Is there a transition program to PA to NP?

  1. 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 2yrs and have a BSN. I should pursue the next two yrs and become a PA and then go into the NP. I wanted to specialize in Surgery or womens health. After I get the PA if I went that route, I'm willing to relocate if someone has a transition program from PA to NP. I can't find one online yet.

    tab65
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I would doubt that you would because they follow different models of care: the PA is more the traditional medical model and the NP is the more traditional nurse model. I doubt too that without some type of nursing degree you could go from PA to NP unless you went to a direct entry NP which might be quite time-consuming.
  4. by   core0
    Quote from tab65
    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 2yrs and have a BSN. I should pursue the next two yrs and become a PA and then go into the NP. I wanted to specialize in Surgery or womens health. After I get the PA if I went that route, I'm willing to relocate if someone has a transition program from PA to NP. I can't find one online yet.

    tab65
    If you want to specialize in surgery you should probably look more closely at the PA route. While NP's are active in post-op and pre-op surgical care most surgical assist is done by PA's from a NPP perspective. For most places these days you would need your NP plus an RNFA (which needs one year of OR experience) to be able to work in the OR. There is a program at UAB that does this. As far as Women's health, depending on the the area there are lots of PA's working here. From an APN perspective you could go WHNP or CNM.

    These are two different routes that can have significant overlap. The one that will be best for you depends on your learning style. You also need to look very closely at the local job market as there is tremendous regional variation on who gets employed. While you can qualify for PA school you should get an honest opinion on getting into PA school. While some PA programs do not require prior experience, the average student has 3 years of medical experience and 75% had some medical experience prior to PA school. On the plus side there are 33 programs in NY and PA. This is also the area where you are most likely to get in without medical experience.

    Finally you should determine if opportunity cost is a concern. If you go to PA schoool you would be out in two years with an average starting salary in the high 60's. If you get a BSN that is two years with an average starting salary in the low 40's (NYC pay is more for both professions). Then you are looking at 2-3 years of NP school before you get to the starting NP salary which is also in the 60's. So the opportunity cost is over $100k for going the NP route. Also for PA's surgery has one of the highest starting salaries. Finally if you are considering surgery in New York look at the Cornell PA program which has a surgical focus.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  5. by   jer_sd
    Pa to NP would be of little benefit since in the work place NPs and PAs are often used to do the same job. Unless you are looking at one of the few states where NPs can have solo practice.

    PA will give you much better general exposure especially if you want to work in the OR. If you are a NP most RNFA programs will accept you with out the required OR experience (or CNOR certification) so you can train to OR as a NP, hospital privliges is another beast I am required to have my CNOR and proof of RNFA program completion in addition to NP for my first assist credentialing.

    PAs also have residencies in woman's health or surgical fields to further your training. If you knew you only wanted to work in woma's health the WHNP is excellent preperation but it will limit you later in your career. A FNP and RNFA combined will give you lots of opportunity but that adds more time onto your training than just applying and completing your PA.

    I love being a NP and my job but if you can get into a PA program faster at less debt it may meet your needs. There are 2 programs in California the train graduate for both roles, if you are already an RN and PA one of these might give you advanced placement to complete a NP but I would not count on it.

    Jeremy
  6. by   core0
    Quote from jer_sd

    PA will give you much better general exposure especially if you want to work in the OR. If you are a NP most RNFA programs will accept you with out the required OR experience (or CNOR certification) so you can train to OR as a NP, hospital privliges is another beast I am required to have my CNOR and proof of RNFA program completion in addition to NP for my first assist credentialing.
    snip

    Jeremy
    I would be very careful with RNFA certification programs. There are a lot of programs that are happy to charge you a lot of money and don't delivery anything that is relevant. I have seen a lot of PA's get caught up in this. The only worthwhile certification in my opinion is the CRNFA program. The eligibility is here:
    http://www.cc-institute.org/cert_crnf_abou_elig.aspx
    note that you need 2000 hours of assist time to be able to sit for the exam (kind of chicken egg thing). What we have done in Colorado for PA's that do not have recent operative experience is credentiall them under the immediate supervision part (similar to how medical students are credentialled). They second assist for 4-5 surgeries then can first assist under certain designated physicians for 1-3 months (depending on surgical volume). This is due to a flaw in PA training that required surgery but not operative experience. As of this year, all PA students are required to have operative experience which pretty much does away with any credentialling problems.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  7. by   sirI
    Thank you for your input, David. It is greatly appreciated.
  8. by   prairienp
    Quote from core0
    Finally you should determine if opportunity cost is a concern. If you go to PA schoool you would be out in two years with an average starting salary in the high 60's. If you get a BSN that is two years with an average starting salary in the low 40's (NYC pay is more for both professions). Then you are looking at 2-3 years of NP school before you get to the starting NP salary which is also in the 60's. So the opportunity cost is over $100k for going the NP route. Also for PA's surgery has one of the highest starting salaries. Finally if you are considering surgery in New York look at the Cornell PA program which has a surgical focus.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    I am under the impression that costs of going to PA school have increased over the past few years. Can you comment on the expected cost of attending 2 years of PA training. Thanks
  9. by   core0
    Quote from prairienp
    I am under the impression that costs of going to PA school have increased over the past few years. Can you comment on the expected cost of attending 2 years of PA training. Thanks
    I don't think that costs have increased as much as that many of the new programs are private and more $$$. There has been an increase with the increase in master's programs which are also more $$$. The cost in 2000 was $26,000 for residents and $32,000 for non-residents. Tuition has increased in higher ed about 30% since then so I would put the average in the $32-40k range. There is tremendous variablility as you see in nursing and probably NP programs. I have see private BSN programs that are charging more than $24k per year. This is increased compared to NP programs since you essentially can't work for two years and need money for living expenses. Student loans are available to cover this. I don't have current data available, but will try to track it down.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  10. by   tab65
    core0,

    Thanks for the info, I just sent you a PM. Yea that make since, unless I have a Nursing degree. There is probably no transition program. The school I'm going to is a Bach PA. I have the GPA and all prereqs done. I wasn't even thinking about it until 2 days ago I saw I qualify. It cost $21,000 a year at this school. But as for the cost of getting the BSN, it will cost me nothing, I have a scholarship. But I'll have to pay for the NP program. Wow I have a lot to think about.
  11. by   tiredfeetED
    Quote from tab65
    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 2yrs and have a BSN. I should pursue the next two yrs and become a PA and then go into the NP. I wanted to specialize in Surgery or womens health. After I get the PA if I went that route, I'm willing to relocate if someone has a transition program from PA to NP. I can't find one online yet.

    tab65
    Like others have said NP and PA function very much the same. The PA route would be faster towards your goal of Surgery or womens health! PA schools generally require some patient contact prior to entry.
    You can always do what I am doing, get your RN and attend one of the dual PA/NP programs and get PA and NP license!
  12. by   ILoveIceCream
    I've heard of a combined NP/PA program in California. Does anyone know if there are any others?
  13. by   core0
    Quote from ILoveIceCream
    I've heard of a combined NP/PA program in California. Does anyone know if there are any others?
    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
  14. by   np_wannabe
    Quote from tab65
    But as for the cost of getting the BSN, it will cost me nothing, I have a scholarship. But I'll have to pay for the NP program. Wow I have a lot to think about.
    I just wanted to comment....

    I don't know the specifics of your NP program (obviously), but I do know that a lot of NP students are able to work their way through NP school--not only earning an income for themselves, but also using tuition reimbursement from their employer to pay for NP school...it is a lot to think about. I went back and forth--NP vs PA for about 18 months myself....

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