Challenging the P-Card with an RN in California

Mitchellmvhs

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I was just curious if anyone here has actually done this.

I’ve been an EMT for about a year and a half now and I’m about to start nursing school in fall (hopefully I get accepted). I’ve heard a lot about how a Nurse can challenge a Paramedic license since technically speaking nursing is a “higher education” due to it requiring a degree.

I’ve played with the idea of becoming a paramedic then going to nursing school as I’ve mentioned on this forum a few times. But I’m already done with my prereqs, scored an 88 on teas, and have a associates degree so it’d be kinda dumb of me to go backwards and be a medic.

I just genuinely would still want to be a paramedic as I love EMS and I still get excited driving L&S to calls. I’ve thought about working FT in an ER as a Nurse and working PT on a ground ambulance as a medic.

Weird career path I know, but I’m really interested in being an extremely well educated provider with several backgrounds as far as experience. Also want to go into flight and would like to get ground experience as a medic since I feel like it would make me a better provider.

Was just curious if anyone has done this.

My old partner has told me once I’m a nurse I’ll probably end up just staying nursing and not bother with being a medic too, but I’m 22 and want to do it all so we’ll see lol.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, EMT-P, TCRN, CEN
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I was just curious if anyone here has actually done this.

I’ve been an EMT for about a year and a half now and I’m about to start nursing school in fall (hopefully I get accepted). I’ve heard a lot about how a Nurse can challenge a Paramedic license since technically speaking nursing is a “higher education” due to it requiring a degree.

I’ve played with the idea of becoming a paramedic then going to nursing school as I’ve mentioned on this forum a few times. But I’m already done with my prereqs, scored an 88 on teas, and have a associates degree so it’d be kinda dumb of me to go backwards and be a medic.

I just genuinely would still want to be a paramedic as I love EMS and I still get excited driving L&S to calls. I’ve thought about working FT in an ER as a Nurse and working PT on a ground ambulance as a medic.

Weird career path I know, but I’m really interested in being an extremely well educated provider with several backgrounds as far as experience. Also want to go into flight and would like to get ground experience as a medic since I feel like it would make me a better provider.

Was just curious if anyone has done this.

My old partner has told me once I’m a nurse I’ll probably end up just staying nursing and not bother with being a medic too, but I’m 22 and want to do it all so we’ll see lol.
Ok, here goes. I went to nursing school with my NREMT intact. After getting my RN and starting a new grad hospital program, we had to get ACLS (which I already had!) The instructor for EKG interpretation asked me why I was so good at it. Told him I was a former medic before nursing school. He said I should be a medic again. I said how? He said challenge the exam (Florida). I did and I passed. If you think you could pass a challenge exam, go for it!
 

akflightmedic

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Doctors, Dentists, and RNs are allowed to challenge the Paramedic exam in Florida. The only caveat is you MUST have a FL EMT license in good standing. If you are certified as EMT in another state, to gain FL reciprocity, your EMT needs to be Nationally Registered.

Good on you for going to Nursing ahead of Paramedic. Keep your EMT current in the background. Your friend is probably right, once you start nursing, you may find all that you need in the ICU, ER, Cath Lab, or whatever other Critical Care environment you choose. I listed those because that is where the typical adrenaline junkies go. As I have posted previously, my biggest regret about becoming a RN is the fact I did not do it sooner. :)

And right now, with RN wages the way they are, it is exceptionally difficult for me to think about being on an ambulance for Paramedic pay versus working one extra shift or even a partial shift in the ER. While I enjoy being a Paramedic too, my time has way more value working as a RN without having to carry people down stairs, respond to stupid BS, or hold a wall.

But...you have PLENTY of time to think about this. Stay focused on the nursing, start getting experience in whatever specialty you are choosing, and then go from there. You are only 22, PLENTY of time!! (I went to Nursing school in my 40s).
 

DesertMedic66

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For CA it’s not as easy as “I have my RN license so I just have to apply for a paramedic license”.

