What It Takes to be an Advanced Practice Practitioner

Here is a great summary table from The Physician Assistant Life of what it takes to be an advanced practice provider in today’s environment. While we have come a long way to narrow the gap in medical education, there is still a shortage of hands-on experience and clinical correlation to practice for those who have not attended a focused residency. That being said, clinical experience speaks for itself and with the right start to know where to focus during your career, it’s easy to learn how to put it all together and build on your own practice knowledge base. Let Provider Practice Essentials give you the tools to know what you need to learn, help you apply how you learn it best, and broaden your knowledge base to accelerate your clinical learning pace throughout your career. They say practice makes perfect. Let’s get there by learning the essentials and building on them together.
Category Medical Assistant Nurse (RN, BSN) Nurse Practitioner Physician Assistant Physician (Family Practice)
Prerequisite Education None None Bachelor Degree in Nursing and Clinical Hours Bachelor Degree and Clinical Hours Bachelor Degree
Learning Model Medical-Nursing Medical-Nursing Medical-Physician Medical-Physician
Time in Classroom 134 hours Varies greatly by program 500 hours 1000 hours 2 years
Time in Clinic 160 hours Varies by program 500-700 hours 2000 hours 2 years
Total Post High School Education 1-2 years 2-4 years 6-8 years 6-7 years 8 years
Residency None None None Optional 1-2 years 3-8 years
Degree or Certificate Awarded Certificate or associate Degree Associate or Bachelor Degree Master’s Degree; Planned Transition to Doctorate Master’s Degree PA-C Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Osteopathy (D.O.)
Recertification 60 education points or exam every 5 years 1000 hours practicing in area of certification or exam every 5 years 1000 professional practice hours and 12 CE credits per year or exam every 5 years 100 education hours every 2 years and exam every 10 years MD: 50 education hours/year and ABMS recommended
Base Salary U.S. $29,708 $66,220 (varies greatly by state) $97,990 $97,820 $185,151
Independented Practitioner 18 states allow NPs to practice independently Yes
Complicated or High Risk Cases Varies Varies Yes
Perform Surgery Assist Assist Yes
Deliver Babies Yes Varies by State Yes
Write Prescriptions Yes Yes Yes
Perscribe Controlled Substances Varies by State Varies by State Yes
Conduct Physical Exams Assist Yes Yes Yes
Diagnose Yes Yes Yes
Treat Illness Yes Yes Yes Yes
Order and Interpret Tests Assist Yes Yes Yes
Patient Counseling Yes Yes Yes Yes

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