What Is the Difference Between a Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant?


Quick Answer

The roles and responsibilities of a nurse practitioner (NP) and physician assistant (PA) may seem the same to the patients, but the differences lie in their backgrounds and training. Both NPs and PAs can work in a variety of fields.

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Full Answer

A PA only needs a masters degree in whatever field the person chooses to specialize. A PA spends 9 to 15 months of the program in supervised clinical training. An NP needs to have at least 10 years of experience prior to enrolling in a school. An NP also needs to have a previous nursing degree, which is necessary in qualifying for the course. Students are usually trained and taught by other NPs.

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