Registered Nurse to Physician Assistant Career Switch
Do RN to PA Programs Exist?
- Apply for and complete an accredited Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies. If you are an RN who completed an associate degree, you may be required to earn a bachelor’s degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), before entering a program.
- Take prerequisite courses as determined by the PA program. If you have an RN background, especially a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you may find that you have already taken some of the required courses. If you have an associate degree, you may have completed some of the foundational courses already.
- Take and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). This five-hour exam consists of 300 multiple-choice questions covering medical and surgical knowledge.
- Apply for and receive state licensure once all requirements, including passing the PANCE test, have been completed.