An Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (EMT-P) is certified to provide immediate medical care to individuals who have been injured or taken ill before they can reach a healthcare facility. A registered nurse (RN) is licensed to perform diagnostic tests and administer treatment to patients in hospitals or medical facilities. Paramedics can train to become RNs by enrolling in an EMT-P to RN Bridge program.
Certified paramedics are already trained to perform basic patient assessment, as well as resuscitation and wound treatment procedures. While in an EMT-P to RN Bridge program, they are required to build upon this knowledge by spending classroom hours learning about nursing practice theory and procedures. They also spend clinical training hours working under the supervision of current registered nurses.
Some schools offer distance-learning options that work into the schedules of professional paramedics. Such programs allow students to complete theory courses online and attend clinical and laboratory courses in-person once or twice a week. Although program lengths vary, students commonly graduate in 1-2 years or four semesters. Those who complete an EMT-P to RN Bridge program are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which is required to become a licensed RN. Graduates typically earn an Associate of Science in Nursing degree.
Applicants must be certified paramedics with 2+ years of experience, at least a 2.5 GPA and a strong aptitude for biology and chemistry.
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Bridge Program for EMT-P to RN
Much of the curriculum focuses on nursing concepts and the various roles of the registered nurse within a healthcare organization. Subjects covered include:
- Behavioral and mental health nursing
- Adult and child health nursing
- Professional nursing care concepts
- Medication administration
- Elderly care concepts
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
With over 2.7 million registered nurses working in medical facilities across the country, the profession has among the highest employment numbers of any healthcare field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of RNs was predicted to grow 16% over the 2014-2024 decade. Furthermore, RNs earned a median annual salary of $67,490 as of May 2015. This is much higher than the median salary of an EMT-Paramedic that same year, which was $31,980, according to the BLS.
Certification and Continuing Education
All registered nurses in the United States must pass the NCLEX-RN to gain licensure. Each state has its own licensure requirements and transferal guidelines. To gain eligibility to sit for the NCLEX-RN, candidates must either earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a nursing diploma or an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) - such as the one conferred to individuals who complete an EMT-P to RN bridge program. Registered nurses who choose to advance in their fields might enroll in a master's degree program in order to become clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists.
EMT-P to RN bridge program courses discuss a range of topics, such as nursing procedures, care for aging populations, medication administration and mental health, to prepare graduates for licensure exams for registered nurses. Graduates can also pursue bachelor's and master's degrees to prepare for advanced nursing roles.