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Michelle in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

85 months ago

c hayes in Denton, Texas said: Jeff you are absolutely correct about NP programs. The nurses have a very strong lobby which has allowed the NP to practice autonomously in 23 states. They even had prescriptive rights before PA's. Take the time and go to PA school, you'll be glad you did

Hello as a soon to be graduate of NP school I believe that my 10 years as a nurse has helped me be a better clinician. Do PA have enough clinical experience to be able to make critical decisions? I am not sure, but have seen some very good PA. IF you are not a nurse right now, I agree that going to get your B.S. in nursing and then off to get your master's is a long road. NP are a powerful body when they unite. The AMA on the other hand is bigger and has more financial resources to call upon. I like to think that NP and PA are 2 providers that are available for access to medical care. In the US the physician population is aging rapidly and medical school enrollment is not enough to take care of all of our medical needs as a country. Therefore PA/NP are great avenues to enhance access to medical care.
Good luck in your decision.
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Liz in Bronx, New York

84 months ago

Hello,

I think both areas are needed to improve health care to all. NP's have are moving to a doctoratal degree which you may or may not be interested in. If you are interested in independent or collaborative practice I would go the NP route.

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EWM in Joplin, Missouri

81 months ago

I am a nurse and I talked to two NP's and asked them what route they would take if they were to do it all over again and both of them said PA. They acknowledged the fact that PA's education style is more intense. Do PA.

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Jonny in Atlanta, Georgia

78 months ago

nursing school is not a waste of time and the nurses treat the human response to disease where doctors and pa diagnoise it. a np trained on a nursing model recieves very vigourus training and nursing school is not a waste of time if you want the automy that pa's don't have to perscribe or work on their own. what you can do is get your ba in nursing and your ma in PA. most PA programs are changing from BA to MA anyway and you need a certain amount of hours medical exprience to apply anyway.

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chiaroscuro in Atlanta, Georgia

78 months ago

I would have to disagree with the above. Docs/PA's/NP's diagnose IN ORDER TO treat disease, and nurses carry out the order of the Doctor/PA/NP, and assess the response to treatment. If you want 100 percent autonomy, become a doctor. Being an autonomous PA/NP demands that you have significant healthcare experience before matriculation. I know of PA's who have close to 100 percent autonomy, working solo in rural and urban areas. It all depends on the amount of trust between the supervising physician and the PA.

NP's and PA's are not interchangeable. Take a look at the cirriculum; there are huge differences. NP's in essence practice advanced nursing (which includes the ability to diagnose, treat, prescribe), and PA's practice medicine (working as a team with doctors). One is no better than the other. It really depends on the type of education and career you want. Good luck!

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Rocky in Nutley, New Jersey

78 months ago

Do you think a PA with certification in Nuclear Med could be an asset to certain physicians? I am a recent grad of Nuclear Med and we all know that there are no jobs. So Im seeking further education, finishing up my bachelors in the Spring. I think that a PA with a Nuclear Certification would be a great asset to a Cardiology office. I do not want my Nuclear schooling to go to waste, but I also dont want to work some dead end job after all this work. What do you think?

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monica in Randolph, New Jersey

78 months ago

Hey Rocky,

What school did you graduated from? I am a nuc med tech in NJ also. Are they still pumping out alot of students. It ridiculous. They should close at least two of the schools instead of promising potential students that there will be jobs available upon graduation. I am lucky to have a job in the field but I have been going back and forth about applying to PA school. The work in the nuclear field is dwindling down for sure.

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Rocky in Nutley, New Jersey

78 months ago

I graduated from the UMDNJ program. When I went into the program the market was relatively good and program director said there was a relatively good chance of getting a job upon completion. I did have one interview for a job in the city, but I didn't have enough "experience". I will never get that experience with the way the market is. This is why Im thinking about PA school. It allows me to maintain a career in the healthcare field, with the possibility of keeping my Nuclear Certification in tact and valuable.

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monica in Randolph, New Jersey

78 months ago

Yeah, that is a huge problem now for new graduates. Hospitals and doctors can have their pick of techs so if you don't have any experience , you have virtually no chance of getting a job in the current market.

I graduated from Muhlenberg and faced the same situation as you a few years ago. The job market started tanking by the time I graduated. Luckily, I found a part time job ( all I wanted at the time) when I graduated but with the workload decreasing, I sometimes don't get in all the hours I want.

I always wanted to go for PA but was intimidated by the amount of schooling required. I have three kids so three years seemed like too bit of a sacrifice. In retrospect, I would have been done by now had I started several years ago. Now I would have to give up my job and be without an income for three years. I just don't think I could stomach nursing. I work with many nurses and most of them are not happy.

