(Closed) Any PA or NP bees out there? Career advice needed!

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
7905 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

SeeingSunshine:  I’m not an NP or PA, but I recall that to be an NP, you actually have to be a registered nurse first. After the bachelors degree, PAs go to PA school, which consists of lectures and then clinical rotations, sort of like physicians but a truncated version of the training.

Once you’re done with the schooling in either, you have the opportunity to focus on what you’d like, but I’m sure there are general requirements on the breadth of experience in your rotations. Have you done any job shadowing with NP/PA midlevels? I think that will help you most in deciding if that’s the career path for you. 

Post # 3
1624 posts
Bumble bee

SeeingSunshine:  NP here who works in derm/cosmetic medicine. PP is correct that you need to be an RN before you can become an NP, and some schools require you to practice for at least a year as an RN before you get accepted into an NP program. There are tons of programs out there and depending on where you live and which school you apply to, you might get into a DEM (direct entry master’s), but where I went to school this wasn’t the case. You are interested in the 2 most popular specialties and I’ll be honest it will be incredibly difficult to land a position with either without previous experience or an inside connection.

My husband is a PA and getting accepted into a PA program is much more difficult than NP. He does start at a higher pay scale than I do even though we both work mainly in the OR. He works for a large hospital and I work for a private clinic. His schedule is much more demanding and he works many more nights, weekends and holidays than I do. He works in cardiothoracic surgery, and I know you said you preferred to avoid the OR, that is where you can stand to make the most money as a PA unless you open your own practice. Feel free to DM me with any other questions. 


Post # 4
30 posts
  • Wedding: July 2017

Hi! I am currently in PA school and I’m graduating in August 2016. The ladies above explained the differences quite well. Let me know if you have any specific questions. 

Post # 5
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Hi! I can only speak on the behalf of the NP..I am an almost NP (graduating Monday!! Taking the boards in a month ahh). The PP’s are correct. You must be an RN, which can be obtained by receiving your BSN or you can get an associates degree and then do what they call a bridge to the Masters (MSN). No matter the degree behind the RN even if a different degree is issued, nursing school is hard!! I found it harder than the masters component, but perhaps that’s because I had my RN education supporting me this time! The rotations can be quite grueling, but the rewards are so sweet. I love being a nurse, and I will agree with the other poster that said most NP programs want you to practice as a nurse. One key difference I have observed is that because we are RNs as well, our focus in practice is composed of the nursing model of care, which is often  little different from the medical model. 

Just to give you a quick summary, I did my bachelors in health science first, which gave me a taste of the healthcare system. Then I went to a direct entry BSN/ MSN program and once I became an RN, i worked as an RN as I did the MSN over 2 years, as all NPs have to take several courses in pathophysiology, pharmacology, management, health assessment, nursing theory etc etc. This was crucial and allowed me the opportunity to discover my true passion in nursing, and helped me decide how to specialize. I also got to learn so much in the RN position and will plan to remain per diem in my RN job because I just enjoy it so much. To be qualified to sit the board, you must perform 600 hours in several sub specialities. My specialization is family Psych, so I acquired Geri, adult and pedi hours. The role itself has so many positives! (As does a PA!!!!) as cliche as it sounds, you get to make a difference in ones life as an RN, NP, PA. the job prospects are quite good. I myself am joining a private practice, but there are so many possibilities! Perhaps it would be helpful to tour a nearby nursing program so you can see what you could do, firsthand. PM me with any qs!

Post # 7
30 posts
  • Wedding: July 2017

SeeingSunshine:  PAs take the recertification exam (PANRE:Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam) every 10 years. Both NP and PA are great and rewarding professions, but they are different. The following links will inform you more and better about the PA profession:




Let me know if you have more questions. 


Post # 8
182 posts
Blushing bee


The topic ‘Any PA or NP bees out there? Career advice needed!’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors