Print
+1

Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants Help Provide Primary Care

Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants Help Provide Primary Care

San Jose Mercury News

February 22, 2009

Doctors aren’t alone in providing primary care to patients. Increasingly, nurse practitioners and physician assistants have been sharing the workload.

Nurse practitioners are professionals licensed by the states they practice in. They can order tests, diagnose diseases and treat patients. Coming from registered nursing backgrounds, they “stress both care and cure,” according to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Nurse practitioners have advanced education and clinical training beyond registered nursing preparation. Most have master’s degrees; many have doctorates. According to the AANP, there are about 120,000 practicing nurse practitioners.

Physician assistants also are licensed health care providers who perform duties similar to nurse practitioners, including diagnosing, treating patients, writing prescriptions, even assisting in surgery. They typically do not have the same level of education as a nurse practitioner. Most training programs last two years, and generally require two years of college and some health care experience for admission. After completion of the program, PAs are required to pass a national certification exam.

Registered nurses administer treatments and medications, educate patients and provide advice and support. Registered nurses enter the field through associate or bachelor degree programs, or through diploma programs administered by hospitals.

© YellowBrix 2009


+1
NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.