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Can I Get Some Info About Education Beyond A Bachelor's?

I really want to be a nurse or PA in a specialized field (Hematology), but I can't find a lot of helpful information from Google when I'm looking at education that goes beyond a Bahelor's degree. I need more information, preferably from a Hematologist or Hematology nurse, caseworker, etc. Please help me find more information about the education of the typical Hematologist's PA or nurse. I'd appreciate it, thanks!!
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Norman’s Answer

Hello, Uriah!
Many universities which have medical schools training physicians nowadays also have physician assistant tracing programs. To be competitive for acceptance into one of these programs you should already have an undergraduate degree in one of the sciences like biology or chemistry. You can also find out more info by going to the web site for the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

As far as I know there are no post-grad programs for hematology. There are for some specialties such as orthopedics and I'm sure more and more training programs for specialty and sub-specialty PA's will become available in the future. But for now PAs who wish to work in a specialty seek positions in private or group practices or in hospital settings. For example, I live in Atlanta and had an occasion to be seen as a patient at the Emory Unversity Spine center where I was to see a neurosurgeon. But the first person I saw was the neurosurgeon's PA, a 2014 graduate of the Emory Medical School's PA program.

Thank you, this is an extremely helpful comment! I do have more questions; would a BN work as well? (because that was my original plan) Also, how could I go about seeking a position in a private/group practice or hospital setting? Should I enter and graduate from a PA program then proceed to seek such a position? Thank you for all of your help, I appreciate it!! Uriah G.

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Richard’s Answer

We have several PAs in my group. They have all completed a bachelor's degree and 2 years of PA school. Afterwards they have chosen a specialty and gotten jobs in that field. The PAs in my group came to us right out of school and have worked in radiology their whole career.

But they have the option of jumping to a new field like hematology. Several have left to go to allergy/immunology and one went into orthopedics. One left to work in the ER.

An advantage on being a PA is the ability to go from one subspecialty to another without having to complete a new training program.

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Norman’s Answer

Hello Uriah!
I think that getting a BSN is a great idea! Just remember to add several hard science courses to the curriculum. Again, chemistry, especially bio chemistry, is an excellent idea.

You can explore opportunities in hematology or a related field at any time during your PA training but you will want to wait until you are a graduate before applying for a particular position. You will be surprised at the number of opportunities awaiting you in most fields! However, because your interest is in hematology you may have to reach out to hospitals or large clinics. And be ready to answer the question, "why they should hire a physician assistant" if they have not already hired one in the past .

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Rosie’s Answer

Your nursing education doesn't have to stop at a Bachlors. There's plenty you could do after. Theres a Nurse Practitioner, Physicians Assistant, you could branch out and do a masters of Health Administration, or even do a doctorate in nursing.

Rosie recommends the following next steps:

Research different advance degree nursing programs
Research different degree programs in any health field where you could incorporate your nursing skills.