PA to RN? (I do know the difference all too well) - page 2

I'm relying on the anonymity of the great big internet and the general size of the universe, I'm nervous to go "out there" with myself. Here's my situation: I started a PA program (master's degree) last year and have not liked it... Read More

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    Quote from AnxiousRNtobe
    . Maybe that Xanax girl is on to something!

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    I'm afraid that I've done too much damage to my GPA. I feel like I started out badly and am having trouble recovering my confidence, let alone my interest. And even though I always thought NP training was pretty much the same as PA. I always read about the role of the "advance practice nurse" vs PA training. Now I see where taking people with such varied backgrounds and trying to make them the same is maybe not the best way to create a healthcare provider.

    My problems with school are basically with memorization. In anatomy, I had a lot of trouble with the rote memorization of all that material (arterial/venous/ducts paths, 150 or so muscle origin/insertion, bones, organs, etc). I eventually learned to make tables or draw the organs and write the out over and over and over in different colors until I could write it out from my head. The rest of my problems stemmed from trying to catch up grade-wise because it took me half the semester before I learned how to memorize.

    I don't know what the answer will be. I am in such a better position to see the strengths and weaknesses of each training. Why oh why didn't I become a nurse in my 20s???
    CupcakeMonster likes this.
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    First off, congrats on coming to terms with yourself before you put any more money on a degree you feel unhappy with. I, too, came to terms but much later than you. I was a Chiropractic physician for 8 years and was very unhappy. I felt the need to help others on a different level. It took me an entire year to shut down my practice. With student loans up the whazzzo...maxing out at 197K I had no loans available to me for more education. I wanted to be a nurse so my hubby and I paid some out of pocket...but being older and wiser this time around I applied for grants and scholarships and was able to attend.
    Don't worry of what others think. Yes, there will be questions as to why you did not continue as you were....I was just honest with people. Some even asked me "Well, why did you work backwards?" I say to be a doctor turned nurse? Best thing I ever done for ME. I enjoy everything about nursing. I do not regret one thing about shutting down and going back to school. I have to be honest....maybe it was an aging thing for me but nursing school was more difficult for me as far as the workload. But you can do it. The only thing I do regret is not dropping out of chiro school when I was 23 years old...I would have saved ALOT of money and time. I am now 40 years old. I received my BSN in 2010 and now researching schools for the DNP program. I truly feel that people need to go with their instincts. You are strong mentally and emotionally....give yourself credit. It takes alot to post what you just did. You put your mind to it and it will be done. Keep me posted. Best of luck to you
    Nurse Liz
    Miiki likes this.
  4. 0 me at I just wrote you a book back in response but it will not let me send pm's to you b/c I haven't posted a minimum of 15 posts...not gonna happen any time soon;/
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    Dear AnxiousRNtobe

    I have to disagree with RN Liz. While she may have made a decision that makes her feel better, you aren't talking about switching from alternative practices to're talking about PA vs. NP!

    If you haven’t done this already, I would go make an appointment with the administrators of your program. They wouldn’t have accepted you if they doubted you could graduate to be a successful PA. Perhaps they can give you some pointers/advice, etc. to get you through this rough patch. You are half-way in, which means this is where the rubber meets the road. Keep showing up to class to do your best. Put your heart into the program and study like mad! You CAN do it, don’t quit!

    Let me make a few other points:
    -Are you depressed? There’s no shame in this – if you’re feeling down, perhaps you need to see a doctor to help you get your emotions in order. Don’t make any decisions in the midst of emotional turmoil! Medical help can be short term, even just to help you get some decent sleep. When you're feeling better, THEN you can make life-changing decisions.

    • if you quit, you’ll have to go through the WHOLE interview/acceptance process again. YUCK. Will you have to take pre-reqs again, because your old ones expired? YUCK.
    • PAs have more clinical freedom than nurses. While you are under a physician’s license, you can do procedures and tasks that a nurse can’t and won’t ever be able to do. Yes, advance practice nurses can, but you are very far away from that level of nursing and only 1.5 years away from doing that as a PA
    • $$$$$$MONEY$$$$$$$$$ You will get paid so much more as a PA! Why would you even consider going back to nursing?! Goodness, if I were physically present with you right now, I’d pinch you so you’d wake up! As a PA, you'll come out with a Master's degree, so even if you leave clinical practice, you will have a better footing...please, please please reevaluate before you leave your program.
    • All the negative things you find in the PA program you will find in an RN program. Negativity is a disease that spreads and we have to fight it daily.

