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Good afternoon everyone. My name is Daniel. I am an EKG Technician. I've been in college earning credits towards a Registered Nursing program which I'm planning on attending this August. This program has a lot to offer especially in the fact that it is taking place at a teaching hospital. My true ambition, however, is becoming a Physician's Assistant. I have been very conflicted regarding this decision because I've read in certain articles that there are some PA programs out there which prefer applicants have an RN lisence.  While others say they do not require it. Apart from that aspect, I understand that as an RN I'll be learning valuable bedside clinical experience. But yet I think to myself, why wouldn't I spend my time doing online courses necessary to enrolling into a PA program until I earn a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Science? While working part time getting my clinical hours as an EKG Technician or a Medical Assistant which I am also certified in. I would like to know some of your expeirences as new PA students. How many of you were nursing students before you made the decision to transition into a PA program as a career? Would you recommend a prospective student become a nurse before even considering becoming a PA? Or would it be better to comfortably go to school while working part time? I am thinking about this logically. 

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I was not a nurse but i worked in nursing for years as an CNA to gain patient care experience. If you were to become an RN, the most logistic way to gain autonomy is to become an NP. Alot of NP programs you are able to do online, from what I know they do not require clinical year because they are based on the fact that you have been a bedside nurse for years. If your true passion is to be a PA, then do that! get your bachelors in something like biology, health science, etc. get your hours as an EKG tech and apply! everyone is different when going to PA school and there definitely are some RN--> PAs, however It is not common due to the NP route. There are no schools that i know of that REQUIRE a RN lisence. 

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3 hours ago, PAgirl199 said:

I was not a nurse but i worked in nursing for years as an CNA to gain patient care experience. If you were to become an RN, the most logistic way to gain autonomy is to become an NP. Alot of NP programs you are able to do online, from what I know they do not require clinical year because they are based on the fact that you have been a bedside nurse for years. If your true passion is to be a PA, then do that! get your bachelors in something like biology, health science, etc. get your hours as an EKG tech and apply! everyone is different when going to PA school and there definitely are some RN--> PAs, however It is not common due to the NP route. There are no schools that i know of that REQUIRE a RN lisence. 

until fairly recently the program in N Dakota only took RNs. They now take folks from other backgrounds as well. UC Davis and Stanford used to have dual PA/NP programs only open to nurses. That option no longer exists. 

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First, it’s physician assistant. No ‘s. Hopefully the title change will pass and we’ll be working on “medical care practitioner” soon.

I am an RN to PA. It’s good to have a back up where you can earn good money, clinical hours, and good experience. It makes you a more competitive applicant and can open other admin doors if you decide clinical medicine is not for you. However, if you know your goal is PA, then I wouldn’t bother if you have good grades and a decent shot at acceptance. 

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On 1/18/2021 at 7:16 PM, PAgirl199 said:

I was not a nurse but i worked in nursing for years as an CNA to gain patient care experience. If you were to become an RN, the most logistic way to gain autonomy is to become an NP. Alot of NP programs you are able to do online, from what I know they do not require clinical year because they are based on the fact that you have been a bedside nurse for years. If your true passion is to be a PA, then do that! get your bachelors in something like biology, health science, etc. get your hours as an EKG tech and apply! everyone is different when going to PA school and there definitely are some RN--> PAs, however It is not common due to the NP route. There are no schools that i know of that REQUIRE a RN lisence. 

Granted I’ve not looked at all of them, but I don’t know a single NP program that doesn’t have a clinical component..

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5 hours ago, FiremedicMike said:

Granted I’ve not looked at all of them, but I don’t know a single NP program that doesn’t have a clinical component..

A few years ago there were still some that allowed the student to set up their own rotations. Other than that, I think most now have requirements of at least 500 hours. 

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21 hours ago, EMEDPA said:

A few years ago there were still some that allowed the student to set up their own rotations. Other than that, I think most now have requirements of at least 500 hours. 

Yeah setting up your own preceptors is a terrible thing.

That said, I do think it’s pertinent to mention that because NP requires an RN (even the direct entry programs start out with RN before starting NP stuff), there’s also several hundred hours of clinical there.  I certainly respect that those aren’t at the provider level, but you can’t deny that those hours aren’t helpful in developing patient rapport and assessment skills.  
 

Big picture, while I certainly agree that even 1000 hours isn’t really enough, I’ve always taken slight issue with people stating NP programs exist that only require 600 hours.  I think it’s forgotten that there’s probably double that once you include RN clinical.. 

 

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I am an engineer looking to transition into a mid-level care role (NP or PA). The NP route has far fewer barriers to entry and there are more programs but after talking to a handful of NPs in my area (south-central US) the job market is horrific, like 2-3 years to find a FT position. PAs seem to have an easier time because there are far fewer of them. If it were me, I do not think I'd complete the nursing degree to become a PA. To me if you end up with a BSN then you should get an NP but thats also counter-intuitive to my previous sentence so I just don't know.

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