The Best Paramedic-to-RN Bridge Programs of 2022

Updated September 21, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Bridge programs are an affordable, convenient way for paramedics to transition to the nursing field. Learn more by exploring our list of the best paramedic-to-RN programs.

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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

The Best Paramedic-to-RN Bridge Programs of 2022
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Want to increase your salary and advance your healthcare career? Paramedic-to-RN bridge programs let paramedics achieve a higher earning potential in 1-2 years. EMTs and paramedics make a median annual salary of $36,650, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Registered nurses (RNs) make a median annual salary of $75,330.

Nursing also offers job growth not available to paramedics. RNs can gain more responsibilities — and boost their earnings — with more education, experience, and credentials. The top 10% of RNs earn $116,230, as the BLS reports.

Learn more about applying and paying for the best paramedic-to-RN bridge programs.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best paramedic-to-registered nurse bridge programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more, or go straight to our list of the best paramedic-to-RN bridge programs.

The Top Paramedic-to-Registered Nurse Bridge Programs and Schools

#1

Southwest Baptist University

School Information
Location Bolivar, Missouri
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 46%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

SBU offers a paramedic-to-RN bridge program at its Missouri campuses in Salem and Springfield. Learners take most classes onsite. Degree-seekers complete 37-38 nursing credits and 20 general education credits. SBU courses integrate faith with academics.

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#2

Waukesha County Technical College

School Information
Location Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Graduation Rate 44%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

WCTC's paramedic-to-nurse bridge program allows practicing paramedics to start their associate degree in the third semester. This hybrid program requires students to enroll full time. 

Students need a "C" or higher in all general education classes. Learners complete 29 credits of nursing courses. The program accepts new students every August.

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#3

Arkansas State University-Mountain Home

School Information
Location Mountain Home, Arkansas
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

ASUMH offers a paramedic-to-RN program that combines classroom instruction, online learning, and clinical experiences. Classes meet twice a week. Students take an average of nine clinical hours per week. 

Enrollees need a 2.5 GPA and a "C" or higher in all nursing classes to graduate. ASUMH's 60-credit program requires four semesters to complete.

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#4

Mineral Area College

School Information
Location Park Hills, Missouri
Graduation Rate 33%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

MAC's paramedic-to-RN bridge program emphasizes care provision and care management. Online enrollees need basic computer and internet skills. MAC's complete associate in nursing program requires 45 major credits and 86 total credits.

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#5

Dixie State University

School Information
Location Saint George, Utah
Graduation Rate 36%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Dixie's paramedic-to-RN bridge program requires a transition course and a nursing skills lab. These experiences help paramedics develop basic nursing skills. 

Dixie accepts 32 new students each spring. Graduates can take the NCLEX-RN to become registered nurses and may then enroll in Dixie's online bachelor of science in nursing program.

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#6

Bevill State Community College

School Information
Location Jasper, Alabama
Graduation Rate 28%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Bevill State's paramedic-to-RN bridge program requires 31 credits and takes three semesters to complete. Classes cover topics like  microbiology and healthcare transition. 

Enrollees can schedule classes, labs, and clinical hours on days, evenings, or weekends. Bevill State offers some classes through web-based instruction, intercampus television, and hybrid learning.

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#7

Hagerstown Community College

School Information
Location Hagerstown, Maryland
Graduation Rate 29%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Hagerstown's paramedic-to-RN bridge program includes 33 credits of lecture, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Classes cover topics like behavioral health nursing and nursing care of women and infants. 

Hagerstown reports that 75% of enrollees complete the program on time and 90% work in nursing practice within six months of graduation.

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#8

Mitchell Community College

School Information
Location Statesville, North Carolina
Graduation Rate 26%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Mitchell's paramedic-to-RN bridge program emphasizes the role nurses play on a healthcare team. The program requires four semesters of coursework. Students take microbiology and complex health concepts. Coursework also covers paramedic-to-RN bridge concepts. 

Graduates can move directly into the RN-to-BSN program at one of North Carolina's several participating universities.

