What’s the Difference Between NP and PA Certification Exams?

I work with a number of physician assistants in the emergency department. We function in the same capacity, our employer not making a nurse practitioner vs. physician assistant distinction. Although our work looks the same, I have noticed a few differences between myself, an NP, and my PA colleagues. From time to time, for example, the physician assistants I work with take time off to attend board review conferences and study for recertification. As an NP, however, I am not required to take a test to re-certify. In what ways do NP and PA certification differ?

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Where are Physician Assistant Salaries Decreasing?

Over the past several weeks here on MidlevelU, we've been looking at the latest salary trends for nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Depending on the location where you practice, compensation can vary significantly if you're an NP or PA. Cost of living, the job market and scope of practice laws in your state are just a few of the factors affecting pay. Last week we checked out states where physician assistant salaries have increased more than $10K. But, where is compensation for PAs decreasing?

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Salaries for Physician Assistants Increased More than $10K in These States

Its widely established that physician assistants have a pretty good gig. The profession, for example, has been featured on well known ranking sites like U.S. News. While salaries for PAs are solid at the national level, some states stand out as being more favorable environments for physician assistants to practice. 

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6 Worst States for Physician Assistants

Last week we talked scope of practice regulations for physician assistants here on the MidlevelU blog. While the physician assistant career looks similar in many ways for PAs across the country, state laws do affect the way physician assistants are allowed to practice. For example, state scope of practice regulations may dictate the type of medications PAs are allowed to prescribe, or outline what physician supervision for PAs looks like. 

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Decoding Physician Assistant Scope of Practice Regulations

All healthcare providers, physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants alike practice under a set of rules and regulations. While some of these guidelines are implemented at a federal level, states also get a say in how providers are allowed to practice. These sets of guidelines are referred to as scope of practice regulations. State legislatures have the authority to modify them as they see fit. This means the way each type of provider practices looks different in every state. 

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Don't Miss These Important Deadlines for NHSC Loan Repayment

Chances are that as a Nurse Practitioner, you’ve probably heard of the National Health Service Corps’ Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP), which awards licensed healthcare professionals up to $50,000 to use towards student loans. In exchange, providers commit two years to treating underserved patients in a health professional shortage area. 

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Beyond Wikipedia: Keeping Up With Evidence-Based Practice

Keeping up with the latest evidence-based practice guidelines is no easy feat. Medicine is always changing and as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant you are always running into new clinical situations. Even the brightest clinicians have questions at times. So, where should NPs and PAs turn for the latest reliable clinical information?

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8 Online BS to MSPAS Programs for Physician Assistants

In 2020, the ARC-PA will require that all Physician Assistant programs are offered at the graduate level; eliminating Associate and Bachelor PA programs completely. While certified PAs educated with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree will not be required to obtain a Master’s degree in order to continue practicing, many are choosing to do so as means to not only stay up to date with the advancement of medicine, but also to remain competitive in the Physician Assistant job market as well.

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The First Online Program for Physician Assistants is (Almost) Here

Physician Assistant Programs offered exclusively online are currently non existent. But pending approval at an ARC-PA meeting to be held this fall, Yale University may very well become the first educational institution to offer a Master’s Physician Assistant Program that can be completed via distance learning. If granted accreditation, the program would matriculate its first cohort of students as early as January 2018. While Yale Physician Assistant Online would have a separate accreditation status from the Master’s Physician Assistant Program offered on-campus, graduates of either program would receive equivalent degrees and be eligible to take the PANCE.

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5 Best Value Physician Assistant Programs

While enrolling in a PA program at a prestigious university may seem advantageous, it is not always the most financially feasible option, especially when factoring in the added cost of books, fees and other living expenses incurred in addition to tuition. Though aspiring PAs may feel that the more well-known and expensive the program, the better the education; as they say, bigger is not always better. Carefully researching and considering the tuition costs at other programs to see how they compare to pricier options can truly pay off in the long run both financially and educationally.

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