Physician Assistants Everything You Need To Know about PAs
PRACTICING CLINICIANS EXCHANGE - the national leader in continuing medical education for Physician Assistants (PAs).

Nurse practitioner, NP, CME, CE, Continuing Medical Education, continuing education, credits, physician assistant, PAPhysician Assistants (PAs) Are a Growing National Healthcare Trend

Significant changes are occurring in healthcare today. Fewer physicians practice in primary care, while the aging patient population grows, and economics influence staffing decisions. This has led to a demand for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), who are playing a greater role than ever in patient care.

Physician Assistants (PAs) Can Prescribe in All States
  • Physician Assistants (PAs) can prescribe under the guidance of a physician in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are authorized to prescribe in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with 38 states requiring physician involvement (see map)

Nurse practitioner, NP, CME, CE, Continuing Medical Education, continuing education, credits, physician assistant, PA,

Sources: American Academy of Physician Assistants. PA prescribing: education and delegation. Issue Brief. June 2007; Pearson LJ. The Pearson Report. Am J Nurse Pract. 2008;12:1-80.

Physician Assistants (PAs) Write New Prescriptions and Are Key to Patient Adherence

Nurse practitioner, NP, CME, CE, Continuing Medical Education, continuing education, credits, physician assistant, PA

Source: Tinsley R, Carl T. The prescribing impact of nurse practitioners and physician assistants grows. Inflection Point. November 2004;1-3. 

US Population of Physician Assistants (PAs)

Nurse practitioner, NP, CME, CE, Continuing Medical Education, continuing education, credits, physician assistant, PA

Sources: American Academy of Physician Assistants; Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant; Physician Assistant Education Association; AANP 2008 NP Practice Site Survey (n = 35,000); 2004 AANP NP Sample Survey (n = 16,500); Robert Graham Center.

How Are Physician Assistants (PAs) Educated?

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Physician Assistant (PA)

Affiliated with nursing schools Affiliated with medical schools

BSN is prerequisite Previous healthcare experience required; many have entry level bachelor’s degree

Biopsychosocial-based curriculum Advanced science-based curriculum

~500 didactic hours and 500-700 clinical hours ~1000 didactic hours and over 2000 clinical hours

Specialty training in adult, acute care, pediatric, women’s health, or gerontology
  • Emphasis on patient education, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention
  • Generally not trained for surgical settings
Trained as generalists
  • Some receive postgraduate specialty training
  • Procedure- and skill- oriented with emphasis on diagnosis, treatment, surgical skills, and patient education

Master’s prepared ~50% of programs award master’s degrees; all are currently transitioning to the master’s level

354 schools in 2008–up from 119 in 1992 142 schools in 2008–up from 56 in 1990

Sources: Pearson LJ. The Pearson Report. Am J Nurse Pract. 2008;12:1-80. American Academy of Physician Assistants; Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant; Physician Assistant Education Association; www.ana.org; WI Regulatory Digest; www.nonpf.org.

 Nurse practitioner, NP, CME, CE, Continuing Medical Education, continuing education, credits, physician assistant, PA Practicing Clinicians Exchange (PCE) is the national leader in continuing education created specifically for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs). We provide free Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education (CE) credits for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs).

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