NP training vs PA

  1. I have noticed there are several online NP programs but very few PA programs. Why is this? I'm not trying to start a debate on who is more qualified bc I feel it comes down to the person and how hard they work. But why is it that so many NP programs are able to be offered online?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   runsalot
    Because np are already rns and pas are generally not licensed in any medical field yet.
  4. by   Ginger88
    It's pretty scary how some, if not most, PA programs accept students with any kind of degree and no clinical experience.
  5. by   elkpark
    Quote from Mantequilla8
    It's pretty scary how some, if not most, PA programs accept students with any kind of degree and no clinical experience.
    Many "direct entry" NP programs do, also.
  6. by   Ginger88
    I was unaware. I thought with all MSN degrees one must be at least a RN. I think with both programs clinical experience should be required.
  7. by   Ginger88
    Also, are the online programs any easier to get into? Most of the requirements I've seen specify having a BSN with varied years of experience and at least a 3.0. Does anyone know how many students are usually accepted? Talking about NP programs....
  8. by   elkpark
    Quote from Mantequilla8
    I was unaware. I thought with all MSN degrees one must be at least a RN. I think with both programs clinical experience should be required.
    There are tons of direct entry MSN programs out there that take people with a BA/BS in something else, no nursing license or experience, and turn them into advanced practice nurses. Some of them require that applicants must have had some kind of healthcare experience, even if only volunteer experience (but, obviously not nursing experience, since these programs are specifically for people who are not nurses). Some don't have any such requirement. Some require that people "stop" between the initial, basic nursing education, year of the program and get some nursing experience before continuing on into the advanced practice portion of the program. Plenty don't.

    There's not much point, in the endless "NP vs. PA" discussions and arguments, for individuals to keep raising the point, as people always do, that NP students come into their programs with years of nursing experience (or even with an RN license) when that's simply not true any more for large numbers of NP students.
  9. by   SycamoreGuy
    Two points:

    1. How many direct entry NP programs are online only, I don't think there are many.

    2. NP and PA programs are coming from two different perspectives. The NP programs are designed for those with a nursing background (even if its just graduating from an RN program) and building on that background. PA programs are designed to build upon a science foundation with little or no clinical experience. So The PA program has to be a little more thorough and a little more clinically focused, whereas someone with a nursing background doesn't have to be shown how to take vitals, venipucture, etc.
  10. by   icecreamcake
    Most PA programs do require some sort of clinical/patient contact experience, from my research (as I am debating PA vs NP school) most want a minimum of 2000 hours, with average acceptance in the 6000-8000 hour range. There are also some schools that only except those with an allied health background.
  11. by   MurseJJ
    Quote from SycamoreGuy
    PA programs are designed to build upon a science foundation with little or no clinical experience. So The PA program has to be a little more thorough and a little more clinically focused, whereas someone with a nursing background doesn't have to be shown how to take vitals, venipucture, etc.
    This isn't correct, as tills explained. Most PA programs ask for prior clinical experience, though what counts for that experience varies. The PA profession was designed to build on those that already have experience as a health care provider, such as EMTs, Medics, RNs, Respiratory Therapists, etc. Today, the majority of PA programs still require such experience (with various set minimum hours), though some are more stringent on type of experience than others. Some only accept experience in the areas listed above, while others will also accept things like CNA/PCA, and volunteering.

    I too am debating PA vs nursing.
  12. by   Ginger88
    There is a PA program in the town where I live and they say you must have 2000+ hours of paid, direct contact, healthcare experience. The truth is that they let people in who have only job shadowed PAs.
  13. by   besaangel
    Quote from Mantequilla8
    There is a PA program in the town where I live and they say you must have 2000+ hours of paid, direct contact, healthcare experience. The truth is that they let people in who have only job shadowed PAs.
    I think that depends on the programs' geographic location and market saturation. The PA program closest to me says the same 2000+ hours but only takes people with YEARS of experience. So it varies extremely and isnt uniformed across the board

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