Paramedic to RN Program Information and Requirements

Certified paramedics looking to enhance their involvement in the medical field might consider pursuing an undergraduate nursing degree. Numerous colleges and universities offer paramedic-to-nursing programs specifically designed to build upon the education and work experience that paramedics already have.

Essential Information

Paramedic-to-Nursing program students can earn either an Associate of Science in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and upon completion are prepared to take the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Some institutions may also refer to these curriculums as bridge programs. Once enrolled, students are exposed to lecture classes and clinical lab courses covering topics such as pharmacology, ethics and advanced nursing techniques.

  • Program Levels in Paramedic-to-Nursing Training: Associate's degree, bachelor's degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, current paramedic license
  • Program Length: Both programs take up to two years to complete

Paramedic-to-Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)

During paramedic-to-ASN programs, students learn to work with physicians and other medical professionals to deliver appropriate care and treatment to patients. They may also learn about different specializations in the profession such as pediatric nursing and medical-surgical nursing, in addition to fundamental coursework. These programs can be finished in one to two years, and often include internship or externship opportunities so students can apply their training in clinical labs to a real-world setting. Course topics generally covered include :

  • Pharmacology
  • Advanced nursing concepts
  • Microbiology
  • Healthcare systems
  • Health and nutrition
  • Healthcare ethics

Paramedic-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

For those looking for more advanced nursing training, paramedic-to-BSN programs are available. Due to the complex nature of the core coursework, some schools require applicants to hold certification in the state in which they plan to attend the program. Many nursing departments also mandate that students take classes in various scientific disciplines, including social, behavioral and natural sciences. Common BSN course topics include:

  • Nursing technologies
  • Children's nursing
  • Family health
  • Nursing research
  • Patient assessment
  • Medication administration

Licensing and Certification Information

After completing a paramedic-to-ASN program, students should be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN, a comprehensive nursing exam used nationwide to grant licensure to RNs. Nurses can also receive voluntary credentials from the American Nursing Credentialing Center in ambulatory care, pediatrics, gerontology and other specialized areas of health care.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job growth for registered nurses is expected to rise 19% between 2012 and 2022, due to continuous demand of healthcare services and an increase in the diagnosis of chronic health conditions among the general public. Opportunities were expected to be best in inner cities and rural areas, which have been underserved medically in recent years (www.bls.gov).

The mean annual salary for RNs was $69,790 in 2014, according to the BLS. At the same time, data showed that emergency medical technicians and paramedics made an average of $35,110 per year.

Continuing Education Information

Those looking for even more specialization in the nursing field may wish to consider earning an advanced nursing degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Typically, a student pursuing this degree can work toward a specialty like mental health nursing, gerontological nursing or nurse midwifery. Many programs are offered as accelerated BSN-MSN programs.

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