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NP/PA opening in CA - Why does the NP command a higher salary?

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I have observed that the forums take interest in PA/NP disparity.  Note this ad I found on CL for a position in San Mateo.  It's not a huge difference in salary, but it seems completely arbitrary...

 

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/hea/4225471844.html

 

 

BAART Programs is a leader in providing substance abuse treatment programs and primary care to people in need throughout the State of California, Vermont, Nebraska, Arizona and North Carolina. 

We are currently seeking a full-time or part-time Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Physician Assistant (PA) for our San Mateo clinic. 

Full-time equivalent annualized salary for the Nurse Practitioner position will be $91,670 or more, depending on experience.

Full-time equivalent annualized salary for the Physician Assistant position will be $89,000 or more, depending on experience.

 

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I have observed that the forums take interest in PA/NP disparity.  Note this ad I found on CL for a position in San Mateo.  It's not a huge difference in salary, but it seems completely arbitrary...

 

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/hea/4225471844.html

 

 

BAART Programs is a leader in providing substance abuse treatment programs and primary care to people in need throughout the State of California, Vermont, Nebraska, Arizona and North Carolina. 

 

We are currently seeking a full-time or part-time Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Physician Assistant (PA) for our San Mateo clinic. 

 

Full-time equivalent annualized salary for the Nurse Practitioner position will be $91,670 or more, depending on experience.

 

Full-time equivalent annualized salary for the Physician Assistant position will be $89,000 or more, depending on experience.

 

that is nothing but pure discrimination!!! it is illegal!!!

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it is very common in northern california due to a strong nurses union there. the regular rn's can write stuff into their hospital contracts(which HR folks honor) like "all pa positions will be offered at lower salary rates than all np position and nps shall have first offering for any new position".

this has been going on there for decades. one reason I left.

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that's just crazy

 

Nurses know how to play the game and there is an endless number of them.  If you want an advantage over your counterparts, just govern yourselves and get your members filling administrative roles so that you can make those types of decisions.

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I said almost 20 years ago that the NPs were positioning themselves to create the assumption (but not connected to reality) that NPs are on a tier above PAs.  Simply they have succeeded. You have to applaud them. PAs have allowed this perception to be perpetrated.  It appears that every new federal law is written, lumping MDs, DOs and NPs together and then PAs, RNs, and etc. in a lower tier. Then, it seems, we start this fight at the last minute to be included in the top tier, but are marginally included at the last minute. 

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I said almost 20 years ago that the NPs were positioning themselves to create the assumption (but not connected to reality) that NPs are on a tier above PAs.  Simply they have succeeded. You have to applaud them. PAs have allowed this perception to be perpetrated.  It appears that every new federal law is written, lumping MDs, DOs and NPs together and then PAs, RNs, and etc. in a lower tier. Then, it seems, we start this fight at the last minute to be included in the top tier, but are marginally included at the last minute. 

 

PAs, IMO, tend to be kind of lazy when it comes to organizing. no one wants to bother. it seems to come from an attitude of entitlement. that's my observation (and I am a PA!). :)

 

but that aside, I think if I were applying for a position like this, and offered the job, I would name my rate of pay (as I always do), but would add that whatever their counter-offer was it would have to be the same as that for an NP, as any discrepancy does represent discrimination, and discrimination is illegal.

 

it would be the same as a job posting which said, "men applicants will be offered $120K/year; women, 90K". same job, same qualifications; it makes no sense, and it is discriminatory. and discrimination is JUST NOT LEGAL.

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PAs, IMO, tend to be kind of lazy when it comes to organizing. no one wants to bother. it seems to come from an attitude of entitlement. that's my observation (and I am a PA!). :)

 

but that aside, I think if I were applying for a position like this, and offered the job, I would name my rate of pay (as I always do), but would add that whatever their counter-offer was it would have to be the same as that for an NP, as any discrepancy does represent discrimination, and discrimination is illegal.

 

it would be the same as a job posting which said, "men applicants will be offered $120K/year; women, 90K". same job, same qualifications; it makes no sense, and it is discriminatory. and discrimination is JUST NOT LEGAL.

