Paramedic nurses are medical professionals who have the certifications to work both as a paramedic and a nurse. While there is no college degree offered in the field of paramedic nursing, an individual who is a paramedic may choose to go back to college to become a registered nurse. Upon completion of the required classes, he may then take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a licensed nurse.
Colleges may offer a paramedic-to-registered-nurse (RN) bridge program. These programs vary from state to state and college to college. This type of program will offer a series of classes a paramedic needs to be eligible to take the NCLEX. The length of time it takes to complete these classes also varies among states. Generally, it will take approximately one year to become an RN.
Even though there is no formal title of 'paramedic nursing,' these careers can overlap. For example, a flight nurse may be required to complete paramedic training or vice verse. Nurses are trained to deal more with long-term care issues of a patient while paramedics are trained to treat the immediate problems of the sick and injured. A flight nurse will encounter both types of situations during a normal day.
Flight nurses will be required to fly to accident scenes where their paramedic skills will be invaluable. They will also transport sick patients from one hospital to another. Nursing skills are needed during these situations to assess for multi-system complications and to maintain the patient's stability. Paramedic nursing provides the best of both disciplines.
There are a variety of reasons why an individual may decide to go from being a paramedic to a registered nurse. In most states, an RN usually makes more money than a paramedic. It is estimated that a full-time paramedic can burn out after eight years on the job due to the high level of stress. Nursing can be less stressful.
Being a nurse provides a lot more opportunities than being a paramedic. A nurse can choose to specialize in a particular type of nursing. Some paramedics transition easily into the role of an intensive care nurse or a trauma nurse. Paramedic nursing skills can be used in both of these types of nursing specialties.
A paramedic that becomes a nurse may get an advanced degree and become a manager or an instructor. So while there is no such thing as paramedic nursing, the knowledge that comes from being a paramedic and a nurse can be used in many ways. When a paramedic chooses to obtain a nursing degree, he can open the door to many new career opportunities.