Bridge Program for Paramedic to Nurse

Lights Sirens Action

Forum Ride Along
8
0
1
I was curious if anyone here has completed the bridge program and can give some insight into it. I have found some information on it, but it is very limited.
 

hometownmedic5

Forum Asst. Chief
804
606
93
To the best of my knowledge, there is no bridge program, singular. There are several, perhaps many, bridge programs plural. Consequently, your statement is far too vague to generate a useful response.

In general: they exist. Some of them are good, some are not. Some are reasonably priced, some are extravagantly priced. Some will result in an unrestricted license to be a nurse that is portable. Some come with additional requirements depending on where you intend to be license. Some states outright dont recognize programs as valid. Some programs have a significant support system. Some take your money, hand you some books and you're on your own.

Bottom line: Its possible. It may work for you, it may not. Significant research is needed before committing, most notably will this program lead to an unrestricted nursing license.
 
OP
L

Lights Sirens Action

Forum Ride Along
8
0
1
To the best of my knowledge, there is no bridge program, singular. There are several, perhaps many, bridge programs plural. Consequently, your statement is far too vague to generate a useful response.

In general: they exist. Some of them are good, some are not. Some are reasonably priced, some are extravagantly priced. Some will result in an unrestricted license to be a nurse that is portable. Some come with additional requirements depending on where you intend to be license. Some states outright dont recognize programs as valid. Some programs have a significant support system. Some take your money, hand you some books and you're on your own.

Bottom line: Its possible. It may work for you, it may not. Significant research is needed before committing, most notably will this program lead to an unrestricted nursing license.
Thank you so much for your response! I suppose I could have been more specific, I really just wanted to know if there were individuals in here that went through a bridge program (local or online) that would explain what their experience was. I would love to know if they would have rather gone the traditional route if they were able to go back in time, if they felt like they grasped the concepts as well as those who went through a two year program, what their NCLEX experience was and the hardships they faced while attending that they may have not anticipated.

I agree, significant research is definitely necessary. Thank you for your time.
 

hometownmedic5

Forum Asst. Chief
804
606
93
We have a few RN's around here that might be able to help you with specifics. I have no direct experience. Over the years, I've watched a few co workers go down this road, with varying levels of success. Naturally, some failed because they themselves were failures, not because the program was invalid in any way.

Due to boredom and curiosity, I just briefly looked into excelsiors program and I can say without hesitation it wouldn't interest me, if I had an interest in getting my RN at all....
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
Community Leader
4,563
977
113
If you're considering going from Paramedic to RN, be very careful about the program you choose to attend. Primarily if you think you may want to work in California (or a very small handful of other states) at any time in the future, you should avoid distance learning programs as you will find it very difficult-to-impossible to obtain an RN license in some states. California is notoriously difficult, if not the most difficult to obtain a license from if you go through a distance learning program like Excelsior. This is 100% due to the fact that California requires concurrent didactic and clinical experiences. As an example, if you're studying Peds, you have to do a Peds clinical in the same quarter/semester.

I did my Paramedic training and RN training in the traditional way... I attended traditional brick & mortar programs. If you want to do a "bridge program" that should allow you to obtain a license in every state, including California, you should look for bridge programs that are 1) Brick & Mortar, 2) explicitly offer concurrent didactic & clinical components, and 3) give you credit for past learning (your Paramedic License). Most of the time, you will find that such a bridge program only shaves about 1 semester/quarter off of your educational pathway, basically you'd get to skip the 1st Semester/Quarter and join your cohort in the 2nd Semester/Quarter.

Please do not misunderstand me... I'm not saying you shouldn't attend a distance learning program. I'm just letting you know that you should look ahead to your future career as an RN and where it may take you because there are a few states that do take a dim view (at best) of distance learning programs.
 

Carlos Danger

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
4,120
2,816
113
Every word of Akulahawk's post is 100% right.

I graduated from the Excelsior program in 2005 and while it worked out well for me and for many others, I really can't recommend it now, mostly because of the restrictions that many states have since placed on Excelsior grads. Nursing is a wide open field and you never know where you career might take you and you don't want to have to turn down a great opportunity because the crotchety old clipboard nurses on the BON where your dream job is have an antiquated and narrow-minded view of what an educational program should look like.

Also, as a result of Excelsior's efforts to appease some of these BON requirements, completing their program now takes more time and money than it used to. It was always a challenging route for a paramedic to take, but it was worth it because you could potentially do it really quickly and it was dirt cheap. That's not so true anymore. That combined with the restrictions you'll face as an Excelsior grad just make it not worth it, IMO.
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
2,400
910
113
What the last two posts said.

Just as failing to heed the above advice will cost you more time, money, opportunity and job satisfaction than you can possibly save doing an online/bridge:

Do a BSN program over an ADN unless you plan to work in an underserved rural area while you get your BSN after your ADN... or have an employer that has basically guaranteed you a job after graduating with your ADN (and will hopefully pay for your BSN).
 

GMCmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
1,193
651
113
I can only speak to this a little. My wife is a Paramaedic and graduates with an ASN from a local community college in two weeks.

They have a Paramedic to Nursing bridge curriculum but to my knowledge have yet to have any students. It would have only saved 1 semester.

As far as a BSN, our area will hospitals will hire an ASN and require a BSN within 5 years that they will pay for. My employing hospital will pay for you to get a bachelors degree in janitorial services if that were a thing. As long as they employ those positions within the system they will pay.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
2,400
910
113
Connections are verything, but keep in mind

Almost any Nursing Residency program will require a BSN. (Nursing Residency is your ticket to something besides Med/Surg although a medic will probably have a shoe-in to the ED).

