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Program converts paramedics to nurses

Posted: June 7, 2009 9:35 p.m.
Updated: June 8, 2009 8:00 a.m.
College of the Canyons has debuted a program that allows paramedics to further their education so that they can transition into the nursing profession.

The recently introduced paramedic-to-RN program will fast-track qualified students through the process needed to obtain licensing as a registered nurse in as little as 15 months. Community college officials consider it a potential solution to California's nursing shortage.

The program, expected to launch in January 2010, will offer students a package of accelerated course offerings designed to accommodate working adults who are unable to attend school full-time.

After completing an introductory semester of classes focusing on nursing theory and process and the role of nurses in the health-care industry, students will progress into entry-level courses dealing with pathophysiology, pediatric obstetrics and mental-health nursing.

Qualified students can then challenge out of the final two semesters of medical-surgical training by passing the final exams and clinical-practice demonstrations required for completion of those courses.

After completing all coursework and successfully challenging those exams, students will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN), as required by all United States and territorial Boards of Nursing.

"At College of the Canyons we recognize the great skill and knowledge that trained paramedics bring to the nursing program," said Sue Albert, dean of Allied Health at the college. "Our goal is to allow students the opportunity to utilize their previous training and experience in order to become registered nurses at an accelerated rate."

To be eligible for enrollment into the program, students must have completed at least four units of prerequisite course work in anatomy, physiology and microbiology and three units in a college-transferable English course.

In addition, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA in all prerequisite and core nursing course work and complete both Psychology 101 and Communication Studies 105 or 123.

Applications for the paramedic-to-RN program can be submitted between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31, 2009. A series of orientation seminars will then be held in November, with classes expected to begin in January 2010.

For more information about the College of the Canyons Paramedic-to-RN program contact Sue Albert, Dean, Allied Health at (661) 362-3366 or


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