Thoughts on being a Medic/RN

Mitchellmvhs

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I pretty much have gotten the same response from everyone I’ve talked to saying that I should just skip medic and go straight from emt to RN, but I wanted to share my thoughts and ask for input. Any flight nurses input would also help a lot.

Ive been with AMR for almost a year and recently transferred to AMR Riverside from Doctor’s Ambulance in OC. I think a career goal I have is to be a flight Nurse and from my research it’s better to have a Medic and RN and in CA it’s pretty hard to challenge the Medic Cert as an RN.

I’ve been looking into NCTI with AMR and MVC’s medic school for the fall. I’m about to finished my associates degree with all my prereqs for nursing this month so I’m technically ready for Nursing school all I need is to take the teas and apply.

My predicament is that I love EMS so much that I really do want to be a medic and honestly I value experience more than pay. Im in this field because I love helping people regardless of the pay as cheesy as that is. I’m only 21 so I’m still pretty young and don’t see why I can’t branch out and do multiple careers.

I just feel like it’d be awesome to work as a medic at a fire department and also work per diem as an RN in the ER. There’s something that I just like about being in the field, but I also really do enjoy the bedside patient care that RN’s provide.

Just looking for input from people. I know I sound insane for wanting to be both lol. And as for cost of schooling. I’ve saved enough money from my time as an EMT to pay for medic school outright. I also live at home and don’t plan on moving out anytime soon due to my mom passing away this year and not wanting to leave my dad alone.
 

Rano Pano

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Get your RN.

You’re not in love with EMS. You’re in awe of it.
Laguna Nigel does not bring the same call volume or types of calls Riverside County will. Get your RN and then your medic if still want it. 25 y/o you will thank you.
 

GMCmedic

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It's easier to go from RN to Medic than it is to go from Medic to RN.

In regards to flight, in states like Kentucky where you can only do scene flights with a Medic, being dual licensed with 3 years ICU or ER experience as an RN) will make you a very sought after unicorn.
 

Jn1232th

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I say get your RN. Working as a medic I love it but it definitely is not a career option, especially in so cal, unless you get on with a big fire department.
You could do medic then do fire and then go RN but saying you live in area you know how competitive fire is down here and till that happens you will be living off a medic salary which is not 100% ideal ( I have to work two places to make ends meet 🤷🏻‍♂️)
 

FiremanMike

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I’m going through RN now. If you can swing it, do RN now as a full time student and not while trying to work full time. I consider myself a good student and a smart guy, but RN school has been a real struggle while working full time..
 

akflightmedic

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Long time Paramedic here who finally went and got RN. Only thing I can say is I wish I had done it 20 years ago...I kept making all the young EMS'er BS excuses for reasons to not go and I allowed life to get in the way when I could easily have made it a priority and completed it then.

EMS and Paramedicine will ALWAYS be there...and it will be much easier for you to go back and get Medic later if you want to get a pre-hospital fix. Or you may find nursing is where it is at and leave EMS in the dust. Regardless, if RN is up for consideration, do that first. Your wallet will thank you. There are many other benefits aside from finances of course, just know my opinion is do it now. Then circle back later if becoming a Paramedic is still calling to you.

Nursing = Less Hours to yield More Money.
Paramedic = Ton of hours + overtime reliance to yield less money.
 

CarSevenFour

Forum Crew Member
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I pretty much have gotten the same response from everyone I’ve talked to saying that I should just skip medic and go straight from emt to RN, but I wanted to share my thoughts and ask for input. Any flight nurses input would also help a lot.

Ive been with AMR for almost a year and recently transferred to AMR Riverside from Doctor’s Ambulance in OC. I think a career goal I have is to be a flight Nurse and from my research it’s better to have a Medic and RN and in CA it’s pretty hard to challenge the Medic Cert as an RN.

I’ve been looking into NCTI with AMR and MVC’s medic school for the fall. I’m about to finished my associates degree with all my prereqs for nursing this month so I’m technically ready for Nursing school all I need is to take the teas and apply.

