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Paramedic to RN......


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#1 schorched

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:36 PM

I have recently enrolled in the EMS program at the JC in my area and will be starting the EMT-B portion next month, with the Paramedic leg of the program beginning in August. I originally planned to go to LPN school and then transition to RN, but because I want to learn trauma skills and go more in that direction with my nursing career in the future I thought this plan might make more sense for me. I'm just curious if anyone here has transitioned from Medic to RN, what was involved in the process and was the trasition difficult to make? For someone wanting to eventually do critical care and trauma nursing is this a smart way to go about it? I know there are some pretty seasoned medics and nurses floating around here and I'd love to hear your advice.
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#2 TearsOfNorris

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:54 PM

Not sure how it is in Oklahoma, but my wife got her BSN here in Texas. She graduated with several people who had been paramedics or LVNs in a former life. They all still had to take the same courses and didn't get through school any faster. From what I saw, the only advantage the EMTs had was the extra experience and confidence on the job. If you can, you're probably better off going straight for RN now instead of becoming an EMT first (again, look into your local laws, it might be different in OK). Once you have your RN (preferably BSN), get the extra wound care certs, and you'll have no trouble finding a trauma job.

#3 PapaCannoli

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 06:14 PM

I don't know about your state... My state offers A Pre-hospital RN "certification". If I had a choice to do it over again I would go with my RN and test "down" rather than "up". I agree that most of the nurses that I meat that are/were Medic prior to there RN are better at making decisions and more confident in those skills. They also seem to understand the challenges of field care better if there in the ER and are more understanding when certain things never get done.

It also depends on you and what you are more interested in. If you go for your RN get your EMT-B too. It looks good on a resume, and you will have the opportunity to get involved in the pre-hospital pt care while in nursing school.

Some Medic programs have credits that are transferable to a RN program. I would try to find one of those programs. Most medics only last a few years before they cant do the job anymore for one reason or another. Give yourself some room for a back-up.

#4 schorched

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for the info. I am actually on the Oklahoma texas Border and will be going to school in Texas. The school I will be attending offers EMS as a 2 year degree as opposed to certificate only program. I could be wrong but as I understand it this is a relatively new degree? Maybe that will help with credits toward an RN program? They offer an RN transition program there also, but it is a 2 year nursing degree not a BSN.

#5 Davis

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:32 PM

Schorched, one of my former paramedic employees found a combination distance/classroom transition or "bridge" program to go from Paramedic to RN. I believe it is a less than one year program, however it did have some pretty steep prerequisites, such as a full two semesters of A&P, micro biology, and several other high level classes that I would never want to take. I think the program is based out of either Kansas or Oklahoma. If you are interested I can get in touch with him and find out the name and details of the program.

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#6 TearsOfNorris

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

FYI, many of the hospitals in my area are requiring all new-hire RNs to be BSNs now. Go figure: there's a nursing shortage so let's make it harder for nurses to get jobs!

#7 schorched

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:09 PM

Davis I would be interested in knowing more about that program yes thanks.

#8 schorched

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:14 PM

FYI, many of the hospitals in my area are requiring all new-hire RNs to be BSNs now. Go figure: there's a nursing shortage so let's make it harder for nurses to get jobs!


I wonder what the reason for that is. I have pretty much resolved myself to the fact that if I am going to go to RN I may as well keep going till at least a BSN level education to make it worth my while.

#9 OhioGuy

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:14 PM

My daughter is 17 and has been selected to three universities so far as an "undeclared" major because most BSN programs require high ACT/SAT scores, especially in math. She has a 3.5GPA and is taking six CP classes in her senior year which include anatomy and other difficult courses. She spends about 4 hours a night doing homework and studying and still can't get accepted in a BSN program. I'm just saying, it's not easy and it's very competitive we are finding out. So, maybe a transition from a 2-year nursing program and work your way up would be an option. Don't forget about clinicals. It's hard for full-time, working adults to do this though.

#10 schorched

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

VERY good point Ohioguy. The nursing programs here as well, even the LPN programs at vocational schools are extremely competitive and not easy to get into. I have also not ruled out the idea that I may very well like being a medic and end up choosing to further my education in that department instead when all is said and done. I am pretty interested in the idea of being a flight medic (after I have an appropriate amount of experience of course) and happen to be 5'4"......a mini man that would fit in a chopper pretty well LOL! Working off shore appeals to me too. I am pretty early into things right now so who knows where I'll end up, but I like having a plan. Even if it ends up being modified later as things progress.

