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  1. Hi everyone, I am having a bit of a dilemma! I am currently a student at a small community college in Maine. I started in 2015 and got my Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting a year ago this past May. I became certified through the AAMA and started working right away. I worked as a float in rheumatology, neurology, family practice, and OMT specialty. All very beneficial to gaining the knowledge I now have. I initially got my MA degree so I could start taking classes towards my bachelors degree and I would also have a job that would get my patient contact hours that I needed to apply to the PA program. I then realized that school was expensive and got the idea I should apply to nursing school since my school already offered the program and it is very affordable ($92 a credit hour- I am able to pay out of pocket!). I just completed my first year of the nursing program and have one year left before getting my RN degree. I like nursing and think that it takes a very special person to be a nurse- it is not easy! When I decided to go for nursing I let go of the PA dream and figured that I could take baby steps and get my NP degree. First my ADN, then BSN, and then NP. I was offered a paid summer nursing intern position at our local hospital. I have been working as a Tech in ER and floating around shadowing different nursing positions. They do this to help recruitment and allow students to see what they might like when they graduate. Often they offer students a per diem Tech position while they finish their last year of nursing school. I have gotten to work side by side with PAs, NPs, MDs, DOs, through this program and my MA work. I now still feel very passionately that I want to become a PA. I like the training that PA's get versus NP's, I do not like online course work that most NP programs offer. My learning style is more lecture, take notes, study those notes! After talking with a recent NP grad I was a little upset to learn they only practiced 2 hours of suturing in her program (her FNP program was live, not online). From what I have heard NP's don't cover a lot of technical training that a PA does. Ideally I would like to work in an acute care setting such as the ER as a midlevel. This leads me to another point, PAs have so much mobility they can go wherever whenever they wish. They don't have to specialize in certain age groups or settings. If I went to be an NP I definitely feel I would have to go to become an Acute Care NP. Down the road if I ever decided I wanted to go into a different specialty I would have to take a post masters certification. I also like that PA's get more experience in different areas during clinical. NP's do have a lot of experience as you must hold a valid RN license and have been an RN for a couple years, but they don't the same clinical experience that a PA does. The nursing model is good, but I don't love nursing everything is theory theory theory. I like the medical model- what it causing the problem and treat it! I feel as a PA you can still be holistic and treat the person as whole like NP schools emphasize. A conversation about diet and exercise with you patient is not going to hurt. Many people have told me that since I am going to be a nurse I should just go the NP route and as great as that could be it doesn't sound right. My opinion is that becoming a nurse will look good as patient experience coupled with my MA and Tech experience. I don't feel like I have wasted time and that I am learning A LOT! My next step is to figure out how to get a bachelors degree for PA school. Most pre-PA programs grant graduates with a biology degree. This is where I am torn- do I get my BSN online in a year or so or do I get a different degree. The online BSN program gives me a lot of versatility in work schedule as a nurse and then I will have to take my bio 1+2, chem 1+2, Organic chem, stats, and a few other pre-reqs for the PA program I am looking at. Or should I try and use both of my associate degrees towards a bachelors and see what degree I can get that would include the pre-reqs, basically skipping the BSN. I feel as though getting a BSN would be a waste of time, but I don't know if my previous classes will count towards any bachelors other than that. I guess then that there is always the question of not getting into PA school, at least I would still be an RN. I could then figure out where to go from there. Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all. ? Best, Tyler P.