I totally agree with you that this is discrimination.  However, unlike other discriminations, it is legal.  It is frustrating and I fight this discrimination every day and have had to fight hard as a practice owner, but it is legal. We do need to do a much better job of communicating who we are and dispelling that connotation that we are not only physician-lite but now often seen as NP-lite.

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It seems to me that discriminating between PAs and NPs, in and of itself, is perfectly reasonable.  The education processes are not the same, and therefore it's perfectly reasonable to require or desire one above the other.  Further, a lot of the laws currently on the books make it perfectly reasonable to desire an NP over a PA in certain situations (if they want a practitioner with greater legal autonomy, for instance).

 

That being said, I was still flabbergasted to see the salary discrepancy.  There is likely some personal bias at play in this (I'm a PA student), but if there is going to be a salary discrepancy, it seems to me that it would make more sense for it to favor the PA.  Seems our educational model is more conducive to producing quality medical practitioners.  THAT being said, to me it will always depend on the specific PA or NP in question.  I know brilliant, quality NPs and crap PAs--and vice versa.

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I bet no one here would say anything if the PA salary was listed higher than the NP's

 

 

 

Just being the devil's advocate :)

 

I would likely have positive things to say.

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I don't know the California laws, but if NPs there require less supervision, chart review, etc then that would require less physician time and would translate into more money for the NP?

 

Or maybe an ad like that is their way of saying they prefer an NP for whatever reason.

 

Is malpractice cheaper for NPs?  Perhaps that could account for the difference.

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It's the union, plus a lot of lobbying money, plus projecting an image of being "better". People are sheep. PAs don't have that kind of money or organization to promote who we are and what we do. I find that a lot of people prefer PAs where I work (and I work with a nurse practitioner) but that is pretty rare.

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Well, our organization has a satellite clinic with a NP Office Director and I found her in a few mistakes on my first day filling in there for a few gaps, which she did not take well at all. She nastily berated me on patho and diagnostics until I opened Current and showed her what correct procedure was. She huffily said, "what book is this", I looked down at her, said "it's yours" and put it back on her shelf. I don't think she's ever opened it in her life while mine is tearing apart due to so much use. Here, let me help you take your foot out of your mouth. She even had the nerve to refer to me as 'her PA." I just stared at her in disbelief, thinking, 'sorry, did I miss something somewhere, have you gone to Medical School somewhere?' I'm a Physician Associate/Assistant, not a NP Associate/Assistant. I brought all these points up to the CEO and guess who they turned around and hired to work there ... a longtime PA with loads of hospital experience, her resume shreds mine to pieces. That's gonna be sommmme fireworks! All in the best interests of patients and life is learning for everyone so as long as patient care remains the top priority then we'll be fine. Not sure about her but whatever. Hopefully the female thing will be good between the two of them and they'll become a strong team. Pretty sure who the Office Manager is going to be tho and that's probably going to be such an ego pop that they'll end up having to hire a second provider. Who knows, we'll see.

As to that job ad, it might be due to the PA going on the MD/DOs malpractice while the NP might have to pay for their own, just a thought.

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Hemegroup! The very same shenanigans happened to me! An NP was hired in our clinic, and somehow, magically became the "Medical Director" and later the CAO in a few months (how, you ask? Well, let's just say that the owner of the place is male, and the NP is a female...) and this NP and I went toe to toe on a patient; The NP saw the patient first, diagnosed a FUO, then told the patient to go to the ER the next day when the patient did not get better. I saw the patient instead the next day and diagnosed her correctly. The NP then went all ballistic and called a Stanford doc to get a diagnosis- and guess what? The Stanford "expert" corroborated my diagnosis, complete with a study she just did. The NP STILL insisted that I missed the diagnosis and I copied the chart just to cover myself in the future. This NP also asked me if I was aware that she was my boss. I said no, my SP is my boss. Well, the NP's ego was quite hurt at that. Good luck to you with your situation. I find that NPs who are threatened by PAs tend to get predatory...

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