A Naturalistic Inquiry into the Experiences of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Who Become Registered Nurses
The United States has been faced with a nursing shortage for many decades (ANA, 2017). The increasing age of nursing faculty, the aging population, and retirement of bedside nurses further diminish the nursing workforce in the United States (ANA). One potential nursing recruitment source is Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics (EMT-P). EMT-Ps can bring important skills and knowledge to nursing. Concern about attrition of EMT-Ps from pre-licensure nursing programs and the dearth of literature about EMT-Ps who are interested in becoming registered nurses led to this Naturalistic Inquiry study (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Erlandson et al., 1993) that explored the experiences of EMT-Ps who become registered nurses. Twelve EMT-Ps who were registered nurses at the time of data collection participated in the study. Data consisted of demographic and interview data as well as the researcher’s observations. Study findings highlighted EMT-Ps’ motivations for becoming a nurse, the challenge of adapting to a nurse mindset, and the process of coming to terms with being a nurse. The study findings also provided information about how the EMT-P who became nurses identified themselves and some of the ethical dilemmas they face being EMT-Ps who are practicing as nurses.