  2. Hi there! New to the community - I finally decided to make an account after reading through a ton of helpful forum posts ? Currently struggling with what to do to set myself up in the best way for PA school. I am 23 and just graduated two weeks ago with a B.S. of Health Science and during my final final exam week came to the realization that pursuing MD/DO wasn't the right match for me given my personal aspirations (family, time, etc.). I started off my freshman year getting 4.0s in every class, then had a drastic drop in my late sophomore/entire junior year GPA. I made the decision to transfer home to reground and refocus on my priorities. Following this, my grades improved significantly. I finished with a overall 3.38 cGPA at my second university, however my prior schooling and repeats of a handful of classes left me with an overall cGPA 2.99 and sGPA of 2.82 - which is obviously making me feel discouraged? Currently, I am set to be accepted to an 1-year accelerated nursing program starting in May 2019 to become an RN. I also got accepted to Case Western's Medical Physiology master's program and am waiting to hear back on one other MS program. I am leaning toward becoming an RN as I'm thinking this would give me more purpose and satisfaction in work rather than struggling to find a medical job without having any certification until I can further my education/career. I am also not sure how much benefit a general science master's degree would have overall or when applying to PA programs and, with that being said, given the cost of getting a masters...I'm hesitant to commit. The last two bonuses of being an RN, I'd be able to get my finances together and some quality HCE for a couple years before pursuing PA school. SO, my questions and confusion: Most important --> 1) What is the best way of raising my GPA and chances for PA school? Taking general or upper level sciences? Technically my GPA would bump up by doing the nursing program, however a few of my PA pre-reqs are low even after a couple repeats so I am concerned about this. 2) Should I repeat my pre-reqs? I noticed some schools say that you have to have taken these classes within 6 years of applying. By the time I apply, some of my pre-reqs will be past this and I would have to retake them anyway if this is the case. Am I not understanding this correctly? 3) What are thoughts on pursuing master's programs in relation to PA school? Benefits? Has anyone done this and would you do it again if you had the choice? Here are my stats again: cGPA: 2.99 // sGPA: 2.82 // GRE: v - 154/65th percentile, q - 153/51st percentile, w - 3.5 // Current paid HCE: 432 // Volunteer HCE: 652 I'm sorry this is long, but I am open to any and all words of advice anyone is willing to offer! Hopefully, this will help others as well - I've read a lot of uplifting forums that give me hope that it is still possible to achieve our goals! Thank you to all in advance!
  3. I am RN with bachelor's, a mom to a 2 year old (family). I have 1 year experience in psychiatric nursing and 2 years in Med-surg. I had made my decision to go PA route with keeping these following things in mind ( on-campus education, more clinical hour in training while in school, medical model of studying, status quo of working under a physician rather than even after NP be considered a Nurse). PA route entails me to be able to apply to limited schools (1 or 2) due to family obligation and spouse not wanting to move. To retake all pre-requisite since mine are post 9 year mark + apply in next cycle of 2018. Still do not guarantee admission since my eggs most likely will be in one basket. Not to mention the cost and time applied into it. Vs. NP school i can get started in a year. With minimum admission or pre-requisites needed on my side and less hardship on family. But i am not inclined towards the nursing model nor i have clue over how these NP function on getting a Masters degree online. I am lost on the speciality that i might be interested in making a career out of later in life. I want to work in a well paying job (job is well compensated by counting good hours, no overtime, good benefits. A job where i can balance family responsibilities as well as a fulfilling career ( challenges me on intellectual level, keeps things interesting). I don't think working independently/ autonomy matters too much but i hate micro-management (who doesn't) but love discipline (ex-military/vet). I have only worked in two fields of nursing so highly unsure if i can work under pressure in ER or critical care setting. I did well in psych. P.S i am very empathetic person, with Type B hoping to be Type A personality. Like things neat and organized at all times. Would really appreciate help and advice on navigating a career path. Thanking you all
  4. Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone has any advice on working with one's spouse. My husband is an RN, about to join my ER where I've been a PA for a few years. He has prior ER experience and will do great. We're in our early 30s, been married a few years now. I'm a little anxious about it only because it's uncharted territory for us. [side note, another position isn't an option right now, and he's already accepted and excited about it before anyone jumps in and says "just don't"... ;) ] Thanks for any insight!
  5. Hi, I'm currently a senior in high school and I'm interested in entering the medical field and becoming a future PA. Before I start applying for colleges, I would like to know all of the necessary requirements, classes, prerequisites, etc. that I would need before applying for PA school. What should I major in? Would I be at an advantage if I was an RN for a few years and then go on to PA school? Any advice you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  6. Hi all - new to the forum and wanting to dip my feet in and get some general advice. I am an RN in my late twenties and have finally (after about 7 years) decided to commit to going back to become a PA. Please trust me when I say I have weighed all of my options between NP/PA/MD, and this path is the right one for me. I am now looking for more general advice on prospective schools. Tuition and cost of living is one of my higher concerns, as I am single and will have to take out financial aid for not only tuition but cost of living as well. I already am going through the ridiculous debt from a BA in psychology and a BSN; it will be paid off before I go to school and I have managed it well, but just like everyone else, I'd ideally like to keep costs as low as possible. I plan on contacting my admissions counselors with my questions, but I'm also curious if there's any specific schools that particularly "like" registered nurses in their programs. Any advice on programs that seem like they may fit my needs is appreciated! I of course plan on doing much more intensive research on these, but I do like to get the direct .02 of other applicants/students/graduates. Thanks so much!
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