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
Loren Szmiga, PT, DPT received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy and Manual Therapy Certification from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS).
She worked in outpatient orthopedic clinics and then began to specialize in the upper extremity. In 2016, Dr. Szmiga achieved the Certified Hand Therapist credential. Currently, she works on an as-needed basis with patients who have hand and orthopedic limitations as well as fabricates custom orthotics. Dr. Szmiga has been teaching with the USAHS on the Miami, FL campus 2018 with a focus on Anatomy and Orthopedic classes. She also taught in the Flexible Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Recently, Dr. Szmiga achieved the dry needling certification. She has a passion for teaching students and has been fortunate to attend and work at the University through two separate Physical Therapy curriculums. She has seen the evolution of courses to emphasize evidenced-based practice to prepare the students to go into clinical practice. Currently, Dr. Szmiga is pursuing an educational doctorate degree with an emphasis in teaching and learning.