Nurse to Firefighter

  1. Hello all!
    I have a question about becoming a firefighter after nursing school. Prior to going to school I worked as an EMT-B. I'm going into my third semester of nursing school and while I like it, I would like to work as both a nurse and firefighter when I'm done. My plan is to work my into ER nursing, start volunteering at a fire department, obtain my EMT-P, then continue to work full time as a nurse until I eventually get hired on as a career firefighter (I know is crazy competitive). I know it sounds crazy. Why go to nursing school in the first place right? Well as it turns out I do like nursing, but I like firefighting/EMS more. Eventually I'd like to do full time firefighter and part-time nursing. Does that sound like it might work? Any advice from anybody about how to go about this?
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Hi,

    I know of a handful of nurses that are also FFs! It does work because as a FF you can work 24 hour shifts, depending on the department of course. Give it a try.

    I work full time as a medic on a 911 truck, I work two 24 hour shifts a week and one 8 hour nursing shift a week. I am finishing my BSN and will possible switch that around if I can get a job in a NICU. I love the ambulance though, it is a blast!

    Oh and I love the screen name

    Good luck!

    HPRN
  4. by   applesxoranges
    A lot of ER nurses do that. Some eventually choose to fly on the helicopters instead.
  5. by   caliotter3
    Sounds like a plan to me! Good luck.
  6. by   HouTx
    Sounds like a great plan. Nursing is a terrific "background" for any number of careers. Our knowledge and skills add tremendous value & savvy employers realize this. FWIW, I know several nurses who also volunteer in emergency services (fire fighter, Civil Air Patrol, EMS, etc) for their communities.

    Best of luck to you. Keep us posted on your progress.
  7. by   young33
    I am pretty much doing the same thing as you. I am a first year BSN student, I am a basic and after I get my BSN I will getting my medics license and getting on the department here. Now, my knowledge is pretty much what Ive been told by my Dad(FF/Medic 27yrs), guys he works with and other firefighters I know. But, I know around me they work 24/48's so you can be in the hospital on your two days off, but depending on your department's schedule it could be easier or harder to also work in a hospital. As far as getting on a department, take as many tests as you can. It makes it much easier when you want a job and need to do well on a test, and you have done one just like it already. I have taken any test that comes up around me and am taking chicago's on saturday. Each one is easier than the last in the sense that I am more used to the environment of these big civil service exams, if that makes sense.
  8. by   McStudMuffin
    Thanks for the encouragement! Wouldn't it be incredibly tiring to work 2 24's and an 8 hour shift a week?
  9. by   McStudMuffin
    Thanks for the advice young33. I'll get to studying those firefighting tests right after I finish studying for the NCLEX haha It's good to know I'm not the only one out there who wants to incorporate these two careers.
  10. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Nope, I sleep at night at work and usually squeeze in a nap during the day. There are times when we just go non-stop for the whole shift, but even then it isn't really that tiring. Not bad at all...


    HPRN
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Merged both threads. Best wishes
  12. by   Nalon1 RN/EMT-P
    Work 24 on truck, off 24, work 12 hr shift in hospital, sleep for 10 hours, go do your 24 hr shift on the truck again.
    Rinse and repeat. Not that bad really.

    I actually got out of EMS to get into nursing.
  13. by   Avenger1
    Quote from McStudMuffin
    Hello all!
    I have a question about becoming a firefighter after nursing school. Prior to going to school I worked as an EMT-B. I'm going into my third semester of nursing school and while I like it, I would like to work as both a nurse and firefighter when I'm done. My plan is to work my into ER nursing, start volunteering at a fire department, obtain my EMT-P, then continue to work full time as a nurse until I eventually get hired on as a career firefighter (I know is crazy competitive). I know it sounds crazy. Why go to nursing school in the first place right? Well as it turns out I do like nursing, but I like firefighting/EMS more. Eventually I'd like to do full time firefighter and part-time nursing. Does that sound like it might work? Any advice from anybody about how to go about this?

    I just saw this post and want to offer my thoughts as I am a career firefighter and RN.

    I spent 4 years in the infantry in the Marine Corps. After getting back from Iraq the second time I got out and took some gen ends before applying to nursing school. While waiting to be accepted I took a fire exam and was offered a position. I turned it down to go to school and used the GI Bill to pay for it. By the time I graduated the bottom fell out of the nursing market and I had a tough time finding a good job. In the mean time the department was testing again and had 35 spots open. I scored 2nd with my veterans preference points, took the job and went to the academy. After that I took a PT spot in a trauma center ED while I finished my first 3 years on the job working a lot of 4 on/4 off and finishing my BSN doing most of the work at the station. Bid on a job, and now work either 24 on 24 off 5 off or 48 straight and 6 off. I do 2 12's a week nursing still and have a year until starting NP clinicals. Again I do the bulk of my school work at the station.

    That's my path. I am very, very lucky. I make well above what I would doing either job individually, the VA is paying for grad school and I get to do most of my work at the station. Firefighting is the 2nd best job out there after being in the infantry.

    I tell anyone that asks how I did it to join the military. Any branch. Just get those veterans preference points. Soon career firefighting and police jobs will be next to impossible to get without them. And you can't beat the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

    Good luck on both careers.
  14. by   TransportJockey
    Not really. Most departments work a rotation like 24 on 72 off. That makes it easier to work side jobs. I know I do 48 on one week woth four days off then a 72 the next week with five days off. Plenty of time to work prn or even half time in the days off.

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