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. Aranha has been an occupational therapist for the past 26 years. She has 22 years of clinical experience in rehabilitation, and 5 years of teaching experience. She has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, a Master of Science in Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences in the biomechanics track, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Studies, with a specialization in gerontology and human agency of the older adult. She works primarily in the US, but has international experience, and has taken students on medical humanity trips to Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the US/ Mexico border town of Laredo.
In 2000-2001 she lived in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and worked with people and organizations across the life span. Her experiences in Zimbabwe and the global south have motivated her to advocate for individuals who are under-resourced and the disabled in the Global South. In 2016, during her tenure with University of Texas Medical Branch, she started a student-led OT pro bono clinic for people without resources in Galveston. She is on the Board for Occupational Therapy Benevolence Endowment, an organization that seeks to help occupational therapy professionals in times of a crisis. As an occupational therapist and an investigator, her expertise is in neurorehabilitation and finding ways to address neuroplasticity with people with acquired neurological lesions, community health, and global health.