Becoming a paramedic as well as a trauma nurse?

  1. At the moment I am an EMT-b in the state of Pennsylvania, I really love it. However, I want to go to school to become a trauma nurse. I really don't want to stop being an EMT though and I'm very interested in becoming a paramedic too. Would it be feasible to go to school for nursing, but take a two year paramedic course on the side? Also, I've looked into paramedic to nurse bridge programs and I really don't think that is the best option for me. And I'm not sure if going to a two year school to become a paramedic and then going to school to become a nurse is the best option for me either; most two year paramedic programs are at community colleges and I believe I do too well in school to go to a community college after high school (not at ALL saying that people who attend community college are unintelligent in anyway). Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated for I am going into my senior year and need to get a lot of these things straightened out.
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   bubblejet50
    I went to a community college for my nursing program. it was after spending $32k for my first year of college at a nationally known private university specializing in medical sciences. i spent a total of $7k for my nursing degree. the community college program was much harder than any class i took at the private school. i graduated high school with a 4.0 btw....anyway, off my my state they offer a nurse to paramedic bridge that is 2 weeks long. since the paramedic to nurse bridge is not the best option for you maybe getting your degree in nursing and then taking the 2 weeks to bridge to paramedic would be an option for you since you could continue to work as an emt-b during school. i'm not familiar with pennsylvania's laws and i know some states are trying to get rid of the rn-medic bridge but it's worth a try to look into. taking both nursing and medic courses would be very difficult. i'm not sure if you could do both at the same time without knowing if the school offered the classes at different times. around here medic classes are usually m-f 8am-3pm and nursing is anywhere from 730am-4pm. plus coordinating clinicals for both.
  4. by   SummitRN
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo you cannot do an EMTP and RN program simultaneously. It isn't a matter of ability, it is a matter of time and scheduling. There will be far too many conflicts. Neither program will be receptive to working with you on conflicts. Don't even think about it.

    I kept my EMT and continued to volunteer as an EMT during RN school.

    RN courses will account for virtually all the CE's you need to recert your NREMT. Time it right, recert halfway through school, and it's enough to recert twice! Work in ICU or ED for 2 years, then go take an RN->Paramedic bridge (these are short courses on the order of 2 weeks to 4 months).
  5. by   akulahawkRN
    I would strongly advise against going to paramedic school and nursing school the same time. You would effectively be doing 2 full-time programs at the same time. That would be assuming that you would be able to take the classes themselves without any conflicts. The reality is that you would run out of time to take both classes. You would have to be in 2 places at the same time. The last time I checked, this was not physically possible. If you are planning to do paramedic and RN, I would suggest that you go nursing 1st, then do paramedic 2nd. Depending upon the state that you are in, you may be able to function as a prehospital RN with some additional training after getting your nursing license. The other option you would have would be to take a bridge course which would take you from RN to paramedic. This way you would be able to function as either, depending upon which placed you happen to be working at.

    Among the other difficulties of going to paramedic school and nursing school at the same time is that the thought processes are different between the 2. Probably the hardest transitions that nurses and paramedics have to make is to think like the other. If you go to a formal program, they will teach you that thought process.

    So take the advice of people who have been paramedics and are pursuing or have finished nursing school. Don't do it. Don't take both at the same time. You would be highly likely to fail both.
  6. by   classicdame
    you really need to focus on one or the other. I recommend nursing because you can then do anything a paramedic can do and more. I bet you would like being a flight nurse
  7. by   toddsoto
    Hey, I have read these comments and I take the advice given seriously.

    This is my situation. I am entering a 4 year BSN program. I start in the fall.

    I have enough credit to take 3-4 courses per semester for the first two years. Roughly 12 credit hours. No class begins before 9 am and no class ends after 5 pm with some weekdays having only an hour of instruction. Nursing courses dont begin until 3rd year.

    I have the opportunity to take a hybrid paramedic program which offers an online didactic portion which meets twice a week 7pm to 1030 and meets on campus every other saturday for a total of 10 consecutive months. Following that would be 250 hours of hospital time and 250 hours of field time which is arranged by the school with a hospital that meets my needs. For a total of 16-18 months. Concurrently, the paramedic program would finish roughly around the end of my sophomore year of the BSN so while I am still doing core classes like stats, principles of chemistry and intro to nursing.

    My opinion is that I will be able to manage the freshmen and sophmore classes very well since I have almost all of my core requirements complete and would have to take electives just to maintain full time status for my gi bill benefits.

    In my situation, where my BSN courses are going to be very light while I would be taking the paramedic program, and the paramedic program is so flexible, would it be feasible to attend both?

    I am currently in the process of applying to the paramedic program and if I get accepted I truly want to attend. I understand that it would not be easy but it is a question of whether I would be throwing the money away on the paramedic program.

    The BSN is free to me because of my veterans benefits and i am already accepted but I would have to pay out of pocket for the paramedic program.

    Is paramedic training to difficult to complete while taking 12 credits of Gen ed requirements per semester? Should I spare myself the attempt.

    Bearing in mind that there is no bridge program in NH and that the only way for me to ever get my paramedic cert is to attend a fulltime program. The one I am referring to being the most flexible I have found.
  8. by   SummitRN
    Why do you want your P?

    You can do Creighton in the future.
  9. by   toddsoto
    I want to get into flight nursing down the road and early on in my career I would like to work as a paramedic part time. And volunteer!
    Last edit by toddsoto on May 29, '15
  10. by   zidrel
    Toddsoto - I am curious what you did and how it worked out for you.

    I am in exactly the situation you described:

    I have been volunteering as an EMT-B in the state of NJ for about 2 years, recently became CNA certified and did training in a nursing home.
    Pre-hospital comes with so much more autonomy and honestly excitement than the hospital.

    I finished all of the Nursing pre-requisites, as well as every single class required for a nursing degree through the graduate degree level that I could do as a Non-Matriculated Nursing student while on active duty.

    I now have 36 months & don't want to waist any of it.

    I know clearly that I want to be a mid-level practitioner in the hierarchy health care system- PA school has more or less the same admission requirements as MD school & takes about the same amount of time before you start getting paid; PA not an international license so I have decided the RN route. . .

    Going from RN to NP seems to be a clearly established pathway.

    My main question is: If I want to be a mid-level practitioner, which takes aprox. 6 years of school with the RN track - do I spend the second 4 years working as a RN in a hospital following the track of: Associates applied Science Nursing 2 years, Bachelors in nursing 2 years, MSN 2 years.

    Or do I do a slight detour and spend that time working autonomously, making field diagnosis and working in an non-sterile environment by doing a paramedic program?

    I appreciate any and all input.
  11. by   Ranax
    Be flexible. BSN is a solid program/degree. Can you take a semester/year leave from BSN to focus on a Paramedic program? Paramedic training/education would best be accomplished with a solid AA degree in science or the BSN. Remember that life takes many turns and one can pause a program if needed. If you are a paramedic then you can work while you hunt for your BSN RN job, which might take awhile.