PA's make more $$ than NP's?!

  1. 0
    I've considered NP school, and, after talking with several NPs who work in academics I was very disappointed to hear that PA's make more $$ than NPs. Especially since many NPs have years of nursing experience which I would think puts them at an advantage in advanced practice. And to think that an MA can go right into a PA program and make more $$ coming out? Or a secretary can go into PA school ( I know 2 secretaries/unit coordinators them from my work who had no patient care experience and got into renowned PA programs). And these people are writing prescriptions within 2 years? What have all of you heard about the pay? I think its ridiculous and if anything, NPs should be in the higher pay bracket. I'm not here to bash PAs, but if this is true it feels like a slap in the face for nursing. I'm curious, what have you heard about the pay? Does this matter, for me, it would.
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  3. 39 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    PAs make more because they tend to work in specialties more often, their training is geared towards a broad exposure to specialties. However, NP education has a large portion that are peds, FP, or OB/GYN, those three fields are some of the lowest paying no matter what kind of provider you are. If you are worried about money and feel you might make more as a PA, why not go to PA school? However, I think you will find that NPs and PAs make a very similar salary when all thing are equal (both PAs and NPs working in family practice for example). Don't let this make you angry.
    ktliz likes this.
  5. 0
    If you would like more info on the pay of PA's they have their own forum too. I have browse to it many times and heard the pay ranges from 20-50 dollars an hour. It all depends where you work. ER,Surgery they make closer to 50$.
    I can understand your frustration but I do know a friend that is a Pa and the education they get is amazing. Is like a mini med school. They do from dissecting cadavers to residency and all the prereq. classes they need is the same for medical school. They learn tons from that. Not that NP's aren't as knowledgeable but I wish they got this type fo schooling too. THeir schooling is more medical based. I believe both are very knowledgeable mid level practitioners but NP do not make that much more than an RN. I hear is about 10 more a yr. Good luck with your decision.
    Last edit by traumaRUs on May 3, '07 : Reason: Edited out website.
  6. 0
    PA's and NP's who work in similar specialties tend to make similar salaries. When you look at average salaries PA salaries look higher as more of them tend to work in higher paying specialties such as surgery and more NP's tend to work in lower paying specialties such as Prmary care and Peds. In my experience if a job is advertised for a PA or NP the pay is the same.
  7. 0
    Quote from lalaxton
    PA's and NP's who work in similar specialties tend to make similar salaries. When you look at average salaries PA salaries look higher as more of them tend to work in higher paying specialties such as surgery and more NP's tend to work in lower paying specialties such as Prmary care and Peds. In my experience if a job is advertised for a PA or NP the pay is the same.
    The other point that is not addressed is that the OP was discussing academics. PA's in academics tend to work in the department of medicine or surgery. They tend to get paid at a comensurate rate with private practice. Nursing may work in those departments or they may be under the department of nursing. In that case the salaries frequently get intertwined with the academic salaries of nursing instructors which tend to be low. On the other hand in VA for example NP's are paid at the master's level for the local market where as PA's are still in the GS schedule (starting salary around $40k). This leads to all sorts of gymnastics if the VA wants to hire PA's.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  8. 3
    I am the only NP with 2 PA's in a cardiology practice. I recnelty found out that I am earning nearly $ 10,000 more than either of them. I have the least experience but I demanded the most on interview. It also didn't hurt that the head Cardiologist of the practice originally was a CNS and an ICU nurse prior to becoming a physician. My base salary is 91,000
    KbmRN, NerdyNikki, and Jarnaes like this.
  9. 0
    I don't know how much truth there is to this but I heard from a PA that they are more marketable than NP's (and therefore earn more) because it is actually cheaper to hire a PA for the department or practice due to insurance. PA's cost less as they are deemed as not having 'ulimate responsibilty' as the MD they work with has that. NP's, however, can work without MD direction or supervision and therefore, insurance is ALOT more expensive. The pay for PA's is often better initailly but earning potential for NP's is much better as they can set up their own practice and act as an unsupervised member of the medical team!
  10. 1
    Quote from scattycarrot
    I don't know how much truth there is to this but I heard from a PA that they are more marketable than NP's (and therefore earn more) because it is actually cheaper to hire a PA for the department or practice due to insurance. PA's cost less as they are deemed as not having 'ulimate responsibilty' as the MD they work with has that. NP's, however, can work without MD direction or supervision and therefore, insurance is ALOT more expensive. The pay for PA's is often better initailly but earning potential for NP's is much better as they can set up their own practice and act as an unsupervised member of the medical team!
    PA's cost less to insure for a variety of reasons. They still have responsibility and are increasingly being dragged into malpractice suits for a number of reasons primarily due to pain and suffering limits (my opinion). In our practice the PA insurance is about 15% of what the physician insurance is (we don't do many procedures compared to the physicians). In the other practices in town the NP's and PA's insurance costs the same. I am not sure if an NP in truly independent practice costs more or not. Since they are going to be in primary care this is probably fairly low cost.

    In the malpractice market scope issues are also becoming more evident. There was a case in Texas where the hospital was sued directly over an NP and lost because the NP was outside the scope of practice for their specialty. This case was not covered by med mal but went under the pure liability statues which of course was what the lawyer wanted. More $$$$ there. Siri may know more about this.

    As far as independent practice I would advise you to review the numerous posts on NP independent practice. In the PA world the highest mean salary is CV PA. PA's that own their practice are also up their (yes their are ways for PA's to practice with defacto independence). In general NP's and PA's that own their practices tend to be in rural or underserved areas which tends to limit your income opportunities.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    Jarnaes likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from core0
    PA's cost less to insure for a variety of reasons. They still have responsibility and are increasingly being dragged into malpractice suits for a number of reasons primarily due to pain and suffering limits (my opinion). In our practice the PA insurance is about 15% of what the physician insurance is (we don't do many procedures compared to the physicians). In the other practices in town the NP's and PA's insurance costs the same. I am not sure if an NP in truly independent practice costs more or not. Since they are going to be in primary care this is probably fairly low cost.

    In the malpractice market scope issues are also becoming more evident. There was a case in Texas where the hospital was sued directly over an NP and lost because the NP was outside the scope of practice for their specialty. This case was not covered by med mal but went under the pure liability statues which of course was what the lawyer wanted. More $$$$ there. Siri may know more about this.

    As far as independent practice I would advise you to review the numerous posts on NP independent practice. In the PA world the highest mean salary is CV PA. PA's that own their practice are also up their (yes their are ways for PA's to practice with defacto independence). In general NP's and PA's that own their practices tend to be in rural or underserved areas which tends to limit your income opportunities.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    I agree with almost everything said
    The insurance costs are going to be about the same for a PA or NP in the same practice/location. I do know the costs of insurance are only increasing, no matter the practice or location for both PA and NP.
  12. 0
    I suppose I didn't make myself very clear as I was actually just asking for clarifcation over this issue as opposed to stating facts!
    Anyway, thanks for the info!


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