PA vs NP?

  1. Hello,
    I have been researching being a physician assistant and being a nurse practitioner and I have not really gotten the information I am looking for. I am only in highschool, but know that I want to work in the health care field.
    My main question is what is the true difference between working as a nurse practitioner and physican assistant. ( what does NP's and PA's do that is different on a day to day basis?). Iunderstand that PA's are educated the medical way and NP's are educated the nursing way.

    plus please add other information if you want!

    thank you for your time!
  2. Visit dyslexicandetermined profile page

    About dyslexicandetermined

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 42
    from US


  3. by   dyslexicandetermined
    please Answer~!
  4. by   docnurse363
    If I were to do it again I would go the PA route.
  5. by   dyslexicandetermined
    docnurse363, why would you go the PA rout?
  6. by   jahra
    Take a look at this thread-the article in the NY Times that is in the
    second post (CSLee3) should give you a basic idea of the difference.

    Pa Vs Np?

    And good luck whatever path you select!

    Welcome to AN!
  7. by   dyslexicandetermined
    oh thanks jahra! what can do more though an NP or PA?
  8. by   jahra
    Well, you can take a look at the association websites and compare.



    What draws you to healthcare? What sort of a job do you envision?
    Are there any specialties that look interesting to you?
  9. by   dyslexicandetermined
    i always wanted to work in the health care sence i was aroung 10 years old. i saw my cousin in the icu at age 4, after a open heart surgury. when i saw how the team of doctprs and nurse took care of him . it clicked that, that was what a wanted to do. i see my self working with patients in the hospital setting. helping treat and diagnose patients. i see my self working with kids and mybe in the icu too! my dream is to work in a high ranked pediatric hospital. i just do not know what kind of job i am looking for. right know i see myself being a NP, PA, or a doctor in the icu. any advise or thought about these careers.
  10. by   Don Mega Nurse
    It depends where you are educational if you are just entering college then the PA route would be the fastest to take. For example you can get a BA degree in any field. It is recommended That you take a science related degree to meet pre-reqs for PA school. for NP you need to have BSN to begin the masters program. Both are mid-level providers, however PA and NP paths are much different. PA tent to require more science classes where NP have a more evidence based practice approach. Furthermore, as a NP you are less restricted in most states (as far as practicing medicine and MD supervision).

    In my experience NP are more knowledgeable about patient care, but I have also met some really good P.A's. If you decide you want to got to P.A school. CHOOSE your Undergraduate degree carefully (Ie avoid do MBA because it is easy.). Oh and don't pay attention to those salary comparisons as well. They are misleading because they are based on surveys. Some times PA's make more because of there prior education. I've meet some PA's with bio-chemical engineering degrees and some with bushiness degrees. MD's tend to look at your undergraduate studies and experience to determine salary.

    Nurses educated to approach patient care different that P.A's are. NP complemente MD's. PA's assist M.D's