Chicago area RN to paramedic advise

  1. 0
    Hello all, I'm currently an RN working in Chicago with a year of ICU experience but after some recent life experiences am now looking to become a CFD paramedic. Does anyone have any information on the best way to meet this goal? Is there a way for an RN to challenge the EMT-B exam in Illinois and would I need to work as an EMT before applying to a paramedic program? I don't think I could afford the pay cut that would come with working for an ambulance company so I am hoping that my experience as a nurse would qualify me to start in a paramedic program.

    Any advise would be appreciated.
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I see this has been sitting here for quite some time but I thought I'd respond anyway. I'm a nurse. Formerly a firefighter/paramedic. I live in NY. What I know pertains to NY but perhaps is similarly applicable in Illinois.

    In NYS there is no reciprocity between EMS and nursing. Extensive paramedic/firefighter experience got me nothing when I started in nursing. Which really ticked me off. Anyway...there are programs out there to "challenge" a paramedic level of care in EMS. In NY you MUST have at least a basic EMT card which is a 6 month class and some clinical time. I know, it sucks...but in the grand scheme of things it is a small commitment. There is a school out there advertising a RN to Paramedic bridge program but it is $$$ and I'm not sure about reciprocity into Illinois. That is one of the reasons I went from EMS into nursing - state to state reciprocity is so much easier than trying to move a paramedic card around the USA.

    Anyway, hope this finds you well. I'd kill to be working CFD instead of doing what I am.
  5. 0
    Quote from Proudblood
    I see this has been sitting here for quite some time but I thought I'd respond anyway. I'm a nurse. Formerly a firefighter/paramedic. I live in NY. What I know pertains to NY but perhaps is similarly applicable in Illinois.

    In NYS there is no reciprocity between EMS and nursing. Extensive paramedic/firefighter experience got me nothing when I started in nursing. Which really ticked me off. Anyway...there are programs out there to "challenge" a paramedic level of care in EMS. In NY you MUST have at least a basic EMT card which is a 6 month class and some clinical time. I know, it sucks...but in the grand scheme of things it is a small commitment. There is a school out there advertising a RN to Paramedic bridge program but it is $$$ and I'm not sure about reciprocity into Illinois. That is one of the reasons I went from EMS into nursing - state to state reciprocity is so much easier than trying to move a paramedic card around the USA.

    Anyway, hope this finds you well. I'd kill to be working CFD instead of doing what I am.
    There is no reciprocity between professions. But, in some states and RN can challenge the Paramedic exam if the have the necessary qualifications.

    For example in NEW YORK: (straight for NY DOH)

    A Registered Nurse (RN) who is a Certified Emergency
    Nurse (CEN), and has ACLS and ATLS or equivalent training with work experience in
    an emergency department, may only need to complete a small portion of a paramedic
    program and a field internship in order to complete all of the objectives
    .

    Since your Paramedic course is only 6 months, that does not even come close to being an RN. The prerequisites alone are a year. Paramedics are not RNs. Perhaps if your Paramedic program would have required you to have college level A&P courses you would have gotten some credit for the nursing program in the prerequisite section.

    Paramedics also do not have any problem moving from state to state if they have the NREMT credential. It is recognized in 46 states for certification. It also allows Paramedics in the other 4 states to take the state exam.

    Creighton has a great program which might be the way for the OP to go. But, he should first check with the IL EMS board.

    If you don't like what you are doing, STOP. You are not doing the patients or your co-workers any favors by being unhappy and disgruntled at work.
  6. 0
    Thanks Traumasurfer, that Creighton program looks fantastic, I'm going to be doing some research on it and how it applies to Illinois. It says it requires an EMT-B license first, is there anyway for a RN to challenge the EMT-B national exam that you know of? I'd have to sit through 3 months of classes to be able to sit for the exam.

    Thanks.
  7. 0
    Creighton has a program for EMT also. They have been in this business awhile and will probably know other programs for out of state cadidates wanting to enroll in their Paramedic program.
  8. 0
    There are also a couple of reputable online EMT courses which might work for you.

    PERCOMONLINE.com
  9. 0
    Check the state of Illinois DOH for info - in NJ Rn's can challenge the EMT basic cert by taking a 24 hour refresher class and then the state EMT exam. Illinois might have something similar. Also, I know of several paramedics who have done paramedic to RN programs very successfully - takes a bit of time, but depending on what your overall background is, it can be done fairly quickly.


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