Good Luck

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alicay4 in Longmont, Colorado

77 months ago

Is it possible to "take a break" from being a PA? Is it possible to keep certification, or renew certification after expiration, after a couple of years of not practicing as a PA?
Also, how long would you say it takes to pay off the debt from PA school after graduation?

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Kriz in Jackson, Tennessee

77 months ago

I have been seriously thinking about going the PA route. I've been doing a lot of research, but I just watched a video that described PA's as "performing routine, non-diagnostic medical tasks." None of my the other PA profiles I've read make it seem so bland. I know a PA is not going to be identical to a doctor, but aren't PA's able to diagnose?

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chiaroscuro in Atlanta, Georgia

77 months ago

Kriz, it sounds like the job description of a MEDICAL ASSISTANT, not a Physician Assistant. PAs diagnose, treat, read and interpret labs and tests, assist in surgeries, and prescribe medications. This description is just plain incorrect. I would suggest going to the AAPA website. There is a detailed description of the job of a PA there. Good luck!

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Peds PA Mike in Alexandria, Virginia

77 months ago

chiaroscuro in Atlanta, Georgia said: Kriz, it sounds like the job description of a MEDICAL ASSISTANT, not a Physician Assistant. PAs diagnose, treat, read and interpret labs and tests, assist in surgeries, and prescribe medications. This description is just plain incorrect. I would suggest going to the AAPA website. There is a detailed description of the job of a PA there. Good luck!

PAs do diagnose, treat, interpret labs and tests, perform invasive procedures, etc. Some descriptions can be technical in nature, outdated and vague. Also, as the PA is working under the authority and supervision of the physician, the physician can be interpreted as the one technically responsible for the diagnosis - even though they may not even be physically there or directly involved with the care at that time. But, this is antiquated regulatory or institutional language.

In all practical purposes PAs do diagnose and treat.

With regards to NPs, be careful of the misleading language of independent practice. NPs may practice nursing independently. This is most often counseling, education, and care coordination. However, for medical care, this must be performed with a formal collaborative agreement with a physician. In reality, the overwhelming majority of NPs who provide direct patient care are interchangeable with the PAs in the same setting. The advantage to PAs is the greater amount of training in the medical model and the flexibility of working in different specialties and settings.

The independent practice NP talk is most often used by nursing educators who are selling their programs. My NP wife and RN mother, sister-in-law, and cousins feel nursing should focus on RNs and the best midlevel role is PA.

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duke grad PA-C in Durham, North Carolina

77 months ago

1st goto the AAPA.org and read the information there.
2nd find PAs from different disciplines that interest you and see if they will permit you to shadow them on various occasions.
3rd Make sure that you have got all of your pre-reqs out of the way. If not, start knocking them out. 1. admissions folks will look at the most recent school work to see if you up for the academic challenge 2. the pre-reqs are there to give you a solid foundation for material yet to learn in PA school and beyond. Really knowing your physiology and micro will be invaluable.

Once you start back in on classes and find a school or two that interest you, make an appointment to tour the school and meet with the admissions. The people letting you in are in the best position to advise you. Don't just go with what you think will be good and/ or what other well meaning individuals trying to advise you.

In terms of medical experience, try to work anywhere that will let you get hands on care and experience with meds. Look for jobs that will give you exposure to areas of interest. If you can only work in one area due to $ or other considerations, look for a community clinic.

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MK KEENE ASSOCIATES in Oxford, Michigan

77 months ago

SOUTH DAKOTA:

PRIMARY CARE PA: Busy primary care facility. Underserved region. Great benefits, retirement package, 401k.

NORTH DAKOTA:

PRIMARY CARE PA: Facility is looking for a primary care PA. Full time position with Great Pay and Benefits, retirement package, 401k.

OREGON: PORTLAND, OREGON

EMERGENCY ROOM PA: Underserved region PA to work in the Emergency Room. Full time position with Great Pay and Benefits, retirement package, 401k.

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Owen - Cornell Student, for now in Ithaca, New York

75 months ago

alicay4 in Longmont, Colorado said: Is it possible to "take a break" from being a PA? Is it possible to keep certification, or renew certification after expiration, after a couple of years of not practicing as a PA?
Also, how long would you say it takes to pay off the debt from PA school after graduation?

So do NPs have to do a recertification exam every six years or 100 hours of continuous education every two years? because I am still early in life but am trying to decide which route to take, PA or NP.
Advice? more pros and cons?

