Is there a transition program to PA to NP? - page 2

I was going to LIU in New York to apply for the BSN program with the intention to become a NP. However to my surprise I qualify now for the PA program. I was wondering instead of attending the next... Read More

  1. by   tab65
    Thanks so much for the comments. I didn't know that many others had problems deciding between NP or PA. I think I'm going to finish my BSN and then decide. I live in New York and then want to eventually move to North Carolina. I heard Duke has a nice program in PA and NP. Someone mention a combine NP/PA program.
  2. by   prairienp
    Quote from core0
    No this is the only one. It does have two sites. There is a PA program in ND that was only for RN's. It has a somewhat dubious reputation and due to some changes in program requirements is going through some restructuring. It now accepts non RN's.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    The UND PA program was accepting 80 students a year into their one year PA program up until 2003 or 2004 when they transitioned into a Masters program. I think they are now taking less students. What was dubious about the program? I understand they had a 100% passing rate on the certification exam. If my math is right they produced nearly a 1000 PAs in the past 15 years.
  3. by   core0
    Quote from prairienp
    The UND PA program was accepting 80 students a year into their one year PA program up until 2003 or 2004 when they transitioned into a Masters program. I think they are now taking less students. What was dubious about the program? I understand they had a 100% passing rate on the certification exam. If my math is right they produced nearly a 1000 PAs in the past 15 years.
    The two big problems with the program were the overall pass rate. The pass rate for first time takers is here:
    http://www.med.und.nodak.edu/depts/pa/natlcert.htm

    However this doesn't gibe with the NCCPA overall first time pass rate which is around 90%. If you look their first time pass rate until they were put under the department of medicine in 2003 it was sub-optimal. The other criticism is the way they ran their rotations. They had the student arrange their own rotations (essentially to get in you had to have your own rotations). This was frowned upon in 2000 and essentially outlawed this year by ARC-PA. This is an outgrowth of the type of program that they developed called MEDEX.

    In the 60's there were two models - the MEDEX model and for want of a better term the Duke Model. The Duke model is modeled on medical school with one year of didactic training and one year of various clinical rotations. The MEDEX model used a similar period of didactic training and then a preceptorship with a single physician for six months. PA training was reviewed in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences and they were extremely critical of the MEDEX model feeling that it did not give a sufficent breadth of experience. Most programs have adapted and even most of the MEDEX programs essentially follow the DUKE model.

    The criticism within the community is that the UND program essentially trains FNP's under a PA label. This training does not meet the criteria that ARC-PA has designated for PA's. My understanding is that they have substantially revamped their training in the last two years as evidenced by their first time pass rates. The other issue is their reliance on online training. This is something the profession is conflicted over. There is no real data to show if this is better or worse or equivalent.

    If you have a BSN the Stanford program has a better reputation and has the advantage of getting dual degrees (although for how much longer this will occur remains to be seen).

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  4. by   prairienp
    Quote from core0
    the two big problems with the program were the overall pass rate. the pass rate for first time takers is here:
    http://www.med.und.nodak.edu/depts/pa/natlcert.htm

    however this doesn't gibe with the nccpa overall first time pass rate which is around 90%. if you look their first time pass rate until they were put under the department of medicine in 2003 it was sub-optimal. the other criticism is the way they ran their rotations. they had the student arrange their own rotations (essentially to get in you had to have your own rotations). this was frowned upon in 2000 and essentially outlawed this year by arc-pa. this is an outgrowth of the type of program that they developed called medex.

    the criticism within the community is that the und program essentially trains fnp's under a pa label. this training does not meet the criteria that arc-pa has designated for pa's. my understanding is that they have substantially revamped their training in the last two years as evidenced by their first time pass rates. the other issue is their reliance on online training. this is something the profession is conflicted over. there is no real data to show if this is better or worse or equivalent.

    david carpenter, pa-c
    i have to say, you are really well informed.
    although i really don't think you will find many fnps who would agree with you that the und pa program trains fnps under a pa label, i think the und pa students would feel the same way. in review of the chart you referenced i noted that only one year in which the und pa program was below the national average. do you have another chart that shows the national average for 1st passing rates? are you suggesting the chart is wrong or inaccurate?
    i did check the und website out a bit further and it appears as the changes in selecting clinical rotations have not changed? there is a $150-$200 fee where a und faculty member will go to the student's hometown and interview the student and preceptor as part of the admission criteria.
    "there is a one-time fee $150-$200 for the preprogram site visit to interview potential candidates. (the applicant is not required to come to campus for an interview; rather, a member of core faculty goes to the applicant's home site to interview the applicant, the proposed primary preceptor, and tour the clinical site.)."

