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What is a better job to pursue, PA or NP?

#medical #PA #nurse #physicianassistant

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Subject: Career question for you

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Ema’s Answer


Physicians Assistants cannot practice on their own. Nurse Practitioners are able to practice on their own in many states now and will probably gain more practicing power in the years to come. Most places will opt to hire a NP because at the end they are paying for the NP only whereas hiring a PA will cost the facility more because they need to pay a supervising doctor as well.

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Alys’s Answer

Hi Leah!
PAs and NPs fulfill a lot of the same roles and duties at many workplaces, and in certain fields are often considered interchangeable. There are some distinctions, such as that NPs are more likely to assist during labor & delivery and PAs are more likely to assist in surgery.

However, the main difference derives from the education path. In order to become a Nurse Practitioner, you must first become a registered nurse. For Physician Assistant, you can pursue any undergraduate degree, then work (typically 1,000+ hours) in any form of patient care job prior to applying. NP school can sometimes be conducted remotely or online, and you can often continue working while attending; PA school is almost always conducted in person and you cannot work while attending.

Both are a burgeoning field with good career outlook and similar pay. Due to the popularity of the PA path, it is becoming more competitive to get into programs, so you have to ensure that you have strong grades and are highly motivated.

My suggestion would be to try to do some shadowing of PAs and NPs to see their real-world experience, and determine which would be the best fit for you personally.
Good luck!
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Hwal’s Answer

Hi Leah,

I see this post is from a while ago, so I'm not sure where you're at in your educational journey. I'm a family medicine PA in my third year of practice and I chose the PA career path because I wanted rigorous medical training and education, and I am happy with that decision. With over 100 credit hours of full-time graduate coursework including supervised clinical practice experience in many different medical specialties (such as general surgery, paediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, internal medicine, and emergency medicine) and healthcare settings (such as jail, hospital, and outpatient clinic), I felt well-prepared for full-time medical practice after graduation. If this sounds like what you would like for your own career, I would encourage you to consider becoming a PA. Let me share the steps to become a PA, as published on the AAPA (American Academy of PAs) website:

https://www.aapa.org/career-central/become-a-pa/

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any specific questions I can help you with. Good luck!

Hwal
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Leah,

In deciding between pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant (PA) or a Nurse Practitioner (NP), it is essential to consider various factors such as education, scope of practice, autonomy, job outlook, and personal preferences.

Education:

Physician Assistant (PA): To become a PA, one must complete a master’s degree program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). These programs typically take around 2-3 years to complete.
Nurse Practitioner (NP): NPs are advanced practice registered nurses who need to complete a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. The programs usually take 2-4 years to finish.

Scope of Practice:

Physician Assistant (PA): PAs work under the supervision of physicians and collaborate with them in providing patient care. They can diagnose illnesses, develop treatment plans, and prescribe medications.
Nurse Practitioner (NP): NPs can work independently or collaboratively with physicians. They can assess patients, order diagnostic tests, diagnose conditions, and prescribe medications.

Autonomy:

Physician Assistant (PA): PAs generally work under the supervision of physicians and have less autonomy compared to NPs.
Nurse Practitioner (NP): NPs often have more autonomy in their practice, especially in states that grant full practice authority to NPs.

Job Outlook:

Both PAs and NPs are in high demand due to the growing need for healthcare services in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, both professions are projected to experience significant growth in the coming years.

Personal Preferences:

Consider your interests, strengths, and career goals when choosing between becoming a PA or an NP. Think about whether you prefer working in a hospital setting, primary care, specialty care, or other healthcare environments.

Ultimately, the decision between pursuing a career as a PA or an NP depends on individual preferences, career goals, desired level of autonomy, and preferred scope of practice.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The sources provided valuable insights into the education requirements, scope of practice, job outlooks, and other essential factors relevant to comparing careers as a Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner.

God Bless You, Richly, JC.
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