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PA or NP coming from BSN (RN) background

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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.




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 


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To be honest I would suggest NP.


We all know the education is much weaker (on average) than PA education. And you'll be lumped into a profession where other NPs have risen to the same level via online programs... sigh.


Its sad to say but NPs have an advantage over PAs today. The PA profession is starting to get on par with NPs but I fear we will always be trying to catch up. NPs have independence in numerous states, which doesn't really mean a whole lot when it comes to practicing, but in the political realm it means everything. I personally think PAs will continue to struggle in the political realm until we change the A in PA. But that's another discussion for another time.


Ultimately, with the NP program you will be able to spend more time with your family and depending on the program you will be able to work while you are in school. Tuition will likely be cheaper, and depending on what specialty you take you will get relatively the same pay as a PA, in some cases maybe more. Since you have a background in psych you could to psychiatric nurse practitioner, and make bank.


I commend you for wanting to go to PA school for a more thorough education, but to be practical and realistic, go NP.


Good luck, and let us know what you decide to do.

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Agree with Corpsman that NP is the quicker and cheaper route for you, but you mention being uncertain of what specialty you want to work in.  So, PA would give you the broadest exposure to specialties.  Also, many PAs work independently/autonomously.  I've worked in several places only knowing my SP on paper.  NPs may have independence in many states, but that doesn't mean they are 100% on their own either.  In the end you can find independent jobs with either, as well as micromanaged jobs.  If it is truly a thorough education you want, then go PA.  You could also consider going NP and then a residency for more specialized education. 

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