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. Nickole Hines-Staples is an Instructor and the Director of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) Clinical Education for the University’s Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP) Program on the Austin, TX campus. Her areas of interest in the field of speech-language pathology include swallowing and dysphagia across the lifespan with an emphasis in neonatal feeding and swallowing, in addition to voice and voice disorders. She has a passion for teaching and mentoring students in these areas, as well as facilitating hands-on experiences through clinical education.
In her director role, Hines-Staples collaborates with Clinical Services to provide clinical practicum opportunities for MS-SLP students that are diverse, enriching, and supportive of interprofessional practice. In the academic setting, Hines-Staples has taught various courses including Hypopharyngeal Visualization, Dysphagia, Voice and Velopharyngeal Disorders, Child Language, and Clinical Practicum. She has also presented on voice therapy and maintenance to local support groups, such as Power for Parkinson’s, and is an active member of American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) Special Interest Group (SIG) 3: Voice and Upper Airway Disorders, ASHA SIG 11: Administration and Supervision, and the Texas Speech and Hearing Association (TSHA) Local Arrangements/Philanthropy Committee Co-chair. She looks forward to presenting on Interprofessional Education at the ASHA 2021 Convention, as well as during the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sessions Meeting in 2022.