Medical Assistant vs Nurse has become the most popular career choices in the medical stream. If you wish to make it big in the healthcare sector, it is essential to first understand the concept between the two professions. Although both the professions work for the health and benefits of the patients, there are certain prominent differences between them as well. We have also provided an in depth details about med school for more information.

Medical assistants focus primarily on emergency and ambulatory services. On the other hand, a nurse is more involved in clinical and hospital care. With a steady growth pace, the healthcare industry in the US is known to offer rewarding, challenging, and progressive employment opportunities to skilled candidates. 

The healthcare industry in the US is constantly developing, thanks to the advanced technologies and treatment options.  Let’s understand the basic difference between medical assistant vs nurse assistant.

Medical assistant vs nurse
Medical Assistant vs Nurse

Medical Assistant vs Nurse – Outlook

Medical assistants are the expert health professionals who work to support the physicians. They are also actively involved with many other medical professionals. These professionals work majorly in outpatient care and ambulatory facilities like medical offices and clinics. Interestingly, medical assistants are also cross-trained to manage both clinical and administrative and functions. 

In comparison to medical assistant vs nurse aide, nurses are one of the most crucial parts of the healthcare industry. While doctors generally specialize in a specific area, nurses are meant to coordinate with all the domains of the healthcare sector. A nurse is a constant companion of the patient throughout his treatment procedure. 

They are responsible to take complete care of the patients, ensuring proper prescriptions, and preparing them for medical tests. They can work in different health care settings like private physician clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and so on. It is to be noted that this profession is subjected to uncommon working conditions, long working hours, and challenging situations. 

Medical Assistant vs Nurse : Common Tasks performance

Here is the list of common duties shared by medical assistants and nurses:

  1. Take patients information
  2. Check vital signs
  3. Collect samples
  4. Administer vaccinations and medications
  5. Assist in minor surgeries

Medical Assistant vs Registered Nurse : Duties and Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of a medical assistant are:

  1. Taking medical histories 
  2. Performing laboratory tests
  3. Updating medical records
  4. Filling forms and coding 
  5. Managing the billing and bookkeeping functions
  6. Assisting doctors during medical examinations
  7. Collecting specimen for laboratory analysis
  8. Explaining the treatment options and procedures to the patients
  9. Preparing patients for the medical examinations

The primary duties and responsibilities of a registered nurse are:

  1. Taking down health-related histories of the patients
  2. Conduct physical examinations
  3. Listen to the symptoms of the patient and analyzing their medical care needs
  4. Counseling and providing health care education to the patients
  5. Stay abreast with the latest and advances of the healthcare industry
  6. Check the vital signs of the patient
  7. Take blood samples and perform relevant testing
  8. Coordinate care and treatment procedures with other health care specialists
  9. Communicating with doctors
  10. Managing IV lines
  11. Self-administer physical therapy and medication 

Patient Care 

Providing patient care services should be noticed as one of the prime duty in medical assistant vs nurse topic. Patient care includes assisting patients in their routine activities like feeding, hygiene, and wound dressing, and preparing the patients for diagnostic procedures. 

The similarity in medical assistant vs registered nurse is that both nurses and medical assistants are responsible to prevent the spread of infection and diseases by offering a clean and healthy environment for the patients. This process includes activities like changing bed linens, disinfecting surfaces, and cleaning non-disposable medical equipment that is shared by several patients.

Medical Assistant vs Nurse Assistant
Medical Assistant vs Nurse Assistant

Medical Assistant vs Nurse Assistant – Scope of Practice

Medical Assistant

You see, the medical assistants work directly under the guidance and supervision of an experienced and licensed doctor. In certain cases, they can also work under the supervision of a registered nurse. The scope of practice for this profile includes patient care, administering medications, obtaining a medical history of the patients, patient education, handling administrative procedures, helping in minor surgeries, and so on. 

Apart from this, every medical facility can also designate additional duties to the medical assistants. Some experienced medical assistants with higher qualifications can also start intravenous lines and help during emergencies. 


The majority of the duties performed by a nurse are similar to that of a medical assistant. That since nurses receive intensive medical training, they can offer advanced medical care services to the patients. This makes them eligible to provide advanced medications like allergy tests, blood products, and chemotherapy. 

Nurses can also start IV lines and other advanced forms of care when needed. They can also specialize in specific areas of medicine like oncology, emergency medicine, cardiology, and so on. This will give them a chance to practice advanced medical skills. You see, nurses are one of the prime patient educators. 

Registered Nurse vs Medical Assistant – Education

Medical Assistant

There is a lot of difference in the education requirements of both the professions. Medical assistants need to undergo intensive training before starting their practice. Medical assistants generally attend two types of Medical Assistant programs; nine months or one year. Various certificates and diploma programs are also available that are of 9-12 years of duration. 


On the other hand, nurses are required to complete an accredited training course along with licensure or certification from the state in which they want to serve. Advanced nursing programs can be found at several colleges and universities across the US. Candidates thereafter can apply for different nursing professions all over the country. 

The major subjects taught in these courses are physiology, chemistry, biology, the lifespan of disease, pharmacology, and so on. Nurses can earn their LPN degrees by completing a one-year nursing school course. 

They can also study for one more year and earn the designation of a registered nurse. 2 years of nursing school studies can help them get an Associate degree. Whereas, studying for 4 years can give them a bachelor’s degree. Hope the programs related to registered nurse vs medical assistant is clear to you.

Medical Assistant vs Nurse Aide
Medical Assistant vs Nurse Aide

Medical Assistant vs Nurse Aide – Salary

The average Medical Assistant salary in the United States is $36,048 as of July 27, 2020, but the range typically falls between $33,235 and $38,925. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Now in comparison to medical assistant vs nurse aide salary ,in the United States the average annual salary for a Registered Nurse is currently $73,550 which breaks down as an average of $35.36 per hour, $1,414 per week and a monthly salary of $6,129.

These were the basic points in medical assistant vs nurse. If you too wish to pursue a career in any of these professions, make sure you have their complete understanding first. Connect with us for more details on medical assistants and nurses. Also check out our home page at online schools near me for more information.