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RVNP in Apex, North Carolina

74 months ago

I am a FNP with 25 years of nursing combined with 11 years as an NP. I would highly recommend if you go the NP route, to work as an RN for at least a few years before becoming an NP. You gain valuable patient skills doing this. Unfortunately, the PA programs don't value this. Having said that, I am starting work in a PA-owned family practice clinic in a couple of weeks. So, I truly believe we can work together well.

As far as re-certification goes, I have to have at least 1000 work hours, and 75-150 hours of CME for my boards. For my state, I have to have 50 hours/year of education.

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ericloves2fish in Leesburg, Virginia

73 months ago

Many PAs seem to have a chip on their shoulders, like they resent not having the last say, especially if they've been practicing for a while and have to work under a new doc.

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courtneye1022 in Greenville, North Carolina

71 months ago

I am currently a highschool senior and I have completed all of my nursing prerequisites through concurrent enrollment. I am trying to decide what route to take after nursing school. I am very dedicated so I cant decide if I should just go the extra mile to medical school or settle for NP or PA. I really want to work with kids and I do not want to become a NP or PA and feel like I am doing the same work as a MD but less pay. What are the advantages/disadvantages to each title and what are the average salaries? Thank you to any and all responses/opinions!

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jacquelyn in Dallas, Texas

71 months ago

WOW...Jeff you sentiments sound a little harsh. You know I was in the same dilemma for quite some time. I was very optimistic about my chances of getting into PA school. Well once I got my all my pre-req done, secured my BA degree. Which I got in Psychology, if figured it would provide a little diversity in the applicant pool. Well I took the GRE achieve a good score, my overall GPA was like a 3.3 and science were a little higher than this. Well I applied and didn't get in. I was so shocked. Then I started think ok I am a older student what should I do now. Reality set in that I am an older student and I need to get moving. Well a nurse took me under his wing and gave me the skinny on both jobs. He layed out the pro's and con's. Then I started to see that as an NP I can work autonomsly in most settings. I won't be depended on a providers licenses and having that extra bed side manner will only make a better clinician. True NP's are based after a nursing model rather than a md model, but a lot of the classes overlap. NP's make really good money. I have a friend that works in Pre-Op as a NP her salary is just under 100K, straight out of school. The we have some that work in the clinic's who's salary is 120K. So when you ask me about the difference is the money, I would say there really isn't much. As far as marketable, you will always have a job. Plus while in NP school you can work as a floor nurse. Again giving you that extra training to be really good at what you do.

I don't think the training is a mundane as what one would think, I believe you will enjoy the journey the entire way. All while working and making money. I think you should look a little bit more into the NP profession before you just rule it out, totally. You might be suprised.

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Becca in Raleigh, North Carolina

68 months ago

duke grad PA-C in Durham, North Carolina said: 1st goto the AAPA.org and read the information there.
2nd find PAs from different disciplines that interest you and see if they will permit you to shadow them on various occasions.
3rd Make sure that you have got all of your pre-reqs out of the way. If not, start knocking them out. 1. admissions folks will look at the most recent school work to see if you up for the academic challenge 2. the pre-reqs are there to give you a solid foundation for material yet to learn in PA school and beyond. Really knowing your physiology and micro will be invaluable.

Once you start back in on classes and find a school or two that interest you, make an appointment to tour the school and meet with the admissions. The people letting you in are in the best position to advise you. Don't just go with what you think will be good and/ or what other well meaning individuals trying to advise you.

In terms of medical experience, try to work anywhere that will let you get hands on care and experience with meds. Look for jobs that will give you exposure to areas of interest. If you can only work in one area due to $ or other considerations, look for a community clinic.

Which area of medicine do you work in ? What is the salary range for ER PA?

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linda in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania

68 months ago

does anyone know the re-certification differences between a PA and a NP? I know that a PA has to be recertified every 6 years with an exam, and complete 100 CME hours every 2 years..but I haven't been able to find anything out about this topic for a NP??

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Diane in Concord, California

68 months ago

50 years old - pharma sales is so unstable these days. Trying to determine all that is involved in pursuing my RN and then going onward. It requires putting it all on the line. I think nursing is a lot more than just dealing with bodily fluids and it will set me up for NP it all is a good fit. Thoughts?

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Donna in Middletown, New Jersey

61 months ago

Why is the part-time curriculum at UMDNJ different from the full-time curriculum?

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Pre-PA in North Carolina

48 months ago

Both NP and PA are excellent career paths. And within 4-5 years after school, my guess is that NP and PA are much more equalized in terms of experience/knowledge.

