Nursing Inspiration

How to Make the EMT to Nurse Transition

Whether it stems from abuse of the 9-1-1 system or lack of administrative support, if you’re an EMT suffering from job burnout, don’t feel bad—you’re not alone. Studies show that, on average, EMTs contemplate an occupational change after eight years on the job. That said, have you ever thought about making the EMT to nurse transition? If not, you definitely should.

When compared with the EMT profession, the field of nursing provides higher salaries, more job diversity, and better advancement opportunities. Personal gain aside, many EMTs find that it’s helping people that really drives them. So, while your time serving the public as an EMT may be rewarding, a nursing career allows you to take the patient care experience to the next level. As a nurse, you get to spend more time with patients and become more involved with their overall healthcare—as opposed to treating symptoms and performing diagnostic tests from inside an ambulance.

go from EMT to RN at Marian University

Explore Your Nursing Potential

If you find yourself standing at a career crossroad, rather than worrying about paths of uncertainty, you should use the opportunity to explore your nursing potential. Think about it. EMTs and RNs share many of the same job skills so you’ve already put in some miles toward a nursing career. You just have to take a minor detour and go back to school to earn a nursing degree and obtain your RN licensure.

Should you have obligations that make nursing school seem like a major roadblock, don’t let that stop you from moving forward. With the right nursing program and academic history, your life doesn’t have to come to a complete halt. Take, for example, our second-degree Accelerated BSN program.

Available through our ABSN Learning Sites in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Nashville, Tennessee, our accredited ABSN program combines a rigorous blend of online and onsite curriculum so that qualified individuals can earn a quality bachelor’s degree in nursing in as few as 16 months.

Former EMT Christian Sua joined our ABSN program after realizing his passion for patient care would be better fulfilled as a nurse. Sua’s EMT to RN epiphany came following a chance encounter with a man he had previously provided EMT services to. The man, a former combat medic, told Sua, “You have a gift. What you are doing is phenomenal. Don’t ever stop what you’re doing. You have a certain air about you that made me trust you. Not everyone has that.”

Sua also found himself inspired by the nurses who cared for him before and after his multiple shoulder surgeries. He had been moved by all the work and responsibility they were given in different settings.

“Nurses are the compassionate wheels. They are a necessary component of any functional hospital. They are the caregivers that glue the hospital together,” he said. “I wanted to become a nurse because I saw so much potential in being able to contribute to someone’s day.”

Ready When You Are

If our accelerated nursing program proves to be the best fit for your future in nursing, we can get you moving on your BSN degree as soon as you’re ready. We offer ABSN program starts in January, May, and August at both of our site locations.

Furthermore, our local hospital partnerships (St. Vincent in Indianapolis and Saint Thomas Health in Nashville) give us the wherewithal to enroll a high number of students per start and still provide a highly personalized education via small student-to-faculty ratios.

Should you need to complete the program’s science and humanities prerequisite courses, you can conveniently do so through Marian’s Adult Programs, also referred to as MAP. These prerequisites, which have class starts between six and nine times a year, follow an accelerated format and can be completed 100% online.

Leverage Your EMT Experience

While the online portion of our program will build your nursing theory knowledge and clinical competencies, you’ll have a leg up on some of the basic hands-on curriculum covered during the skills labs such as performing patient assessments, checking vitals, and starting intravenous lines. You also have the luxury of knowing how to stay calm in high-pressure situations. In other words, your EMT experience can provide you with a successful edge throughout the program, allowing you to focus more on the advanced areas of nursing such as pharmacology and pathophysiology.

ambulance truck in front of a hospital

Your experience as an EMT should also serve you well during your clinical rotations. Because you’ve treated individuals with all kinds of ailments and in all types of scenarios, you should feel completely at home assisting with patient care inside a hospital. Furthermore, you know how RNs and other medical staff work together in treating patients, having witnessed it firsthand on a daily basis.

Just remember that while EMTs and RNs have somewhat of a skills overlap, each occupation takes a different approach and philosophy to patient care. So, while in nursing school, it’s best to always defer to what your clinical instructors and/or preceptors tell you rather than what you did as an EMT.

Job Opportunities in Nursing

EMT work provides an outstanding foundation for becoming a registered nurse, a field of employment that exhibits strong growth potential for years to come. This growth stems from a higher emphasis on preventive care, more people suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, and the baby-boomer population living longer than previous generations and requiring more healthcare services.

You’ll also find that the current nursing shortage across the country has created a high demand for EMT to RN candidates in various areas of nursing such as emergency, acute, outpatient and convalescent care. RNs with bachelor’s degrees can also go on to pursue a master’s level education and become advanced practice nurses such as nurse anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives—among the highest paying careers in the profession.

Ready to Change Your Career?

If you think making the transition from EMT to nurse sounds like a great career move, please contact our admissions team. Our dedicated advisors, or champions of higher learning as we often call them, are readily available to discuss the ins and outs of our second-degree ABSN program in Indianapolis or Nashville.

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