The Best Paramedic-to-RN Bridge Programs of 2022
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.
Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?
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
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Schools require applicants to submit transcripts that show at least a 2.0-2.6 GPA. The exact GPA requirements vary by program.
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.
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