I am starting PA school in a few weeks, but for the last year I have seriously considered NP. For me, it has been a difficult choice to make. I love nurses. All medical careers are needed.

Best of luck to you all

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tania in Morristown, New Jersey

41 months ago

What to do at 51 years old? I had thought I'd pursue the NP route -- but I'm discouraged. It's about time & money.

I am set to enter the 2nd semester of the 1st year of an RN program. Too much Maslow/Eriksson/social work, not enough science. Too much traditional "woman's work": maid, waitress, housekeeper, mommy. Bed-making, bed baths, diaper-changing, dispensing meds, feeding obese diabetic patients pancakes/bagels(!) -- really have turned me off to nursing. And the nursing diagnosis/care plan format just doesn't jive w/ my mindset. I thought I'd just choke it down to get on w/ things. But then, you have to have a BSN to get an MSN... and on and on the school mill goes.

I've met excellent NPs, however they typically have YEARS of clinical experience w/ all kinds of pts in various settings.
I have a BA and completed all the req'd sciences for med school about 20 years ago. I am thinking I'll just have to re-take the chem, bio, etc. But PA school will require relocation and costs some dough. Will there be jobs?

Any ideas are very much appreciated.

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wannabeNP in Chattanooga, Tennessee

41 months ago

tania in Morristown, New Jersey said: What to do at 51 years old? I had thought I'd pursue the NP route -- but I'm discouraged. It's about time & money.

I am set to enter the 2nd semester of the 1st year of an RN program. Too much Maslow/Eriksson/social work, not enough science. Too much traditional "woman's work": maid, waitress, housekeeper, mommy. Bed-making, bed baths, diaper-changing, dispensing meds, feeding obese diabetic patients pancakes/bagels(!) -- really have turned me off to nursing. And the nursing diagnosis/care plan format just doesn't jive w/ my mindset. I thought I'd just choke it down to get on w/ things. But then, you have to have a BSN to get an MSN... and on and on the school mill goes.

I've met excellent NPs, however they typically have YEARS of clinical experience w/ all kinds of pts in various settings.
I have a BA and completed all the req'd sciences for med school about 20 years ago. I am thinking I'll just have to re-take the chem, bio, etc. But PA school will require relocation and costs some dough. Will there be jobs?

Any ideas are very much appreciated.

The first year of nursing school is very much like that, but keep with it, remember that is part of the job too. The second year of nursing school is much more medically inclined. Remember tho, nurses treat the whole person, and there is a bit of "dirty" work involved, it reflects poorly on nurses when they refuse to do the mundane tasks. Keep it up, you will do fine!! Tina, RN, going back for my BSN and MSN.

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wannabeNP in Chattanooga, Tennessee

41 months ago

tania in Morristown, New Jersey said: What to do at 51 years old? I had thought I'd pursue the NP route -- but I'm discouraged. It's about time & money.

I am set to enter the 2nd semester of the 1st year of an RN program. Too much Maslow/Eriksson/social work, not enough science. Too much traditional "woman's work": maid, waitress, housekeeper, mommy. Bed-making, bed baths, diaper-changing, dispensing meds, feeding obese diabetic patients pancakes/bagels(!) -- really have turned me off to nursing. And the nursing diagnosis/care plan format just doesn't jive w/ my mindset. I thought I'd just choke it down to get on w/ things. But then, you have to have a BSN to get an MSN... and on and on the school mill goes.

I've met excellent NPs, however they typically have YEARS of clinical experience w/ all kinds of pts in various settings.
I have a BA and completed all the req'd sciences for med school about 20 years ago. I am thinking I'll just have to re-take the chem, bio, etc. But PA school will require relocation and costs some dough. Will there be jobs?

Any ideas are very much appreciated.

The first year of nursing school is very much like that, but keep with it, remember that is part of the job too. The second year of nursing school is much more medically inclined. Remember tho, nurses treat the whole person, and there is a bit of "dirty" work involved, it reflects poorly on nurses when they refuse to do the mundane tasks. Keep it up, you will do fine!! Tina, RN, going back for my BSN and MSN.

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Kelly in Austin, Texas

40 months ago

Jeff in Raleigh, North Carolina said: I'm facing a similar dilemma. PA or NP? PA is far more exciting because you're being trained to be a clinician. NP training can get me there for much less money but much longer time. Regrettably, it is two dreadful years of RN training I wouldn't enjoy. When I compare the curriculum of NP and PA programs, I cannot understand how NP's become clinicians. The NP programs doesn't appear to be based upon sciences. If one simply wants a good paying job at the end but doesn't care about the journey, NP is fine. I'm still not sure I can give up so much valuable time on learning "nursing diagnosis" and "nursing plans."

