Nursing or Medical Assistant School

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Nursing vs. Medical Assistant School – What’s Right For You?

On the surface, nursing and medical assisting may seem very similar, as they share some of the same duties and requirements. However, once you look deeper, you will see that the two careers are actually very different, and it is important to understand these differences fully before you decide which would be the better path for you.  

Nursing Schools

Students at nursing school learn about the hospital and residential health care. This usually includes courses on anatomy, physiology, the fundamentals of nursing, and specialist study on the students’ chosen field. As a nurse, you are expected to provide both long-term and short-term care to patients, provide emotional support to patients and family members, and carry out invasive procedures under the supervision of a physician. You will work through an accredited training program that leads either to certification or licensure.  

Medical Assistant Schools

As medical assistants work in both medical and administrative settings, students must learn clinical skills and clerical duties. The clinical side of programs covers all aspects of health care that could be required in a position, rather than any specialized area, including patient care, clinical assisting, pharmacology, health sciences, laboratory procedures, and therapeutic care. Students also learn how to carry out a range of tasks for the front and back office — scheduling appointments, taking phone calls, authorizing insurance claims, and filing medical records, for instance.

You will end your training by taking the Registered Medical Assistant Exam or Certified Medical Assistant Exam. Both of these are national credentials that allow medical assistants to work in a wide range of support jobs across an array of medical facility types.  

Who Should Consider Becoming a Medical Assistant?

There are some significant advantages to becoming a medical assistant that makes this a better option than nursing for many students:

  • You will finish training in less than a year. Traditional nursing schools take at least two years to complete, whereas medical assistant schools offer all the training you need to begin your career in under one year.
  • Job growth is above average. Across all fields, average job growth is 11 percent between 2012 and 2022. Expected growth for registered nurses is slightly faster, at 19 percent; however, job outlook for medical assistants is much faster — at 29 percent for the same period, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Work a flexible schedule. As a certified medical assistant, you will be in high demand. This will give you the chance to work hours that are convenient for you — no waiting for work to be available or being forced to take shifts at odd hours. This allows you to fit your job around your family life and easily find a new job if you need to move to a different city.

If you enjoy working with people as well as making things happen behind the scenes, if you want a job where you matter and will make a difference in the lives of others, and if you want job security, flexibility, and variety, training to be a medical assistant could be the perfect option for you. To find out more about medical assistant training and how it can lead to an interesting, rewarding career, contact us at Southern Careers Institute. We can provide you with all the information you need to know about our medical assistant courses and how you can get started with the enrollment process.

This article was published on: 04/30/15 2:44 PM

What SCI Students Are Saying

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Juan L.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator

“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”


Denise S.
Medical Assistant

“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”


Raquel S.

“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”


Annette D.
Business Accounting

“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”


Bonnie M
Medical Assistant

“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”


Sidney B
Medical Assistant

“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”


Andrea Garcia

“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”


Olga C.

“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”


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