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. Rocio Alvarenga is an occupational therapist and educator focused on student-centered and patient-centered approaches to promote overall well-being. She is a native Texan and has practiced in pediatric and adult outpatient and home health, adult inpatient and neurorehabilitation. She has also worked at the El Paso State Supported Living Center, which is an institution for individuals with intellectual disability.
Dr. Alvarenga previously worked as a fieldwork coordinator and a clinical instructor for mental health, psychosocial and task analysis courses. She holds a Master of Occupational Therapy from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from UTEP in 2020.
She has presented at state and national conferences, and her research interests include faculty stress, mindfulness programming, neurofeedback interventions and enhancing pediatric mental health. Dr. Alvarenga joined the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences at the Dallas, TX campus in 2020.