Thus the PA profession was born, with NPs being established soon after. No previous license is needed, unlike in the case of a nurse practitioner. Learners typically must meet a minimum GPA requirement, usually around 3.0. They share many of the same duties and responsibilities: writing prescriptions, developing treatment plans, ordering tests. The following organizations can provide PAs with many helpful benefits, including events, seminars, and opportunities for professional development and networking. This allows them to work in any field of medicine right after graduation, although specific residencies for PAs are available for further postgraduate training. Both of these professionals can treat patients and perform some of the functions of a doctor, such as prescribing medications, and often work for some of the same healthcare systems. One of the main differences between these two professions can be seen in the different ways they approach patient care, as well as the training they receive through the different practice models used to prepare professionals for clinical practice. The time available for a student to devote to education is also a factor, as PAs may start their careers with considerably less practical training than an NP. A PA, however, may need to be supervised by a licensed physician (LP). Learners focus on pharmacology, advanced health assessment, and pathophysiology. projected job growth of 37 percent for PAs in the years leading up to 2026. In most states, they are required to have a form of collaborative agreement with a physician, yet they still practice with a great deal of autonomy on a day-to-day basis. After earning their master’s degrees, PA and NP graduates must pursue licensure and pass national certification exams before they can practice professionally. The choice of a nurse practitioner vs. physician assistants career depends on the level of independence desired after graduation. Meredith specializes in out-of-hospital birth, lactation support, and childbirth education. Meredith Wallis, CNM, NP is a certified nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Both positions require a graduate education, but NPs generally pursue master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees, and PAs earn master’s in physician assistant studies degrees. Nurse Practitioner vs Physician Assistant. The approach in patient care is also different for these two professions. If they want to practice in a different field later on, they must undergo additional training and certification to change specialities. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are positioned to provide essential care to patients. They can run their own clinics and may check in with physicians as infrequently as just a few times a month. Learn more about how you can pursue a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner by visiting Nursing@USC, the online Master of Science in Nursing from USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing. Physician Assistant vs. Family Practice Physician (updated ) *Programs vary and the following represents averages for each vocation. Nurse practitioners tend to have a long-term approach to working with patients. PAs are certified through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and must pass a national certification exam. Relevant clinical experience for PA master’s applicants can include previous work as an RN, nursing assistant, paramedic, or EMT. Admission materials commonly include official undergraduate transcripts, a completed application, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a current resume.