I am an ADN, with many years under my belt in nephrology, ICU, ER, and M/S.
In my current role, I function quite independently/autonomously and I'm quite good at it clinically. One thing this role has taught me, I really, really, reeeeallly enjoy the medical science and application side of things, being able to use my knowledge to make more autonomous decisions, and having a high degree of contact and collaboration with nearly all departments (and docs) in the hospital.
Healthcare politics, business, and trends interest me a great deal, but my primary talent and enjoyment comes from assessing patients and problem-solving.
I am currently in the research phase of deciding between pursuing RN->BSN->ANP or becoming a PA.
Both roles while similar, have different challenges not just in practice, but on the political scene as well. PA's (at app 85,000 in number) are terribly underrepresented at the State and Fed levels as opposed to RN's (millions strong).
I like the heavy, medical-model of PA school, yet I like the fact that NP's can function under their own license.
I dislike the fact that ANP scope of practice varies so wildly from state to state. The barriers to true autonomy are numerous. This issue I realize, is being heavily studied and lobbied.
I've ruled out CRNA and perfusionist as options (had enough machine-management, thank you
I like that PA's are considered "generalists" yet they have so many options in specializing. As one of the docs I work with put it, "you can write your own ticket."
One thought is to just finish my BSN and decide from there, but...PA programs can have different req's...i.e, it's been so long, that I have to take some chemistry, English, and A/P again...sigh.
Any thoughts from those that have faced this conundrum (or otherwise) I'd greatly appreciate it.
Quote from NJprisonrn
I am choosing to pursue NP because I already have a nursing license. It just seems like a natural extension of my current education. I like the autonomy that an NP license gives, even though it varies by state. It would be quicker and much less expensive for me to become an NP, which is important at this time in my life since nursing is a second career. I did heavily consider PA because I feel that they get a better clinical education. If I were not concerned about the time it would take to take all the prerequisites and go through the program (which usually requires one to not work) I might have chosen PA instead.
I think there's a misconception as to the autonomous nature of PA's vs. ANP's in popular thought. It's a wash as far as I can determine, when you factor in all the variables.
A hospitalist PA I work closely with was a BSN, and faced with the same choice. She says she does not regret her choice to pursue the PA-route over the ANP, and would do it again.
Last edit by Guttercat on Mar 8, '12
Quote from mgholm
I'm a career changer and am trying to decide whether to try for PA or enter an accelerated BSN and then to the ARNP route. If I apply to an accelerated nursing program that says their mission is to "raise the level of professional nursing practice" by preparing baccalaureate graduates and increase the number of BSNs caring for patients in the school's area, and I tell them I want to move on and become a nurse practitioner, am I shooting myself in the foot?
I can't see how this would be shooting yourself in the foot.
If your own mission is to "raise your level of professional nursing practice"
as well, I can't see how your pursuit of an advanced degree would be anything other than welcome.
But then again, academia is a fickle entity who's rules vary from institution to institution.
Last edit by Guttercat on Mar 8, '12