Quote from McStudMuffin
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.