What's the difference between nurse practioner and physician assistant? Which is the better career path?

nurse practioner and physician assistant only.

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  • Nuseed
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has completed advanced education (generally a minimum of a master's degree) and training in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses. Nurse practitioners provide a broad range of health care services.

    Nurse practitioners provide much of the same care provided by physicians and usually maintain close working relationships with physicians. An NP can serve as a patient’s regular health care provider and see patients of all ages. The core philosophy of the field is individualized care. Nurse practitioners focus on patients' conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families. NPs make prevention, wellness, and patient education priorities. This can mean fewer prescriptions and less expensive treatments. Informing patients about their health care and encouraging them to participate in decisions are central to the care provided by NPs. In addition to health care services, NPs conduct research and are often active in patient advocacy activities.

    In the United States, Physician Assistants (PAs) are non-physician clinicians licensed to practice medicine with a physician's supervision. This supervision, in most cases, need not be direct or on site and many PAs practice in remote or underserved areas in satellite clinics. PAs can treat patients and, in 49 of the 50 states, prescribe medicine. In some states they carry a DEA number that gives them authority to prescribe controlled medications like narcotics. PAs in surgical practices also serve as first assistants in surgery. PAs provide medical services that are reimbursed under Medicare and third party insurances. Their scope of practice and autonomy are only limited by their precepting physicians comfort level and that PA's clinical experience, allowing PA's to work in any area of medicine, surgery or research. Where there is a physician, there can be a PA. According to the AAPA, PAs must always work under the supervision of a physician.

    I know nurse practitioners that have their own practice, I don't know that to be true for PAs. So if you're looking for a career with a more wholistic approach I'd say go for nurse practitioner. Nurses in general care for patients on different level than most physicians. Doctors are more inclined to treat the patient, whereas nurses treat the patient and also deal with other aspects of the patient's life. For example, a doctor would diagnosis the cancer and prescribe treatments. Nurses educate the patient, find ways to educate the patient's family, and broaden the scope for overall patient care.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A nurse practitioner is trained from a nursing perspective and a physician's assistant is trained as physicians are trained but without the internship or residency. Both are very valuable in the medical field. Pay can be very close to equal depending on which state you intend to practice. In some states NPs can practice independently. In other states, they require physician supervision as do PAs.

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  • 3 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    A physician's assistant (PA) is trained to diagnose, administer medications, write prescriptions, and counsel with patients under the supervision of an MD.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    they do the same thing only the pay is different

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