Welcome to Health Care POV | sign in | join | help
in Search

Questions about NPs and PAs

Last post 04-17-2013, 6:29 PM by Vallaree Goodwin. 4 replies.
Previous Discussion Next Discussion Sort Posts:
  •  02-08-2012, 5:19 PM

    Questions about NPs and PAs

    Hello, I am a 3rd year BSN nursing student at Miami University of Ohio. I am currently in a health informatics class in which the teacher is trying to get us to incorporate health informatics and nursing. I joined this forum to learn more about nurse practitioners and physician's assistants because I am interested in becoming either one of those some day. I have a few questions that would be great if I could get some feedback on. Why did you choose to be a NP or a PA? What do you feel your role is in nursing and how do you contribute to patient's care and outcomes? Do you recommend going onto more schooling to become either a NP or a PA? Any feedback at all related to NP and PA would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!  

  •  02-23-2012, 11:26 AM

    Re: Questions about NPs and PAs

    Emily,

    Good question. PA's have a very narrow focus of practice and actually fall under direct physician supervision vs. NP's who are independent practitioners and have an "affiliation" with a physician. Nurse Practitioners also have a higher degree/more education tha PA. Both serve a distinct purpose. Here is the kicker...a PA gets paid more. Can you explain that? It is actually misleading in much of the lay press as they try to compare the same and give them "equal" billing when they are not. I know this may be an unpopular post given that we share a magazine but it needs to be said.  

  •  05-11-2012, 11:25 PM

    Re: Questions about NPs and PAs

    Actually, the information posted by Mr. Smith is misleading. PAs do require a supervising physician but that supervision is not direct. The physician doesn't even have to be present. PAs can own their own practice and simply hire a physician to review charts periodically.

    PAs are not narrowly focused. They work in almost every medical specialty and have the ability to move between specialties. NP training is specialty specific so moving between specialties is more difficult for them.

    NPs are only independent practitioners in states that allow this. Even then, independent practice requires a DNP degree. Many current NPs have an MSN. The vast majority of PA programs result in masters level degrees, which is the same level of education as a MSN trained NP. PA school is invariably two to three years in length with no breaks in the summer. 24 to 30 months is the normal program length. Much like medical school, PA programs involves classroom instruction and gross anatomy labs as well as clinical skills practice. Second year PAs go on rotations through various medical specialties for 12 to 15 months.

    Most PA programs discourage working at all for the duration of the program, unlike NPs who often receive much of their didactic instruction online and are able to work at least part time during their program. PAs and NPs do very similar jobs in practice. They are both midlevel practitioners and both are good careers. The pay difference is largely due to the PA's utilization in surgical settings, particularly orthopedics. 

     Hope this clears up any misconceptions!  

  •  05-20-2012, 5:32 PM

    • Lety Costa is not online. Last active: 10-01-2014, 2:18 PM Lety Costa
    • Joined on 05-20-2012
    • EdDNP.DCC.PAC.CWS
    • Gordon Memorial Hospital
    • Gordon, NE
    • 3 Posts

    Re: Questions about NPs and PAs

    I agree with you. Many medical schools offer a dual education  for nurses that enter their primary care programs. It is possible to obtain NP-C and PA-C.
  •  04-17-2013, 6:29 PM

    Re: Questions about NPs and PAs

    Clarification...you do not have to have a DNP to have independent practice as a NP.  NPs have the same rules for independent practice as PAs in the states where total independent practice is not allowed....yet. :) We simply hire a collaborating physician to review charts and co-establish protocols. It is not difficult to move between various specialties IF you are a Family Nurse Practitioner. I can not attest to the veracity of the statements re: PAs as I am not one. :)

    Val -- FNP-BC