Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants

What are Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants?

At Georgia Skin & Cancer Clinic we have a great team of highly qualified, board certified Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are increasingly mentioned as a collective solution to the nation’s  healthcare shortage. There are approximately 205,000 NPs and 104,000 PAs in the United States providing cost-effective patient care, preventive care, and health promotion. NPs and PAs have extensive training and are well qualified to provider healthcare services.

Nurse Practitioner


Registered nurse (RN) with advanced education and clinical training

Provide a wide range of healthcare services, including the diagnosis and management of common as well as complex medical conditions

Practice independently or in collaboration with physician, depending on state requirements


Medical/nursing model


Besides health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, NPs focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education, and counseling


Nursing accreditation and graduate education (masters or doctoral degree) with preparation in the NP role and at least 1 specialty population

National board certification in acute care, adult, family, gerontology, neonatal, oncology, pediatric, psychiatric, or women’s health specialties

Major national certifying agencies: American Association of Nurse Practitioners and American Nurses Credentialing Center


Recertified every 5 years

May sit for appropriate examination or meet clinical practice and continuing education (CE) requirements

Minimum of 1000 hours of clinical practice as an NP in area of specialization and 75 contact hours of CE relevant to the area of specialization

Pharmacology credits required for some recertification

Scope of Practice

Authorized to practice independently without physician oversight in 21 states and DC; in remaining states, practice with varying degrees of physician involvement

Prescriptive authority in all 50 states and DC

Controlled substance prescribing restrictions in Florida

Third-Party Coverage

Eligible for certification as Medicare and Medicaid providers

Physician Assistant


Medical professional with advanced education and clinical training; focused on medical aspects of healthcare

Take medical history, conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive care, assist in surgery, write prescriptions, make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes

Licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision


Medical/physician model

Disease-centered, emphasis on the biologic/pathologic aspects of health, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment

Team approach relationship with physicians


Graduate education

Separate accreditation and certification bodies require successful completion of an accredited program

Require National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants national certification examination and state licensure


Requires 100 continuing medical education (CME) credits every 2 years and examination every 10 years

50 CME credits must be Category 1 and 20 of the 50 must be directed CME (self-assessment and/or performance improvement)

PA certification maintenance mirrors physician maintenance of certification process

Scope of Practice

Supervising physician delegates medical tasks to PAs in accordance with state regulation

Prescriptive authority in all states based on state-enabling legislation

Controlled substance prescribing restrictions in Florida and Kentucky

On-site supervision not required

Third-Party Coverage

Eligible for certification as Medicare and Medicaid providers