rn/emt-p to rt bridge program? calling all RT's!!


hey all. i'm an er nurse. i'm about to complete my paramedic program. ultimately i would like to be a flight nurse, but i don't have the standard 3-5 year of experience yet. so in the mean time i wanted to see if anyone knew of a way or any programs that would allow a bridge from either rn or paramedic to rt or any accelerated rt programs. i have searched everywhere and found tons of rt to rn and paramedic to rn programs, but nothing that allows rn to rt or paramedic to rt. not meaning to offend any rts on here. trust me, i did my research on rn to paramedic programs. at first i was looking for a quick and dirty way of obtaining my paramedic cert, but after reading thousands of posts i realized how important it was to actually take a full paramedic program. that also is my hope for rt, not looking for a quick and dirty way to get a license, but looking for something that will teach me what i need to know, maybe already combined with what i do know. ok, thanks for all your time in reading this! i appreciate it. any help would be appreciated.


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I sure something exists; however, respiratory therapy is a completely different discipline. You would do well not to cut corners. I am currently in the third semester of a five semester respiratory therapy programme.

There is a considerable amount of math you will encounter and numerous formulae that you will need to learn and utilise. I actually had to take additional classes in physics and chemistry as well. Took an entire semester of gas physics. Think back to general chemistry when you spent a week or so on gas dynamics and think about an entire semester of that...

You can also expect to learn pretty advanced technical modalities. Placing a ventilator in APRV and dealing with HFOV is fairly demanding.

I know of a couple online programmes; however, the students are left to fend for themselves when it comes to clinical hours. They basically have to arrange their own clinical rotations. It is very difficult to convince a hospital to allow you into their hyperbaric chamber, theatre and special care nursery without having a prior arrangement.

Thus far, respiratory therapy school has been a bigger headache than nursing school. Perhaps it is the programme or perhaps it is because I am an old fart and simply cannot tolerate being treated like a child. In any event, respiratory therapy will be a pretty big commitment. Good luck if you head down this path.

Has 26 years experience.

You will do fine as a flight nurse if you are an RN and an EMT-P (I was both, too) but there is NO SUBSTITUTE for real, hands on experience. As a flight nurse you have to learn to work independently with confidence, and no amount of book work is going to prepare you for this. Instead of more schooling, see if you can do some ride along time/volunteer in an ambulance or with a flight crew. Be patient, as you want your flight nurse career to be successful.