Paramedic to RN transition, easy or hard?Register Today!
This is a discussion on Paramedic to RN transition, easy or hard? in Pre-Nursing Student, part of Nursing Student ... hello, everyone. i am a paramedic with 5 year experience on als ambulance, now moving towards my...by Silika Apr 28, '07hello, everyone. i am a paramedic with 5 year experience on als ambulance, now moving towards my aas degree in nursing. i would like to get some input from other medics who became rns, or rns that had to work or train a medic who became rn. i love my job now, and i really loved my 500 hours of clinicals in all departments of the hospital, especially er of course! thats when i realized i want to become a nurse! now, my question is to you all, what was the hardest part in the transition process? to stop thinking like a paramedic and start doing like rn? was it introducing new skills like: foleys, g-tubes? or was it a total piece of cake? i am very motivated to move on to nursing, but what is the biggest obstacle that i will have to overcome...?
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- Apr 28, '07 by DoubleblessedRNIt wasn't that difficult. I just took my last Excelsior exam and I will be attending a CPNE workshop next week. I also went to a traditional ADN program for a year, but withdrew for several reasons I won't mention right now. For me, the first semester was the most difficult, but still wasn't that hard. That was the most different from a paramedic. We learned wound care, diagnosing and careplans, caring for surgical drains, sterile dressing changes and foley insertions just to name a few. The exams can be difficult; it really tests your critical thinking and it is the rightest of the right. Subsequent semesters are mostly pharmacology, pathophysiology and their treatments. If you decide to attend traditional nursing school, I'll give you some good advice: Don't tell your instructors, especially your clinical instructors that you're a paramedic, because I almost guarantee he or she will hold you to a higher standard. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.
- Thanks Medic2ernurse2b, I am in process of enrolling to Excelsior College too! I guess we will see how are nursing skill really are when we put them to use in hospital setting. Good luck!
- Apr 28, '07 by snowfreezeI did quite fine going to a community college for RN while working as a paramedic. I have been a nurse for 15 years and a medic for 20. My youngest daughter just got her EMT so I will be going back to the field to run with her at a local volunteer friendly service with a junior program.
The biggest difference is the medic saves the patient for the moment a nurse continues that care and then trys to teach the patient about how to deal with their medical issues for the rest of their life.
- Wow snowfreeze, I see what you mean! I can not wait. I realize school will not be easy, but I believe I have seen quite a lot in the ambulance and ER that will help me out a great deal. Plus, I think having support of techs, fellow RNs and MDs will be so helpful. I know everyone gets busy on the floor doing their own thing, but still I am not afraid to stop someone and ask questions if I have to. Compared to what I do now, I am usually alone in the back of ambulance working on critical patients, a phone for Medical Control orders, and an EMT driving me. And I still love my job!
- Apr 28, '07 by MrsWampthangProbably the hardest thing to cope with as a medic to RN nurse, was having to get a doctor's order to give drugs that I had a protocol to give in the field like nitro, or D50. Also not being able to jump to the head of a coded patient and intubate was tough. However, I went right into the ER after I graduated and it seemed to be an easier transistion for me than for others who had not had that critical care experience first. Otherwise, I love being a nurse versus being a medic; no more picking up drunks (or their victims) off the road in the middle of the night in the dead of winter.
- hehehe pam! i hear you, i believe i can deal with taking md orders no problem. you are right about the the working conditions i am definitely not going to miss the snow/ice/traffic driving, 3 am drunken calls, :angryfire calls and so on. i probably would feel right at home if i chose er specialty, but what other specialty would you and everyone suggest for paramedic to rn person?
- Apr 28, '07 by DoubleblessedRNI want to work in the ER (obviously) but I have also thought about cardiac cath. I spent one day of a clinical rotation there (I also used to work the road with one of the technicians) and I really liked it. I also enjoyed my OR rotation.
- Apr 28, '07 by NREMT-P/RNEasy.
At least I thought it was.
Did Excelsior. Took approx 6 months to complete the (now called Concepts 1 -7?) exams. Scheduled the CPNE - counting the CPNE wait - it took another 6 months to complete CPNE and get the rest of the paperwork done - in order to get the degree.
So it CAN be done in a year.
Now, for a little about my background. I came from a really strong degreed paramedic program - university based. So, I had ALL my other college requirements done when I started the EC program. The only thing I had to complete were the nursing portions.
I DID NOT prep for the exams by using a publishing house. (Too much $$$ for limited benefit - IMHO) I used the EC published outlines and a general nursing text. I followed the exam content in the outline and used the chapter/section summaries in the nursing text. I did not obsess. Other than chapters on the endocrine system and patient safety I didn't read entire chapters. I had a strong clinical background.
In my experience, most of the medics that have struggled with the EC program get "stuck" in the details. It can appears to be overwhelming and due to the nature of it - you are isolated. Support can be difficult to find. Bottom line. It is a test. Only 150 questions of Multiple Choice. Keep focused on THAT. Do you really think its going to be the obscure or the main principles? Perspective is EVERYTHING.
Now the CPNE. I did a Chancellors review in Fishers IN 3 weeks before my CPNE. I also did an EC sponsored workshop the week before - I went, passed in straight assessments (skills lab and PCE's) and I was done. I did NOT mention that I was a paramedic to ANYONE!
Now, I have known some medics to go to residence programs. Most that I know have encountered varying degrees of difficulty, boredom and frustration. NEVER mention that you are a paramedic. You may be "held to a higher standard" or you may be targeted (don't thump me - you know it happens!). KEY: Cooperate to Graduate!
Anyway, don't get stuck before you get stuck!
PM if you have questions, I'd be glad to help if I can!
- Apr 29, '07 by SilikaHI NREMT-P/RN, good for you. Sounds like most medics are choosing the Excelsior route to becoming RNs. You are my heros! I want to be just like you when I grow up... hehe. My only problem: I still have to test out on 5 general ed courses, so I am debating if I should purchase some used guides from RUE, College Network, or Chancellors to get me prepared for tests, besides doing the paid pre-tests, EC published outlines, and all the other free info. Suggestions? :spin: