Nursing and physical therapy are two of the most popular healthcare profession fields. Both of these solutions are excellent and are in high demand worldwide. When it comes to determining which is the finest, it is mostly dependent on the country in which you live. To assist you in making this decision, I will outline all of the obligations, educational requirements, benefits, and drawbacks of both options. Let’s look over everything in this post about Nursing vs Physical Therapy to see what the distinctions are. Apart from that, there are a number of other aspects to consider before choosing the best decision. Here you can learn details about Nursing Vs Physical Therapy.

Nursing Vs Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists are professionals who work in the field of physical therapy ( PT ). To treat patients, one must have the necessary education and licensure. This therapy aids in the recovery of flexibility, strength, and mobility in patients. This is beneficial for persons who have bone or muscle difficulties. People suffering from chronic pain or major injuries seek the help of a competent physical therapist.

Nursing Vs Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is divided into various categories, each with its own set of responsibilities:

  • Pediatric physical therapy:Pediatric physical therapy focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of children who are disabled or have functional limits as a result of a disorder, trauma, or disease.
  • Geriatric physical therapy:Physical therapists that specialize in aging adults are known as geriatric physical therapists. They aid in the treatment of illnesses such as balance, joint replacement, cancer, osteoporosis, and arthritis.
  • Orthopedic physical therapy:Orthopedic physical therapy is a treatment that aims to improve the function of a person’s orthopedic system, which includes their ligaments, tendons, joints, bones, and muscles.
  • Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapies:Physical therapists that specialize in pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders, such as pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive lung disease, and heart attacks, benefit patients. The purpose of these treatments is to improve functional independence and endurance.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation:Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based program that aims to enhance balance and alleviate dizziness symptoms.
  • Neurological physical therapy:Neurological physical therapy is a physician-supervised treatment for those who have had a nerve system injury, sickness, or dysfunction.


What Is the Role of a Physical Therapist?

Patients of all ages who have or may acquire physical impairments, activity limitations, or participation limits as a result of a disease, condition, or injury are treated by physical therapists. Physical therapists assist people attain the highest potential quality of life when it comes to bodily movement and health by providing rehabilitation, performance enhancement, and prevention treatments.


To obtain a licensure in many nations, a person must have a doctorate in physical therapy. A total of seven years of university study is necessary, consisting of four years of bachelor’s degree in physical therapy followed by a three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program ( DPT).


  • A heart patient who has undergone bypass surgery.
  • End-of-life care for a terminally ill patient.
  • A patient who is pregnant and giving birth.
  • A young patient suffering from a broken arm.

Job and Salary Opportunities:

Due to rising demand, job opportunities in the healthcare sector are at an all-time high. A physical therapist must create a detailed therapy plan. They can also write procedural protocols for Physical Therapist Assistants ( PTA ) to follow.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a physical therapist starts at $79,860. This varies depending on the country.


Nursing is one of the most popular professions for people who desire to work in medicine. The need for experienced and registered nurses is at an all-time high all around the world.

Here are some nursing specialities to consider:

  • Ambulatory care nursing:Ambulatory care nursing is a type of nursing that provides direct health care to people who are not in a medical facility. They can work in outpatient clinics and health centers, medical offices, telehealth, and other health care settings.
  • Cardiac nursing: Cardiac nursing include providing care to individuals suffering from heart disease or other heart-related illnesses.
  • Case management nursing:Case management nursing refers to the care of people who require ongoing assistance. They try to develop and implement a treatment plan that will stabilize your health and keep you out of the hospital as much as possible.
  • Critical care nursing:Nurses who specialize in critical care work with patients who have suffered a serious accident or illness and require constant monitoring and care.
  • Dialysis nursing: A dialysis nurse looks after patients with renal illness who require dialysis, which is a treatment for people whose kidneys can no longer naturally eliminate excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood.
  • ER nursing: After a thorough examination and stabilization of a patient, ER nurses conduct a variety of activities in the emergency room. They analyze a patient’s medical records to establish optimal medicine delivery and treat to minor diseases or wounds.
  • Perioperative nursing, often known as operating room nursing or surgical nursing, focuses on patient care prior to and after surgery. They can set up a surgical room and manage the surgical tools.

