Students will then cross post to other students contributing to a robust class discussion. Cross posts should be no longer than 250 words. The online discussion should mimic a thoughtful classroom discussion.
Please respond to the fellow student:
What is the difference in the advanced practice nurse and the physician assistant? Both advanced practice nurses and physician assistants have become important patient providers. The need for these professionals has become stronger due to an increase in the elderly population and patients with chronic diseases. Also, the increased rate of patients insured after initiation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has created a need for more practitioners. A demand for advanced clinicians is predicted to be especially high in my specialty, oncology, because the oncology patients are living longer from the advancements in treatment options (Reid Ponte & O’Neill, 2013). The roles of the nurse practitioner and physician assistant are compared below to gain a better understanding of similarities and differences in the two specialties.
Since the 1960s, Americans have expanded the health care system to incorporate advanced practice providers such as the physician assistant and the nurse practitioner (Moote, Krsek, Kleinpell, & Todd, 2011). The nurse practitioner was formally established because of a shortage of primary care physicians. The physician assistant program was intended as a fast-track to prepare clinicians for work in World War II. Many of the physician assistants had past experience as military medics.
The education to become a nurse practitioner requires graduation with a master’s degree from a nurse practitioner program. Both coursework and clinical rotations are completed in the schooling. The program is grounded on a nursing model. Educational requirements for a physician assistant include at least 2 years of college coursework in science prior to a 27 month physician assistant program. These clinicians may have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. The students complete both classroom learning and clinical rotations like the nurse practitioner, but the program is grounded on a medical model (Reid Ponte & O’Neill, 2013).
The nurse practitioner is an independently licensed registered nurse while the physician assistant is licensed by a state board to practice under the direct supervision of a doctor. Both specialties require passing a state licensing examination prior to beginning practice and have a similar scope of practice including assessment, diagnosis, and treatment; patient education; and disease management (Reid Ponte & O’Neill, 2013).
Academic medical centers that utilize physician assistants and nurse practitioners testify that both of these professionals are quite valuable and contribute to great improvements in areas such as continuity of care, safety, quality, and physician productivity. Advanced practice providers have become an asset to healthcare (Moote, Krsek, Kleinpell, & Todd, 2011).
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