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Physician Assistant vs. Nurse Practitioner

Physicians Assistants are generalists. Nurse Practitioners can be either generalists or specialists. This will depend on the area of the field they are practicing in. States have different exams for the specialty programs and these must be passed to allow the NP to perform those specific duties.

Physician Assistant  and Nurse Practitioner

Physician Assistant vs. Nurse Practitioner


A_nurse practitioner has furthered their education from RN to a Masters degree in the field. Each state has its own laws as to what procedures a nurse practitioner can perform. There are states in which the Nurse Practitioner can perform independently. An RN applying for further education to become an NP will have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They must also have passed the NCLEX-RN examination.

A Physician Assistant must take part in an accredited program. The American Academy of Physicians Assistants is the governing agency for accreditation. Upon completion of your bachelor’s degree, the normal programs are two years in length. Once the education is complete, the potential PA must take and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. This particular exam is only available to those candidates that are graduates of one on the accredited programs. Read more: Difference Between Nurse Practitioner NP and Physician Assistant PA

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