New graduates celebrate with their families at their nursing commencement ceremony.
How to Become a Physician Assistant in Missouri and Physician Assistant Programs in Missouri
Physician assistants are trained to practice medicine in many different capacities. Though they work under the supervision of a physician or surgeon, they are able to diagnose and treat many conditions themselves. Physician assistants can work with several different specialties such as emergency medicine or surgery. Their specific tasks will vary greatly from one job to another. In rural areas, physician assistants may make house calls. In a primary care practice, the physician assistant could act very much like the physician and complete an entire routine exam including diagnosis. Physician assistants are even able to prescribe certain medications to their patients.
If you're interested in learning how to become a physician assistant in Missouri and physician assistant programs in Missouri, you should be prepared for a lengthy course of education. Physician assistants are required to have a master's degree. Prior to applying to a master's program, it is common for an individual to have both a bachelor's degree and some work experience in the field of healthcare. Registered nurses and EMT-paramedics are a few examples of professionals who often go on to become physician assistants. Admission requirements for physician assistant programs vary for each school. There are two physician assistant programs for students to choose from in Missouri.
The Saint Louis University Doisy College of Health Sciences requires a baccalaureate degree and a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience for admission. This two-year program admits only 34 students each year, so admission is highly competitive. Missouri State University also offers a Master of Science in physician assistant studies. Applicants to this program are expected to have at least 28 direct physician assistant shadowing hours. It is recommended that applicants have at least 2,000 hours of direct patient care experience, which is equivalent to approximately one year. Proficiency with medical terminology and basic computer skills are also expected.
Job opportunities for physician assistants in Missouri are expected to be excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 30 percent increase in employment for this field over the 2010 to 2020 decade. In Missouri, the annual mean wage for physician assistants was $70,990 as of May 2011. Physician assistants with earnings in the top ten percent of their field made more than $96,770. Those in the bottom ten percent earned less than $32,670. Students interested in learning how to become a physician assistant in Missouri and physician assistant programs in Missouri will find this to be a challenging but rewarding choice.
Find Local or Online
Missouri State Board of Nursing
3605 Missouri Blvd.
P.O. Box 656
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0656
Phone: (573) 751-0681
Fax: (573) 751-0075
Missouri Nurses Association