I have to disagree with the other's comments. I have done extensive reseach on the PA profession. I myself was trying to choose between NP or PA. I have decided to choose PA. If you do not already have a nursing background I would say go ahead and research as much as you can about both NP and PA. NPs are trained in the nursing model whereas PAs are trained in the medical model. PAs receive the same training, minus the residency, as physicians, condensed into 2 1/2 years. Most PA schools require some patient care experience, i.e. EMT, CMA, Nursing, CNA, etc. It also depends on what state you wish to practice. In most states, PAs practice under their own license, but with a supervising physician to review charts and handle the more complicated cases. NP and PA are both midlevel practitioners with different training. Starting salary for PAs, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, is about 60,000 a year. Again that all depends on the area where you will practice. The PA route is mostly for those who have previous clinical experience, as stated above. But mosts PA schools will give you much more clinical experience that NP schools, due to the fact you do the same rotations as physicians. If you want to work in a rural setting then you will have more autonomy in your pactice. As I said, in most states, PA and NP are equal their capabilities in treating patients. The question is do you want to be trained in the nursing model or the medical model?If you are already a nurse, then NP is usually going to be the best option. Another difference between NP and PA is that when one attends a NP school he/she has to pursue a specialty, i.e. FNP, CNM, NNP, ANP, etc. PAs are trained to be versital. You do not have to choose a specialty. You can easly work in family practice or cardiology, depending on what jobs are available and your interest. If you wanted to work in different specialy as a NP you would probably have to go be to school, but as a PA you can slide right in.
Sorry if I offended any NP out there, that was not my intention.