In many markets (particularly popular places to live or most cities), you just need a BSN to get past the HR dept as a New Graduate even if it isn't required on paper unless you have a personal connection to the Nursing Manager.

VA all but requires BSN.

Again, unless you are in a shortage area, have personal connections, or want to potentially be stuck in Med/Surg or subacute care for your first 2-3 years, BSN.

There is no nursing shortage for new graduate nurses anywhere. In the markets where there is a huge glut, I see BSN new grads fighting each other for $24/hr under a 2 year contract (with financial penalties) in their given unit... oh and NO BENEFITS OR SHIFT DIFFERENTIALS until they are off orientation (3-6 months). The ADNs aren't getting hospital jobs wihtout personal connections and LONG delays (like 1+ year).
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
Community Leader
4,563
977
113
One of the key things above:
There is no nursing shortage for new graduate nurses anywhere.
This is regardless of degree earned. Getting your first job is hard if you have a BSN, and even harder if you only have an ADN. I'm fortunate in that I have always been an ED RN. That being said, it took me 8 months and a hospital 2 hours away to land my first job. When I got into nursing school, earning a BSN was not going to happen simply because at the time there were no programs that were open to 2nd Bachelors students that I could realistically attend. There was one accelerated Bachelors program but I would have been homeless by the end of the 1st Semester because their program wouldn't work well with my work schedule and my work schedule wasn't going to change on a weekly basis to allow me to attend that program.

I now have a job that's about 10 minutes from home and that took a little doing. That being said, I landed that job within 3 weeks of leaving my previous job and started about 3 weeks after that. All of my classmates landed jobs within a year, most within 4 months of graduation. Most of them work in Med/Surg, 4 of us work in the ED, and about the same number work in an ICU. The "shortage" you hear of in nursing isn't for new grads, it's for experienced nurses (2+ years) and if you have 5+ years, you're pretty much golden. However you still have to find your first job and that's where things get really difficult. It's going to take a while because there are still a number of ancient nurses that are still rebuilding their retirement portfolios after the 2008 crash and some that are still working that have excellent retirement that are afraid of the possibility of a crash sometime in the future. That means there's less turnover than there used to be just 10 years ago. Eventually the pendulum will swing back but who knows how long that will take. The lucky ones will be the ones that graduate early in the hiring binge but eventually enough regular people will see the binge happening... and the pendulum will swing again. I've seen several of these cycles over the years.
 

wanderingmedic

RN, Paramedic
448
59
28
One of the key things above:
This is regardless of degree earned. Getting your first job is hard if you have a BSN, and even harder if you only have an ADN.
I think this is probably still very geographically dependent. I'm currently in a Medic to RN program (2 semesters left!), and several of my former Medic partners have graduated from the same program. They were employed in local ED's as RN's within a very short time of passing the NCLEX and getting their state license even though they had an ADN.
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
2,400
910
113
^I'm willing to bet they had connections and/or a somewhat-rural setting
 

VFlutter

Flight Nurse
3,716
1,234
113
Agree with Summit and others. In my area there is no shortage of nurses and it is hard to get a job or new grad residency in most hospitals without a BSN or being a prior employee. BSN is also required to be a charge nurse or participate in "clinical ladders" etc. For a lot of people it made sense to get an ADN then complete a RN-BSN once working however with hospitals cutting back on financial assistance and competition for jobs increasing it may not be as viable as it used to be.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN, CEN
530
139
43
Florida is a state where ADNs get hired quickly. I got EMT reciprocity off of my NREMT and challenged the Paramedic Exam. I now have RN and EMT-P.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
2,400
910
113

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN, CEN
530
139
43
In what setting, locale, and with what experience level?
Northeast, FL. In Jacksonville, one hospital hires ADNs- no BSN required. I went through their New Grad program. My hospital has a HUGE retention problem! The other hospitals have new grad programs but BSN is required. Overall, jobs are easy to be had. One other hospital hires ADNs. Mine is Memorial and the other is St. Vincent's. Memorial is an HCA outfit and admits EVERYONE who comes through the door. Perhaps part of the retention problem.


Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

VFlutter

Flight Nurse
3,716
1,234
113
There will always be hospitals and facilities that have huge turn over and poor employee satisfaction that will hire a RN regardless of degree however to be competitive for the jobs everyone wants you really need a BSN in most markets.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN, CEN
530
139
43
There will always be hospitals and facilities that have huge turn over and poor employee satisfaction that will hire a RN regardless of degree however to be competitive for the jobs everyone wants you really need a BSN in most markets.
Without a doubt.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

GMCmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
1,193
651
113
My wife has an ASN (as of Friday anyway), she will have a job in the medical ICU when she passes NCLEX. She already has a job as a nurse intern till that point.

She will likely be stuck there till she has her BSN which she is required to have within 5 years. Our hospitals generally dont let you lateral transfer without a BSN.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 

Agg04

Forum Probie
19
2
3
^I'm willing to bet they had connections and/or a somewhat-rural setting
Believe it or not I live in south Florida, not rural at all, and there is a big job market for RN's with only an ADN down here. Most of the people I know after passing the NCLEX had a job offer only a couple weeks later. Ive looked into nursing but I don't want to stay here in Florida. I want to move to Denver and I have contacted a few nurses/students who are out there and they say it is almost impossible to find a job with just an ADN after school unless you are already enrolled into a BSN program. I don't know why it varies so much but it does. I plan on working as a medic out there and finish my pre reqs and then apply to an ADN program shortly after. Im sure I will learn more about the job market when I actually move there, so things might change. Who knows.
 

Top