One ABSN Student’s Journey from EMT to Nurse

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One ABSN Student’s Journey from EMT to Nurse

Many people put a lot of time, thought, and effort into changing careers to become a nurse. Some create a list of pros and cons, some reflect back on a distinct moment in which they were called to the profession, and others have heartfelt conversations with their loved ones. But for Kelsey, a current student of Madonna University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program and former emergency medical technician (EMT), the decision to transition from EMT to nurse was a quick, effortless, and obvious option to pursue.

Kelsey’s passion for helping people is what led her to become an (EMT). Yet, as the years progressed, the stress of the job and limited patient contact that came with it started to take a toll on her. That’s when she set her sights on a career in nursing. Shortly thereafter, she found Madonna’s ABSN program near Detroit, Michigan.

Below we share more about Kelsey’s past life as an EMT, how she made the career switch from EMT to nurse, and how the ABSN program is helping her reach her ultimate nursing goal.

An Unexpected Career Turn

Kelsey graduated from college in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. “I majored in psychology because I wanted to become a physician assistant,” she says.

I knew a degree in psychology would give me the foundation I needed for PA school.

Following graduation, she started working for Monroe Community Ambulance (MCA) as an EMT. “I needed to collect enough patient contact hours for my PA school application, and MCA was hiring, so it was the perfect opportunity,” she said. From there, her career as an EMT took off. To Kelsey’s close friends and family, this career pursuit came as no surprise.

Family Ties

Kelsey knew early on that she was destined to follow the emergency medical services (EMS) career path at some point in time. “My dad is a firefighter and EMT, and my brother followed in his footsteps,” she says. “So, I’m pretty familiar with the EMT lifestyle and know it’s unlike any other.” Kelsey humbly credits her dad and brother for shaping her into the passionate care-taker she is today.

From riding in a high-speed ambulance to entering the scene of a traumatic accident, Kelsey says the fast-paced nature attached to the EMT profession is what she enjoys most. She claims it’s what solidified her love for healthcare.

“Every day is different and I really enjoy the environment of working in an acute care setting,” she says. “When we show up, patients are panicked and scared; it’s a noble feeling to be the person there to calm them down and give them the help they need.”

Why Kelsey Chose Nursing

After nearly a decade of working as an EMT, Kelsey realized that while her career as a paramedic was rewarding, she wanted to be able to do more for her patients. This is what led her on her path toward nursing.

As an EMT, I was always craving more patient contact.

“The best part about working in the medical field is the direct patient care that comes with it,” she explains. “As an EMT, I was always craving more patient contact – I would see patients for 15 minutes at a time and then send them on their way. As a registered nurse, I can work with patients more, have a flexible schedule, and test out different specialties.”

Why Kelsey Chose Madonna University

Once Kelsey decided nursing was the profession she wanted to pursue, she wanted to get started on a degree as soon as possible. While researching different nursing school options, Madonna University’s ABSN program piqued her interest.

Thanks to the ABSN program’s three start dates each year, Kelsey was able to begin at a time that was convenient to her. Best of all, given her previous degree in psychology, most of her credits transferred, which allowed her to bypass a number of the core prerequisites.

Another motivating factor in Kelsey’s decision to enroll in Madonna’s ABSN program? She could start interacting with patients in the first semester at some of the top healthcare facilities in metro Detroit.

ABSN Program Structure

Madonna’s Accelerated BSN program puts your existing college credits (minimum of 60) or your non-nursing degree to work so you can earn your BSN in as few as 16 months. The program includes a comprehensive learning model that is comprised of three parts: online coursework, hands-on labs, and in-hospital clinical rotations. Each component will teach you how to think critically under pressure and grant you the confidence needed to sit for the NCLEX exam. Here’s what Kelsey had to say about each part of the curriculum:

Online Learning

Nursing student using laptop

“Having to teach yourself can be challenging, but Madonna sets us up with the right resources to help us really learn the material. Each week we have virtual conference calls where our instructor goes over the material for that week. They are made to be interactive. You can type back to them and ask them questions as they lecture. Plus, they record them so you can go back and listen.”

Hands-On Labs

“Hands-on labs put everything into perspective. They prepare you for some of the challenges you may face when you are out doing your job. We recently had a geriatric simulation lab where we did a home health care visit. It was cool because even though we were working with manikins, it felt like we were in a real-life situation.”

Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotations are by far my favorite part because I get to interact with patients. I like being able to use the skills I’ve learned in labs – passing meds, inserting NG tubes and Foleys, etc. We’ve learned a ton and it’s been really fun doing new procedures and learning about different diseases.”

Kelsey’s Plans for the Future

Though she is only in her second semester of the program, Kelsey is taking the ABSN program by storm. With an expected graduation date of May 2020, her future as a registered nurse looks bright.

After nursing school, she plans to gain as much nursing experience as she can. Next to being the best medical professional she can be, Kelsey says her next calling in life is motherhood. “I want to start a family,” she says. “When my kids are old enough to start school, I want to advance my education and become a nurse practitioner.”

Kelsey’s advice for future nursing students…

It can be scary, going back to school, but you just have to do it. Do it for yourself. Take the leap of faith. Follow your dreams and know that after 16 months, you will be the registered nurse you’ve always wanted to be.

Ready to Make Your Career Switch to Nursing?

Are you like Kelsey and ready to make the EMT to nursing career switch? Contact our admission team to begin your 16-month nursing school journey.