online pa programs no gre
A certified physician assistant, or PA, is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional. PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories, and the uniformed services.
The American Academy of Physician Assistants defines PAs as those who…
- Assess patients
- Order and interpret diagnostic tests
- Make diagnoses
- Develop treatment plans including prescribing medications in collaboration with physicians
PAs are educated in intensive medical programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Upon graduation, they must pass a rigorous national certification exam in order to practice as entry-level PAs.
When opting for an online PA program, it’s important to understand the nuances of programs that are offered entirely online versus campus-based programs with hybrid online components. Graduates of online master’s degree in PA programs can be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). In some states, graduates need to complete additional licensing requirements or exams before they can practice.
Most colleges require prospective students to earn their bachelor’s degree before they apply. It’s also common to need specific coursework or experience in the medical field as a registered nurse (RN) prior to enrollment. It may be possible for applicants without a healthcare background, but most programs strongly favor those with this prerequisite.
Students in online PA programs usually begin their studies by learning about the various clinical and administrative roles of PAs and how the profession compares with other roles in the healthcare field, such as RNs and doctors. Core courses then focus on clinical rotations and laboratory experiences; these must be completed at a site where a clinical preceptor is available. Online courses may also cover topics such as human anatomy, pharmacology, physical diagnosis and patient care techniques from a distance; however, hands-on training is typically required onsite at approved locations near student homes or places of employment through internships or capstone projects. Some schools offer dual-degree options that allow students to earn both an MBA and an MPAS at once.
Benefits of Distance Programs
Whether you are currently working in the healthcare industry or about to begin your career, you may find that enrolling in a distance program is convenient for your life. Below are some of the main advantages of distance programs:
- Flexibility and convenience. Online programs are structured to allow students to set their own study schedule.
- Ease of access. The ability to study from anywhere where there is an internet connection makes online education extremely accessible.
- Time saving. An online program can be time efficient because it doesn’t require travel time and often allows you to work at your own pace, depending on the course structure (see below).
- Self-paced learning. Some online courses allow students to complete their work whenever they choose during a specific period, while others have pre-determined deadlines that must be met throughout the duration of the course; either way, taking online classes gives you more control over balancing school with personal commitments and responsibilities such as childcare or part-time jobs than traditional on-campus programs do.
- Lower cost: Distance education tends to cost less than traditional on-site schooling because it eliminates commuting expenses for both students and faculty members—not just gas money but also wear on vehicles—as well as facility costs incurred by colleges and universities when running physical campuses. This means tuition fees tend not be higher either!
When evaluating PA programs, it helps to know what you’re looking for. CUNY SPS offers a world-class program that will prepare you to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and become a licensed physician assistant in New York State. You will learn how to provide primary care services, conduct physical exams and assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. This curriculum was designed by industry professionals, so your courses are expected to cover subjects such as:
The Anatomical Sciences
The Behavioral Sciences
Pathology and Pathophysiology
Health Assessment and Preventative Health Promotion
And much more
In addition to completing online coursework, you will also be required to participate in clinical rotations. Clinical rotations are an essential component of a physician assistant program as they provide an invaluable chance for aspiring PA students to get hands-on experience in a medical setting. In many cases, clinical rotations must be completed during the last two semesters of your program as these experiences provide a natural capstone for all that you have learned previously. It is important to note that clinical rotations may not be able to begin until after you have earned your bachelor’s degree, so it is best to work with your admissions counselors early on to determine what steps need to be taken prior to beginning the rotation process.
Depending on the policies at your institution, clinical rotations may entail anywhere from 1,200-2,000 hours of experience working with patients and other healthcare professionals in various areas of medicine. What types of rotations (or “clerkships”) you will complete depend on the specific requirements set forth by each school, but generally speaking most programs require that students gain exposure in multiple specialties during their training. These specialties include:
- Family Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Women’s Health
- Psychiatry/Mental Health
- Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 throughout your undergraduate studies
- Complete an application packet that includes:
- An application form
- Transcripts from your previous undergraduate and/or graduate work
- A letter of intent describing your background and what you hope to accomplish by enrolling in the program
- Submit materials before a specified deadline. Deadlines are usually posted on the university website. Each university will have their own requirements for acceptance into their online graduate programs, including prerequisites, accreditation standards, tuition costs, and more. All applicants must be aware of these requirements before applying for acceptance.
Cost & Financial Aid
The cost of your online physician assistant program won’t be the same at each school you look at. Factors like where the school is located, how many students are enrolled, and what part of the country you live in can all influence how much tuition costs. You should also consider if and when you will need your supplies and if there are any extra fees for them.
The various types of financial aid available include grants, scholarships, and loans. Grants and scholarships aren’t always easy to find or obtain; they vary widely in their eligibility requirements. However, loans are usually easier to get than grants or scholarships because they don’t have to be repaid in full right away.
You can expect many career prospects with a master’s in PA studies. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment opportunities for PAs are expected to grow by over 30% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the average growth rate of all occupations. In addition, they note that there were 88,900 jobs held by PAs in 2014, which means roughly 27,600 new jobs will be added during this 10-year period.
With salaries ranging from $80k to $120k per year (Payscale), it is no surprise that their demand continues to grow each year. Depending on your specialty and level of experience, you may earn more or less than the national average salary of $100k per year. Most PAs work full time, but some work part time or even overtime at times.
Finding the best online PA programs no GRE requirement is easy when you use our guide. Once you find your school, apply for free!
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