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#9

NorthWest Arkansas Community College

School Information
Location Bentonville, Arkansas
Graduation Rate 24%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

NWACC accepts 40 students annually into its paramedic-to-RN bridge program. The program begins in the spring and runs four consecutive semesters. Learners complete 29 paramedic-to-RN credits. 

Classes include nursing care of adults and essentials of paramedic-to-RN. Learners complete classes online. They complete clinicals on nights and weekends.

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#10

Howard Community College

School Information
Location Columbia, Maryland
Graduation Rate 24%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Paramedics licensed in Maryland can take a transition course and then begin the second year of HCC's nursing program. Students participate in simulations and study evidence-based data. Enrollees can participate in Alpha Delta NU, a national honor society. The program requires 61 credits.

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What Can You Do as a Registered Nurse?

Each state regulates what RNs can do. RNs typically assess patients and carry out treatment plans ordered by physicians, nurse practitioners, and specialists. Most RNs work in state, local, and private hospitals. Out of 3.1 million RNs in the U.S., approximately 61% work in hospitals, according to the BLS. Other RNs work in ambulatory healthcare services, nursing and residential care facilities, government agencies, and education services.

Becoming a licensed RN opens the doors to other higher-paying healthcare roles that require more education and credentials. An RN can further their education to become a nurse practitioner (NP) and gain more responsibilities in specialty areas of nursing, such as gerontology, oncology, pediatrics, and psychiatry. As an NP, nurses can diagnose and treat patients. In some states, NPs can also prescribe medication, including controlled substances.

Featured Online RN-to-BSN Programs

What To Look For in an Paramedic-to-Registered Nurse Bridge Program

Not every paramedic-to-nurse bridge program has the same outcomes, timeline, and course offerings. Before you search for potential colleges, you need to know how to identify a quality program. The college you attend and education you earn could determine your career prospects and salary potential.

Admission Requirements

Do you qualify for a paramedic-to-RN bridge program? The admissions requirements explain what you need in terms of prior education, work experience, certification, or prerequisites.

Program Curriculum

Paramedic-to-RN bridge program coursework varies by school. Prospective students can survey a program's curriculum offerings to see if the subjects covered serve their interests and career choice. Programs with more electives and specialty courses can help you become a more well-rounded student and RN.

Clinical Experience

Schools assist students in finding local placements when paramedic-to-RN bridge programs require clinical experience. Students spend a set number of clinical hours on rotation, which provides the opportunity to gain hands-on experience caring for patients and forming relationships with potential employers.

Accreditation

School accreditation means an accrediting body has reviewed aspects of the educational process. Accredited colleges often list the accrediting agency on their website. Accrediting agencies also offer directories to verify an institution's accreditation status. Read more about accreditation.

Program Length

Program length varies, which may also affect tuition costs. Attending college longer could mean a higher total cost.

School NCLEX Pass Rate

If you have concerns about how a program can prepare you to become an RN, check the NCLEX pass rate. Schools and programs with high pass rates have academically prepared and supported students to take and pass the NCLEX exam.

School Graduation Rate

College offers no guarantees that students will graduate. Schools with low graduation rates may mean that students did not receive academic support, guidance, or the academic stimulation to succeed.

Online Learning Format and Requirements

Remote learning comes in many forms. Self-paced courses serve busy students, since they meet weekly or biweekly deadlines and do not require live classes. Hybrid and synchronous programs offer one-on-one interaction and group work in person and through live courses.

Applying to a Paramedic-to-Registered Nurse Bridge Program

Paramedics can advance in their careers through paramedic-to-RN programs that offer a quick path to earning an associate or a bachelor's degree. The first step in that journey involves submitting an application.

Community colleges and vocational schools offer paramedic-to-RN bridge programs that admit students once a year or at multiple times throughout the year. Each college and program sets different admission requirements, but this list offers the general criteria candidates need.

