Grasping the Difference Between Nurse Practitioner and Physicians Assistant

To the healthcare novice, the terms nurse practitioner and physician assistant might seem interchangeable. While some of the responsibilities of these professionals do overlap, the fact is that each person performs a crucial, yet distinct role in the healthcare workplace. Here are some tips for grasping the differences between NPs and PAs, along with details on how each can benefit your health center:

Nurse Practitioner

Possessing more advanced qualifications than a normal nurse, nurse practitioners generally hold a master’s or doctoral degree as well as an NP certification. Additionally, these men and women often possess additional qualifications based on the states in which they’re located and regularly add to their knowledge with continuing education courses.

Because of their extensive educational experience, nurse practitioners are able to take on certain tasks generally associated with doctors. For example, they can see patients without a doctor’s supervision and often provide prescription medication or order diagnostic tests.

Physician Assistant (PA)

In addition to earning a master’s degree, a physician assistant must pass a national certification exam, called PANCE. Once they’ve completed their training, PAs can perform physical exams, take patient information, write prescriptions, help out with surgeries and make hospital rounds.

Unlike nurse practitioners, however, PAs are typically required to perform under a doctor’s supervision.

Both NPs and PAs can help fill the gap at busy healthcare facilities. This is particularly valuable in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, as many primary care doctors are struggling to keep up with patient demand. Do your research to determine which of these skilled healthcare employees best meets the needs of your facility.

Let Odyssey Staffing Help You Find a New Healthcare Job

If you’re looking for a new position in the health field, don’t hesitate to contact the recruiters at Odyssey Staffing. In business since 2005, we proudly connect nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other medical employees with exciting jobs in a wide range of facilities. To find out more about our staffing services, don’t hesitate to call or contact our team online. We look forward to working together to find your dream job.