RN to rad tech or sonographer


Has anyone had experience with the 1 year radiology tech / sonography schools designed for nurses and allied health professionals?


91 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

I have been looking into a program like that near me. It's 15 months long, but really 4 semesters year-round including summer. Even though I am an RN, I would still have to take 2 prereqs for this particular program. I spoke with the program coordinator over the phone and asked about whether most people worked during the program (since the program requires you to be a rad tech, RN, or in another allied health profession already), and she said it is very difficult to work because classes and clinicals are Monday through Saturday. I was very surprised since I don't think quitting a job you have in this economy is a good idea. She told me each of the 4 semesters is 17-18 credit hours, and those who work often fail out. I was really bummed because I can't completely quit work -- could maybe cut back on my hours, but not quit entirely. Since you have to have proof of medical insurance to be in the program, I would think it would be difficult for most people to leave a job. It seemed to me the only people who could do it are young people living with their parents or someone whose spouse carries medical insurance through his/her job and who could live on the one income for the 15 months.

I got frustrated by the prospect since although sonography is considered a job growing faster than average, there is NO guarantee you'll get a job after school. All through nursing school, all I heard about was the nursing shortage, and I got out just in time to get a job. I feel bad for new RN grads who can't get hired. Due to my family situation, I cannot quit a job in the hand for a possible other career, even though I think I'd really like sonography.

I hope you get better news about the sonography programs near you. I would still love to hear what others have to say about it, especially any RNs who have pursued sonography after being licensed as a nurse.


56 Posts

From the perspective of rural hospitals, like where I work, dual-trained employees are a huge assett. For example, an ER nurse can easily handle 1-2 DVT ultrasounds per shift and save the hospital the costs of having both employees.


369 Posts

There are still pathways to train OJT for ultrasound certification. It depends on your employer willing to devote the time and resources to allow you to learn scanning.

Check out ardms.org and cci-online.org for exact requirements. But it can take 1 year of full time experience preforming ultrasound.

However I would strongly recomend attending an educational program if possible. There are even shorter programs lasting a few months but a fully accredited program is always best.



56 Posts


What shorter programs are you familiar with? I had been thinking about getting rad tech, but since I'm already a nurse, and all I really wanted to do was ultrasound, this looks like an option.


369 Posts

The first step is to choose what ultrasound focus will be if you are attending a shorter course, OB/Gyn, Abdomen, Vascular or cardaic then look for shorter courses. A short course will not give you the depth of experience as a full educational program.

There are multiple places that offer one week courses here are just a few





This place offers longer courses ranging form one week to one year


If you can specify what you are looking for google can be your friend.

There are some accredited distance learning programs for ultrasound as well, they require a full time internship.


dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts


From the perspective of a rural hospital which U/S training would be the most useful? Does the hospital have a radiologist available to interpret? Is there an ultrasound machine on site? The answers to these questions might help guide your ultrasound course decisions.



1 Post

hello everyone!

I am a registered nurse in the Philippines and i'm interested in radiology. Can anyone give me an idea how to be a radiology nurse? thanks a lot....


6 Posts

I arrived to radiology via Critical Care. This position originally was caring for outpatients in radiology as well as transporting critical care pts. to radiology for exams and procedures.

As this community hospital has grown, they split the duties and I now remain in the radiology dept. I assist with all stress testing, biopsies, myelograms, LP's as needed and to recover. I love it!

You can check out the Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing



Rachel White

7 Posts

I did my MRI tech course online, as I wasn't knowing the path for switching from nursing to radiology directly. But now I'm realizing that it's very effective as it's providing extensive knowledge through online lectures and timely support. The college providing online MRI technician course is also accredited and is supporting me through the scholarship programs. This has lowered the cost of my course to the minimum. Now I need not leave my current profession just for studies which is supporting me economically, without wasting time even.

Specializes in IR. Has 26 years experience.

Hi. Can someone tell me what the draw is for RNs to consider a complete switch in career to become a rad tech?


18 Posts

hello everyone!

I am a registered nurse in the Philippines and i'm interested in radiology. Can anyone give me an idea how to be a radiology nurse? thanks a lot....

Hi. I am also a RN here in PH. And I'm really interested on becoming an RN, RRT. After posting this, have you gained an idea to where here in PH will you find a short course that could make us a registered RN,RRT? TIA :)