Top 3 Questions About NP vs PA Debate

PA Coaching • May 27, 2023

The np vs pa debate is one that’s been around for years. In this video, we’ll explore the top 3 questions about NP vs PA to help you decide which route may be right for you.

Top 3 Questions About NP vs PA Debate

The debate between Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) is a topic of interest for many individuals in the healthcare field. While there are distinct differences between the two professions, they also share similarities in everyday practice. In this article, we will address the top three commonly asked questions regarding the NP vs PA debate and shed light on these important topics.

  1. Is PA higher than Nurse Practitioner?
  2. Do PAs and NPs like each other?
  3. Can NPs write prescriptions? Can PAs be in surgery?

Is PA higher than Nurse Practitioner?

The answer is no. Both PAs and NPs function as advanced practice providers and work under the umbrella of advanced practice providers, which includes nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. These professions hold advanced degrees and are trained to function as integral members of the healthcare team. While physicians hold a higher position in the hierarchy of medical providers, there is no inherent hierarchy between PAs and NPs.

Do PAs and NPs like each other?

In the past, there was some hostility reported between the two professions. However, at present, the relationship between PAs and NPs is generally positive. Collaboration and teamwork are common in healthcare settings, with PAs, NPs, and physicians working together to provide the best possible care for patients. While there may be differences in advocacy efforts and scope of practice between the two professions, when it comes to patient care, both PAs and NPs prioritize patient outcomes and work collaboratively.

Can NPs write prescriptions? Can PAs be in surgery?

Both NPs and PAs have the authority to write prescriptions for patients, although the specific medications and prescriptive authority may vary depending on state regulations and the scope of practice. Additionally, both professions have the potential to work in surgical settings. PAs are commonly found in surgical settings, while NPs are often seen in maternal health settings. However, these trends are not exclusive, and individuals from both professions can pursue diverse specialties based on their interests and training.


While PAs and NPs have similarities in their everyday practice, they are distinct professions with their own unique training and scope of practice. It is important to recognize that neither profession is superior to the other. PAs and NPs work collaboratively as part of the healthcare team, prioritizing patient-centered care and optimal outcomes. By understanding the minute differences between the two professions, including education, clinical practice, and beyond, individuals can make informed decisions about their healthcare career paths.

Also read: What Are the Most Affordable PA Schools in the US?

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!