?

Log in

How exactly does a PA differ from an NP? - A PA today [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Physician Assistants of LJ

[ website | The Secret Lives of PA's! ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

[Jun. 14th, 2007|04:28 am]
Physician Assistants of LJ

secretlifeofpas

[aramis307]
How exactly does a PA differ from an NP?
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: kballgetlost
2007-06-14 03:00 pm (UTC)
As far as I understand, an NP can open their own practice, while a PA cannot. However most NP's only work in primary care, whereas PA's can go on to do different surgical specialty's, etc.

But I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people on here that can give a better answer. I'm in the process of applying to PA school now, but I only found out about the profession a year ago. Still trying to learn as much as I can!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bluearth
2007-06-14 10:08 pm (UTC)
Well, let's see if I can get this quite right. A NP pretty much has be to be an RN first, while a PA can have an almost unlimited background. PAs work under a supervising physician, while an NP doesn't (which explains why an NP can open their own practice). NPs specialize, like adult, peds, neonatal, family practice, etc; PAs don't specialize. PAs tend to work in surgery and more "procedural" areas of medicine more than NPs. And one of the official differences that I still don't quite understand is that NPs are trained under the nursing model, while PAs are trained under the medical model. If anyone can clarify anything I've said, feel free!
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2007-06-14 10:08 pm (UTC)
Well, let's see if I can get this quite right. A NP pretty much has be to be an RN first, while a PA can have an almost unlimited background. PAs work under a supervising physician, while an NP doesn't (which explains why an NP can open their own practice). NPs specialize, like adult, peds, neonatal, family practice, etc; PAs don't specialize. PAs tend to work in surgery and more "procedural" areas of medicine more than NPs. And one of the official differences that I still don't quite understand is that NPs are trained under the nursing model, while PAs are trained under the medical model. If anyone can clarify anything I've said, feel free!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bluearth
2007-06-14 10:09 pm (UTC)
Aarrgggh, didn't mean to do that, I noticed that I somehow wasn't logged in after I hit "post." Sorry!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: aramis307
2007-06-15 05:29 am (UTC)
Well, somehow you posted twice...and no biggie, anyway. though I am interestd in your opinion on something, which has a fair deal to do with why I asked the question in the first place.

I've been in EMS for upwards of a decade. I've filled many roles (Rescue Squad, flight medic, trauma center in a teaching hospital, etc). I've moved up to being a Tactical EMT (that is to say I'm a sworn officer on a SWAT team who doubles as the medic). I have a chance to take on a leadership role in settign up a multi-jurisdictional Tactical EMS program. There'd always be a physician as medical director, so the ability to work independently is not really an issue.

So is one field more suited to such an endevour than the other?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bluearth
2007-06-15 07:27 pm (UTC)
Hmm....well, I think both fields would work, especially as you already have more than enough relevant experience! That said, it seems to me that PAs tend to work in emergency medicine more often than NPs (there are some rural ERs I've heard of that are staffed entirely by PAs), so I would think that the PA route may be the better one to go, but there's not a huge difference. I think it would really boil down to which route would be faster/more local/whatever characteristics are more important to you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: violate
2007-06-15 04:05 am (UTC)
Well, pretty much above has the major areas. NP's are not "dependant" practitioners, but most do work under/for doctor's. rn's first. Less rigorous training due to previous nursing experience. Different models. Blah blah. NP's don't jsut work in family practice, but they must be certified in the area of medicine they wish to work and can't hop around fields like PA's. In practice however there is virtually no difference. The difference between a NP and a PA is like the difference between two PA's or two NP's. Throughout my rotations i have worked with both, and been on teams in which there are NP's and PA's. Their roles are always the same. They both consult as needed but work very indepedantly. Basically if you are a nurse already be an NP. Otherwise take the shortest road or the model you like more. If you want more pathology and hard science background PA is the choice. I am a PA (without the C :) take my boards july 9th) in case you were wondering about the perspective.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: aramis307
2007-06-15 05:18 am (UTC)
Thanks for the intel. I've been in EMS for over a decade, currently as a SWAT medic. I used to work in a trauma center, and I worked with PAs and NPs (and the students, and interns, and etc...). I often asked NPs and PAs the difference, and none of them ever seemed to know.

Let me ask this, because I'd like your opinion....

I have a chance to take on a leadership role in developing a Tactical EMS system. Given there would always be a physician who would be the medical director (just like in an EMS system), is there one which would be more suited to such a field?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: clay_tablets
2009-06-18 04:46 am (UTC)
Really stupid question, what is NP?
(Reply) (Thread)
From: igiveyoumylife
2009-09-07 09:31 pm (UTC)
nurse practitioner
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)