Physician Assistant Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in Tennessee

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it’s in Tennessee which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

Sign welcoming you to Tennessee

What You Need to Know About Tennessee as a Locum Tenens Physician Assistant?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in Tennessee.

Click here for open physician assistant jobs in Tennessee!

Tennessee: A Brief History

Get ready for a wild ride through Tennessee’s history! It starts with ancient Native American civilizations, then along came brave frontiersmen like Davy Crockett. This musical state gave birth to blues on Beale Street in Memphis and country music twang in the Smoky Mountains.  Today, it’s known for hot chicken in Nashville, Elvis’s Graceland, and whiskey smooth as a country song.  Tennessee’s a place where the past echoes in the present, with a whole lot of soul mixed in.

From its frontier roots to modern-day music meccas, Tennessee’s history is a soundtrack of the American experience. It’s a place where hardship and resilience met with innovation and creativity, shaping a state with a rich legacy and a spirit that keeps on singing.  Whether you’re tracing the footsteps of legends or savoring a plate of Memphis BBQ, Tennessee’s story resonates with the heart and soul of the South.

What is there to do and see in Tennessee?

  • Musical Pilgrimage: Embark on a musical journey through Tennessee, starting in Memphis, the birthplace of blues, where you can walk down historic Beale Street, visit the iconic Graceland, and lose yourself in the soulful sounds of live music. From there, make your way to Nashville, the heart of country music, where you can dance the night away to the tunes of talented musicians in the vibrant honky-tonks and music venues.
  • Smoky Mountain Adventures: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can embark on scenic hikes to cascading waterfalls, spot black bears in their natural habitat, and soak in the crisp mountain air. For a truly adventurous experience, try white-water rafting on the Pigeon River or zip-lining through the towering trees.
  • Good Eats & Sips: Satisfy your taste buds with Tennessee’s culinary delights. Start your food tour in Nashville, where you can indulge in the famous hot chicken, a spicy and flavorful dish that is a must-try. Next, head to Memphis for some of the best BBQ in the country, where you can savor tender smoked ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. Wash it all down with a sip of Tennessee whiskey, as you explore the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, which features distilleries and tasting rooms throughout the state.
  • Dollywood Delights: Dive into a world of kitschy fun at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood, a unique theme park and resort nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. Experience thrilling rides, heartwarming shows, and authentic Appalachian crafts and traditions. Meet the friendly park characters, enjoy delicious Southern-style food, and embrace the spirit of the Smoky Mountains.

How close is Tennessee to other cities and states?

  • Kentucky: Tennessee shares its entire northern border with Kentucky. The distance from central Tennessee to the Kentucky border is negligible. 
  • Missouri: A small portion of Tennessee’s northwestern corner borders Missouri. The distance from central Tennessee to the Missouri border is around 200 miles.
  • Mississippi: Tennessee shares its southwestern border with Mississippi. The distance from central Tennessee to the Mississippi border is approximately 150 miles.  

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice In Tennessee

What is the Scope of Practice for Physician Assistants in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, physician assistants (PAs) have full practice authority, allowing them to diagnose, prescribe medications, order tests, and perform procedures without direct physician supervision. PAs have a rigorous education and training program with both coursework and clinical rotations and must pass a national certification exam. Granting PAs full practice authority has several benefits, including improved access to care, reduced costs, and increased quality of care. Concerns regarding a decrease in quality or an increase in costs have not been substantiated by studies. Overall, the benefits of granting PAs full practice authority outweigh the challenges, as they are highly trained and qualified healthcare professionals who can provide high-quality care to patients.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Death Certificates in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, physician assistants (PAs) can legally sign death certificates. This authorization is given by the Tennessee Medical Examiners’ Office. PAs must complete a training program and meet other requirements to sign death certificates. PAs play a crucial role in ensuring accurate death certificates and providing information to families. Additionally, PAs in Tennessee can perform other duties typically handled by physicians, such as diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medications, and performing minor surgeries. This authorization recognizes the significant role PAs play in the healthcare system, as they are highly trained professionals capable of providing high-quality care to patients.

Does Tennessee Recognize Physician Assistants as Primary Care Providers? 

The state of Tennessee acknowledges the role of physician assistants (PAs) as primary care providers through its statutes and administrative codes. This recognition ensures access to quality healthcare for all residents, as PAs play a vital role in delivering primary care services.

Can Physician Assistants Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in Tennessee?

Yes, physician assistants can prescribe schedule II drugs in Tennessee

Do Physician Assistants Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, physician assistants (PAs) are recognized as healthcare professionals eligible for medical staff membership at hospitals and other facilities. PAs are licensed healthcare professionals who have completed rigorous education and training and work under physician supervision. This enhanced integration improves care coordination for patients. Additionally, medical staff membership provides PAs with opportunities for professional development and continuing education, contributing to the overall quality of healthcare services they provide.

Can Physician Assistants Order Physical Therapy in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, physician assistants (PAs) have the authority to prescribe physical therapy for patients, reflecting their high level of autonomy and responsibility in healthcare delivery. PAs are healthcare professionals with specialized training and work under physician supervision. Their ability to order physical therapy highlights the trust in their clinical abilities and the recognition of physical therapy’s importance in patient care. Physical therapy can address various conditions, helping patients relieve pain, improve mobility, and restore function. PAs’ ability to provide these services enhances access to care, especially for patients in rural areas or with travel difficulties. The collaboration between PAs and physical therapists can offer comprehensive care, improving patient outcomes and overall healthcare quality in Tennessee.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in Tennessee?

Yes! Physicians assistants are authorized to certify disability for parking placards in the state of Tennessee. In the state of Tennessee, physician assistants (PAs) are authorized to certify disability for parking placards. PAs are highly trained healthcare professionals who undergo rigorous education and clinical training, preparing them to assess a patient’s medical condition and determine their eligibility for a disability parking placard. The process for obtaining a disability parking placard typically involves a medical professional certifying the applicant’s disability, and PAs are among the healthcare professionals who are authorized to provide this certification. PAs contribute to improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities by providing them with the convenience and accessibility they need to participate fully in society.

Can Physician Assistants Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in Tennessee? 

In Tennessee, Physician Assistants can sign POST forms. By signing a POST form, physicians acknowledge discussing the patient’s end-of-life wishes and reflecting those wishes in the orders. The process involves discussing the patient’s goals, completing the form and sharing it with healthcare providers. Though the signature of a patient or a patient’s legal representative is not required, it is strongly recommended. POST forms ensure that patients’ end-of-life wishes are respected and help ensure a dignified and peaceful death.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, physicians can legally sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders. The state of Tennessee defines a DNR order as a medical order directing that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or other life-sustaining measures not be performed or administered to a patient in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. The act’s provisions help ensure that patients’ wishes are respected and that they receive the level of care they desire.

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physician Assistants in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, physician assistants (PAs) must complete 100 continuing education (CE) hours every two years to maintain their license and ensure they deliver safe and competent care to their patients. The CE hours must be obtained from accredited sources and cover a wide range of medical disciplines. PAs are required to maintain accurate records of their CE activities and may face disciplinary action if they fail to meet the requirements. By fulfilling the CE requirements, PAs demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality, evidence-based care to their patients.

Find Your Next Physician Assistant Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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