    My vote is for you to pick up your boot-straps, get the help you need and put your heart/soul into your program.

    And then get off the boards to study, which is what I’m about to do!
    Good luck!
    CupcakeMonster and RHC81 like this.
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    I agree with many of the other posters that you should think about staying in PA school...Although ultimately you have to follow your gut. I have thought about becoming a PA or NP too. It's not easy to get into PA school, so congrats on that! I volunteer at a clinic that has a few PAs and has PA students there for their clinicals. They all have said how hard it was to get through school, BUT the PAs who work there LOVE their jobs. They have tried to convince me to do the PA route not the NP. You have more options as a PA because you don't have to specialize and the PAs at the clinic don't feel like they are chained to a Dr. I know what you're going through really is hard and you got off to a rough start but maybe if you change your thinking to "I want to do this and I can do this" I bet you can complete the program!! Good luck
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    Hi there, I hope your winter session is going along alright if you in fact decided to stay! I generally agree with everyone here since you accomplished a LOT already just getting Into PA school (congrats!). While it may seem like a confusing situation now, the main ideas that calgrrl pointed out are where I stand too: You're basically deciding between PA and NP eventually and at that point, you're 1.5 years away from pretty much doing the same darn thing.

    There's something I read from a nurse on here not too long ago, it basically stated how people like to say that nurses have all of this great bedside manner that is so great to go be an NP because of their clinical experience, while PAs and MDs and DOs don't have as much going in. They instead stated that it isn't the experience of the profession (like already being a nurse) that makes the person have great bedside manners and personality, it's the person that comes into a profession and is already like this. Basically, if you're not caring already and interesting in being a great nurse/PA/Doctor etc., then you're probably never going to be! There are plenty of people who go into these professions without the best personality match for it. I really do think people get caught up in the large ideas behind professions and forget that all of these positions have people who are really not great with people and also have those who are AWESOME. It doesn't matter if you're a nurse/doctor/PA/CNA, if you're caring then you'll find a way to do your job more caring than someone who doesn't care about how personal their role is to each patient. I just wanted to throw that in there since you can be a great PA and bring your experiences and care into any situation and then get more comfortable with the more experiences you have. You had mentioned something about how NPs have more of that experience etc., but really it's You that brings the personality and interest to be a great clinician and PAs get great clinical experience compared to NPs and as others mentioned, you're much closer to being in a clinical role and gaining the experience you'd get as an RN but even better because of the fact that you stated you Want to be in an NP/PA role anyways! You're golden, you just have to get really excited again abt. the fact that you've made it, you've made it so much further than so many people, and you just have to know that it's so close to being over and you'll continue to learn your whole life all that stuff that you're learning now, so do your best to get through it

    I do realize maybe you've decided to drop out by now lol. I hope you haven't, but if you have it's not the end either. Life is SHORT and whatever you decide is really just fine. So much pressure is put on people who might just need a break. So if you made a mistake it's fine too. If you have to be an RN for the next 7 years or more before having enough money to go back to school, and you have to live off of beans and rice before heading back...well shoot...Who Cares! Of course you care, but if that's the only thing that'll work right now because you're on the verge of a meltdown, then that's what needs to happen. It's life, enjoy it, love your family and friends and relax...the world will not end based on what you decide and we'll all be dead soon anyways lol, so enjoy what you have and smile!! seriously!

    Also, did you not have to have or also your classmates not have to have any healthcare experience? I was under the impression that now most PA programs require anywhere from 1000 to 4000 hours of direct patient care experience and that it usually has to be some type of direct patient contact for that. I guess I'm trying to touch on the fact that you stated you're not sure about taking people from such varied backgrounds and making them the same. I know it used to be all ex military who'd do PA programs because that's who it was made for, but now days many people are becoming interested and so the experiences that are accepted are varied, so are they really trying to make you all the same? Maybe I didn't understand you, but I've been thinking it's so neat that you get to go to class with people from all diff. healthcare experience because you all bring a different piece of knowledge to healthcare. Maybe it's a mess though I don't know!

    Good Luck in whatever you've/are going to decide!

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