GilaRN you seem to be very bias. I don't understand why you are still harping on the hard science background. In my NP program, and most that I have seen, students are required to have 2 semesters of chemistry, at least one in organic, 2 semesters of biology, 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology. The list goes on. Why are you so concerned with the hard science background? Not only do we have to have those classes as prereq's but we also have to take all of our nursing classes, an assessment class, and pharmacology just to get our RN/BSN. Continuing into the NP portion advanced pathophys, advanced pharm, advanced health assessment are all required. NP's are very much qualified to diagnose and treat patients, and do in fact have a strong grasp of the sciences.
I think you are being a bit blind about how PA's and NP's approaches differ. It is well known that PA's are educated in the medical model, which is focused on the disease and treating the disease process. NP's are educated in the nursing model which is a more holistic approach that focuses on the patient as a whole, the disease being one component or aspect of the patient.
It is true that NP's and PA's practice pretty equally in many circumstances. The goal for both the NP and the PA is to treat the patient. However, training and approach is different. There is a reason there are both PA's and NP's and that is because different people prefer different approaches. I have always found NP's to be more empathetic and have found that they focus on the patient, where many PA's dont seem to see the patient as a person, only a disease to be treated.