Will my EMT experience help get a job as an ER-Nurse?

by Socal_EMT Socal_EMT Member

Specializes in Emergency Medicine, Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

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Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry. 1,413 Posts

I was thinking about my prior reply. Just to add, I did not personally find any overlap in curricula between nursing and paramedic other than something as base as "stick the stethoscope in your ears." Nursing had a very anal, mechanized way of teaching the assessment of vital signs while paramedic was more "just keep doing it until you can do it right all the time." Nursing did not cover trauma at all whatsoever. None. Period. Paramedic didn't address the sundry of chronic illnesses that nursing addresses. Neither field touched on such acute conditions as upper respiratory infection or low back pain. The psychomotor skill base is irrelevant. Neither is comprehensive. You'll get more trauma exposure in paramedic along with more emergent respiratory care and largely more information on cardiac care while in nursing you'll get more long-term management of common, chronic conditions with an emphasis on toileting.

Although my information is dated somewhat, I have no bias towards EMS or ED work. I wouldn't do either again, lol.



1 Post

It won't necessarily help you land a job, but i would definitely mention it. I was an EMT and paramedic before becoming and ER nurse. What helped me get a job in the ER was that I was fortunate enough to get a job in PACU right after getting my license. I applied like crazy to ER jobs as a new grad and never got a call back until I had 6 months of experience in. Personally it will benefit you greatly in your career as a nurse because you have a great base of knowledge. Best of luck!

Medic2RN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, IICU, PCU, PACU, EMS. Has 16 years experience. 1,576 Posts

Hi SOCAL! Here's my 2 cents if you're interested.

I would definitely list your EMT-B experience. It shows you have prior knowledge of emergency situations and assessment skills. I would only recommend becoming a Paramedic if you are going spend some years getting the experience under your belt. Without the experience, those in EMS refer to it as a "Paper Medic". Since you stated your goal is to become an ER nurse, go to nursing school and advance your goal that way. Although ER nurses and Paramedics are in the same area of emergency medicine, they are different.

I was a firefighter/paramedic for some time before becoming a nurse. I could not get into the ER even with 9 years of 911 experience. I was able to get hired in the IICU/PCU area (which I thought was strange). I finally got hired in the ER after 2 years of critical care experience. My Paramedic license helped me personally with IV starts, assessment skills, medications, and reading EKGs, but it did not help me get a shoe in the ER. I found that they only counted hospital nursing as experience.

I know this is anecdotal, but considering my background, I would still advise to go the nursing route if you want to be an ER RN or go the Paramedic route if you want to be in EMS.

Best wishes to you and your future!



Specializes in Emergency Medicine, Cardiology. Has 4 years experience. 102 Posts

Thank you everyone for the wonderful advice. It was made official this week that I have been accepted into nursing school. So now the true work begins. I purchased a pharm textbook and began over viewing the material. My goal is to be as prepared as possible heading into this spring semester.



Specializes in BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN. Has 3 years experience. 343 Posts


Just saw your post. Although I am not in an ER, I will say unequivocally your EMT status is a HUGE plus. It was noted during my nursing school interview, and when I applied for a new grad program, the interviewing nurse director and charge nurse both made a big deal about it. Why? It showed I had experience. As another poster said, complete nursing school, and if possible, challenge the paramedic exam in your state if you can. Here in FL, you can and I'm going to (I'm a former medic).



Has 3 years experience. 41 Posts

I have been an EMT for a total of 4 years and my goal is to an ER-Nurse. Would it be worth mentioning on a job application one day? Or possibly during an interview? I understand their scopes and roles are MUCH different, but I believe it is still pertinent to the field of emergency medicine.

Hmm...There mere fact that you are asking this question tells me that you don't have an experience problem. You have a self marketing problem. When the time comes to shine up your resume and get ready for interviews take time to study how to market yourself on a resume when you have little to no experience and study how to ace a job interview. If you know how, you can make ANY experience relevant.