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RN to PA with a stop at Health Management first

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Hi folks - this is my first post, so if this sort of thing has already been covered, my apologies.


I'm a pre-PA student, in the process of a career change. I decided a few years back on a career change to healthcare (from nonprofit management), and entered nursing school to get things started. In my second year (ASN program), I realized that although I love healthcare, nursing was not the right fit for me, and that being a PA would be a better fit. I completed the program successfully, but decided not to take my boards and instead to continue working in the same position in nonprofit management that I was in before/during nursing school.


For most of the PA programs that I have looked at (which is a limited pool; hoping for something within driving distance in central New England), a bachelor's degree is required, which I don't have (once upon a time, I was a film student, but left school and began working for nonprofits instead). In order to maintain my position at work, I found an online option for completion of my Bachelor's as a part of my prep for PA school that seems to make a lot of sense - a Bachelor's in Healthcare Management at Northeastern University (sort of like business school with a focus on healthcare). Their tagline is about combining one's interest in care with their passion for business. I like that. I have a natural interest in business and, good or bad, the business side determines a lot of what happens in healthcare and with patients, so it seems like a good fit for my needs and interests. It's a fast track program, so I'll be done in 18 months; depending on the rigor of the program (which starts in September), I may take other prereqs for PA school (organic chem, etc) concurrently or when the program is completed.


Ideally, when I am done with this and then PA school, I will have three distinct perspectives: that of the RN, that of the administrator, and that of the PA. I think it will be valuable to me and serve as an asset, but I'm curious about others' feedback.



  • Are there any other RN to PAs out there who didn't practice as nurses?
  • Does it seem worthwhile to get the business perspective while finishing my Bachelor's, or in light of the prereqs I need to take, would it make more sense to finish my Bachelor's with a science (bio or chem) concentration?
  • Are there any PA students out there who wish there was more focus on the business side of things that will impact how they practice?


Any feedback would be appreciated!

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  • 6 months later...

Title: The First Annual Pre-Healthcare Interdisciplinary Seminar


Location: Wayne State University Student Center (5221 Gullen Mall, Detroit, Michigan 48202)

Room 289 Conference Room - 2nd Floor.


Time: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Michigan Physician Assistant Foundation (MIPAF) is hosting this seminar to help prospective PA students learn more about the PA profession, roles of the PA on the healthcare team and how it is changing as well, changing laws and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the PA profession. We will also be discussing application improvement resources, and ways to help your PA program application shine.

We would love to have as many Pre-PA students to learn more about the profession, current PA students, and seasoned PAs in the audience to answer questions of the pre-PAs. At the end of the seminar, we would like to offer a Q & A session with access to the current PA students and seasoned PAs as a resource in the audience.

Questions will most likely focus on getting accepted to a PA program, application questions, and application improvement inquiries, maybe even community service locations.


Kathy Dobbs PA-C - President of Michigan Physician Assistant Foundation (MIPAF) ----- Speaking about MIPAF history and mission.

Bob Ross PA-C - MIPAF Secretary & Owner of Triad Diagnostics ----- Speaking on the changing laws of healthcare as they impact PAs.

James Frick PA-C - Speaking on the roles of PAs on the healthcare team and on the various roles a PA can partake.

Lindsay Gietzen PA-C - WSU PA Program Professor - Speaking on getting accepted to a PA program, how to make your application stand out, red flags to be aware of when applying to programs.

Tentative Speaker: Angela Braun PA-S - MIPAF Marketing Director & Owner of Braun Medical Marketing --- Speaking on research conducted on Affordable Care Act and its impact on the PA profession - for better or worse. Also, community service resources, and application readiness.

We have invited the WSU Pre-PA society, Pre-Healthcare Interactive Student Organization (PISO), and UDM Pre-PA group.

We also invited the current WSU PA classes of 2014, 2015, & 2016 to help these prospective students on their path to understanding the PA profession.


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I'm confused. If you didn't sit for your boards then you're not an RN (you're not 'registered' anywhere, you don't have a license). You have an associates in nursing but you can't call yourself an RN on your application. I am not trying to nitpick, but I would caution you from saying that you're an RN anywhere on your application, lest it come back to bite you. I think you can definitely talk about the nursing field, nursing education, etc., however, be sure to say you have a "nursing perspective" that you want to combine and not the perspective of an RN. I think actually sitting for your boards and getting your RN license would really, really help you for PA school admissions. Since it appears that PA schools really like RNs, from what I've read on this site. Best of luck with whatever you do!

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