Nurse Practitioners vs Physician Assistants

Nurse Practitioners vs Physician Assistants

Nurse Practitioners vs Physician Assistants

Are you interested in the healthcare industry? Debating on becoming a Nurse Practitioner vs Physician Assistant? Weighing your options is always a good idea before committing to a career choice. Both options have great benefits in a strong and thriving field. We have put together some information for you to contrast the two and see which is the best fit for you.

Nurse Practitioner vs Physician assistant


NP and PA’s have many differences. First, and most importantly, an NP attends nursing school and a PA attends medical school. NP’s focus on a patient-centered model (disease prevention and health education – handle assessment, diagnosis and treatment) of medicine while PA’s focus on a disease-centered model (biological and pathologic components of health – assessment, diagnosis and treatment). One other major difference between the two professions is that a physician assistant must practice under the supervision of a physician. This means that they might perform tasks without a physician directly watching, but it is always under the authority of their supervising physician. Nurse practitioner’s have a little more freedom, or less supervision, than a physician assistant. They can work more independently or with no supervision by a physician based on laws and location of the practice. Schedules are another factor. Due to the supervision of a physician, physician assistants often have similar hours to the physician they are dependent on. Nurse practitioner’s can choose to have longer hours, or hours that are more of their own rather than paralleled to their supervisor. Based on your personality, one profession may fit one other the other. Nurse practitioners typically choose a specialty whereas physician assistants can be more general. If you enjoy the overall work of medicine, a physician assistant may be the more attractive option for you. If you focus on one particular specialty, consider looking into becoming a nurse practitioner.

If you are thrive on structure, direction and team-based environments, a physician assistant would be the perfect choice. If you enjoy working more independently and enjoy a flexible schedule, a nurse practitioner would be the job that fits you. Read on in the articles below to learn more about the differences between PA’s and NP’s.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner or physician assistant and want to search available opportunities, visit Allied Staffing Network. Allied Staffing Network is a healthcare recruitment firm offering permanent placement services for nursing and allied health professionals. We are a division of THMED, LLC, a complete healthcare staffing solutions company. ASN assists advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, CRNAs, occupational and physical therapists, and a myriad of other allied health professionals in securing practice opportunities throughout the country.

The above information is gathered from the Allied Staffing Network Compensation Survey, Gap Medics, Nurse Practitioner Schools and the Washington Post.

2 thoughts on “Nurse Practitioners vs Physician Assistants
  1. Khorae Olivier says:

    I like how you talked about the many differences between nurse practitioners and physician assistants. I had no idea that physician assistants attend medical school and focus on a disease-centered model of treatment. Thank you for the information about how physician assistants are more general with their knowledge and work directly with physicians, while nurse practitioners will work with oversight but generally on their own and often have a specialty. It’s really fascinating!

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