    http://www.med.und.nodak.edu/depts/pa/curriculum.htm

    seems as if the only change is the addition of the on-line courses and being a masters degree instead of a certificate program. the cost is reasonable at $6000 per semester. they are still training a whole lot of pas
  5. by   core0
    Quote from prairienp
    i have to say, you are really well informed.
    although i really don't think you will find many fnps who would agree with you that the und pa program trains fnps under a pa label, i think the und pa students would feel the same way. in review of the chart you referenced i noted that only one year in which the und pa program was below the national average. do you have another chart that shows the national average for 1st passing rates? are you suggesting the chart is wrong or inaccurate?

    generally schools look at overall passing rates (to make themselves look better to be honest). this is the information that nccpa publishes. when i see a comparison of first time pass rates i get a bit suspicous since this is not published data (but available to program directors). my understanding from talking to other program directors is that their overall pass rate is the issue.

    i did check the und website out a bit further and it appears as the changes in selecting clinical rotations have not changed? there is a $150-$200 fee where a und faculty member will go to the student's hometown and interview the student and preceptor as part of the admission criteria.
    "there is a one-time fee $150-$200 for the preprogram site visit to interview potential candidates. (the applicant is not required to come to campus for an interview; rather, a member of core faculty goes to the applicant's home site to interview the applicant, the proposed primary preceptor, and tour the clinical site.)."

    http://www.med.und.nodak.edu/depts/pa/curriculum.htm

    seems as if the only change is the addition of the on-line courses and being a masters degree instead of a certificate program. the cost is reasonable at $6000 per semester. they are still training a whole lot of pas
    i would agree that the cost is reasonable. the fee is one way of doing things. what arc-pa really wants is someone to monitor the program.

    here is the appropriate citation:
    a3.02 the program must provide students and faculty at geographically distant locations access to services and resources equivalent to those on the main campus
    a3.06 the program should not require that students supply their own clinical sites or preceptors for program-required clinical rotations.
    b1.10 the program must assure educational equivalency of course content, student experience, and access to didactic and laboratory materials when instruction is: conducted at geographically separate locations.
    b7.02 the program must assure that all sites used for students during supervised clinical practice meet the program's prescribed expectations for student learning and performance evaluation measures, regardless of location.

    stolen from a thread on paforum for attribution since i am too lazy to get out my guide. what most programs do is arrange for a local program to do the evaluations and monitor the student. for example when i did away rotations they arranged for another program to monitor my end of rotation exams.

    compare the duke program:
    http://paprogram.mc.duke.edu/s_prog_curric.asp

    the und program:
    "
    the student then begins clinical course work. this consists of a total of 12 weeks (broken into 4 week blocks) of classes on the und grand forks campus and eight months of clinical in the student's home area at a primary care setting under the supervision of a licensed primary care physician. the classes (didactics) and the clinical experiences are conducted on a rotating basis with each didactic session followed by a clinical phase. this allows students to develop clinical competencies on a more individualized basis and provides for correlation of didactic instruction and clinical experience.
    during this time the student also completes additional on line-course work in evidence-based medicine. the final semester consists of 10 weeks of specialty clerkship clinical rotations, completion of a special project, and a final three weeks on campus for testing, review, and additional instruction on office practice and management."
    http://www.med.und.nodak.edu/depts/pa/curriculum.htm

    from the pa education standpoint this is the problem with the medex type education. there is not sufficent training in non-primary care fields. the pa is supposed to be trained in the medical model with a broad exposure to all parts of medicine. the criticism by the national institute of science is that the medex type program produced pa's that were specialized to primary care, which goes against the pa generalist credo. by arc-pa standards pa's should have training in emergency medicine, surgery, psychiatry as well as pediatrics, family practice, internal medicine, and ob-gyn. while it may be possible to receive this training in on fp setting the term primary care setting is too general to loose a definition to show this.

    to be honest most of the information that i have comes second hand from program directors who may have their own fish to fry. i would be interested in their dropout rate. historically there has been a very high dropout rate in online classes at both the masters and bachelors level. given the volume of information on the pa school i wonder about that. also given that there are more than 80 students in some of the classes their faculty seems light. my program had 50 students and had 5 full time instructor plus another three cooridinators (pa's who administered the clinical sites). they show four total. this may be reactionary, but very good models exist that provide training for well rounded pa's. i am always a bit suspicious when the model is "improved".

    david carpenter, pa-c

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