Dec 07, 2021  
2021-22 NSU Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-22 NSU Graduate Catalog

Physician Assistant Studies, M.S.


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OSRHE Program Code: 155
CIP Code: 510912

Major Code: 7920

The 27-month Physician Assistant Studies curriculum requires 110 credit hours to graduate with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. The PA program is housed in the NSU Muskogee campus.

 

Accreditation

Effective July 14,2020, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Northeastern State University Physician Assistant Studies Program sponsored by Northeastern State University

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Accreditation-History-Northeastern-St-U.pdf

Purpose


Mission

The mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program at Northeastern State University is to graduate qualified and compassionate physician assistants to address the shortage of providers in rural northeastern Oklahoma and among the American Indian populations.

Specialty accreditation

Northeastern State University has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Northeastern State University anticipates matriculating its first class in October 2020, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the June 2020 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

In the event that ARC-PA withholds accreditation, Northeastern State University will not enroll students in October 2020. The University will provide a refund to those individuals accepted to the program who paid their program deposit. CASPA application fees cannot be refunded to applicants by Northeastern State University or by CASPA.

Credential Requirements

Upon completion of all program requirements and degree conferral, candidates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), developed by the the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). After passing PANCE, PAs are issued NCCPA certification and can use the PA-C designation until the certification expiration date (approximately ten years). Fees apply for the examination and licensure credential. Students are encouraged to talk with their faculty mentor about licensure requirements and to consult the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) organization for more information.

Admission Standards and Application Procedures


Admission Standards
  1. An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college completed prior to matriculation into the program.
  2. Completion of all prerequisite courses listed below with a grade of “C” or better. All prerequisites must come from a regionally accredited college or university. A single course cannot satisfy more than one prerequisite. Applicants may apply with outstanding prerequisite courses as long as they communicate a clear and reasonable plan to complete those courses and have no more than two prerequisite courses in progress after December 31 of the year prior to entering the program. The health-related upper division biology courses must be completed within seven years of matriculation into the program.
  3. Be in good standing with the college or university last or currently attending.
  4. Have a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as computed by Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). A minimum science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as calculated by CASPA is also required. No exceptions will be made. Applicants not meeting GPA requirements will be ineligible for admission and removed from further consideration.
  5. Although not required for admission to the program, prior healthcare experience is expected. In the program’s anticipated competitive selection process, the length and depth of healthcare experience is a selection factor.
  6. The program does not allow advanced placement or exemption from PA coursework. CLEP examination or advanced placement credit may not be used to meet program prerequisite requirements. Experiential learning experience cannot substitute for prerequisite requirements.
Admission Preferences

Preference is given to applicants who have successfully completed their prerequisites before applying to the PA program. Considering qualified applicants, preference will first be given to Oklahoma residents. Highly qualified non-resident applicants are encouraged to apply and may successfully compete for admission.

Application Procedure
  1. Submit an on-line application through CASPA during the application period April through October 1 of the year prior to intended entry to the program. https://portal.caspaonline.org/
  2. Submit three letters of reference directly to CASPA.
  3. Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (including NSU) directly to CASPA. For applicants offered an interview, updates to grades for courses completed after the application deadline (as allowed in #2) must be submitted directly to the Physician Assistant Studies Program as courses are completed and before matriculation into the program.
  4. International coursework must be submitted to World Education Services for evaluation.
  5. Completion of a mandatory on-campus interview will be required of those selected for final consideration from the CASPA applicant pool. Meeting all prerequisites does not guarantee the applicant an interview.
  6. Be formally admitted to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program through the PA Program Admissions Committee and receive final admission approval with the completion of post-acceptance requirements.
  7. Review post-acceptance requirements and affirm ability to meet each before matriculation into the program. Only students accepted into the PA program will be required to apply and receive formal admission to the NSU Graduate College.  All admitted PA students must satisfy immunization requirements, meet technical standards, provide health insurance verification, pass a drug screen and background check. All post-acceptance requirements and forms must be completed before matriculation into the program.

Advanced Placement, Transfer of Credit, Credit for Experiential Learning


The Physician Assistant Studies program does not allow for advanced placement in the program or exemption from coursework for any student.

Academic Retention Standards


Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average or above in all didactic and clinical coursework. Students must pass all courses with a grade of “C” or higher in order to progress in the program.

Graduation Standards


To graduate from the Northeastern State University Physician Assistant Studies program, each student must satisfactorily complete the following.  “Satisfactory completion” means completing all courses, clinical rotations, and summative evaluation with a letter grade of “C” or higher and demonstrating professionalism appropriate for an entry-level physician assistant.

  • All didactic coursework
  • All clinical rotations (required and elective)
  • The capstone paper
  • All assignments designated by the program as required including any assigned remediation
  • A summative evaluation of all medical-related knowledge and skills, consisting of both objective examinations and skill performance evaluations
  • Cumulative GPA equal to or greater than 3.0. Students must pass all courses with a letter grade of “C” or higher in order to graduate from the program.

All students who have successfully completed the Physician Assistant Studies program graduation requirements are recommended for graduation by the Program Director to the Dean of the College of Science and Health Professions.

Prerequisite Requirements


The following prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. All prerequisites must come from a regionally accredited college or university. A single course cannot satisfy more than one prerequisite. Applicants may apply with outstanding prerequisite courses as long as they communicate a clear and reasonable plan to complete those courses and have no more than two prerequisite courses in progress after December 31 of the year prior to entering the program. Preference is given to applicants who have successfully completed their prerequisites before applying to the PA program. There may be additional undergraduate course requirements prior to taking the prerequisite courses.

  • Microbiology with laboratory (4 credit hrs)
  • General Chemistry I with laboratory (4 credit hrs)
  • General Chemistry II with laboratory (4 credit hrs)
  • Organic Chemistry I with laboratory (4 credit hrs)
  • Mathematics, College Algebra or higher (3 credit hrs)
  • Statistics (3 credit hrs)
  • Psychology (6 credit hrs) ++

The following courses must be completed within the last seven years-no exceptions

  • Biochemistry (3 credit hrs)
  • Genetics (3 credit hrs)
  • Human Anatomy with laboratory (4 credit hrs)*
  • Human Physiology with laboratory (4 credit hrs)*

*Combined Anatomy and Physiology courses (Anatomy & Physiology I with lab and Anatomy & Physiology II with lab) may be taken provided a minimum of 8 semester hours are completed.

++ Must complete a minimum of 6 semester hours. Recommended psychology courses include Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology or Developmental Psychology.

Remediation Courses


Total Hours - 110


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