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. Eric Hicks joined the occupational therapy program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on the Austin, TX campus in 2021, where he is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Academic Program Director for the entry-level occupational therapy programs. Dr. Hicks began his career in 2001 as an occupational therapist specializing in geriatric rehabilitation in the skilled nursing setting. Since then, he has had the opportunity to work in a variety of clinical practice settings, including early intervention, school system, home health and adult inpatient rehabilitation. He later went on to specialize in providing low vision rehabilitation services to people of all ages who have vision impairments that affect one or more areas of their daily life. He continues to share his clinical expertise on improving the lives of people with vision impairments and their caregivers through teaching, presenting at national and international conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
In 2010, Dr. Hicks began his academic career by founding and directing an occupational therapy assistant program in Memphis, TN. He subsequently has had the opportunity to direct three other occupational therapy assistant programs in other states. He has taught courses related to the foundations of occupational therapy, occupational therapy theory, kinesiology, activity analysis and low vision rehabilitation. In his current position, he teaches in the research and scholarship portions of the curriculum. He looks forward to continuing his research associated with low vision rehabilitation and telerehabilitation while expanding his scholarship to focus on academic and clinical leadership training, mentoring and coaching, as well as cultural diversity related to the education and employment of people with disabilities.