Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are advanced healthcare practitioners with similar responsibilities, such as diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medications. However, their training and paths toward certification differ in significant ways. This blog post unpacks the key differences between NPs and PAs to help you determine which career path best aligns with your goals. What Is a Nurse Practitioner? A nurse practitioner (NP) is a licensed clinician who provides comprehensive healthcare to patients of all ages. An NP can work in virtually any healthcare setting, diagnosing patient conditions and prescribing medications. As of October 2022, nurse practitioners have full practice authority in 27 states, meaning that they can practice Read more
Dr. Cecilia Martinez graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy and began her career working in the acute care and in-patient neuro-rehab settings. While at Sharp Hospital and Sharp Rehabilitation Center in San Diego, CA, Dr. Martinez worked with individuals with traumatic brain injury, stroke and spinal cord injury. In 1991, Dr. Martinez found her true passion in pediatrics. As Assistant Coordinator at the Sam and Rose Stein Education Center in San Diego, CA, Dr. Martinez provided educational and therapeutic support to children and young adults with autism and severe behavioral challenges. In addition, Dr. Martinez was a consultant to the Adult Education Program and Supported Employment Services for Vista Hill Foundation to assist young adults in job training.
In 2002, Dr. Martinez transitioned to working in the public school systems and joined the teams at San Diego Unified School District and the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education. She then opened her private practice in 2005 to serve the needs of children and their families in the north county area of San Diego, while providing school-based services to local school districts.
In 2015, Dr. Martinez joined the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences San Marcos, CA campus as Contributing Faculty teaching in courses such as Administration and Management, Clinical Applications in Pediatrics and Evidence-Based Research I. Dr. Martinez completed her Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2019 and transitioned to USAHS core faculty. Dr. Martinez was co-presenter at the 2017 AOTA Centennial Conference on collaborative service-learning with high-risk populations for MOT students. She is currently investigating the effects of digital technology on children’s handwriting performance.