Admission Materials

Paramedic-to-RN programs require applicants to have valid credentials and to have graduated from paramedic programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Emergency Medical Services Board. Candidates may also need state certification as a paramedic and current National Board of Registry certification.

GPA Requirement

Schools require applicants to submit transcripts that show at least a 2.0-2.6 GPA. The exact GPA requirements vary by program.

Other Requirements

Many schools also ask candidates to have at least two years of work experience and volunteer hours. Paramedic-to-RN programs may also require students to pass an academic skills exam.

Why Is Paramedic-to-Registered Nurse Bridge Program Accreditation Important?

  • Accreditation offers quality assurance.
  • State licensing agencies may require that RNs graduate from accredited schools.
  • The curriculum at accredited schools meets national nursing standards.
  • Graduates of unaccredited schools may have difficulty applying for the NCLEX.
  • Employers prefer to hire RNs from accredited paramedic-to-RN bridge programs.
  • Unaccredited programs may not be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Credits from unaccredited programs may not transfer.
  • Graduate schools want candidates from accredited colleges and programs.

Paying for Paramedic-to-Registered Nurse Bridge Programs

Several factors can drive up the cost of college and make it impossible for some students to pay tuition upfront. Consider how the price of college changes depending on the length of the program and available financial aid. College also becomes more expensive for students who must pay out-of-state rates and for those who aren't able to work while in school.

When students can't pay their college expenses out of pocket, they turn to financial aid opportunities. The financial aid office at your college offers more information about applying for loans, grants, and scholarships. Students can accept federal, state, and private loans that require repayment. Degree-seekers need not repay grants and scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions About Paramedic-to-Registered Nurse Bridge Programs


Can you go from EMT to RN?

Yes. With additional training and an associate degree in nursing or a diploma, EMTs can become RNs. The quickest programs offer pathways to becoming an RN in one year. Much like colleges that offer paramedic-to-RN bridge programs, schools also feature EMT-to-RN bridge degrees.

How long does it take to bridge from paramedic to RN?

It takes 1-2 years to complete a paramedic-to-RN program. The quickest programs can be completed in nine months. On average, paramedics earn an associate degree in two years and a bachelor's in nursing degree in four years.

How do I switch from paramedic to RN?

After graduating from a paramedic-to-RN program, future nurses can take the NCLEX-RN exam. Passing the NCLEX allows candidates to apply for a state license. Many colleges offer job leads, and clinical experiences can develop into future employment as an RN.

Can an RN be a paramedic?

Yes. However, RNs need to complete the paramedic program. They may only need to complete a portion of a paramedic program, depending on a nurse's experience and credentials. States may require a nurse to have experience working in emergency care and credentials as a certified emergency nurse.

Related Registered Nurse Resources

ANA is part of the ANA Enterprise, which combines ANA, the American Nurses Foundation, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. ANA advocates for nurses and provides information, networking, and professional education. Membership is only open to RNs, but non-RNs can become subscribers and access information. The NBNA has over 200,000 members and works to eliminate health disparities, support the careers and work of Black nurses, and encourage more Black people to enter the nursing field. Its member offerings include networking, professional education, and a conference. Membership is open to all credentialed nurses, retired nurses, and students. The AACN is the institutional membership organization for nursing colleges that offer bachelor's or higher nursing degrees. Comprising more than 800 member organizations, the AACN develops and maintains educational standards, accredits programs, conducts research on nursing education, and fosters networking. Only organizations can join. Once an organization joins, all of its nursing faculty and administration are members. AWHONN has approximately 24,000 member nurses who provide care for women and newborn children. The association offers professional education, advocates for women's and children's health, conducts research, and establishes guidelines and best practices. Membership is open to nurses and others with an interest in women's and neonatal health. ASRN aims to "encourage the personal and professional development of nurses, on local, national, and international levels, and foster communication and education." ASRN provides networking, advocacy, professional development, and a recognition program. Full membership is open to RNs working in the U.S. or Canada. There are alternate categories for RNs working in other countries, retirees, students, and organizations.

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