1. I am a student worker for a Physician Assistant Program. One day this lady came in and I heard her speaking with our Director. She was basically saying how excited she was about the program and preceded to say "Its not like anyone is going to take a NP over a PA, we're the future." I was astonished and upset. My ultimate goal has always been to become either a neonatal or orthopaedic np. Basically my question is why is there such tension and dislike between the PA's and NP's? That wasn't my first time hearing one of the higher up PA makes comments about NP's. Why?
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    About lovelyb26

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 89; Likes: 13
    Professional Student; from US


  3. by   Amanda.RN
    I've never heard of this kind of tension, but I suppose there will always be tension amongst degrees where there are similar job duties and responsibilities. Listen to your heart and follow your dream. If you want to be an NP, go for it! ...there will always be a place in healthcare for both NPs and PAs. Good luck to you!
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Hmm - I work in a large practice and work equally with NPs and PAs. In the real world, PAs and NPs work together to pass legislation that benefits us both. We all work for the same goal: good patient care.

    I think when you are dealing with student NPs and student PAs - you have to consider the source: that of inexperienced clinicians.
  5. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    yes, ditto that. NP, PA and MD students all blow a lot of smoke. It can't be taken seriously. Once credentialed and out there working in the real world, no one seems to care. The only such nonsense I ever hear is from wannabes, various students and other equally uninformed persons. Most of the time when patients say they prefer one or the other, it all boils down to they met a person in one or the other disciplines that they strongly liked/disliked and this swayed their opinion of the entire profession and biased them against the other(s). But I am not aware of any rivalry between NPs and PAs that actually know one another, lol.

    I have a (former?) patient who now thinks all NPs are idiots because I wouldn't give him his drug of choice when it fell outside EBGs. He went directly to urgent care and saw a PA who did give him what he wanted. Therefore obviously NPs = stoopid, PAs= genuis. I know this because he wrote me a letter detailing my failure, lol, and the superior care he got at Urgent Care (his z-pack, lol). They probably saved his life!
    We blacked out his name and hung it in the lounge with the cartoons.

    P.S. Just to clarify, I am not bashing the PA who gave him the z-pack. Frankly, 9/10 providers of any educational background would have just to get this jerk out of the office and I can't blame them a bit. I was just being stubborn after he told me to go eff myself, lol.
    Last edit by BlueDevil,DNP on Feb 1, '12
  6. by   juan de la cruz
    Agree with above posters. Students of Medicine, PA, and NP programs are under intense pressure of reassuring themselves that they made the right career choice and that their future employability is guaranteed. As you know, the roles are very similar in all three professions and it's not hard to feel competition brewing in terms of future job options. Physicians, PA's, and NP's who are in practice right now may still have the same internalized preconceptions and prejudices but this rarely come out "in your face". The situations you mentioned was between a PA pogram director and a student and this instance the student didn't realize that you were listening in and that you have plans to be an NP. However, I'm more concerned about how this director responded to the remark. If this person is truly professional, such a biased and unfounded remark would have been corrected.
  7. by   apocatastasis
    Agreed with the above. You'd be shocked at what some MD students and PA students have told me. One MD student in his second year told me, "You're too smart to be an NP... it's a waste that you're not going to medical school." I could have replied something along the lines of work-life balance, lack of crushing med school debt, decreasing reimbursement rates for physicians, increasing autonomy and parity for NPs... but instead I said, "Your opinion is duly noted."

    As with all other topics, when you are dealing with antagonism, sometimes you just have to keep calm and carry on.

    Best of luck to you on your journey.
  8. by   zoidberg
    Quote from apocatastasis
    "Your opinion is duly noted."
    I wish i was able to hold in the mounds of sarcastic debauchery and say something like this with a smug look when responding to people's life advice.
  9. by   HealthyFuture
    I guess the best thing to do is look at the statistics. Go to every hospital job site you know and look and see how many np vs pa positions are available. Yes being a physician assistant would be wonderful but right now nursing is where ppl most easily get a job. Not only because as a nurse they can pay you less to get the job done but because most jobs are leaning towards getting people who can do the whole job. In ms, most hospitals are leaning towards RNs over LPNs because they can pay one person to get the job done rather than paying one to do the job and another to do all the things the LPN is not in scope of practice to do. And they'd rather hire a physician rather than pa for the same reason. Still, all professions are needed and appreciated. But the truth is the statistics never lie.