Differentiating Between Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners

The role of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) is evolving as demand increases for primary-care physicians and healthcare services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of PAs is projected to grow 37% from 2016 to 2026. Employment for NPs is projected to grow 31% within the same timeframe.

Additionally, these professionals are taking on more responsibility and gaining a greater level of autonomy as states roll back requirements for physician supervision and oversight. Understanding who these professionals are and how they interact with health information, patients, etc., can help pharma better engage these groups with information, educational content and relevant messaging.

What sets NPs and PAs apart?

  • PAs work on teams under supervision of a physician. They train on the medical model and focus on the diagnosis, testing, and treatment.
  • NPs can be independent practitioners and tend to focus on the impact of the diagnosis and treatment on the patient.

Patient Interaction

According to Kantar Media’s 2017 Sources and Interactions Physician Assistants & Nurse Practitioners (PA/NP) Edition, both PAs and NPs are spending a significant amount of time interacting with patients.

Moreover, the 2017 MARS Consumer Health Study finds that consumer reliance on PAs and NPs has grown. 14% of U.S. adults indicate they have seen a nurse or physician’s assistant within the last year (a slight increase since 2015). 82% of consumers say they value nurses and physician’s assistants as an important source of healthcare information (up two percentage points since 2015).

PAs are writing more prescriptions on average compared to NPs and are more likely to see sales representatives.

Advertising at conferences would be an effective channel to reach these healthcare professionals. To stay up-to-date on new medical developments NPs and PAs rate colleagues, professional portals, conferences/symposia/meetings and conventions as most important. Print and digital versions of professional journals are also important to them.

Want to Learn More?

Find out how to most effectively engage PAs and NPs with your advertising. Kantar Media’s Sources and Interactions PA/NP Edition examines how physician assistants and nurse practitioners prefer to keep up-to-date on industry developments (e.g. online and offline media, meetings, sales reps, etc.) and how they interact with those sources of information.

Get the insights you need to make informed decisions. To learn more, please contact Kantar Media Healthcare Research Client Services at prohealthclientservice-us@kantarmedia.com or 646-895-8528.

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