RN/Paramedic on a Rig?

Nurses General Nursing


I just started the process of going after an Associate in Paramedic Science, probable got 2 1/2 to 3 yrs to go. I was thinking after this a ASN would be a good degree to accompany it. Especially with 10 yrs being the expected career of EMS personnel due to injury & burn out.

  • How many RN/Paramedics work on a rig?
  • Is there any advantage to being a RN/Paramedic in pre-hospital setting?
  • Doese Scope of Practice change for any? or become blurry?
  • In pre-hospital which liscensure or certification are you held to?
  • Is there any disadvantage to holding both in pre-hospital? or hospital setting?

Specializes in ED, Cardiology.


i went to medic school first and worked for the last 10 years in the field. 5 years ago i went back to nursing school for my rn. the problem in my area is that as a nurse i make $10 more an hour than as a medic (exception, fulltime ff/medic). lessons learned: i should have went first to nursing school and later taken a bridge to medic (the bridge is 3 weeks from rn to medic vs. medic to rn is at least one year)

  • how many rn/paramedics work on a rig? well, i work 40 h in a hospital setting a week and 24-36h as a ff/medic…again the medic is for fun, the hospital job, which still is fun, is for money
  • is there any advantage to being a rn/paramedic in pre-hospital setting? in my area yes, critical transports but could taken a ccp class
  • does scope of practice change for any? or become blurry? that’s up to your medical director, what he allows us to do.
  • in pre-hospital which licensure or certifications are you held to? good question, need to research, however you are in general held to the highest training you have, but also the scope of your practice, state laws…
  • is there any disadvantage to holding both in pre-hospital? or hospital setting? education is always good , no disadvantage that i have ever encountered, just more ceu's

i do not think you can do medic and rn (as and adn) in the same time period as both require a significant commitment in clinical time. again, if i would have to do it again i would first go to rn and then take the bridge program. overall, no regrets…i love being a medic and love being a nurse!

Specializes in ER/ICU/Flight.

Good questions. yes, there are great advantages to being an RN/EMT-P in a prehospital setting. You have an expanded understanding of disease processes and medications. Also, as a nurse you have more exposure to management of different conditions which can also help to understand the whole process and treatment better. (e.g. a medic hooked up an EKG, saw a-fib and told the patient he was in immediate risk for having a stroke. The patient was taking coumadin, had chronic a-fib for many years. The medic had no idea what the patient's coags were, no echo/ultrasound, etc....he had no idea whether or not the patient was in immediate risk. As a nurse I tried to explain these things to the patient but once they heard "stroke", that was the end of the conversation).

Scope of practice is determined by the state and local medical direction. Unless you're doing critical care transport the scope of practice is the same in most places (I'm not aware of any that are different). It doesn't matter that I'm an RN when I'm working at the fire department, I use the same formulary as all the other medics. You are held to the certification/licensure that your employer requires you to hold.

I don't think there's any real disadvantage to holding both in either setting. there are occasional times where I wish I could place an EJ or pass an ETT when a provider is having difficulty. But 99% of the time there are no disadvantages.

BVFD is right, it would be too much to do both at the same time and getting your RN then bridging to paramedic is an easier path to take than the other way around.

Good luck to you!


I like following these threads, as I'd like to get prehospital. From others I've read, +1 to what the previous posters have said, with the addition of being told that medics have a more medicine type focus, and nurses have more of a nursing type focus. And +1 to BVFD for knowledge being power!

I meant to say was looking into getting a ASN after getting a Associates of Paramedic Science. Not at the same time.

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

Do you mean the oil rigs? My husband worked on an oil rig and he saw some pretty serious injuries for which they called a lifeflight helicopter. I've not heard of them having a paramedic/RN onsight - maybe the offshore ones do? Considering how new graduate RN's are being treated nowdays, I would recommend the paramedic route. And if you get hired on a 'rig' they are known for paying really well.

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I live in IL and we have a pre-hospital RN which is an actual license from the BON. After licensure from the BON, you go before the medical director of your EMS region and they determine what certifications/credentials you need to do what you do. I run with a BLS non-transporting fire dept (volunteer) and am certified at the ALS level.

I'm also an advanced practice nurse in a non-ER setting.

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.
Do you mean the oil rigs?

Usually rig = medic unit (AKA ambulance, gut bucket, etc.), not an oil rig.

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

I also became a medic first, then an RN. I've never been a paid medic -- just a volunteer. But becoming an RN made me a better medic, and being a medic makes me a better RN. I'm a big fan of education (kind of an addict, haha), and like BVFD, I love being a medic and a nurse!

Specializes in Emergency Room.

I am an ER RN and would like to get my medic, but there is no RN to Medic program here I would have to take the full course. But right now I think it is more important to get my BSN.

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

there is a difference in scope of practice. RN's would be held to their highest level of licensure even if not working as an RN.

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Yes, that is correct classicdame - and since I'm an advanced practice nurse, I am held to that scope while a volunteer.

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