You are very misinformed....

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Kelly in Austin, Texas

40 months ago

c hayes in Denton, Texas said: Jeff you are absolutely correct about NP programs. The nurses have a very strong lobby which has allowed the NP to practice autonomously in 23 states. They even had prescriptive rights before PA's. Take the time and go to PA school, you'll be glad you did

Nurse Practitioners ARE AUTONOMOUS!! PA's are physician extenders!!! assistants to the docs, NPs have their own practice

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Kristilyn in Redlands, California

39 months ago

monica in Randolph, New Jersey said: I am in a dilemma. I am 42 and looking for a new career. I currently work in a hospital as a Nuclear Med Tech but that is not going anywhere. I always wanted to be a PA but the schooling seemed so rigorous. I have three kids and the curriculum at both NJ schools looks like I would not see them basically for three years. My other thought is to go the nursing route. I have a BA and could get an RN in two years going at night while keeping my day job. I could then complete my NP degree part time . The only real drawback to this plan is that I really do not want to do bedside nursing. I want to diagnose and treat people but not clean up vomit or give sponge bathes. Are NP and PA's interchangeable? Which way should I go?

I am in the same boat! I am 44yrs old with 3 kids and am a nuclear medicine tech and also want to go into a PA program. But I don't know if financially I can do it with full time schooling. Did you end up going to school? If so, how did it work out? Also, do you know of any possible online programs?

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tania in Morristown, New Jersey

39 months ago

The whole NP/PA question seems to everyone's issue. The AMA versus the ANA turf crap is old. Nursing diagnosis is not appropriate when treating patients w/ medical problems, for which there medical differential diagnoses and ICD-9 insurance codes. Somehow NPs can work around this?

The 2-year RN route usually requires a BSN first, then NP.
If I had kids & limited time (and energy), doing the RN to BSN, to NP (or however you can attain the NP w/o the BSN) is probably easier, though probably will take longer in terms of years.

In NJ, a growing number of facilities require at least a RN/BSN to be hired.
The amount of time, education, and job experience needed to be hired is not adequately compensated in terms of pay. The 3-year ADN/RN pays about the same as the 4-year BSN/RN. It's just getting harder to get a job w/ the associate's in nursing degree.

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Andy in Riverton, Illinois

37 months ago

Jonny in Atlanta, Georgia said: nursing school is not a waste of time and the nurses treat the human response to disease where doctors and pa diagnoise it. a np trained on a nursing model recieves very vigourus training and nursing school is not a waste of time if you want the automy that pa's don't have to perscribe or work on their own. what you can do is get your ba in nursing and your ma in PA. most PA programs are changing from BA to MA anyway and you need a certain amount of hours medical exprience to apply anyway.[/QUOTE

Very, very off in this answer. A BA in Nursing? Never heard of that nor have I heard of a MA in PA? You may get your BSN and apply to PA grad school if thats what you meant. But don't give someone advice if you have no idea what you are talking about.

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Jems in Owings Mills, Maryland

37 months ago

How hard is it to get into a nurse practitioner program? I am a second-year college student and my school will open a nursing program next year. The director of the program said I could join. I would like to go for NP or PA after nursing school. All I need to really take to finish PA school pre-reqs, though, is organic chemistry. I know it's really competitive to get into PA school. How about NP school (in comparison to PA school)?

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tania in Morristown, New Jersey

37 months ago

Nurses are their own worst enemy. There are more and more hoops to jump -- it's almost easier just to go to med school.

To be an NP, you need a BSN/RN. Post BSN, NP-candidates do well to have at least one year of clinical supervised hospital experience, (med-surg, ICU) before applying to MSN/NP school. Post NP, again, you will do well do get another year or two hospital experience. Expect to work from the bottom. (In nursing, that reference is literal.) Clinical experience is INVALUABLE, and in any area of medicine/nursing, the candidate has to demonstrate a solid work ethic (it's old-fashioned). Volunteering in some medical facility is also a good idea.

Because nurses are usually women, you know the work is crap & the pay is not what it should be. Florence Nightingale w/ that damn lamp did a great thing by cleaning up hospital hygiene -- but she also laid the foundation for a stifling, conformist quasi-Anglican/Catholic "I live to serve & suffer" female ethic in nursing which keeps it a relatively low-paid drudge profession.

