PA vs. RN/NP - which is right for me?

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    Hi all, this is my first post here and not sure if it's in the right forum! Anyway, I have just started taking my prereqs for nursing school in the NY area and hope to enter school fall of 2014. I have a previous bachelor's degree and so am applying for an ABSN.

    I am leaning towards going the nursing route, but I think I will eventually want to get my NP and so I sometimes wonder if I would be better served by just going straight PA. The only reasons I am worried that NP may not be for me is that I really think I want to work in an ER (I volunteer in one right now and love it) and the ER I volunteer at only uses PAs. My mom was a nurse in Washington and she also said her ER uses only PAs. Do I have a reasonable chance of being hired in an ER if I go NP? I would prefer not to work just in fast-track, although I know that is how mid-levels are often used in the ER.

    Pros for nursing for me:
    - I only have to be out of work for one year, vs. two years for PA
    - I really want to get started asap, and if I apply to PA school I will almost definitely need another year to prep, and enter in 2015 - by the time I graduate I'd be 30 vs 28 as a nurse
    - I like the idea that NPs have more independence, at least in some states, but I am not sure if in practice this is a really a big difference
    - I'd like to work as an RN for a while before committing more time and money into more education, to make sure healthcare is really the right field for me
    - Seems to have more recognition abroad, and I'd really like to work abroad at some point

    Pros for PA:
    - Getting another bachelor's feels slightly redundant
    - I could work in the ER and switch specialties easily (I get bored easily and I'm a little concerned that NP would lock me into one track)

    I think I like the nursing model more but I am really not sure ... I don't have enough experience to know.

    Any advice as to which is the better track to pursue? Thanks!


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