If you have completed your paramedic training, you may have wondered how a paramedic can become an RN. Paramedic-to-RN programs include several advanced medical courses to prepare fully-trained paramedics for a career in nursing. Some schools offer paramedic to RN "bridge" programs where the student can complete an accelerated educational program in order to receive their RN credentials. The transition from a paramedic to RN is relatively easy, because paramedics have already completed basic training and clinical work in areas of patient care and assessment, drug administration, ambulatory procedures and practices, and pharmacology amongst others.
How a Paramedic Can Become an RN
Paramedic to RN training programs award licensed paramedics with registered nurse (RN) credentials after they complete an associate's degree in nursing. Those who have an Associate of Science in Nursing are able to find work in hospitals, physician's offices, clinics, healthcare facilities and retirement homes.
Here's a breakdown of how a paramedic can become an RN:
1. Keep the paramedic license up to date. Paramedics need to take continuing education courses and refresher courses in order to maintain licensure
2. Enroll in an accredited paramedic to RN bridge program. Submit official transcripts and provide information about your GPA to a school that offers a paramedic to RN bridge program
3. Take courses in science and health care systems. Most paramedic to RN programs require students to take advanced courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nursing care, patient care, health care systems, health and nutrition, and ethical issues in health care. The bulk of these courses focuses on health care systems and processes, physical and life sciences, and patient care concepts.
4. Complete lab work. Most paramedic-to-RN programs include a hands-on component where the student must complete courses in a nursing lab or successfully complete simulations on a computer or over the web.
5. Pass all tests and examinations. Students must maintain a certain GPA and pass all tests and examinations before they can be awarded their degree.
6. Take the NCLEX-RN nursing exam. This is a comprehensive exam that grants the student an official license to practice as a registered nurse.
7. Apply for voluntary credentials from a health care organization. RNs have the option to obtain additional credentials from health care organizations such as the American Nursing Credentialing Center in ambulatory care, or in a specialized area of health care such as pediatrics.
Completing a Paramedic to RN Program
If you are reviewing the requirements on how a paramedic can become an RN and are interested in advancing in your career, consider the following before you enroll in an accredited RN program:
- RNs may have more job opportunities and attractive career prospects than paramedics as demand for RNs remains strong nationwide
- You can continue your education by pursuing a bachelor's degree or master's degree in nursing or related field at a later date
- Specializing in a certain area can help you advance your career and obtain a more attractive salary
- Some paramedic to RN program courses may be completed online. These are a good option for students who prefer to study at their own pace, and for those who are working full- or part-time while they are in school