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
Jennifer Summers is an Assistant Professor and Faculty Development Specialist for the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) at the San Marcos, CA campus. She began as an Occupational Therapist Assistant in Grand Rapids, MI. She since has earned a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and a Master of Science and Doctor of Occupational Therapy at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).
She worked clinically in multiple settings including impatient and community mental health, forensic mental health, domestic violence programs, home care, acute and subacute rehab, and skilled nursing facilities. She has been a full-time educator since 2016, beginning at GVSU. She joined USAHS in January 2019. In her faculty development role, she facilitates a host of workshops and teaching circles for faculty across the campuses. Her research interests include exploring sexuality and disability, occupational of advocacy, and equity and inclusion in healthcare.