I have been both. I thought MA was a very easy job. I worked 9-5 in a family med practice. I was strictly back office. I took pt's into the exam room, got vitals, asked a few questions that the computer told me to ask. Then I told the doc they were ready. After the visit I would give them vaccines, wash out their ears, schedule future appts for them, did u/a's, ekg's. I was certified, but not everyone in my office was, they just did the schooling. I think my program was something like 9 mo. Nursing took me about 5 with prereqs plus 2 years of adn program. Now I get paid a little more than double what I made as an MA.