New Hampshire Physician Assistant Programs for Licensure

How to Become a Physician Assistant in New Hampshire

Physician assistants working in New Hampshire earn some of the highest average wages in their profession, which in 2012 came out to be $101,380. Granite State residents themselves are generally healthier than most Americans, ranking 43rd, 31st, 28th, and again 43rd when it comes to mortality rates from the nation’s leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and stroke, respectively. Still though, physician assistants are projected to have growing caseloads as New Hampshirites age and require more medical attention. The profession is expected to grow not only due to age demographics but also because more and more PAs are stepping into roles that were traditionally held by doctors- for instance now PAs can prescribe medication in every state. Prospective students interested in pursuing a career as a PA can learn more about how to become a physician assistant in New Hampshire through the following steps:

  1. Evaluate New Hampshire Physician Assistant Programs for Licensure
  2. Take the NCCPA National Qualifying Exam
  3. Become Licensed in New Hampshire
  4. Renew the New Hampshire PA License

Step 1. Evaluate New Hampshire Physician Assistant Programs for Licensure

Prospective students can begin evaluating New Hampshire physician assistant programs for licensure based on two criteria: admission requirements and program accreditation. To start with, students should already have a bachelor degree in any subject because most PA education programs are offered at the graduate level. Having a bachelor degree in the following fields will also help students to save some time on PA prerequisite courses:

  • Cellular Biology
  • Nursing
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Public Health
  • Pre-Medicine
  • Medical Assistant

Prospective PA students should also have taken the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and have experience working in a clinical setting. It is equally important for students to ensure the PA program they choose is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). If it is not accredited by this agency, graduates will not be able to become licensed PAs in New Hampshire. Programs may also be accredited by:

  • American Medical Association’s Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Step 2. Take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Exam

The NCCPA sponsors the national certifying PANCE or Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam. Students who pass the PANCE will then become credentialed as Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C). Registration is accepted beginning 90 days before the end of a student’s PA degree program, and there is a $475 fee associated with the exam. The PANCE tests students on their knowledge of the human body’s organ systems, including:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Endocrine
  • Cardiovascular
  • Pulmonary
  • Reproductive
  • Hematologic

Practice exams are available on the NCCPA’s website, and the PANCE itself takes five hours and is a computer-based, 300-question multiple-choice exam.

Step 3. Become Licensed in New Hampshire

Students will apply to the New Hampshire Board of Medicine when seeking a Physician Assistant License to practice in the state. A complete application includes:

  • Application fee of $115
  • Application Packet
  • Two letters of reference from physicians who have previously supervised the candidate
  • Supervisory Form completed by the candidate’s principal and backup supervising physicians
  • Proof of graduation from a PA program and NCCPA certification should be sent directly by the appropriate agencies to the Board

Step 4. Renew a New Hampshire PA License

PA Licenses expire every year on December 31st. Renewal applications will be mailed to PAs no later than October 31st and must be returned with the appropriate renewal fee by the expiration date. In addition to this, PAs must also submit proof of a current NCCPA certification (PA-C). To maintain their PA-C credential, PAs must complete 100 continuing medical education (CME) credits every two years, and take a re-certification exam every tenth year.

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