Should I take the plunge?


  • Specializes in Hopefully ED, ICU, or Level 1 Trauma Uni.

Hello All,

I'll try to provide you with the Reader's Digest version so here goes. I am currently employed with a large urban fire department on the East Coast. I can retire now with a decent pension but I am too young to not work. I am also enrolled in a deferred retirement plan that I need to stay in for 3 years. This will give me a lump sum of nearly $110,000.00 that I can not touch without penalties until I am 56 1/2. I am currently 42. The local community college has a Paramedic to RN program that I can enroll in. I do need to finish some pre reqs prior to applying. I have a AA degree but only some of the credits will transfer. My work schedule is not conducive to going back to school so I will take my pre reqs on line. I figure going part time I can finish in 4 years.

I have some hesitations going into nursing since my wife and sister are both RN's and have some disdain for it. As a paramedic for 25 years I have always enjoyed helping feeling and the satisfaction of knowing you did well. I know I wont be able to use the street skills I have in nursing but I think working in a ED or Trauma Center would be comparable.

I guess my question is should I take the plunge and do it or should I stay with the FD and deal with the politics and a new generation of kids who have no work ethic? Any current or former paramedics of firefighters please contribute. Thanks.:banghead:


2 Articles; 2,512 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

I'm not a firefighter or paramedic, but here's my :twocents:

I think as a paramedic for 25 years, you would bring a LOT to the table as an ER or flight RN. While nursing has its benefits and drawbacks, it could provide you with a stable job and additional retirement benefits, as well as the flexibility to move within patient care areas/specialties.

I would look closer at your reason for entering nursing. While the money and benefits can be great, you need to make sure this type of work will make you happy for the rest of your career.

I know a LOT of great flight and ER RNs who are/were paramedics and firefighters...

Best of luck!

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

I think this is a decision that your going to have to come to on your own. I can understand that your wife and sister are nurses and have grown to dislike some aspects of nursing but that doesn't mean you will feel the same way. Your experience as a paramedic would make you a natural as an ER nurse or a flight nurse as Steve mentioned but you have a lot of options and may find another specialty of nursing interesting to you. I would look into the program at the community college, speak to some other nurses about the pros and cons of nursing and sit down and really think about if nursing is really right for you.

!Chris :specs:


458 Posts

Keep it in the family! Go for it plus wifey would love that too, when at the dinner table you both can speak about your patients lol.

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.
Keep it in the family! Go for it plus wifey would love that too, when at the dinner table you both can speak about your patients lol.

Just as long as you don't violate HIPPA.

!Chris :specs:


21 Posts

Hi, I am new to this forum, I finished A and P I and II this summer. I start school in a few weeks. I work full time as a Fire Fighter (IAFF), I have my EMT cert. My work schedule is extremely flexible (with mutual coverage). I work outside of NYC. I chose Nursing over Paramedics, mainly because where I am paramedics have so much responsibility on their hands, and their pay is not anywhere near where it should be. Paramedics here respond in fly cars and generally arrive on scene first and alone. I chose nursing because I can work it along with my current job, and the opportunities are endless.

As a flight nurse explained it to me "At some point you will get tired of laying across the hood of a car in a 10 below snowstorm holding some kid's life together during an extended extrication. Go to school, get your RN and work inside. Get your MICN if after that if you want to stay in the field. Now is now, but will you feel the same at 60?"

My 2 cents, keep your MICP through school (Keeps youor skills up) and then make a decision after you finish as an RN.

Be safe.

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