#11 Davis

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:41 PM

Schorched, I know you are just starting out and it will be a few years before you get there, but if you do plan on even the possibility of going into a flight job plan on getting our FP-C. It is becoming a more and more common requirement. I can tell you right now, any medic resume that I see, if they have their FP-C they move to the top of the list for my operations.

And it may take me a few days, but I will find the info on that bridge program for you.

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#12 schorched

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

Excellent thanks for that info davis. A flight job is at the top of the list of things I would like to pursue. Even if I were to become an RN I would like to eventually pursue a flight nurse job. Does the FP-C take long for a Paramedic to acquire?

#13 Davis

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:42 PM

FP-C (flight paramedic certified) is technically only a written test, there is not an official class that goes with it, which is part of what makes it so prestigious to have, because, from what I understand from all of my guys that have taken it, it is one of the hardest tests a paramedic will ever take. There is a self study guideline out there which most people study before setting for the test, and typically a medic should have at least 3 or more years of experience working in a busy critical care field environment to get the background to be to that level. That said, I have seen people that have been good paramedics for 18+ years fail the test and young paramedics with less than 2 years experience pass it, so if you are good tester I suppose that helps.

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#14 PapaCannoli

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:55 AM

I wonder what the reason for that is. I have pretty much resolved myself to the fact that if I am going to go to RN I may as well keep going till at least a BSN level education to make it worth my while.


Most hospitals are trying to get MAGNET status for there hospitals which require a certain percentage of there nursing staff to have higher levels of education. You can thank one of those day time TV show doctors for telling people to go to a magnet hospital. There are online classes offered through the College Network. More info can be found at JEMS. Medic to RN is relatively new. There are a lot of options to add to your medic certification. Wilderness, Critical care, Flight, and so on.

#15 schorched

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:51 AM

There are a lot of options to add to your medic certification. Wilderness, Critical care, Flight, and so on.


Indeed I've been surfing around the web since I started this thread checking out some of the different certs such as Wilderness, and the more I look and read the more interesting various other options as a medic are beginning to pique my interest. I haven't mentioned it before but I also hold a firefighter 1 cert for basic firefighting and have a background in state corrections as a Sergeant, was on the CERT team etc and it occurred to me that some sort of Medic / security combo position might be a possibility also. The plot thickens lol :D .

#16 OhioGuy

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:01 AM

@ schorched...

I've pondered about changing careers many times and the health field has always been an interest for me but what aggravates me more than anything is nobody makes it easy for working adults to achieve this. Most colleges require so many credit hours and clinical courses which is almost impossible if you're the bread winner of the family. You would think they would be more flexible at these schools for our situations and allow clinical programs to be done on weekends. I told one college counselor years ago that I'd love to spend my money at your college for a new career but if you're not willing to be flexible and work with me I guess you don't want my money that bad. :)

So, I never pursued the medical field, especially for programs that require clinical classes because of their lousy schedules. We would make excellent employees for someone because adults who change careers really know what they want, usually. Unfortunately colleges don't care about us, it's about money and numbers. Most of their paying customers are kids who don't support a family so why would they disrupt their schedules and planned academic courses for us?

I don't mean to sound like a bunch of sour grapes but it does become frustrating when you hate your career and would love to change it but nobody is willing to work with you as educators. This has to change and I hope it does one day.

#17 schorched

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

I agree it is very hard to pursue when supporting a family. I'm lucky enough to have a wife with a solid career encouraging me and picking up the extra slack while I work part time and go to school. Unfortunately not everyone is that fortunate.

#18 nickb512

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:48 PM

I say go for it but don't ignore the CNA role. I work as one now while going to school for my BSN and have seen way too many new nurses who lack the basic skill set to work on a hospital floor. Also remember that nursing is a super popular field right now so you may have to work in some other type of unit first before finding a job in a trauma setting. Overall though it sounds like a solid plan as long as you can find work

#19 schorched

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:53 PM

I'm actually a CNA now that was the first certification I got. That and HHA and just finished phlebotomy.

#20 OhioGuy

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

I'd be an excellent nurse dealing with customer service for 15 years! lol

I am concerned for my daughter though who is so naive. She doesn't understand the real world yet and how to deal with people. That is only obtained through experience.




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