CA requirements: Although your education and experience partially satisfies the eligibility requirements to become licensed, you must still complete 480 hours of an approved paramedic school field internship with a minimum of 40 Advance Life Support (ALS) patient contacts and successfully pass the National Registry of Emergency Technician (NREMT) paramedic level written and practical exams.

So it saves you from having to do clinical rotations and classroom time but you still have to do a full field internship along with NREMT. The real issue would be trying to find a paramedic program that will let you only do the field internship with them and no other classes. Many paramedic schools are having trouble finding preceptors for their students so they would more than likely focus on making sure their traditional students have a position lined up.
 
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Mitchellmvhs

Mitchellmvhs

Forum Crew Member
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For CA it’s not as easy as “I have my RN license so I just have to apply for a paramedic license”.

CA requirements: Although your education and experience partially satisfies the eligibility requirements to become licensed, you must still complete 480 hours of an approved paramedic school field internship with a minimum of 40 Advance Life Support (ALS) patient contacts and successfully pass the National Registry of Emergency Technician (NREMT) paramedic level written and practical exams.

So it saves you from having to do clinical rotations and classroom time but you still have to do a full field internship along with NREMT. The real issue would be trying to find a paramedic program that will let you only do the field internship with them and no other classes. Many paramedic schools are having trouble finding preceptors for their students so they would more than likely focus on making sure their traditional students have a position lined up.
I appreciate the information. This is what I was told as well. That for the most part the internship is the only required part, but finding a school that will allow it is a whole different story. Regardless I’ll see where my career takes me. Thank you for the info here.
 

Comfort Care

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Palomar college in San Marcos, CA has an RN to Medic courses, they may be able to assist with clinical placement. Very reputable P and Fire Programs. I've looked into this program along with Creighton University.

I'm an RN with SICU/ED/EMT- B background. I love the schedule and pay of my current RN job but my heart always seems to go back to the Prehospital field, which is why I got into medical in the 1st place. Im Looking to get into flight nursing this year once I beef up my certs and training. As a new ED RN, my ED nursing supervisor once said, "You want good assessment skills?! Get your *** to the ambulance bay and watch the medics!" True Story
 

akflightmedic

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Palomar college in San Marcos, CA has an RN to Medic courses, they may be able to assist with clinical placement. Very reputable P and Fire Programs. I've looked into this program along with Creighton University.

I'm an RN with SICU/ED/EMT- B background. I love the schedule and pay of my current RN job but my heart always seems to go back to the Prehospital field, which is why I got into medical in the 1st place. Im Looking to get into flight nursing this year once I beef up my certs and training. As a new ED RN, my ED nursing supervisor once said, "You want good assessment skills?! Get your *** to the ambulance bay and watch the medics!" True Story

In addition to the typical alphabet soup behind your name, always get Instructor Certs as well for the usual suspects (ACLS, BLS, PALS, TNCC, etc). This is what will help your resume stand out from all the other candidates. Teaching experience is a huge plus.
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
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you must still complete 480 hours of an approved paramedic school field internship with a minimum of 40 Advance Life Support (ALS) patient contacts and successfully pass the National Registry of Emergency Technician (NREMT) paramedic level written and practical exams.
It doesn't matter what advanced license you have, if you wish to become a California licensed Paramedic you MUST do the field internship and get the 40 ALS contacts and pass the NREMTP written/practical exams. Therefore, as has been said here - the difficulty is finding a P school that will allow you to do the internship. You'd likely be required to do the written/practicals first then do the internship so the school at least would "feel" comfortable with knowing you'll be able to get the license after your internship is complete. You'll also have to be a certified EMT first. While that's relatively easy, it does teach you "operational" stuff that RN/PA/NP/MD/DO school does not teach their students.

I suspect that the vast majority of RN/Paramedics here became Paramedics first and then later on decided to get the RN license.
 
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