I am debating on whether I should become a NP or a PA. I've been researching on both professions on the Internet and elsewhere all summer, and I look forward to finally being able to job shadow these two positions as they will show me a much clearer picture of these two.
I ultimately want to help others through the healthcare field. So I have a few questions to ask those experienced and knowledgeable.
I want to stress that you don't need to answer all of my questions, just the one(s) you believe you can give the best answer to.
Education:-How long is does it take to become a NP today, preferably after 2015?
Before answering, if you can, please consider the new educational requirements set for becoming a NP by 2015. If I am not mistaken, I hear that in order to become a NP one must achieve a DNP by 2015. Will that be true for most programs by 2015?
Which is more flexible, less time consuming, more convenient; NP or PA school? Can I still be able to work as an NP student?
With what you've seen, how does a male benefit in the nursing model, especially as a NP? What are the advantages? (As in job opportunity, social work environment, benefits, etc)
What is the typical position a fresh NP grad will take up?
What will the approx. pay be?
Through my research I've only seen salaries of experienced workers, not no-experience ones.
-Why be a NP over a PA? If you can take up a male perspective, please do.
-I do have many more questions, but I'll leave with this last request: What would be your encouragement/advice for me?
Thank you so much guys and God bless!
Sep 20, '12
by zoidberg, RN
another consideration is how well you did if you have a undergrad degree already. My experience was that PA school has harder to get into than osteopathic (D.O.) schools, so even if you have a Biology Degree, your 3.3 GPA and 500 CNA hours will not get you in. And its only getting more competitive. Also, accelerated BSN programs at prestigious schools are becoming difficult to get in to as well.
If you struggled, consider getting your ADN to become an RN. If you shadow NP's and PA's and still are indecisive, getting your RN will force you to get experience--in the real world. Then you can know what you want to do--be that be an NP, administrator, teacher, etc, and go get your MSN to do that.
With the PA/NP thing, every state is different, so read your states board of nursing scope of practice for NP's and look up the same for PA's. That may provide some insight. The generalizations of PA's and NP's you may hear are also not fast and true. Many NP's are attached to an MD's hip and many PA's work every day without even seeing an MD. In many cases they do the exact same thing. There are holistic PA's and heartless NP's who only see the disease process.
What I had to do was decide what I wanted to do (be a NP or PA) and seek out what methods I have to get there, then go into the first door that opens, you never know what it may do for you. If you remain open to opportunities, you will do fine.
The male thing doesn't matter. Everyone needs a job these days. Mid level salary's vary my location and specialty. Differences you find in gender or NP/PA salary are usually due to the fact that NP's are often in primary care, and PA's in specialties, as well as women's avg pay being brought down by more women in ped's family, ob, etc. Once you account for those differences, they make similar salaries if it is the same specialty.
Last edit by zoidberg on Sep 20, '12