Jul 19, 2024  
2023-24 NSU Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-24 NSU Graduate Catalog

Physician Assistant Studies, M.S.

Location(s): Muskogee


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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 April 5, 2023, 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  https://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-northeastern-state-university/ .

Competencies and Student Learning Outcomes

At the time of successful completion of all elements of the program’s curriculum and when the degree of Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is conferred, graduates will be able to accomplish the following.

1. Medical knowledge. Physical assistants are expected to understand, evaluate, and apply the following in the clinical setting:

a. etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process, and epidemiology for medical conditions

b. signs and symptoms of medical and surgical conditions

c. appropriate screening and diagnostic studies

d. interventions for prevention of disease and health promotion/maintenance

2. Interpersonal skills. Physician assistants are expected to:

a.  use effective communication skills to elicit and provide accurate information

b.  demonstrate compassionate and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families

c.  counsel and educate patients and their families

d. work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care

3. Clinical and technical skills. Physician assistants are expected to:

a. accurately and adequately document information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes

b. locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies to support patient care decisions and patient education

c. perform an appropriate medical history and physical exam

d. perform medical and surgical procedures essential to the specialty

4. Professional behaviors. Physician assistants are expected to:

a. recognize and appropriately address personal biases, gaps in medical knowledge, and physical limitations in themselves and others

b. effectively interact with different types of medical practice and delivery systems

c. advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities that contribute to health care disparities regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, race, intellect, sexual orientation, or ability to pay

d. demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety

e. commitment to ethical principles

5. Clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Physician assistants are expected to:

a. interpret history and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate differential diagnoses and implement patient management plans

b. manage general medical and surgical conditions to include pharmacologic and other treatment modalities

c. apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical literature and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness

d. apply the concepts of population health to patient care

Purpose


Program Mission

The mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program at Northeastern State University is to produce qualified, compassionate and competent physician assistants for medically underserved populations of northeastern Oklahoma and the surrounding region. Although the NSU PA program endeavors to care for all underserved Oklahomans, populations that have historically been the focus of our mission include American Indians, as well as rural and black communities in Oklahoma.

Specialty Accreditation

Northeastern State University has Accreditation - Provisional status from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). (see statement above). ARC-PA is located at 12000 Findley Road, Suite 275, Johns Creek, GA 30097, 770-476-1224. www.arc-pa.org.

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 National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). After passing the PANCE, PAs are issued NCCPA certification and can use the PA-C designation until the certification expiration date (approximately ten years). Fees are required for the examination and licensure. Students are encouraged to talk with their faculty mentor about licensure requirements and to consult the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) for more information.

Admission Standards and Application Procedures


Admission Standards
  1. Prior to matriculation into the program, applicants must earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution within the U.S.
  2. Applicants must complete all prerequisite courses listed below with a grade of “C” or better. All prerequisite credit must come from a regionally accredited college or university. A single course cannot satisfy more than one prerequisite. Applicants may have no more than two remaining prerequisite courses (with only one being a science prerequisite) after December 31 of the year preceding enrollment. Any outstanding prerequisites must be completed by the following June 15. Preference is given to applicants who have fully completed their prerequisites prior to the October 1 deadline. The health-related upper division biology courses must be completed within seven years of matriculation into the program.
  3. Applicants must be in good standing with the college or university last or currently attending.
  4. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. A minimum science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as calculated by as computed by Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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)
  • 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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