The pay stays low in "women's professions" because women, of course! naturally have husbands to pay-the-real-bills. Sadly, many nurses see themselves this way. I'm not crazy about having women who expect some guy to take care of them as colleagues. There are FANTASTIC nurses who are great people, & certainly not every hospital has a plantation culture. I'm just saying... .. do the org chem! It's really not so bad if you study & get help -- there's a lot of online resources for that. GOOD LUCK!!

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Jenna in Norman, Oklahoma

37 months ago

They now have direct nurse practitioner programs in several states. The science prerequisites aren't that hard. I am pretty sure they have a direct nurse practitioner program in your state. As a nurse practitioner you can own your clinic and they have Nurses who are called Certified Nurse Anesthesiologists who make way more money than a Physician Assistant. If you decide to go into Nursing you have different specialties that you can go into. I have a degree as well and I am looking into nursing. If they have a direct nurse practitioner program it doesn't take that long.

I know several schools now offer online courses in Nursing that take a year in Texas and you can get your NP degree online from some prestigious colleges.

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Pre-nursing student in Davis, California

37 months ago

Jenna in Norman, Oklahoma said: They now have direct nurse practitioner programs in several states. The science prerequisites aren't that hard. I am pretty sure they have a direct nurse practitioner program in your state. As a nurse practitioner you can own your clinic and they have Nurses who are called Certified Nurse Anesthesiologists who make way more money than a Physician Assistant . If you decide to go into Nursing you have different specialties that you can go into. I have a degree as well and I am looking into nursing. If they have a direct nurse practitioner program it doesn't take that long.

I know several schools now offer online courses in Nursing that take a year in Texas and you can get your NP degree online from some prestigious colleges.

I'm planning to apply to direct entry MSn for NPs but I'm also considering Accelerated BSN. What would you guys recommend? I'm kind of worried about the job market for Nps because I know mannyu Nps at the hospital I volunteer in were laid off. So I'm really scared and I know nurses are having a hard time finding jobs too.

I'

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Pre-nursing student in Davis, California

37 months ago

Jenna in Norman, Oklahoma said: They now have direct nurse practitioner programs in several states. The science prerequisites aren't that hard. I am pretty sure they have a direct nurse practitioner program in your state. As a nurse practitioner you can own your clinic and they have Nurses who are called Certified Nurse Anesthesiologists who make way more money than a Physician Assistant . If you decide to go into Nursing you have different specialties that you can go into. I have a degree as well and I am looking into nursing. If they have a direct nurse practitioner program it doesn't take that long.

I know several schools now offer online courses in Nursing that take a year in Texas and you can get your NP degree online from some prestigious colleges.

I'm planning to apply to direct entry MSn for NPs but I'm also considering Accelerated BSN. What would you guys recommend? I'm kind of worried about the job market for Nps because I know mannyu Nps at the hospital I volunteer in were laid off. So I'm really scared and I know nurses are having a hard time finding jobs too.

I'

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tania in Morristown, New Jersey

37 months ago

The best way to land a job here in NJ is to work as a nurse's aide or tech in med surg, ICU, OR, ER for a year while you're completing your BSN. This helps keep your skills sharp, and you will have personal contacts.
The big problem is the lack of decent jobs. Hospitals hire from within before going to anyone outside.

Also, physicians are leery of anyone who doesn't have much documented clinical experience, mainly because the NP education has a way to go to match the current PA level. MDs are familiar w/ PA training & medical dx versus RN nursing dx.

Figure out where you would like to work first, then start scoping out a tech/aide job while doing BSN, MSN. All the best!!

Look into NP specialty gerontology or family practice.

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johndoe in Angola, New York

37 months ago

Hey guys and gals.
I'm a PA student, just finished my didactic year and start my rotations in a week (starting with orthopaedics). To answer a concern a few comments up about worrying about NPs not having jobs, I'm assuming this problem was only site specific. It's absolutely ridiculous the jobs that will be available in the near future with physician shortages, baby boomers getting older,expanding population, etc.
My sister is a NP in dermatology and she graduated last year, landed a job right away, great pay, etc. I understand each situation may be differently demographically speaking, but in GENERAL, PA/NP will have tremendous growth in the years to come. I left pharmacy school for the PA route. What's great in my mind is we can always justify our higher salaries (unlike pharmacists for example, because pharmacy schools have exploded leading to flooding of the market and saturation of jobs, which will soon lead to decrease in salary), but as I was saying, we can always justify our salary because we CAN BILL FOR OUR SERVICES. We may bring in $300,000 a year for a practice, so its perfectly ok to expect a $130,000 pay (just making an example here).
But to finish up, NP route is a fantasic choice. Not only can you become a NP, you can branch off to nurse anesthetist if you so choose. There are many options going the NP route, and as of now, NP nursing lobby is so incredibly strong. I still can't believe you guys don't have to recertify after you pass the boards (PA's must pass a recertification exam every 6 years as of now), OR the fact you can even practice independently without going to med school. Also, PAs have more CE hours to maintain each year. But Hey....I think thats a great thing for NPs, just wish the PA's had the same advantages. Best of luck with whatever you choose.

