Tennessee Physicians Assistant Programs

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

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Physician Assistant in Tennessee - Training to be a Physician Assistant in Tennessee

To become a physician, there is a massive amount of schooling and preparation that must take place. A physician assistant in Tennessee can do almost everything a doctor can do (not surgery), including examine patients, write prescriptions, treat broken bones, order and analyze blood tests and x-rays, answer patient questions, keep patient records, and assist in procedures performed by a physician. However, to become a physician assistant, the education requirement is much less stringent. After attaining a high school diploma (or GED) and a college degree in some type of medically related field, you will need to complete an accredited physician assistant training program.

Most physician assistant programs in Tennessee are two year programs which lead to a master's degree. The program you choose should be accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Accredited programs include Bethel University, South College, Trevecca Nazarene University, Lincoln University, and Christian Brothers University. After completing the training, you will need to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), which is governed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

You must register in advance to take the PANCE, and there is a $475 testing fee. The exam is a multiple choice test given via computer testing facility. There are 300 questions, and you are given five hours to complete the test, with breaks after each group of sixty questions. In addition to passing the PANCE, you will need to check your city and county requirements as additional exams may be required. The next step is to apply for your physician assistant license from the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners. They will review your education, exam scores, and application, as well as run a criminal background check before granting licensing you as a physician assistant in Tennessee.

Once licensed, you can start working in hospitals, physician offices, outpatient care centers, residential facilities, government offices, and educational institutions as a physician assistant in Tennessee. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Tennessee physician assistants make an average annual salary of $90,140. The job outlook for this profession is outstanding, with an expected growth of over thirty percent by 2020, over twice the estimated growth of all occupations nationally. The rural areas in Tennessee are expected to see an even greater growth in job opportunities for physician assistants, as medical care is extended to those who have not had adequate health care.


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Tennessee State Board of Nursing
425 Fifth Avenue North
1st Floor - Cordell Hull Building
Nashville, TN 37247
Phone: (615) 532-5166
Fax: (615) 741-7899

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