Assignment highlights roles of a nurse practitioner & a physician's assistant along with their major responsibilities

Home, - Nurse practitioner Vs. Physician’s assistant


Today, with recent advancement in the field of healthcare technologies, it is found that the top-level management of such healthcare organizations are focusing on work approaches and techniques through which they will be able to deliver better healthcare services in a given environment (Wu et al., 2018). 

However, they need to have the desired workforce that will be performing the different tasks as per the needs of the organization. The role of the nurse practitioners and physician assistants are thereby important as they will be delivering different care services in a given environment(Wu et al., 2018). 

Also, they will be inspecting the patients as per the directions of the physicians, and will be providing different care services to the children, older adults, geriatricpatients, patients with acute illness, and those suffering from mental disorders(Wu et al., 2018). It is important to not only deliver healthcare services but also provide them with required support so that these patients can get recovered soon from their present situations. The healthcare organizations thereby need to deploy new working approaches that will meet the different needs of the patients in a given environment.

Role of Nurse practitioner 

A nurse practitioner is a one who has mastered and prepared herself with advance academic and clinical experience within a specific population. They have completed different courses in the field of Nursing, and will focus on different care services as required in a given healthcare organization (Ziebarth, 2014). 

They will be working in hospitals, clinics, doctor's office, and also might start their practice based on their overall experience(Ziebarth, 2014). They will be working directly with the patients, and have the ability to diagnose and manage the most common chronic illnesses. Also, they are authorized to perform different physical examinations based on the needs of the patients. 

They can even interpret diagnostic tests, provide education and counseling to the patient, and in some cases can even provide prescriptions(Ziebarth, 2014). They will be performing managerial roles, clinical roles, program developmental roles, and even navigation roles in a given healthcare institution. 

Hence, they will be not only directing the duties to other nursing staff but will also implement new services that will facilitate staff development in a given working environment. They will be guiding parents along the care continuum within the practice and will make sure or delivering required healthcare and surveillance services to the patients.

Role of Physician's Assistant 

Physician’s Assistant are those that are certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistants (NCCPA); the licenses will be issued by the states to these individuals. They are those healthcare professionals that will be delivering practice medicines along with their supervisors (Villarruel, Bigelow, & Alvarez, 2014). They will be delivering a broad range of medical and surgicalservices to diverse populations.

They can diagnose, examine the patient, order and interpret tests, treat illnesses, and can even counsel on preventive healthcare techniques. They can even assist inthe surgery operations and thereby promote quality, cost effective, and efficient healthcare services to thepatients in a given environment(Villarruel, Bigelow, & Alvarez, 2014). 

The major responsibilities of Physician's Assistant include - performing physical examinations, focusing on the health history of the patients and suggesting them different treatment options, establishing basic treatment plans, counsellingpatients, and responding to commonly encountered emergency care situations(Villarruel, Bigelow, & Alvarez, 2014). It will thereby help in managing the health of the patients in a better way.

A Comparative Analysis

It is important to compare the roles of Nurse Practitioner and Physician's Assistant so that one can distinguish the major differences between them. A Nurse Practitioner will be a nurse and are trained as specialists so that they can operate as per the expectations of the healthcare organization. 

They are either dependent or independent practitioners that will be performing their tasks within the scope of their nursing practice(Villarruel, Bigelow, & Alvarez, 2014). The major areas of medicine that will focus on include - primary care, pediatrics, and will be performing with a collaborating physician. On the other hand, Physician's Assistant might come from different professionalbackgrounds. They will have a physician who will be monitoring their practices. 

They will have qualifications in Physician's Assistant Studies and will be a dependentpractitioner. However, they can address all the major areas of medicine in a given healthcare environment, they do not require Master's studies unlike in the case of a Nurse Practitioner (Coben& Weeks, 2014). Thus, the roles and qualifications of both the professional positions are different in the healthcare organization.


Today, it is found that the healthcare organizations are looking for staff that will be performing multiple functions in a given working environment. Both nurse practitioners and physician’s assistant can perform similar roles to a greater extent; however, the physician’s assistant will need to have their supervisor while they are performing their duties. 

On the other hand, a nurse practitioner can perform his or her duties in an independent format and can accordingly prescribe medications as well as suggest medical reports for the patients (White et al., 2014). 

There is a difference in the scope of their working responsibilities and that differentiates both of them. However, they need to upgrade their knowledge and expertise as per the requirements of the organization and exhibit leadership and management qualities to achieve desired goals of the organization in a given working environment.


This report highlights the roles of a nurse practitioner and also of a physician's assistant. It not only focuses on the practice area but highlights the major roles and responsibilities performed by them in a given operational environment(White et al., 2014). 

Today, with increase challenges in the healthcare and with recent advancement in the field of technology, the patients are expecting better quality services in a given healthcare environment. Hence, it is the responsibility of all the staff members to deliver the care services that will exceed the expectations of the patients. It will thereby make sure of achieving desired objectives for the senior management in a given challenging work environment.

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