- 0Oct 20, '08 by dfullen1I am currently a nursing student. I've always wanted to be a firefighter and even took fire science courses last semester, untill I found out i was accepted into nursing school. Ive heard that you can join the fire department while still working as a nurse. I have been working out fo r the CPAT, I'll have my certificate in nursing in 18 months. Im wondering if I should apply to a deptarment when they have an opening, after i get my certificate, since my LP to RN degree will be online, other than my clinicals. (since they only hire about once a year). Im not sure if the 24 hours on and 48 off will be to hard to finish my online nursing degree. I just wanted to see if anyone knows anything about this or can direct me to where I can find out some more information. thank you.
p.s. also I like to know about flight nursing; how you get into that specialty, what are the requirments, what kind of schedule do you have, ect.
- 0Mar 7, '09 by kcoa11I would think the 24/48 hour shifts may be a little rigorous for you during your nursing education. However, I'm sure any fire department would love to have you especially with your nursing knowledge. You may want to talk to a potential fire department and see if they could be "fexible" with you school schedule. You may be surprised!
I have a friend how is a flight nurse and works 3 days a week (which is full-time). She does 24 hr shifts normally and is basically required to sleep until they recieve a call. She loves the adrenaline of being on the helicopter to rescue people. I'm not sure how experienced you have to be...but she's been an RN for 7 years and has been doing flight nursing for about 3 years. It believe it depends on the hospital and the types of calls they recieve for flights.
Hoping all the best to you in your educational endeavors!
- 0Mar 8, '09 by dfullen1Thank you for the advice. I actually found out my friend knows a firefighter, so im going to talk her this week. I heard it that i may be able to work as a part-time firefigher while in school right now, the training is supposed to be accelerated, so I could do that this summer and they are supposed to work around school schedules. Hopefully, I will get some good news. If you know of anyone who is a firefighter and nurse let me know & I will give you my email address. Thank you again
- 2Dec 31, '09 by ezgriderI am an RN/Firefighter Captain. In my mid thirties, I attended a four year traditional school after becoming a firefighter. I had most of my generals out of the way and had worked as an EMT in a hospital. I worked 12 hr days 14 hour nights as a firefighter based on a split 24/72 schedule and worked part time as an EMT driving the ambulance. School was was 2-4 days/week for 2 1/2 years to BSN. I used vacation time and traded time with others. I studied at night on duty with permission of the department. I slept little, made my classes with minutes to spare, was always prepared, and very grateful to my co-workers for their participation. Near graduation, I had pneumonia and an inguinal hernia. I was on antibiotics for finals and on the surgery table two days after giving the graduation speech. I am living proof, if improbable, it's not impossible and certainly not as easy the old fashioned way. After graduation and surgery, I found a good med surg job, hired by my old headnurse, that led to to float pool (trading benefits for cash) throughout the hospital. My collateral skills are valued by both employers. I've work both jobs since 1994 at 72hrs/week total, but that gives me four days off/week due to the 24/72 fire fighter and 12 hr RN schedules. FD call-ins haven't been as bad a problem as expected and my hospital works around my schedule. I'm available four days a week and work two 12's.
The extra money allowed me to finance both my daughters' educations and keep them in cars and books. The first daughter took a job in my hospital as an ER nurse and the second daughter is a radiology tech driving a catscan machine in a trauma hospital.
My reward to myself after healing, was to get my pilots license and eventually my own plane. Flight nurses must be less than six foot two or three and under 200-230 lbs. (I'm not) with a few years of ER or critical care history. They don't want pilot/nurses, because of go/no go safety decisions that must be made critical to the flight. The helicopter pilot of the last air evac I routed in for a car accident asked to talk to the, "guy on the radio." He told me he'd never received better directions to the scene since he'd been flying. I told him I was a pilot. I was familiar with the airspace and routed him in advising him of local hazards to flight in a 30 second transmission.
The two jobs are rewarding for myself, my employers and coworkers, and those I serve. Someday, I hope to combine my education and experience into a third, yet undiscovered, career opportunity.
- 0Jul 24, '10 by sandiegoaaronWow, dfullen, I see this post is a couple years old, but have you found what you wanted? I'm in an accelerated BSN program now, but also thinking of firefighting. I've also very much wanted to look into being a flight nurse. So please, let me know what you've found out ... anything? And exgrider, I'd like to get my pilots license as soon as possible too! Weird how much commonality there is in this link! Thanks for any info!