NP vs. PA, how is the military role different, and which is the better option? - page 2

I work in a busy ER and have always been interested in trauma and the military. It seems like the logical choice between these two would be going to school for Nurse Practitioner. The problem is, I... Read More

  1. by   PG2018
    Quote from Star_Couch
    several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend a week with several members of the Air Force Pararescue, and since then have been looking for a more non-traditional/possibly out of the hospital approach. I had heard about PAs working as field surgeons attached to infantry battalions and that sounded cool to me. I wouldn't say I have a quantity of time or duration in mind, but the type of trauma I was hoping to treat was battlefield medicine, gsw, burns, etc.
    I submit that you'll continue to chase this idea into infinitum. The military doesn't occupy a battlefield 24/7 so the idea of choosing a career, as a nurse particularly, to treat only battlefield trauma would seemingly lead to the same outcome as chasing unicorns.
  2. by   Meeshie
    If you're interested in Trauma.. you might consider Stroger Hospital in Chicago. That's where the Navy sends their doctors, nurses, and corpsmen to be trained as there is no trauma training center in the U.S. for their personnel. The Stroger trauma unit is one of the busiest in the United States and they see a very high level of the types of wounds you seem to be interested in.
  3. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from Meeshie
    If you're interested in Trauma.. you might consider Stroger Hospital in Chicago. That's where the Navy sends their doctors, nurses, and corpsmen to be trained as there is no trauma training center in the U.S. for their personnel. The Stroger trauma unit is one of the busiest in the United States and they see a very high level of the types of wounds you seem to be interested in.
    Good suggestion. The Army uses Ryder Trauma in Miami for pre-deployment training for trauma-focused units, I spent two weeks there and loved it.
  4. by   Star_Couch
    I'll admit, I probably get caught up in the idea of treating really interesting battlefield trauma. I guess it may not be realistic, but something has to be close, right? I've already submitted applications to PA school, and this sounds like the best option to me anyway. I have heard that the Army will be using NPs in the same role as PAs in the future, but who knows. Is the role of an Acute Care NP in the military any closer to the action?
  5. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from Star_Couch
    Is the role of an Acute Care NP in the military any closer to the action?
    No. There is not a lot of "action" at all at this point, but you'll probably be happiest as a PA, based on what it sounds like you're looking for. But those closest to the "action" are typically the enlisted folks — line medics, flight medics, SF medics, 18Ds on ODA teams, those types of roles. Then you have Role II (Forward Surgical Team or FST) and Role III (Combat Support Hospital or CSH). You won't find PAs or NPs in FSTs, but FSTs do make heavy use of CRNAs in resuscitation and OR environments. I can't say what the CSH has, but as far as I have heard, NPs and PAs aren't there either (AnchorRN discussed that already about the CSH environment). The PAs I know in the Army who have deployed go with their units to do sick call, but not specifically trauma — there are specialized assets for that, as we've covered. The NPs I know who are active duty in the Army haven't deployed if they commissioned as NPs, or deployed as regular RNs prior to doing an NP program while serving on active duty.

    Best of luck, whatever you decide.
  6. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from Meeshie
    If you're interested in Trauma.. you might consider Stroger Hospital in Chicago. That's where the Navy sends their doctors, nurses, and corpsmen to be trained as there is no trauma training center in the U.S. for their personnel. The Stroger trauma unit is one of the busiest in the United States and they see a very high level of the types of wounds you seem to be interested in.
    The US Army operates a Level 1 Trauma Center in San Antonio, Texas. USAF personnel and USA personnel are sent there; the USN is starting to utilize it as well as we move to a more joint environment.

    Trust me - that place is the knife and gun club on Friday night as it is now one of only two Level Ones in the city (since Wilford Hall closed a couple of years ago). I spent almost five years at SAMMC - they see EVERYTHING.

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