Vision, Mission & Goals

Physician Assistant Studies

(ARC-PA Standard A3.14b)


The vision of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program is to expand and enhance access to health care for all Nevadans through PA workforce development and advocacy for the profession.


The mission of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program is to train flexible and committed primary care clinicians dedicated to strengthening health care in their communities.


Based on these vision and mission statements, the goals of the program are:

Goal #1

Prepare clinically skilled PAs by providing an educational environment that fosters learning and prepares students to meet primary care workforce needs of underserved and rural Nevada.

Key Performance Indicators with Targets:
  • Graduates that remain in Nevada. Target: 60%
  • Graduates that choose primary care as their initial practice setting. Target: 20%
  • Graduates that practice in underserved or rural setting. Target: 15%
Program activities to support goal:
  • Six, 4-week primary care focused clerkships
  • 4-week clerkship in medically underserved populations
  • Clerkship opportunities throughout rural Nevada
Assessment Mechanism:
  • 1-year post-graduation surveys of practice settings

[Benchmark sources: 2015 Statistical Profile of Recently Certified Physician Assistants; 2016 Annual Report of the NCCPA; Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book - Eighth Edition and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)]

  • (data published when available)

Goal #2

Provide educational and training opportunities for non-traditional students, particularly those from rural and underserved Nevada communities, and those who have served in military medical settings.

Key Performance Indicators with Targets:
  • Applicants and matriculated students meeting the definition non-traditional student. Target: 30%
    Any one of the following characteristics:
    • Seeking career change or enhancement
    • Age over 24
    • Delayed enrollment into graduate school
    • Financially independent for financial aid purposes
    • Has dependents other than a spouse
    • Is a single parent
    • Is a veteran
  • Applicants from:
    • Nevada. Target: 80%
    • Medically underserved or rural Nevada. Target: 30%
  • Applicants with:
    • Current or past military service. Target: 5%
Program activities to support goal:

Website and informational sessions that provide candidates with program goals. Admissions process to screen and identify candidates with these characteristics. The program is organizationally located and collaborates with the Office of Statewide Initiatives, which also houses the Office of Rural Health.

Assessment Mechanism:
  • Admissions data

[Benchmark sources: Non-traditional Student definition adopted from:;
Rural Nevada; Underserved communities as defined by Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book - Eighth Edition and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs); Physician Assistant Education Association. 2017. By the Numbers: Student Report 1. Washington, DC: PAEA. doi:10.17538/SR2017.0001]

  • (data published when available)

Goal #3

Recruit qualified applicants who will successfully complete medical education as a PA.

Key Performance Indicators with Targets:
  • Graduation rate. Target: 100%

Data collected from each cohort that include:

Metrics by enrollment and demographic data
Class EnrolledRatio Applied/Enrolled NevadansNV ResidentRuralCum GPA/Semester HoursScience GPA/Semester HoursHours of HCE*
Attrition RateGraduation RatePANCE Rate^

*HCE (Health Care Experience-Average)
^PANCE First Time Pass Rate

Program activities to support goal:
  • Analyze admissions and program data and apply it to revise the admissions process. Identify and recruit candidates that are statistically successful in our program.
Assessment Mechanism:
  • Admissions and program data. Post-graduation surveys.
  • (see table above; data published when available)

Goal #4

To provide students with the knowledge, skills, and experience to be successful, competent PAs.

Key Performance Indicators with Targets:
  • Maintain a PANCE First Time Pass Rate at or above the national mean
  • Preceptor ratings of academic preparedness of students for clerkships. Target: 3.5 or greater
  • Graduate ratings on preparation for entry into PA practice upon graduation. Target: 3.5 or greater (surveyed at one-year post graduation)

[Based on a 5-point scale where 1=Not at all prepared; 2=Not very prepared; 3=Somewhat prepared; 4=Very prepared; 5=Extremely prepared]

Program activities to support goal:

Provide high-quality rigorous education through solid curriculum, interprofessional educational experiences, and strong alignment with Department of Family and Community Medicine and community partners. Develop program procedures to exceed self-assessment requirements leading to continuous program innovation and improvement. Faculty development to ensure that instruction is in line with current trends through evidence-based techniques. Early identification of students who may be at academic risk and provide the necessary support.

Assessment Mechanism:
  • PANCE reports. Student surveys of program and faculty. Preceptor surveys of program and students. Faculty surveys of Program Director and institution.

[Benchmark sources: NCCPA for PANCE]

  • (data published when available)