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New Paramedic to RN Program Hopes to Help Close Nursing Gap

Gateway Community & Technical College announced the creation of the region's first paramedic to registered nurse (RN) program.

The new program creates a direct path for paramedics who want to transition to a nursing career.

In the announcement, Gateway said that paramedics often decide to continue their education to become RNs because there are more jobs and growth opportunities in that field.

Completion of the program at Gateway will help paramedics become flight medics, emergency room nurses, and will open management opportunities.

The program also hopes to help close the nursing gap.

The Kentucky Center for Statistics estimates that the state will need more than 30,000 additional registered nurses by the year 2026. Training paramedics to be registered nurses is one of the fastest ways to get new nurses into the field.

“Nursing is one of the most rewarding and challenging careers a student can choose,” said Michele Simms, director of nursing at Gateway. “This program will help current paramedics gain the knowledge they need to be successful registered nurses.”

With all the previous training experience, paramedics will be able to complete the paramedic to RN program in three semesters: summer, fall and spring, allowing them to finish in one academic year.

Classes for the program will primarily be on Gateway’s Edgewood Campus at 790 Thomas More Parkway directly across the street from St. Elizabeth Hospital, Edgewood.

St. Elizabeth has been instrumental in the creation of the program at Gateway.

“St. Elizabeth Healthcare has been pleased to partner with Gateway to provide Paramedic training for our community,” said Susan McDonald, vice president and chief nursing officer of St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood, Covington and Grant. “We are looking forward to seeing this new innovative nursing education program in action.”

Gateway’s nursing courses are offered in a combination of both classroom and laboratory experiences that is then applied in clinical settings at a variety of community agencies.

The Paramedic to RN program is a selective admissions program. The application opens April 1. To find out more about the Paramedic to RN program at Gateway, go to

-Staff report