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Online Paramedic to RN Bridge Program Facts

Graduation from an online paramedic-to-RN bridge program qualifies you to obtain state licensure as a nurse. Keep reading for more information about this kind of program, prerequisites, common classes and licensing requirements for RNs.

What Is A Bridge Program?

A bridge program is designed to transition you as a certified paramedic into a nursing degree program. You'll be given credit for your previous work and educational experience. Upon completion of prerequisite courses and preliminary nursing training, you'll be prepared to enter the third semester of the nursing degree program and earn an associate degree. Graduation from the nursing program will make you eligible to become certified as a registered nurse. These programs are available fully online or as hybrid programs, which combine online and on-campus components.

Availability Fully online and hybrid programs available
Requirements Current, unrestricted paramedic and CPR certifications; background check or fingerprinting may be required, as well as paramedic experience
Common Courses Pathology, nutrition, nursing care principles, crisis intervention
Becoming an R.N. Complete bridge program, apply for advanced placement and get associate's degree, then take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
Median Salary (2020) $75,330 (for all registered nurses)*
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 7% growth (for all registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do I Need to Enroll?

You'll need to have a current, unrestricted paramedic certification and be certified in CPR. Some schools require you to submit to fingerprinting or a background check. You may need practical experience working as a paramedic for a specific length of time. Participation in an online program also requires that you have access to a computer with an Internet connection.

What Courses Will I Take?

Depending on the program, you many need to take some prerequisite courses first. These are usually general education or health-related courses needed before advancing into nursing education, and you may be able to complete them online. The actual bridge program usually consists of one or two introductory courses. These courses prepare you for advanced placement in a nursing degree program. Some topics you may cover include:

  • Pathology
  • Interpersonal communications
  • Nutrition
  • Nursing care principles
  • Mental health care
  • Nursing management
  • Adult care
  • Crisis intervention

How Do I Become An R.N.?

Once you've completed the bridge program, you can apply for advanced placement in the school's nursing program. The nursing program typically awards you an associate degree and qualifies you to take the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam. Passing this exam is required for licensure by all states. Once you have earned your RN license, you will then be able to seek work as a registered nurse.