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. The earliest date a student may take the PANCE following program completion (graduation) is 7 days. 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 (https://www.nccpa.net/).

Tennessee State Licensure

PAs are licensed in Tennessee through the Health Professionals Board by the Committee on Physician Assistants (COPA). https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/health-professional-boards/pa-board.html.

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 only statewide association representing the educational and professional interests of Tennessee’s PAs. Their mission is to promote accessible, quality health care, 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.

Student Chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAPA)

Students enrolled in the LMU-Harrogate PA Program are eligible for membership and office in the Student Chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAPA). Students may also be elected to the House of Delegates (HOD) and Assembly of Representatives (AOR) in the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). The Program supports student members of the SAAPA by allowing student representatives of the HOD and AOR to attend the HOD and AOR proceedings at the AAPA national meeting. (https://www.aapa.org/about/aapa-governanceleadership/student-academy/)

American Academy of Physician Assistants

(AAPA) https://www.aapa.org/

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 resource. More detailed information may be found on the AAPA’s website.

Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)

The Physician Assistant Education Association is a national organization representing Physician Assistant educational programs in the United States. PAEA provides services for faculty at its member programs, as well as to applicants, students, and other stakeholders. PAEA supports two fellowship programs for PA Students, the Student Health Policy Fellowship (http://paeaonline.org/resources/health-policy-fellowship/) and the Future Educator Fellowship (http://paeaonline.org/resources/future-educator-fellowship/).

Pi Alpha

Pi Alpha is the national Physician Assistant honor society, supported by PAEA, organized for the promotion and recognition of both PA students and graduates. PA Students who have excelled academically and in research, publishing, community and/or professional service, or leadership activities are eligible for nomination for membership. The Program nominates students each year and presents the award(s) at graduation. (http://paeaonline.org/pi-alpha-honorsociety/)