My predicament is that I love EMS so much that I really do want to be a medic and honestly I value experience more than pay. Im in this field because I love helping people regardless of the pay as cheesy as that is. I’m only 21 so I’m still pretty young and don’t see why I can’t branch out and do multiple careers.

I just feel like it’d be awesome to work as a medic at a fire department and also work per diem as an RN in the ER. There’s something that I just like about being in the field, but I also really do enjoy the bedside patient care that RN’s provide.

Just looking for input from people. I know I sound insane for wanting to be both lol. And as for cost of schooling. I’ve saved enough money from my time as an EMT to pay for medic school outright. I also live at home and don’t plan on moving out anytime soon due to my mom passing away this year and not wanting to leave my dad alone.
Hey, Doctor's! Haven't seen that name in decades, Bruce was a good guy from the past. If I had it to do it all over, I would choose EMT first then go for RN, 2 year, maybe, but preferably 4 year MSN degree, that's where the big money is these days and you can go on forever from there if you enjoy nursing--so many avenues to explore. My current health care provider is an ARNP, rural health care, top notch fellow just as good as my MD (now retired) was. If you're looking for a career, a BSN is tough to beat. You could also go the aeromedical flight nurse route if you enjoy the everyday action of that kind of work. I would steer clear of LPN/LVN programs, though unless you're using it to gain entry into an RN "bridge" program later.
 

Kray1234

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Currently going for RN at a local community college. After working with RN's/BSN's/MSN as a CNA (Yeah its a **** job), LPV/LVN is almost a joke of a job and useless as a long term career. All the advice I've gotten is to get your RN and hired onto a larger hospital in ER, Urgent Care, Med Surg, or any other acute care position. From there most hospitals (At least in my area) will pay for your RN-BSN which is almost always an online program you could fit around work. Then from there you have some years in acute care to jump to Nurse Anesthesia or Flight Nurse if you are qualified and ready for that intense of a job.
 

Tigger

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Meh if you like EMS and think you can get a well paying fire or (more rarely) EMS job, nursing school makes less sense to me. I make more than nurses of comparable experience. I realize this is not true in all areas of the country. But you have to be honest with yourself as to whether or not your life will allow you to get those jobs. Are you in shape, ready to move, ready to spend time in testing processes/interviews, go to an academy, etc? There are well paying paramedic jobs out there with a career path.

Sure I often feel like a sell out for going to a fire department but I get taken care of and still practice pretty good medicine.
 

NomadicMedic

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The only reason I’d ever consider nursing is that many EMS admin jobs in hospital systems require a BSN. Although, as more EMS leaders present their degrees to HR folks, I feel that will start to fall off.
 

GMCmedic

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Meh if you like EMS and think you can get a well paying fire or (more rarely) EMS job, nursing school makes less sense to me. I make more than nurses of comparable experience. I realize this is not true in all areas of the country. But you have to be honest with yourself as to whether or not your life will allow you to get those jobs. Are you in shape, ready to move, ready to spend time in testing processes/interviews, go to an academy, etc? There are well paying paramedic jobs out there with a career path.

Sure I often feel like a sell out for going to a fire department but I get taken care of and still practice pretty good medicine.
There is some truth to this. I made more than my wife the last 2 years and she's a weekend night shift ICU nurse.

However, she works about 90 hours a month less than I do.

It's all in how you look at it, with her sleep schedule I have much more time with the kids.
 
OP
Mitchellmvhs

Mitchellmvhs

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The only reason I’d ever consider nursing is that many EMS admin jobs in hospital systems require a BSN. Although, as more EMS leaders present their degrees to HR folks, I feel that will start to fall off.
Eh that routes not totally for me. I can’t see myself in admin or management. I prefer hands on patient care. I’d go insane sitting at a desk lol, but that could just be young me
 

Carlos Danger

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It doesn't have to be one or the other. All the RNs on this forum, like me, had careers in EMS before getting into nursing, and continued working in EMS after becoming a RN.

The thing about nursing school is that it opens up doors to a plethora of career paths, while closing none of the doors that are already open to you. You can have a BSN and still work full time as a paramedic, still be a firefighter, go into EMS education or administration, etc. But you also have access to all the career options available to a RN. ICU (great experience for the clinically-oriented), CCT / Flight RN (those jobs are typically easier for nurses to get than paramedics and pay better), trauma coordinator, NP, CRNA, professor, etc. That doesn't even scratch the surface.

