An Online Paramedic to RN Bridge Program?
You are going to school online?!?" This was the response I received the day that I told my grandmother that I enrolled in a non-traditional Paramedic to RN bridge program. My grandmother is an old-fashioned person that believes people should complete their Master's degree in a classroom setting, work in the field of the degree completed, then get married and have children, in that order precisely. Despite this belief, I did the opposite. When I got married and my husband and I decided to have a child, I thought I was going to be working on an ambulance for the entirety of my life and did not need to continue school. After being a full time Paramedic and loving every moment of my career, I decided that I wanted to further my education so that I could help my community in more ways than working on the ambulance.
After speaking with different schools and many different non-traditional students I found the program I was looking for. The program allowed me to study on my own and at my own pace. When I felt ready to test for each concept, I would take a trip to my nearest testing center to take each exam. Before I knew it, I was "NCLEX eligible" and the reality kicked in. Wow! I had made it through all my nursing exams with a newborn baby and two full time jobs. How did I ever make it this far?
I am often asked why I chose to do an online Paramedic to RN bridge program instead of going to a traditional classroom setting? I think of all of the parents, full time career-minded people, and people that do not have a traditional RN institution around them to attend and know that they are in the same boat as myself. Traditional programs have their benefits and depending on the type of student may be beneficial. For so many of us out there though, the non-traditional, online program is the preference.
Nontraditional programs are self-motivated and convenient in so many ways that the future of many careers may depend on these programs. The fact that students must perform studies at their own pace goes to show that these people are motivated and fully enthused about their education and career choice. This ensures that once hired, the employee will be a reliable and competent asset.
Most important to all of us is family. With traditional schools, time with family can be compromised. With nontraditional schooling, students can be with their families without having to worry about being to class on time or sacrificing their job or lifestyle. Whether it be a new baby or the grandparents in the nursing home that helped raise their grandchild whom is now trying to attend college are able to spend priceless time with each other that, in other circumstances, "the traditional school setting", could not be spent.
Another thing to consider is that when data is compared, the nontraditional students are just as competent and reliable as traditional students. Statistics show that 76.3% of community colleges offer distance learning (nontraditional). 88.6% of these colleges state that they expect a moderate-to-large increase in enrollment in the nontraditional programs. These statistics do not include the major universities that also offer nontraditional education including Harvard, Duke, and Penn State. The fact that these major universities offer this should say something in itself. In a study done by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, research proved that there was no variation in achievement rates between traditional and non-traditional students. This studied showed that the passing rates for national boards were passed on the first attempt in students that attended non-traditional schooling.
As time goes on and more people are attempting to further their education and the demand for nontraditional schooling will significantly increase. Studies and research have proven effective in the use of these schools. The fact that certain fields, especially medical, are in demand for help is reason enough to consider online education as a formal and accurate means to continue the process of nontraditional schooling.
So to answer everyone's question as to why I chose an online Paramedic to RN bridge program instead of a traditional RN program, my answer is that I had to. It fit my lifestyle and I now have my RN degree, the same degree that traditional students hold. Read more about the Online Paramedic To RN Degree Program.