Is a paramedic to RN bridge program right for you? It most likely is! Here are a few good reasons why.
Transitioning to nursing from emergency medicine is a great way of advancing a paramedic’s career. With their experience in healthcare, paramedics already have a strong foundation to make a smooth transition. The demand for nursing services is expected to remain high and with it, more job opportunities.
Local RN Bridge Programs
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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Registered Nurses (RN) will grow by about 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. Overall, the bureau describes the job prospects for nurses as ‘excellent’ especially in hospitals. Nurses with bachelor’s degree qualifications and other advanced training will particularly have the best prospects. Paramedics can therefore significantly improve their job prospects and earning potential by enrolling into paramedic to RN bridge programs.
Becoming a Registered Nurse
Because of the paramedics’ background in emergency care, bridging programs to RN can take less than two years to complete. The programs award either a bachelor’s or an associate degree. If you are a registered paramedic considering becoming an RN, you can either enrol afresh into a traditional RN degree program or choose a paramedic to RN bridge program.
A bridging program offers the advantage of allowing you to fast track to RN because you may have covered some of the courses in the emergency care program. Normally, the paramedic to RN bridging programs take about 18 to 24 months to complete. Some institutions offer online programs as well.
Bridging programs to RN may vary in different institutions. However, they are all designed to develop the skills necessary for paramedics to work in a different area of practice and to apply their skills to nursing. Students are also prepared to sit the NCLEX-RN, which is the licensing examination for registered nurses.
To get admission into an RN bridging program, you need to be a registered Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or have an associate degree. Some programs may require you to have worked as a paramedic for at least one year. You will need to fulfill all the institution’s general entry requirements for undergraduate programs. These are often a high school diploma or GED and at least an average or minimum score in college entrance examinations. You may also need to take the HESI A2 examination. Prerequisites for admission to advanced placement or bridge program includes courses in anatomy and physiology, math, physics, microbiology and English composition among others.
Examinations and Licensing
Being an advance track program, a paramedic to RN bridge program can take about two years or less to complete. Courses that are offered in traditional nursing programs such as nursing practice, clinical rotations and patient care are included.
At the end of the bridge program, you will sit the national licensing examination, NCLEX-RN and become a registered nurse with RN credentials. It is always important to research a program before enrolling into it. You also need to know the standards and licensing requirements in your state and choose a program that is accredited. Once you start practicing as a registered nurse, you will still need to take specific hours of continuing education classes for license renewal.
Consider your career goals and choose a paramedic to RN bridge program that fits your goals, strengths and interests.