Try and shadow people from both groups to find out what they like/don't like about
being a Nurse Practitioner vs a Physician Assistant. The duties performed by NPs and
PAs varies in some states. In others their work is very similar.
Lorelle Smith, ARNP, GNP-BC
Here are some of the differences:
A NP is a Practitioner and can practice independently. A PA is an assistant and must have a doctor present. Nurses practice under the Nursing model and PA practice under the Medical model. They tend to look at things a little differently. Although, NP learn the medical model in the NP program they were first a nurse and taught to think like a nurse. Nurses tend to be more holistic in their thinking.
When I first started as an NP, the PA's earned more money and had less education. I was told that it was because PA was a male dominated profession. Many PA's were medics in the military prior to becoming PA's as civilians. I'm seeing now NP's earning more. PA can practice with a BS. NP's need MSN.
I would shadow with a nurse or NP and PA and find out what you like and dislike about each type of job. They are both very good fields in medicine; you will probably find challenges in both! Good luck!