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. Summer San Lucas received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology degree from Westmont College in 2001. She graduated from Loma Linda University with her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2005 and her Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy degree in 2012. She is an APTA board-certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy. Her ongoing clinical career has focused on outpatient pediatric and adult neurologic rehabilitation. She is certified in LSVT BIG therapy for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, trained in Neuro-IFRAH approach for patients with acquired and traumatic brain injury, Saebo for upper extremity rehabilitation post stroke, and is an APTA credentialed clinical instructor. She developed the Loma Linda University Health Parkinson’s Disease Community Support and Exercise Groups. She has given many professional conference lectures on the topic of neurologic rehabilitation. Prior to joining the University of St. Augustine, Dr. San Lucas held adjunct faculty positions at Loma Linda University teaching in the pediatric and adult neurology curricula of the DPT and PTA programs. She has published in peer reviewed journals. Dr. San Lucas was the 2014 recipient of the Loma Linda University Rising Star Alumni Award in Physical Therapy and the Spiritual Life and Wholeness Award.