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Is a medical assistant the same as a nurse?

Question:

Is a medical assistant the same as a nurse?

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Answer:

Medical assistants and nurses have very little in common. First, it is important to keep in mind that there are two types of nurses: licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and registered nurses (RN). In terms of their education and training, medical assistants can be similar to LPNs but not to RNs. To become a medical assistant, you will need to complete a certificate or training program that typically takes a year or less to complete. You could even apply for on-the-job training and don't complete a formal training program. To become an LPN, you will also need to complete a certificate or diploma program but you can't go through on-the-job training. RNs are more advanced in terms of education than medical assistants. They are required to get at least an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) and most of them get a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN).

In terms of licensing, they are also different. LPNs and RNs have to complete a state-specific licensing process. Meanwhile. medical assistants are not required to have a license in most states of the U.S. A relevant fact about these occupations is that medical assistants are often under the supervision of nurses. Typically RNs supervise LPNs and medical assistants to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to.

For more information about medical assistants, check out this article: Medical Assistant: Career Info & Requirements

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