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Journey of a DPT Student

Early Boards Get the Worm?

Published June 3, 2013 12:42 PM by Lauren Rosso
It was recently brought to my attention that in certain states, the option exists to take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) prior to graduation if certain requirements have been met. Eligibility varies from state to state -- some require completion of the didactic portion of the program, others set a maximum amount of time prior to graduation that the exam can be taken, and others simply don't allow it. With a little bit of research and a lot of thought, I've decided that I want to take boards prior to graduating.

But as it turns out, Pennsylvania is not one of the states that allows students to sit for the NPTE prior to graduation. Thankfully students in the DPT classes ahead of me did some research to identify any loopholes in this process, and alas! There are. West Virginia and Ohio both permit students to take the boards ahead of time. Because the exam is standardized nationally, certification in a neighboring state can be translated to certification in your home state without having to take an additional exam. At least that's the case here in PA. From what I can gather, I'll just have to pay a small fee to transfer my license to the state of Pennsylvania.

The transfer fee seems like a fair and logical tradeoff for freedom after graduation. The idea of not having to study after my DPT program is over is too appealing to pass up. I fully admit that studying for the boards while completing a full-time clinical rotation will be difficult, but I think the end result will be more than worth it. (I daydream about a road trip across the country while some of my classmates are locked inside studying, and that's what reminds me I'm making the right decision).

If you're interested in finding out similar information regarding your state, visit this site.

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How did taking the boards while in clinical work out? I am thinking of doing the same thing (going to Ohio to take the boards early). I have heard some people say you don't want to work or do anything while studying for the exam, but I don't want to study after I am done with the DPT program....

sarah May 4, 2014 4:40 PM
pittsburgh PA

I plan on doing this as well

Lola Omishore July 20, 2013 4:41 PM

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