RN to Paramedic Bridge Course


I'm wondering if any of you out there might know of a RN to Paramedic bridge course. I'd like to get my paramedic certification without going through a year of school! Give a hollar if you can help! Thanks.


100 Posts

I do not know of any, but since you are in Seattle check with the nurse educator at Harborview MC. They would be your best bet! Maybe even some of the ambulance companies would have an answer for you.


564 Posts

John, I know that, here in GA, an RN has to take a one year EMT course and then sit for the licensing exam-I checked into it for myself. I was hoping that, with First Responder Training and Fire Training 101 and prior exp. as an ER nurse, they would let me challenge the exam. NOT! Good luck...

Specializes in Hospice and palliative care. Has 29 years experience.


In PA, there is a "Health Professional" course that is more or less what you are looking for--a "bridge" from RN to prehospital provider. I don't know if WA has a similar course. The other option to check into would be to see if you could challenge the paramedic exam. I'm surprised that Cathy wasn't allowed to do that down in GA, but I guess each state is different.

Good luck to you! :)


Take it from me, as a retired hospital paramedic turned ER nurse, it is not worth the trouble!

Some states allow RNs to work in Mobile ICU units if they have

a. EMT

b. ALS

c. various state or hospital orientations

Let me tell you, though, nurses are not well appreciated amoung career paramedics. Why? The biggie is money.

Get this. When I was a hospital paramedic (10 years) and going to nursing school, I was full time in Mobile ICU EMS and got all the time I wanted.

Suddenly, when I became a RN, and they had to pay me nurses hourly pay, they no longer had any time for me...

Why? Because as a hospital paramedic, I earned maybe $12/hour base.

As a hospital RN, I earned TO START $20/hr base.

Unless you are one of "the guys," outsiders have a real hard time in big EMS systems. This is especially so for nurses, unfortunately.

On the other hand, if you want to go into EMS management, maybe it would be worth it, depending on what your state requires to work in a Mobile ICU.

I have had some great EMS managers who were battle hardened ER nurses, and they were great bosses. But they also had EMS experience - professional career EMS experience - so they understood "the guys."

EMS does not pay very well. The thing is, RN's are PROFESSIONALS, while EMTs and paramedics are considered TECHNICALS.

Maybe you could get some intel from the NREMT - National Registry of EMTs - in Columbus, Ohio.

Good luck in your search.


3 Posts

I can understand the animosity between street medics and nurse medics. However the main reason I want to pick up my Paramedic certification is it's a prereq. for most flight programs. In addition to it being just another piece of paper for a job, I'm looking forward to spending some time on the streets learning a different side of emergency medicine. As far as the pay is concerned, here in Washington, if your a medic, you get medic pay. If your a nurse medic working as a medic, you get medic pay.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,232 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

In the state of Illinois, there is a pre-hospital RN or sometimes called "field RN" classification. I volunteer on my rural squad and run calls all the time as an RN. Of course, I also have six years level I trauma ER experience, TNCC, CEN, BTLS and I do EMS education. In Illinois, it just depends on the medical director of the region where you want to work.

ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

I'm talking to someone in IN soon about this...I got my EMT cert my senior year of high school, but let it drop during my senior year of nursing school. I've been thinking about going back to get my EMT-P. I miss EMS...liked it better than what I do now, and I figure it's a good background for future FNP school. ;)


10 Posts

It's funny that you should ask that question.. I just finished my EMTP certification. It took over one year. I thought since i was ER nurse for 15 yrs i could challenge alot of the course.. WRONG.. i had to sit thru 85% of the classes. I did think it was crazy that i had to do all of the clinical rotations except ER. However it is worth it to get your EMPT. Good luck:)


117 Posts

An RN friend of mine is taking a basic EMT course..after that, being an RN, he can challenge the FL EMT-P exam. EMT course is only one semester, very easy after being nursing school.

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Howdy Yall

from deep in the heart of texas

Had emt-p years ago. Considered it a stepping stone to being an RN, Cant Imagine doing it now. Doesnt make any sense to me. Maybe Im just getting to old


35 Posts

I miss taking a patient into the ER and leaving them,instead of listening to them screech for hours....:smokin:

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