Certification, Licensure, and Professional Organizations


Certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)

Graduates of PA programs accredited by the ARC-PA are eligible to sit for the PANCE. The NCCPA does not accept student registration for the PANCE until 90 days prior to the expected completion date (graduation date) of the PA program. The Program Director must confirm the expected completion date. Students have 180 days from the beginning of their examination timeframe (PA program completion date) to take the PANCE.  Students are notified by the NCCPA via email when their PANCE results are posted to an online record (approximately 2 weeks after the examination date). More detailed information may be found on the NCCPA’s website.  

Tennessee State Licensure

PAs are licensed in Tennessee through the Health Professionals Board by the Committee on Physician Assistants (COPA). Hyperlinks for rules and regulations governing the practice of PAs in Tennessee are posted on www.tn.gov.

Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA)

TAPA is the statewide association representing the educational and professional interests of Tennessee’s PAs. Their mission is to promote accessible, quality healthcare, and to advance the education, profession, and practice of PAs in Tennessee. Student members may attend continuing medical education (CME) conferences and workshops, be elected to the Student Director position on the Board of Directors and apply for TAPA scholarships. TAPA also maintains an electronic job bank. www.tnpa.com  

American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)

The AAPA is the national professional society for PAs representing more than 123,000 PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and the uniformed services. AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. AAPA’s vision is to transform health through patient-centered, team-based medical practice. AAPA’s Student Academy Board of Directors and Assembly of Representatives lead student efforts to further the mission of the Academy. AAPA maintains an electronic job bank and provides career resources. More detailed information may be found on the AAPA’s website.  www.aapa.org

American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants (AASPA)

The AASPA provides support to surgical PAs in all operative settings and specialties who seek to better their careers, their professions, and the quality of patient care. AASPA was formed for surgical PAs, by surgical PAs. AASPA also supports PA students (pre-PA, entry-level, and post-graduate) with workshops and other educational activities, a PA Student Blog, AASPA Scholarships, and other resources. www.aaspa.com