Nebraska Physicians Assistant Programs

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Check current course listings for campus-based and online Physicians Assistant Programs available for Nebraska students.

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How to Become a Physician Assistant in Nebraska and Physician Assistant Programs in Nebraska

If you're interested in learning about how to become a physician assistant in Nebraska and physician assistant programs in Nebraska, you should first understand just what these medical professionals do. Physician assistants are very different from medical assistants, though it can be easy to confuse the two. A physician assistant can perform many of the same duties as a doctor including examinations, diagnosis, and treatment. Physician assistants will read and maintain medical records and can even prescribe certain medications to patients. A physician assistant (PA) must work under the supervision of a physician in his or her field. There are many specialties for PAs, such as surgery or psychiatry.

Physician assistants must have a master's degree. There are two programs in Nebraska that offer physician assistant programs. Union College offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. This is a 33-month program. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, three letters of recommendation, and a minimum of 480 hours of direct patient care. This equates to approximately three months on the job in a clinical setting. As an alternative to a bachelor's degree, Union College also offers a pre-physician assistant program lasting three years. This program offers a slightly accelerated course of study for students who are certain that they want to pursue this career

The University of Nebraska Medical Center School of Allied Health Professions offers the only other physician assistant program in the state. This is a 24 month program which culminates in a Masters degree. Nebraska has two pipeline programs that will get students started in this field of study and guarantee admission with successful completion. The Rural Health Opportunities Program is a cooperative with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College. The Nebraska University Pre-Admission to Health Sciences program is a collaborative with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and University of Nebraska Kearney.

In Nebraska, physician assistants have many opportunities for serving rural communities with limited access to medical centers. The mean annual salary for physician assistants in Nebraska was $87,140 as of May, 2011. This equates to an hourly wage of about $41.89. PAs with salaries on the top ten percent of their field made more than $114,730 while those with earnings in the bottom ten percent earned less than $65,110. The job outlook for physician assistants nation-wide is expected to be very favorable in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30 percent job growth over the 2010 to 2020 decade.

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