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How to become a Paramedic from a Nurse

How to become a Paramedic from a Nurse (RN)

Working as a Registred Nurse (RN) is an incredibly rewarding experience, one that brings with it a variety of skills and knowledge which can be applied across other areas of the health care sector. What happens, however, when you want to change career paths? Do you have to start from scratch?

If you want to make the change from a Nurse to a Paramedic, the Australian Paramedical College can help you transition into your new career path.

We can show you which pathways are available, via a Diploma of Paramedical Science, or by way of a degree.

There are a few options – so please read on.

Make the most of your nursing skills and qualifications

Through your studies and experiences as an RN, it goes without saying that you possess many great qualities that will contribute to a successful career as a paramedic. For that reason, the HLT51015 – Diploma of Paramedical Science program via RPL can be the first step towards validating your experience.

Available online with face-to -face clinical workshops, APC Diploma of Paramedical Science is nationally recognised and will deliver essential prehospital emergency health care skills necessary to step into roles, such as:

  • Emergency Services Officer (ESO) Mining and Resource Sector – Diploma of Paramedical Science
  • Industrial medic – Diploma of Paramedical Science
  • Basic to Advanced life support medic first responder
  • Ambulance Paramedic (additional degree required)
  • Ambulance transport attendant (ATA) – Certificate IV in Health Care / Diploma of Paramedical Science
  • Emergency medical technician (EMT) – Certificate IV in Health Care / Diploma of Paramedical Science
  • Private patient transport officer (PTO) – Certificate III in Non-emergency Patient Transport
  • Emergency patient transport officer (Certificate III in Non-emergency Patient Transport – Diploma of Paramedical Science

Considering a Registered Nurse is already degree-qualified, explore the option of further study via one of the universities who have awarded degree program credits to APC graduates.

Comparison between Paramedics and Nurses

Paramedics and nurses share similar roles when it comes to caring for patients in need of medical attention. While nurses look after patients once they arrive at hospital, Paramedics tend to a patient’s needs on-site at the scene of an accident for instance, then transport the patient to hospital. These environments are so very different from one another, hence the need for additional training.


Most paramedics remain on duty on 12-14 hour shift to assist patients who need immediate out-of-hospital emergency care.

Their job includes the following responsibilities:

  •       Transporting emergency patients to a medical facility.
  •       Observing patient vital signs.
  •       Managing the medical supplies and equipment in an ambulance in the best manner possible.

How to become a Paramedic from a Nurse


The job of nurses is vastly different from that of paramedics, although both focus on patient care as an absolute priority. Typically, nurses are required to work within contained environments, hospitals, medical facilities and the like to assist the doctors and other medical care staff.

Their job requires them to manage some the following tasks:

  •       Developing care plans for patients, checking their medical history, and documenting their progress.
  •       Operating medical equipment in the facility.
  •       Performing examinations and interpreting results.
  •       Educating patients about a future course of action.

Benefits of being a Paramedic

Transitioning from a nurse to a paramedic can be made easier with help from the Australian Paramedical College and the Diploma of Paramedical Science. It is definitely worth looking into.

Here are a few perks of being a paramedic.

Satisfaction of helping others

How to become a Paramedic from a Nurse

Paramedics are often the first on-scene to assist those who require life-saving medical care. They are required to quickly assess the medical state of a patient and make snap decisions to provide essential care on the spot. While this process can be demanding, the satisfaction of playing such an important role in someone else’s recovery is what makes the life of a paramedic so rewarding.

Freedom and autonomy

On-road, Ambulance Paramedics aren’t bound by the walls of a hospital or medical facility. They are for the most part on-the-go and respond to emergency calls at a moments notice. Their job takes them to different locations every single day, which appeals to so many people. Being engaged in your job, where no two days are ever the same, are compounding reasons why the paramedic profession is a highly sought after one.

Educational requirements

  • A Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree (or equivalent on-road experience) is required to become a registered Ambulance Paramedic in Australia.
  • Paramedics are required to register with the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and Paramedicine Board of Australia.
  • Paramedic registration is administered via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
  • Only those who possess recognised qualifications and/or experience or who are registred can use the term ‘Paramedic’ to describe their job role.

RPL Pathways

Transitioning from a nurse to paramedic can be achieved by;

  • Applying for RPL and/or credit transfer into the Diploma of Paramedical Science
  • Use the Diploma of Paramedical Science to get around 30% course credit towards the Bachelor of Paramedical Science
  • Complete the degree and apply for a position with a State Ambulance Service
  • Work in the private sector as a Paramedic (once the degree has been completed)
  • RPL existing RN qualifications and experience, complete the essential bridging units of competency to gain the Diploma of Paramedical Science – work as a Life Support Medic in the private sector (mining, oil & gas, community, flight medic etc). There are opportunities to work as a Paramedic with the London Ambulance Service (no degree required)

The process of RPL or Recognition of Prior Learning will assess and recognise the qualifications and experience of RN’s wanting to become a paramedic.

The RPL process can be quite detailed, however, it is well worth the time and effort to do so.



Start your transition from a nurse to a paramedic and kick-start your journey forward





How to become a Paramedic from a Nurse

Call us today: 07 5520 2522

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