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njbiodude in Raritan, New Jersey

36 months ago

tania in Morristown, New Jersey said: The pay stays low in "women's professions" because women, of course! naturally have husbands to pay-the-real-bills. Sadly, many nurses see themselves this way. I'm not crazy about having women who expect some guy to take care of them as colleagues. There are FANTASTIC nurses who are great people, & certainly not every hospital has a plantation culture. I'm just saying... .. do the org chem! It's really not so bad if you study & get help

Please not everyone can be a doctor and I've had great nurses/physicians that were both male/female. Actually I'd say nurses are very well paid, and the profession is largely unionized and advocates for itself well. 35/hr for new grads in NYC is better than most engineers with masters degrees are making, and there are opportunities for overtime. MD/DO training is much more extensive than Nursing school and the AMA artifically restricts the supply of doctors to create an artifical shortage. Lots of great candidates with science degrees being denied access to med school.

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Anne in Narberth, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

I am a PA and just want to add some comments to this forum. The outlook on jobs for PA's or NP's is tremendous, either direction will be prosperous. The training is very difficult, I went to GWU and graduated in the 1990's, but at that time it was quite competitive to get into a program and stay in a program. Both PA's and NP's are offered a lot of options as job choices and disciplines. I think NP's have an advantage over PA's since the nursing association's advocate so well for their profession. PA's now need to recertify every 6 years, but the law has changed and shortly it will be changed to every 10 years

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Tashi

35 months ago

Hi! Im coming out of an academic/professional and non-science field after decades of working in education. I have a BA and Masters already (student loans, agh!)
I am starting the pre-reqs for admission into PA school. Since Ive taken the arts rather than sciences route, I will have to take 98% of the pre-req's.
One question I have not seen answered that is more specific to my situation is, without any clinical experience or direct patient care experience, how do I get this prior to applying? What kinds of settings might hire a girl with ..big dreams, a great attitude and no skill??? Im very worried about this. The schools I am looking at do not require a science degree prior but they all say direct patient experience is preferred (some say 2000 hours looks great!) I cant afford to quit my job while taking the pre-reqs, and I will have to start saving for the program.
To sum up my question: where can an inexperienced PA program aspirant get clinical experience before applying?
Is age a factor? Im 39 but will be 41-42 when I'm ready to apply.
How else can I increase the competitive edge of my application (beyond grades)?
And what financial aid opportunities are out there?
Oh, one more, I see jobs on posts for PA's in Infectious Diseases which is my goal, but I don't see how you qualify for them...advice?

Thank you!!!

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deb in Hialeah, Florida

34 months ago

I am currently working on my BSN at Florida State University. I have spoken to schools regarding the requirements for getting my PA after I have my BS in Nursing. I have added those additional classes to my schedule, such as genetics, medical terminology, organic chen and an additional semester of chemistry. I thought that this way, I could make the choice once I graduate and go either way with the PA masters or further as a NP with nursing.

It seems like I have left myself with options once I graduate, can anyone comment on my ideas and theories here as Im thinking the PA route when I graduate. Nova does not require clinical experience but I might want to work as a nurse for a year before I go back to school. Will I be competitive as a candidate for PA school?

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trish in Newark, New Jersey

29 months ago

Hi... So I am also a senior in high school.... I originally wanted to be an MD and then I changed to PA because they have a better lifestyle (ie they can have a family) I applied to a bunch of 5yr pa programs and got into a few so far. But I started thinking about NP. My neurosurgeon said that they have more of an ability to move up as well as have responsibilities. At a PA interview the hardest question for me to answer was "why do you want to be a PA?" I have no idea. And Im pretty sure the answer was"I wanted to be a doctor but I want less debt as well as a life" is a bad answer. I do not have a clue if I want to be a PA or NP anymore... If I become an NP I can have more of a college experience and then go on to get my masters and can work as an RN while in masters... But PA I have to excellent and I cannot afford to have a bad grade or class or not get it. I am soooo extremely motivated but I just Dont know
.. I need advice. And if I did go on to be an NP what school would I go to? And how long would it take? I am very big on patient interaction as well as hand on learning and such. I want to work in a hospital.... I think... Or do OBGYN or pediatrics. I'm not possitive... I thought I had my whole life mapped out... But when I had an interview the head of PA said a lot about what PAs do and about them... And what he said and what I thought... Were TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS!!!! PLEASE HELP ME!!!

