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Answered 2010-08-22 16:17:25

No, a physician assistant and nurse practitioner are educated very differently. Physician assistnats are educated in medicine and practice medicine with physicians. nurse practitioners practice advanced nursing and they practice their trade under the oversight of a physician. NP's study nursing theory adn the social aspects of medicine. the programs are less science based than PA's which are purely science, diagnostics, and treatment. NP's undergo about 600 hours of didactic/classroom training (sometimes online distance learning) and average 600-700 hours of clinical training in an area of focus. PA's. undergo over 1500 hours of full-time didactic/classroom training and over 2100 hours of clinical training. PA school also requires science pre-requisites that are similar to medical school. Nursing usually requires that the person be an RN and statistics are highly recommended (and sometimes required). I persued my DNP because I wasn't as intersted in hard science courses that were required for pre-requsites to PA school. It's a softer approach academically, but just as effective clinically with less complicated patients. I feel good about addressing each patients care both medically as part of a team and socially/holistically (similar to a social worker) more independently. the nursing tract also offers more opportunity for administrative type jobs because of different tracts. I have a teaching appointment, clinical appointment and administrative appointment at the hosptital that I work. The PA's seem to be more like the doctors in practice. To each their own. In some settings their is probably little difference in how they practice.

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