PA or NP?

  1. I don't want to cause problems, but I wanted to tap this forum's excellent cross-section of folks to ask something...I was wondering what those of you know about becoming a PA vs. a Nurse Practitioner. What are the differences and similarities? This is what I think I know:

    1. Both are in high demand

    2. PA generally takes 2 years of school and they want you to have between 500 and 2000 hours of "patient contact" before applying

    3. PA's can be non-degree folks with a Certificate, PA-BS degrees, or MPAS (Master's of Physician Asst Studies)

    4. Salary guides show PA's earn more than RNs, but most NP and PA salaries are comparable.

    5. PAs train under a "medical" modality while nursing involves a more holistic and full spectrum care approach.

    6. It's tough to get into schools for both of those careers

    7. Nursing seems to offer much more flexibility and multiple career paths with a more formal degree granting structure (as evidenced by some of those nurses that have a ton of letters after their names)

    8. Nurses can work and travel worldwide while PA's are pretty much limited to work here in the US and Canada

    Are these true? Would any of you mind adding to this the +'s and -'s of both NPs and PAs? My background is very limited and here in AK there aren't too many people to ask about the 2 career paths.

    I'd appreciate any light you can shed on the subject. I appreciate the amount of experience some of you have out there...I haven't even left home plate yet.

    Thanks for sharing anything you have!!!

  2. Visit snag profile page

    About snag

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 30; Likes: 1
    retired-taking nursing prereqs


  3. by   EmeraldNYL
    Check out this thread, it should answer most of your questions:
  4. by   marilynmom
    Its an excellent question because I have wondered the same thing.

  5. by   snag
    Thanks EmeraldNYL...that was an interesting discussion.