What Is the Role of a Registered Nurse?

Registered nurses, in general, are members of a broad profession that uses expertise and compassion to care for people at all stages of life. Nurses collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals to plan, coordinate, and deliver care to patients with a variety of medical conditions.


Nursing education is more demanding than physical therapy education. A person who enrolls in this course should be capable of handling all aspects of patient care. A four-year nursing or bachelor’s degree is required to work as a Registered Nurse (RN). In many places, a two-year associate’s degree or a certification in nursing is adequate to perform this profession.

Advanced studies or a Master’s degree in nursing are additional options. A PhD or master’s degree is required to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist.


  • A sportsperson who is healing from a stress fracture.
  • A person who is obese becomes more active.
  • A senior citizen dealing with arthritis.
  • Relearning a motor skill by a stroke victim.


Job and Salary Opportunities:

Registered Nurses, both new and experienced, have numerous job opportunities in the healthcare field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012 report, the beginning average wage for nurses ranges from $40,000 to $50,000 a year. As one’s experience grows, so does the value of these bundles. If you have a master’s degree and a few years of experience, you can potentially command a better income.

Now that we’ve learned about the tasks and educational requirements for both areas, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Which one should you pick?

Making a decision between these two professional paths is a personal one that is heavily influenced by the preferences of the individual. Nursing is an option for someone who is comfortable with patients, needles, and blood. If you don’t want to work with sick people but still want to work in medicine, Physical Therapy is a good option. Nursing jobs might be more challenging and have several shifts too. It is best to examine all the benefits and disadvantages of each option before making a final decision.

Can a Nurse become a Physical Therapist?

For performing physical therapy, one needs to have an appropriate level of education and also a degree. After earning a doctorate in physical therapy, a nurse can work as a physical therapist. A nurse cannot become a physical therapist without a degree or training.

Prospects for Employment

Physical therapy is a field that is rapidly expanding. There were around 258,200 practicing physical therapists in the United States in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and employment of physical therapists is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2019 to 2029. It also expects an increase in demand for physical therapy from aging baby boomers who are staying active later in life but are at risk of health conditions that may necessitate physical therapy, such as strokes. Physical therapists are also needed to treat people who have mobility issues as a result of chronic conditions like obesity or diabetes.

Registered nurses are expected to rise by 7% between 2019 and 2029, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. Nurse demand is projected to rise as the population ages, similar to physical therapy. Nurses are also required to educate and care for chronically ill patients.

Nursing Education and Licensure

An associate degree in nursing from a recognized institution, as well as a passing score on the NCLEX-RN® exam, are required to become a registered nurse and enter the field at the entry level.

However, there has been a movement in the healthcare industry, with more and more firms asking new nurse hires to hold a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree.

In 2018, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing polled 627 nursing schools on employer preferences in respect to educational degrees. 45.6 percent of healthcare organizations require graduates to have a BSN, and 88.4 percent have a strong preference for BSN program graduates, according to the study.

However, regardless of your level of nursing education, you must pass the NCLEX-RN and become licensed in the state where you intend to practice.

Physical Therapy Education and Licensure

To work as a physical therapist at the entry level, you’ll need a doctorate in physical therapy from a recognized program and to pass a state licensure exam. The Master of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Physical Therapy degrees are no longer offered to new students in the United States, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

Final Words

When comparing registered nursing vs. physical therapy, it’s clear that either profession will provide you with a rewarding healthcare job. From a personal and financial perspective, both are satisfying. Furthermore, due to the rising need for healthcare services in the United States, these professions will have plenty of job stability for many years to come.

Physical therapists earn more money than registered nurses, but they also spend a lot more time in school. Registered nurses can also return to school at any moment to pursue a higher-paying advanced practice post. Nurse practitioners, for instance, are among the highest-paid nursing professionals. According to, as of 2018, nurse practitioners made a median annual salary of $90,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Nursing Vs Physical Therapy