Question on combined EMT-P and BSN/RN training

ChrisC99

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Hi there! I am interested in pursuing training for both, nursing and paramedic work as I am aiming to work in both hospital/ICU and ambulance/field settings. With my prior educational background I can complete an accelerated post-baccalaureate BSN/RN in about a year and a half; while the paramedic training will be about 8 months. But I already have all the prerequisites completed for admission to both programs.

My question is, while it is common to complete paramedic training and experience prior to entering nursing programs - is there any reason any of you might be aware of that doing the reverse would be problematic, i.e. going back to complete the additional paramedic training after completion of the BSN/RN degree? I have been informed there is no existing format to combine the two curricula simultaneously as the scope of the two differs too greatly.

Thank you so much for your responses!
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
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I'm both a Paramedic and RN. My advice is simple: do RN first and challenge the Paramedic licensure afterward. You may very likely be required to complete a Paramedic internship. Doing it in this sequence will be shorter than doing Paramedic first then doing RN. As far as I know, there is no single program that results in dual licensure precisely because Paramedic and RN are two very different beasts. Paramedics are basically specialists. They essentially do one thing very well. Registered Nurses are trained as generalists and only begin their specialized training once they actually start working. The way the two approach patient care is also different but ultimately that can be overcome.
 
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ChrisC99

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I'm both a Paramedic and RN. My advice is simple: do RN first and challenge the Paramedic licensure afterward. You may very likely be required to complete a Paramedic internship. Doing it in this sequence will be shorter than doing Paramedic first then doing RN. As far as I know, there is no single program that results in dual licensure precisely because Paramedic and RN are two very different beasts. Paramedics are basically specialists. They essentially do one thing very well. Registered Nurses are trained as generalists and only begin their specialized training once they actually start working. The way the two approach patient care is also different but ultimately that can be overcome.
Thank you for that advice Akulahawk, that’s helpful! So you’re saying that after completion of a BSN/RN, there’s a good chance I’ll be able to use the course/clinical experience from that to challenge the EMT-P and be allowed to complete if with less additional coursework + clinical/field than the standard 6-12 month curriculum? Are you saying that in some cases a single internship may consequently be enough?

So, you work as both? Glad to have met you here haha. How would you recommend combining the two careers afterwards? In the USA nurses don’t work on ambulances (not for field rescue anyway, only interfacility transport - an exception of course being flight nurses). So is the best way to work both jobs on a part-time basis?
 

DrParasite

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What do you want to do? Do you want to work in a hospital, on a medsurg floor/ER/ICU, or in the field answering 911 calls? both are different jobs, with some similarities. You can also aim to do CCT, or critical care interfacility transports, but that's another beast in and of itself.
In the USA nurses don’t work on ambulances (not for field rescue anyway, only interfacility transport - an exception of course being flight nurses). So is the best way to work both jobs on a part-time basis?
That is factually incorrect. I know plenty of paramedics who did a bridge course to get their RN and moved to the hospital, as well as plenty of RNs who got their EMT and now play on the ambulance or helicopter.

Depending on what state you are in will determine what you can or cannot do. If you complete RN school, you likely can challenge the paramedic exam, and will have to do a clinical evaluation. If you complete paramedic school, there are some classes that let you bridge to RN.

I will give you my anecdotal experience, and say that the better prehospital RNs (those who function as an ALS provider answering 911 calls) were credentialed medics before going to nursing school.
 

Carlos Danger

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Thank you for that advice Akulahawk, that’s helpful! So you’re saying that after completion of a BSN/RN, there’s a good chance I’ll be able to use the course/clinical experience from that to challenge the EMT-P and be allowed to complete if with less additional coursework + clinical/field than the standard 6-12 month curriculum? Are you saying that in some cases a single internship may consequently be enough?

So, you work as both? Glad to have met you here haha. How would you recommend combining the two careers afterwards? In the USA nurses don’t work on ambulances (not for field rescue anyway, only interfacility transport - an exception of course being flight nurses). So is the best way to work both jobs on a part-time basis?
There are a handful of us on this forum who currently or in the past have worked as both a RN and a paramedic. Most of us were in EMS first and then went on to nursing.

You are correct that outside of critical care transport, very few RNs work in EMS in the US. There are a few states who have RNs functioning in the field essentially as paramedics, but they are very much outliers. For all practical purposes - unless you happen to live in one of those states - you really need to get your paramedic if you want to work in EMS.

The training and credentialing pathways that are available to a RN who wants to become a paramedic depends on the state that you live and work in. Being an EMT-B is always a prerequisite. At one time in New York State, a RN who was also an EMT basically only needed to be endorsed by an EMS medical director as possessing the skills and knowledge required to practice as a paramedic, and was then allowed to sit for the state paramedic exams. South Carolina had a similar process when I first moved there. Both states have since changed their requirements, and I doubt there are many places where it is that easy anymore. But there is probably some sort of shortcut everywhere.

As far as how to do both at the same time, you'll probably have to pick one or the other as your priority job, which for most people will probably be nursing because nursing pays much better than EMS in most areas, and it is generally easy to find nursing positions that offer a lot of scheduling flexibility. Then, find an EMS provider in the area that is willing to let you pick up shifts on the days that you aren't working in the hospital.

The most natural and obvious role for someone who is both a nurse and a paramedic is working in CCT or HEMS. Those jobs are not that hard to come by for a RN who has the requisite experience and credentials, especially if they also have EMS experience. It will take you a few years to gain that requisite experience and credentials, however.
 
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