Nurse Practitoner vs. Physician Assistant and Best Route to Become One

  1. Hi,
    I am currently a high school student interested in going into nursing/health care. I am going to be applying to colleges soon and hope to become either a nurse practitioner or a physician's assistant. For a physician's assistant is it best to get a bachelors degree in nursing, work for a few years, and then go to a 2-3 year PA school or go to a 5-6 year PA school straight from high school? Also what are the major differences in the PA and NP professions and who has more independence/respect in a hospital setting?
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    About hanlie14

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   aeronursenj
    Nurse Practioners are LIPS , where as PA's are not. In NJ (where I am from) NP's still fall under a MD, however they can give scripts and assess/diagnose without a MD approval. The PA's (in my hospital) need the MD's to basically call the shot on anything higher then a fever/rash or laceration. The feeling to me is that they are both looked down upon by the MD's, but from the nursing stand point (in my ER unit) we get along better with the NP's because they have the nursing background.. But that is just my opinion... Good luck..

  4. by   C-lion
    One thing you may want to consider was what I noticed when I looked at the requirements for a local PA program...they require certain science prereq's to be within the past five years. I take that to mean that I would have to go back and repeat many classes to get in to the program (please feel free to correct if I'm wrong), even though I have a BSN. It might be better to go straight through in your case.
  5. by   icecreamcake
    I would opt for the 5-6 year PA school straight out of school. You can apply for PA school with your RN, but PA school is HIGHLY competitive compared to NP school.