Can I begin working as a PA w/o having taken the PANCE?
Yes!!! Yes, you can!
It is possible to start working as a PA without having taken the PANCE. Those who are eligible to sit for and have not yet taken the NCCPA certification exam may be able to obtain a temporary PA license in participating states.
Most state licensing boards will require a recent grad to show proof of eligibility (varies by state) and confirmation of the scheduled PANCE date to qualify. You will have to check with your state licensing board for more details.
Who Does This Benefit?
-Those who have a job offer and would like to begin working right away.
-Residents of states where license issuance can be a long process
-Those impacted by COVID-19. ‘Rona has caused some significant delays in licensing and exam scheduling. In order to be prepared for the worst case scenario or to be able to accept a dream opportunity should one be presented, the temporary license would be beneficial.
Some Important Things to Know:
-If you have been issued a temporary license but fail the PANCE, depending on the state, temp license holders may be able to request an extension and if approved might be able to continue working while preparing to re-take the exam.
-You can not apply for a temporary license after failing or passing the PANCE. Temporary Licenses are for recent grads who have not yet taken the NCCPA certification exam/PANCE
-Once you do pass the PANCE, your official PA-C license is automatically issued. Applying for a temporary license requires the same paperwork. The only thing missing is your PANCE score and once received, all you have to do is wait for your official license to arrive in your mailbox. At least this is the case in FL, double check with your state licensing board.
When Should I Apply?
As soon as you have met the eligibility requirements for your state licensing board. For most, that eligibility is once a prospective applicant has registered and scheduled a date with NCCPA to take the PANCE.