Paramedic is the highest level of Emergency Medical Technician and involves a significant amount of training in advanced life support (ALS) practices. The amount of extensive training allows a Paramedic to treat a very large amount of injuries and illnesses.
New Jersey has very clear education and examination standards. Out-of-state paramedics will be expected to meet similar but not identical standards; they may meet some requirements while working under provisional certification.
Paramedic License Requirement
The following is a list of requirements you will need to satisfy prior to becoming a licensed Paramedic in the State of New Jersey:
- 18 years of age
- High School diploma
- Valid Illinois EMT license
- State approved CPR course certificate
- Criminal background check, criminal records may result in rejection; if you have a criminal record it’s best to contact your local EMS Agency before you invest time and money
- State approved EMT Paramedic training
- Pass NREMT-P exam
- Valid driving license
New Jersey Paramedic Education Standards
New Jersey has an approval process for paramedic programs operating within its borders. Programs have two main components: didactic and clinical. The clinical portion is to be offered by a mobile intensive care hospital.The didactic portion must be offered by a post-secondary institution accredited by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education.
The clinical portion must comprise at least 700 hours. Experiences will be varied.There will be at least 400 hours of actual field experience. The student can expect evaluations at multiple points along the way. All four approved New Jersey paramedic programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, or CAAHEP; this accreditation has become important throughout the nation.
Find a local approved training facility and register for the EMT Paramedic training. Most colleges offer two types of training programs, one being a Paramedic Certificate and the other Paramedic Degree. Prior to contacting the training facility you should get proof of immunization and verify with the training facility what other immunizations you will need prior to registering.
It is very important that you only register for an approved training program at a state approved facility, as non-approved courses will not be accepted for an EMT license. Before you sign up for an EMT-B course check with the NJ Department of Health EMS Agency whether it is an approved course.
Training programs are usually spread over a 14 to 24 month period, depending on whether you choose to do a certificate or degree, and cost usually ranges between $6,000 and $15,000.
A lot of approved training facilities also offer CPR certification courses. It would make sense for an applicant to choose a training facility that does indeed offer both the EMT and CPR training courses. Applicants should also talk to the training provider about the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) psychomotor examination and whether they will be able to provide such a certificate (see next step).
Upon completion you will receive a certificate that is needed for the state EMT license application.
Paramedic license applicants must pass the NREMT exams, which are made up of two parts, a written cognitive exam and a psychomotor exam. For the written exam an applicant will need to register with the NREMT (http://www.nremt.org) and pay the $110 application fee. When the applicant is ready to take the exam they will need to get in touch with Pearson Vue (http://www.vue.com) who provides the computer based testing for the NREMT exam.
- Cognitive Examination
The cognitive exam covers the entire spectrum of EMS care. This includes ventilation, airways, oxygenation, Trauma, Cardiology, Medical and EMS Operation. The maximum amount of time you will be given to pass this portion of the exam is 2 and half hours.
- Psychomotor Examination
For the psychomotor examination you should check with your Paramedic training provider whether they are able to provide such certification in conjunction with the Paramedic course. Alternatively contact your local EMS Agency for details about test schedules. Note that this exam tests the applicant for 12 separate skills and is likely to incur a fee by the training facility.
Once the applicant has received certification for both exams they will be issued with an NREMT certificate which is valid for 2 years; this certificate is needed for the state EMT license application.
For some tips and recommendations on preparing for these exams take a look at our Preparing For NREMT Exams page.
Check Criminal Background
EMT Applicants must submit fingerprints electronically for a criminal background check. The first thing to do is fill out the form provided by the NJ Department of Health (http://www.nj.gov/health/ems/documents/fingerprint_background_form.pdf). This form also provides details of how to get an appointment for fingerprints to be taken. The fee for this process is $11.
An in-state student can expect his or her program to provide support with the application process.
In order to submit an application an applicant must do the following:
- Complete the NJ Department of Health EMS Agency’s EMT application form. Forms have to be requested directly from the NJ Office of Emergency Services (http://www.state.nj.us/health/ems/index.shtml)
- The licensing agency requires the following certifications: 1) CPR 2) Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP), 3) Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS),
Paramedics are expected to complete a minimum of 50 hours of education during each 24 month of renewal time. They need the endorsement of a sponsoring mobile intensive care hospital. The medical director will need to determine that skills are adequate.
A paramedic who is not nationally certified or pass must attempt the certification examination within six months of provisional licensing. A paramedic whose program included less training hours than what is normally required in New Jersey may complete the required clinical experience under the auspices of his or her sponsoring hospital.
Knowing all these steps in advance will greatly help in planning your training and ensuring a quick and efficient process as possible.