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what is the difference between a nurse practitioner and a physician assistant in terms of schooling and job description?
I read somewhere recently that both are relatively equal. P/A were getting a couple thousand higher than N/P in the US. My daughter has great faith in her N/P,with an
M/D in the office also.My daughter is fussy to say the least.She is 52,with two in college. (no kid here) Bill
I am a NP & love my profession. Not only can I now treat my patients' illnesses, I can continue to give nursing care too. PAs lack experience in the "caring" part working with patients. They show their career strength in working in the OR with surgeons. I respect their abiilty & knowledge base regarding the surgery part of their field.
[QUOTE=mol75lie;4135083]I am a NP & love my profession. Not only can I now treat my patients' illnesses, I can continue to give nursing care too. PAs lack experience in the "caring" part working with patients. They show their career strength in working in the OR with surgeons. I respect their abiilty & knowledge base regarding the surgery part of their field.[/QUOTE]



To answer the first question...
All PAs must graduate from an university which is accredited by the ARC-PA which sets guidelines for all PA schools. PA school is similar to an accerated medical school. PAs are taught many of the skill sets that a physician will learn while in residency in order to perform the task on the job. Physician assistants work in all facets of medicine and must complete a year of rotations in different fields in order to graduate from their program.
99% of PAs graduate with a bachelors degree and have medical experience (usually emt, cna, medic, Rt, nurse) prior to going into PA school. Traditionally PA school was meant for someone who wanted to make a transition to practicing medicine and it was an alternative to going to medical school. PAs function much like resident physicians. They are supervised by an attending but are fully capable and trained to make competent decisions when it comes to medical care. The other 1% of physician assistants did a certificate or bachelor program.. The certificate requires a bachelors and is the same training as a masters. There are associate programs but those people also have bachelors degrees yet. There is no such thing as a PA who has only 2 years of college... Also unlike many nurse practitioner programs there are no night class PA programs, no weekend classes, etc... PA school is 2+ years of 8-5 (somedays unfortunately 8-8) Class..... We have no break for two years except for a week for spring break, and a few days for christmas and thanksgiving, etc...

As for NPs. NPs function exactly the same. Their training is different because they are already nurses and have had certain classes while in nursing school.... This is why going into school they may already have exposure to health care adn there training isnt centered around learning things for the first time. Recently they are pushing for Nurses to have doctorates. The doctorate while being a clinical doctorate is mostly just added research and does NOT make NPs equal to physicians. I believe many NPs also have specific training in family medicine, pediatrics, etc. NPs work under nursing boards while PA work under medicine boards. PAs are widely used in surgery because we do have attending physicians we can first assist for and we are trained in the OR (not for specific procedures but for sutures, instruments, etc.) PAs ofter learn surgical procedures from a surgeon while on the job.

Where NPs get alot of crap is the fact that their education is not all the same...Unlike Physicians and PAs many NPs come out of school with different skill sets and knowledge bases. I had a nurse practitioner a few weeks ago ask my preceptor (a pa) what impetigo was... i was astonished that she only had one dermatology lecture while in NP school. I hadn't completed one year of PA school and I had more exposure than her.....

As for the "Caring" All of us went into medicine because we care for people so I have no idea what the NP above me is trying to say.... by caring do you mean change sheets on beds? changing diapers? wiping butts? I understand RNs get that kind of patient care training and I will admit no PA school teaches that. But many of us including myself have worked in health care where they have had to do that kind of stuff (ughh lol).

From someone who has friends in NP school, PA school (myself included), and medical school (only md, not do).... To be a good practitioner no matter what degree you get you need to be doing it for the right reason and put the work in....





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