to think that the part time aspect was an advantage. Now seeing some of the posts here I am less sure. With PA school I could not see focusing on two different things and doing them well. I can't imagine it with NP school. There are one year full time NP programs (as well as two 15 month PA programs).

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    You mean that there are programs that short, only 1 year long? Or do you mean the clinical part. thanks much,
    J
  14. Visit  wtbcrna profile page
    #12 0
    Quote from core0
    None really. The difference is going to be whether the local area hires PAs or NPs. There are only about 200 Psych NPs and CNS produced each year.
    This is just pure FYI: The number of pysch NPs produced each year is about to increase. The military is opening its' own Psych NP program starting Summer '08.


    By the way I think the one year NP programs are after you have completed all/most the MSN core courses ....

    I am glad to hear that some of the PA programs are 15-months. I will be sure to let my med-techs know in the future, since quite a few of them intend on pursuing this option.

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