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LRSC Paramedic to Nurse Post

Paramedic/Nurse: The Dynamic Duo


Two life-saving industries in the medical world are at a pivotal point of personnel shortages; nursing and paramedics. Paramedics are the first responders in saving a patient’s life outside of the medical facility, whereby, nurses are the first responders within the medical facility. Both of these well-trained, life-saving individuals possess similar education, yet, are so different in expected expertise.

Nurses learn how to care for their patient from day one until day of discharge within all medical entities. Paramedics have been trained as a skillful provider during emergent situations on day one with the ultimate destination to the nearest, qualified emergency facility.

Struggles with Recruitment and Retention

Rural communities have seen a significant change to recruitment and retention of both experienced emergency nurses and paramedics. The most critical departments (ER, ICU, SCCU) are struggling the most in hiring experienced and qualified nurses. These areas require nurses to work quickly, efficiently and independently in critical situations to save lives. Paramedics already have a vast knowledge in emergency medicine and work regularly as independent providers. Paramedics must work quickly and efficiently with often limited supplies and resources available to them; dependent on the area and situation.

Lake Region State College (LRSC) recognized the similarities between emergency nurses and paramedics. The Dakota Nursing Program (DNP) was approached on several occasions to offer a nurse to paramedic program to enhance the emergency skills of registered associate degree nurses. During our research, LRSC was able to conclusively determine that nurses have many resources available to increase emergent knowledge in most facilities employing them. Paramedics did not have the same resources to become a nurse while recognizing their current knowledge and expertise. Therefore, the Paramedic to Nurse Bridge Program was created to assist with the nursing shortage while maintaining the current paramedic employee pool.

The Bridge Program

The Paramedic to Nurse Bridge Program offers experienced paramedics an opportunity to become licensed practical nurses after a sixteen week semester. The Paramedic to Nurse Bridge Program is constructed into two online theory courses and one on-campus, face-to-face laboratory and clinical course.

If the paramedic chooses to continue down the nursing path, and have met all of the requirements, they are eligible to attend the Associate Degree Program for two semesters through the Lake Region State College. In essence, the paramedic nursing student would complete an associate’s degree in nursing (Registered Nurse) in three semesters at LRSC.

The Dynamic Duo

The paramedic students expand on their current emergency knowledge with theory revolving around comprehensive nursing knowledge, nursing process, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning. The goal for our paramedic to nurse students graduating with a practical nursing certificate or an associate in nursing degree is to offer our communities an experienced, knowledgeable, emergency nurse complimented with emergency paramedic knowledge and abilities. Our hopes for the continued success of this program is to work together in the communities and emergency medical facilities to educate qualified nurses with experience in emergency medicine.


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