EMT to RN?

  1. What does everyone think about first becomind a EMT before pursuing Nursing school?

    The reason I am considering this:

    1- Maturity - EMT work would be a excellent help in gaining maturity in the workplace.

    2- Experience - Experience as an EMT would be great exp. for myself if I decided to pursue a career in ER or other areas.

    3- Money - I make $7 an hour now... I would make more as an EMT hopefully enough to save so I could get into a BSN program.

    Amongst other things...

    What type of schooling does an EMT have to take and for how long?

    How is the job market for EMT's?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Agnus
    The job marked is geographically driven. Check out your local area. It could range from excellent to extreemly poor.

    Any job can offer the opportunity to mature.

    You will generally find that the EMT courses do not transfer to a nursing program.

    The required courses are available though volunteer fire departments and community colleges. Every state has different levels of EMT with different requirements and standards. Check with one of the above to get the specifics for your state.
    If all the ambulance services in your area are paid then check with them to find out the courses, requirements prospects for jobs etc.
  4. by   AlaskanRN
    FutureRNMichael,

    I started off as an EMT. I was in EMS for five years prior to getting my RN. I knew from the start that I wanted to go into Emergency Nursing, so this was a logical step for me. I went back to school as an adult...nursing was not my first career...

    I don't know what the job market is like for EMT's in Oregon, but here it was a volunteer position. The EMT l (Basic) course is your first step. It will give you some basic information, but most of all it will give you hands on experience with patients. It will also let you know if this is the right field for you. I have worked with several people who have started into EMS, and then realized that blood, vomit, obnoxious people, perilous situations etc. were not what they were cut out for. This is a good way to learn what you are comfortable with.

    It's been so long that I don't remember how long the first EMT class lasts. Contact your local Fire Department, they should be able to give you the information you are looking for or at least point you in the right direction. Some departments will also let observers ride along with the medics to get a feel for it. You might inquire about that also.

    Hope this helps...Good Luck with whatever you choose...
  5. by   sjoe
    "What does everyone think about first becomind a EMT before pursuing Nursing school?"

    Very good experience and excellent skills to have.
  6. by   5150dx
    Hello,

    I was an EMT1-A for about 7 years - volunteer F.D., paid ambulance, etcetera. No beginning RN training program I am aware of will give you the same experience of people "circling the drain" or "code brown" (the first being a rapidly decompensating pt., the second being a ********e pt.). Also, the anatomy and physiology classes I had taken for my EMT training WERE transferrable. I am currently enrolled in Excelsior's RN program. Good luck!

    Kristi in Calif.
  7. by   teeituptom
    It worked for me, I ran an Rural EMS while attending nursing school. Paid my way through.
  8. by   StinkyMcStinker
    Having been an EMT/Paramedic for 15 years now and about to take my CPNE, I can honestly say, GO STRAIGHT TO NURSING SCHOOL AND DO NOT PASS GO.
  9. by   Mrs.B
    I started out as a volley EMT (did it for 4 years) and can honestly say that I learned things in an ambulance that you just don't learn in nursing school! It is also a great way to test your people skills. Like being able to stay composed when a drunk pukes on your boots at 4am!

    I'm a school nurse now and I use my "basic" EMT skills everyday.

    I think working as an EMT while you're in nursing school would be a great way to earn money and get experience at the same time. However, don't put off nursing school for too long! You may get too comfy working and never go back to school.

    Also here in NY the EMT course runs about 4 mos (at least that's how it was when I took it) and was only a few hours a week so you can work or go to school at the same time.

    Good Luck!
  10. by   kwagner_51
    Hi,

    I wanted to be an EMT like Roy and Johnny. [I watched EMERGENCY! every Saturday night, without fail from 1972-1977]. Sooooo 2 yrs ago I went back to school to become one. It was a 6 hour class that met on modays and wednesdays for 16 weeks. I was the best at the meds, how we were to treat people, yada, yada. We were required to schedule our own time with the County EMS. I spent 27 hrs. in the barn and didn't get a single run!! When we finally did get a call, the paramedic driving the ambulance almost KILLED me. He was extremely DANGEROUS!!! I was flying around in the back praying that he didn't crash!

    I decided after my experences that I would MUCH rather be like Dixie McCall and be a nurse. It is MUCH safer! Plus I get to work where there is heat in the winter and a/c in the summer!

    I also decided that the pay was NOT worth the time it would take me to become a Medic. In Southern Indiana the pay is: 12.00 hr. with co pay on ALL insurance. That is the highest you can go. I really don't understand why.

    My advice is this: You are putting people's lives on the line as an EMT in awful conditions and [at least around here] getting no respect from the hospital ED. Why not go straight into nursing and after you get your degree, go into flight nursing?

