Nurse or Medic?

dkobos

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Is it better to become a nurse or paramedic if you like to work on the ambulance? I have done 8 years of NYC 911 the system is different there than I have recently encountered in NJ. out of experience who can guide me in the rightful direction. I am debating on Nursing or Paramedic, I want to stay working on the ambulance specifically 911, my passion is working the streets. How does this comply with other states if I were to move away FL, GA, etc, are you allowed to work as a medic or on the ambulance while being a nurse.
 

DesertMedic66

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If you want to stay on the ambulance and stay running 911 calls then being a paramedic would be the better option as there aren’t many nurses running 911 calls on an ambulance. Nurses are really only used in CCT and HEMS.

Now if you were looking at which one is probably a better overall career path with more room for growth, better pay, etc then the answer would be nurse.
 

NomadicMedic

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If you want to stay on the ambulance and stay running 911 calls then being a paramedic would be the better option as there aren’t many nurses running 911 calls on an ambulance. Nurses are really only used in CCT and HEMS.

Now if you were looking at which one is probably a better overall career path with more room for growth, better pay, etc then the answer would be nurse.

A great example of, “if you’ve seen one EMS system, you’ve seen one EMS system.“ In Pennsylvania, nurses work as PHRNs, a prehospital registered nurse, and when working a ground ambulance have the same scope of practice as a paramedic, When working CCT or flight have an expanded scope. We use lots of PHRNs here in Pennsylvania. Many of them split time between hospital and field jobs.
 

DesertMedic66

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A great example of, “if you’ve seen one EMS system, you’ve seen one EMS system.“ In Pennsylvania, nurses work as PHRNs, a prehospital registered nurse, and when working a ground ambulance have the same scope of practice as a paramedic, When working CCT or flight have an expanded scope. We use lots of PHRNs here in Pennsylvania. Many of them split time between hospital and field jobs.
That’s why I made sure to say “there aren’t many nurses”. There are a couple of states/areas that utilize the “PHRN” however they seem to be in the very minority and if you look at the ratio of nurses working on a 911 ambulance vs nurses not working on a 911 ambulance let’s just say that there are definitely a lot more nurses not on the ambulance.
 

Carlos Danger

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A great example of, “if you’ve seen one EMS system, you’ve seen one EMS system.“ In Pennsylvania, nurses work as PHRNs, a prehospital registered nurse, and when working a ground ambulance have the same scope of practice as a paramedic, When working CCT or flight have an expanded scope. We use lots of PHRNs here in Pennsylvania. Many of them split time between hospital and field jobs.
Come on, you know that PA is unique in that way and that most states don't use PHRNs. The OP specifically called out 911 ambulance work and nationwide, he'd have far more opportunities for that as a paramedic. Would you advise someone who was interested in working in an ICU to become a paramedic vs a RN just because there are some jobs for paramedics in that setting?

OP, why not both?
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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I say both.

I’d go the nursing route while staying on the rig as an EMT for now.

Then, go back for your paramedic after becoming a nurse.
 

Aprz

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If you want to stay on the ambulance and stay running 911 calls then being a paramedic would be the better option as there aren’t many nurses running 911 calls on an ambulance. Nurses are really only used in CCT and HEMS.

Now if you were looking at which one is probably a better overall career path with more room for growth, better pay, etc then the answer would be nurse.
I think this is a pretty accurate answer.
 

Akulahawk

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If you want to stay on the ambulance and stay running 911 calls then being a paramedic would be the better option as there aren’t many nurses running 911 calls on an ambulance. Nurses are really only used in CCT and HEMS.

Now if you were looking at which one is probably a better overall career path with more room for growth, better pay, etc then the answer would be nurse.
Generally, I think this is a very accurate answer. While you might find a few places where there are PHRN's, those are (overall) going to be reasonably rare in the US.

As a Paramedic, you're pretty much at a terminal point in your advancement. You could do some CCT or HEMS type work, but you're going to be relatively limited in your ability to advance as a care provider without leaving Paramedic. As an RN, you're going to be trained as a generalist and will specialize on the job, but because your initial training is reasonably general, you can change to different areas of medicine and still be a nurse. Some of my ED colleagues have gone into infection control or have transitioned to PACU, for instance. One of my current colleagues works in a Peds ED for another hospital. Yet another works as an in-house float nurse and can float between ICU and the ED.

Bottom line is that if you want options for a career path, nursing is a great way to go. I did Paramedic and RN both in the "traditional" way. I became a Paramedic about 20 years ago and about 10 years ago, I started down the RN path. Had I known from the outset that I would end up being an RN, I would have gone that path instead of Paramedic and then after becoming an RN and getting some experience, I might have challenged the Paramedic license and obtained my Paramedic that way. Frankly, had I gone that route, I'd now be an RN of nearly 20 years instead of about 7 years. I definitely do maintain my medic license and may yet step back onto the bus in a PRN role, but for now, I've got too much stuff on my plate over the next 6 months or so to worry much about that, not the least of which is renewing my MICN cert and my Paramedic cert this year. At least I can apply most of my Paramedic cert stuff to MICN renewal as both certs require "prehospital" CE. ;)
 

BobBarker

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Working on a CCT IFT ambulance as an RN is great if you want to go back to school for an NP, MSN, etc. or if you have another job and you want to do it on the side. A lot of companies right now in CA at least pay OK hourly but OT and extra shifts is where you can make $$$. An RN I work with made $200k working on a CCT ambulance last year. A lot of hours (sometimes working 25 days in a row), but they need RN's here and aren't limiting hours or cutting OT and have night dif. Some days we might only have 1 call for entire 11hr shift, so we get paid to shop and eat lol. You learn to be autonomous. Once the patient is in the back of your ambulance, you are in charge, no doctor to shout orders. The good thing is the burnout is wayyyyy less than the ER as you aren't constantly running around.
Now, with a paramedic, you might not start out as much as a nurse, but I feel you have more opportunities in the country on an ambulance.
 
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