I never had any interest in nursing at all, but after working as a flight paramedic for a while with nurses who were doing the same job for $10/hr more than me, I decided to get my ASN and then a few years later, my BSN. It was the best thing I ever did for my career, by far. A few years later I tested with Charlotte fire and my plan was to do that full time while continuing to work as a flight nurse part time, and also do an online NP program at some point. I didn't end up getting on with CFD but it could have worked out and that's just one example of the options that are available to someone with both EMS and nursing experience.

So it isn't either/or. For a person that thinks they want to make a career out of EMS or possibly fire but are also possibly interested in nursing, and want to start a degree program of some sort, I don't see what you have to lose by starting a BSN program while working in EMS and considering your future goals.
 

NomadicMedic

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Eh that routes not totally for me. I can’t see myself in admin or management. I prefer hands on patient care. I’d go insane sitting at a desk lol, but that could just be young me
There are lots of options for advancement. I’m one of those people who gets things done, so an admin role works very well for me. However, I still enjoy the clinical side and still do patient care.
 

EpiEMS

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The only reason I’d ever consider nursing is that many EMS admin jobs in hospital systems require a BSN.
Seems like this is regionally dependent? I haven't seen this on job descriptions in CT at least.
I remember seeing a particularly egregious example of nursing having inordinate control over EMS in Illinois (mandated an RN for what was an EMS oversight job statewide)...
 

NomadicMedic

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Seems like this is regionally dependent? I haven't seen this on job descriptions in CT at least.
I remember seeing a particularly egregious example of nursing having inordinate control over EMS in Illinois (mandated an RN for what was an EMS oversight job statewide)...

It’s a pretty common thing around here.
 
OP
Mitchellmvhs

Mitchellmvhs

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It doesn't have to be one or the other. All the RNs on this forum, like me, had careers in EMS before getting into nursing, and continued working in EMS after becoming a RN.

The thing about nursing school is that it opens up doors to a plethora of career paths, while closing none of the doors that are already open to you. You can have a BSN and still work full time as a paramedic, still be a firefighter, go into EMS education or administration, etc. But you also have access to all the career options available to a RN. ICU (great experience for the clinically-oriented), CCT / Flight RN (those jobs are typically easier for nurses to get than paramedics and pay better), trauma coordinator, NP, CRNA, professor, etc. That doesn't even scratch the surface.

I never had any interest in nursing at all, but after working as a flight paramedic for a while with nurses who were doing the same job for $10/hr more than me, I decided to get my ASN and then a few years later, my BSN. It was the best thing I ever did for my career, by far. A few years later I tested with Charlotte fire and my plan was to do that full time while continuing to work as a flight nurse part time, and also do an online NP program at some point. I didn't end up getting on with CFD but it could have worked out and that's just one example of the options that are available to someone with both EMS and nursing experience.

So it isn't either/or. For a person that thinks they want to make a career out of EMS or possibly fire but are also possibly interested in nursing, and want to start a degree program of some sort, I don't see what you have to lose by starting a BSN program while working in EMS and considering your future goals.
I appreciate this post a lot! That’s kinda what I had in mind as well. I would love to be full time at an FD as a medic and also do PT as a flight nurse. I tend to value experience over pay and time anyway. I know I could go straight to a BSN program, but I feel like working as a medic before is such a valuable experience I would love to have that would overall make me a better healthcare provider. I mean school is always there and I could do it at anytime in my life.
 

Tigger

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I appreciate this post a lot! That’s kinda what I had in mind as well. I would love to be full time at an FD as a medic and also do PT as a flight nurse. I tend to value experience over pay and time anyway. I know I could go straight to a BSN program, but I feel like working as a medic before is such a valuable experience I would love to have that would overall make me a better healthcare provider. I mean school is always there and I could do it at anytime in my life.
Sure, but there are easier times than others to go to school.
 

akflightmedic

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Yep....going back to school for RN in my early 40s versus my early 20s when I first considered it....oh to do some things differently.
 

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