    Hope this helps!

    In His Grace,

    Karen
  11. by   sandylpn03
    I've been an EMT-B for 6 yrs. You do get a lot of experience working, esp. if you work in a big city, my first job was in downtown New Orleans and boy did I ever learn a few things there. The pay for EMT's in Louisiana is awful. I worked for Acadian Ambulance Service which is the largest private owned company here and I only made $7/hr. The course took 6 mths. 4 hrs. at night on Monday and Wednesday at a local vocational school. I would have gone ahead to nursing but always thought it was just too hard, which I've now found out it's not if you really want it bad enough. I would suggest you go on to RN, it will save you time and you can still get experience if you work in an ER and have the same fun you have as an EMT. That's my goal to work emergency medicine. I know the company I worked for also had Flight Medics who were RN's and they got paid very well. Check around and remember it's your decision. Just my .02

    Good luck to you

    Sandy
  12. by   nursejenrad
    I went to LPN school in 1997-1998. Went to EMT school in 2003 and also got the IV and EKG Cert. I went to EMT school because I have always thought that was the job for me. The catch is that the pay is so low, and as an LPN I made 3x the money. I am in a BSN program now and everyone I know has voiced the opinion that the EMT was not needed (fun for me, but not necessary) and in nursing school you more then likely will need to do all your classes anyway. Example is the A&P, the A&P in EMT only scratches the surface of the A&P in nursing school. The only thing I think would be cool, is if you work as an EMT while you go to nursing school. You will get experience while in school and have a little more of a medical background so things may be easier.
    Anyway, whatever your decision, go for the nursing school. Even LPN's make great $! I made $24.00/hour as an LPN with the Pool type nursing.
    Good luck!!!!
  13. by   StudentNursePedrito
    Well I am a new EMT-B and working for Acadian Ambulance here in Baton Rouge, LA. Now the only reason why I am in this postion is that I was a nursing student a Southeastern Louisiana University and was to have graduated this past Fall 08 with my BSN. I had failed my OB theory course by not even a percentage grade I still remember the magical number of a 78.3:angryfire which if I would had made a 78.5 I would have passed the course since passing is an overall 79% and I would have gone on with only 11 credit hours to complete my BSN through SELU. So in the midst of all this I have looked at different avenues of being able to finish pursuing my RN degree and I basically took the step of obtaining my basic certification and starting this accelerated paramedic course that my company will pay for me to go thru in 6 months and will soon be a paramedic. Now I started off pursing an RN degree at first and with clinics and having to do careplans was alot of work but was not totally hard, but you have to put your time and effort in which I did but just came up a bit short. So I will hopefully going back to selu to finish up my remaining credits to finish my RN once I obtain my paramedic certification and work for approx. 6 months as a medic. Now an EMT job compared to a nurses has its similiarities but has two totally different views of treating a patient. Medics think of just a short term goal and plan for the patient to stabilize and maintain the patient until they can reach definitive care. The nurses job is to continue the prehospital care plus all in house interventions under a MD standing order or protocols. As the medic you do have alot more autonomy out in the field, then you would in the ER working along side with the Dr. So which ever way you look at it though your still providing the same aspect of care, just in two total different settings. Now I do know that once I do complete my RN degree and have my paramedic certification, I could be easily choosen to work on Air Med as an RN, which is pretty cool. So it all depends on what way you want to go, and my fiancee will be shortly starting up the same emt-basic class that I went thru in 3 months as well, while she is figuring out if she does want to go to RN school as well. But in the end its all about the experience you gain in the field or in the hospital and what is taught in school may not always be right, but its the proper and set standard of patient care that is appropriate. Well hope this is gives somebody out there just another view of deciding what way to go, but in the end its all the same kind of care you want to provide for your patient.
  14. by   outrunningzombies
    I used to be an EMT-B but I let it lapse after I left the military. I couldn't find a job that paid more than $8/hr in the area I was living, so before you go to school, research salaries in your area.

    For the basic EMT certification, you can probably find a 3 or 4 credit one semester class at a community college, so it's not a terribly long process.

    I'm in a funny position as an EMT who mostly worked in a doctor's office and also spent some time doing CNA type work but never went in ambulances. I can tell you that being an EMT will help your assessment skills but most EMT stuff won't directly translate to nursing. Half of my training was emergency stuff and half was patient care. I used much more patient care than emergency stuff in my day to day job.

    I don't think being an EMT-B before nursing school is bad, but it's not like you learn meds or IVs or anything as one. (I'm not knocking EMTs--you guys are awesome!!)

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