Deciding Between RN vs PA.

Nurses General Nursing


I have been a Medical Assistant for 5 years and Hold a Bachelor's degree in Health related degree. I am deciding to go back to school to expand my knowledge and continue working directly with patients while increasing my income as well (I have to pay back school loans). However, I am having a hard time deciding between PA school vs RN school. There are now accelerated programs that I could take 12-18 months for the RN program and then I would come out with another Bachelor's degree or I could go to PA school and get a Master's degree but that would take 2 years full-time intensive. I talked to many RN's that I have worked with and they all tell me that it's better to go towards becoming a Nurse Practitioner. The PA's tell me that skip it all and become an MD. The MDs tell me just leave health care and find something better to do with my life I am young and the options are endless. I really don't know which direction to go in and based on my research there are pros and cons to every career and there are many rewards in each of these careers. I need some good solid advice.

Additionally, to graduate from NP with honors, one must be able to say the words "evidence-based practice" twelve times in rapid succession without stumbling or smiling.

I've looked into both the options and I am keeping my options open but I think I really really want to be a NP. Overall, I think nursing offers more flexibility. I have an interest in psychiatry and one thing I read is that NPs tend to dominate that over PAs. Also, there seem to be a lot of non medical careers that you can do with a nursing background including informatics and public health.

I am in an accelerated program and everyone in it is required to have a prior degree in something else. One of my classmates is a PA and is getting his RN. He said that the RN degree is much more flexible.

If you do the research NP and PA are basically the same job with different titles. .

Joey, NP's have much more autonomy than a PA. They can work independently and direct the care of their patients without signing off or consulting an MD. Of course needless to say, the smart ones usually do ask for another pair of eyes on the case, as MD's often do. But end of the day, the PA is always inferior to the MD and cannot treat patients independently. They are by definition, an assistant.

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