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Deanna in Atlanta, Georgia

28 months ago

First, I'm not sure what you mean by a "better lifestyle." PAs do graduate with less debt but they work just as hard as their physician colleagues. Any professional who leaves practice to raise a family will have difficulty re-entering the field because the licensing agencies are no longer willing to let folks leave medicine for 5 or 6 years and then re-enter without additional training. Medicine changes too quickly to relearn it on the job. Next, I'm not sure what the neurosurgeon was referring to - move up to administrative positions? PAs are hospital adminstrator. Academic medicine? PAs are department chairs. As to responsibilities, PAs have a broad scope of practice that is determined by the scope of practice of the physician with whom they work - it is referred to as delegatory authority. NP practice is determined by state law and by the area in which they specialized - - that is referred to as regulatory authority and technically is smaller. In reality, they have the same responsibilities to the patient. The bottom line is that you do have to be excellent to be a PA - you must master the scientific underpinnings of disease as well as the disorders, treatment and prognosis of them as well. I am not sure what the head of the PA program told you but I would trust his assessment of PA practice before I would trust the information given to you by the neurosurgeon.

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Mazda17 in Marietta, Georgia

27 months ago

I am interested in NP and PA programs. I have a B.S. in biology and 11 years of healthcare experience. I was leaning toward PA since I would be done in 2 years vs. 4 years if I go the NP route, but my prerequisites are more than 15 years old, so they need to be repeated. One concern I have with nursing is if I will be able to get a job without experience as a RN. There are many state nursing programs in my area and only private PA programs, so the NP route would be less expensive. Another issue I have is that becasue of my work schedule, and most PA programs don't accept online labs. I have a "B" average which isn't very competitive for PA programs. It's also difficult for me to take classes I very torn. Any advice would be welcomed. I am open to moving to Nashville, Dallas, Houston or Phoenix.

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Mazda17 in Marietta, Georgia

27 months ago

Mazda17 in Marietta, Georgia said: I am interested in NP and PA programs. I have a B.S. in biology and 11 years of healthcare experience. I was leaning toward PA since I would be done in 2 years vs. 4 years if I go the NP route, but my prerequisites are more than 15 years old, so they need to be repeated. One concern I have with nursing is if I will be able to get a job without experience as a RN. There are many state nursing programs in my area and only private PA programs, so the NP route would be less expensive. I have a "B" average which isn't very competitive for PA programs. Any advice would be welcomed. I am open to moving to Nashville, Dallas, Houston or Phoenix.

Sorry about typo above.

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Brittni in Lihue, Hawaii

24 months ago

I am trying to make a decision on a career and PA sounds awesome. I am 26. I already have a BA in Psych and am currently finishing massage school. I know that I would need about a year's worth of pre-reqs in science and math in order to apply for PA school. Can anyone give me advice on community college vs. university or post-bacc programs? Also, I don't have hardly any clinical experience. I am prepared to do quite a bit of shadowing but not sure how else to gain clinical experience.

Any input would be great! Thank you!

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rimzim in Nahan, India

23 months ago

I'm in the same exact situation. Although my career goal is to be a PA, I decided to take the BSN route so that I'll get the patient-care experience (my BSN will include 12-months of paid co-op experience). Plus, it keeps the NP option alive. Is this a reasonable and workable strategy?

Has anyone on this forum done the BSN-to-PA progression successfully? Do PA schools tend to value a BS in Biology/Health Science more than a BSN? Will my BSN be a liability? I say this because, I wonder if some PA schools might suspect my commitment to becoming a PA because I'm trained as a RN.

Any insights?

deb in Hialeah, Florida said: I am currently working on my BSN at Florida State University. I have spoken to schools regarding the requirements for getting my PA after I have my BS in Nursing. I have added those additional classes to my schedule, such as genetics, medical terminology, organic chen and an additional semester of chemistry . I thought that this way, I could make the choice once I graduate and go either way with the PA masters or further as a NP with nursing.

It seems like I have left myself with options once I graduate, can anyone comment on my ideas and theories here as Im thinking the PA route when I graduate. Nova does not require clinical experience but I might want to work as a nurse for a year before I go back to school. Will I be competitive as a candidate for PA school?

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