Ok, I currently have my foot in both worlds! (work my weekends as a medic and week days as a nursing student)
I think as was stated before it is almost two different realms... paramedics focus on the here and now, and nurses kind of focus on long term.
Also, the easiest way to put this... nurses know a little about a lot, paramedics know a lot about a little.
In terms of skills, yes I do feel more confident about my skills and knowledge as a paramedic, but you have to understand a couple of things :
a) paramedics focus only on prehospital emergency care as a whole, so our scope may be more advanced in some areas than nurses (e.g. pleural decompression, intubation, surgical airways), but we have a limited set of skills.
b) paramedic training focuses on repetition ( of particular medications and procedures) so that you can learn to function on your own
c) Paramedics are only with a patient for a very short period of time, so we can only do what is immediately necessary.
d) education for the paramedic focus on knowing a certain amount of information inside and out, so that you can function within parameters without needing a physician's orders
e) part of paramedic training/ working as a paramedic is learning to be confident... you are on your own with no one to help, you have to be extremely confident and portray that to you patients.
a) nurses (like I said previously) focus on more long term care, and typically can spend more time with their patients.
b) their range of procedures they do and medications they give runs the gauntlet (e.g. one day you may work med/surg and the next in the NICU)..so you might not encounters something as much, and you are able to do more under physicians orders
c) education for the nurse focuses on outdated idealistic practices so you pass an exam, not really on how to take care of a patient
All in all, I feel much more confident about my abilities as a paramedic because of the limited drugs/interventions, the repetition focused on in school, the explicit training time focused on specifically patient care (as opposed to clincials focusing on completing care plans
), and the required continuing education/proving proficiency in skills.
Now my disclaimer to this post, is I am a nursing student, so an experienced nurse may have a completely different opinion. Also, I hope I didn't offend anyone
Hope this helps!