Paramedic Certification and Licensure

There can be some confusion as to the differences between paramedic certification and paramedic licensure.  So let’s first address a couple of things for the sake of clarity.

The first is that, typically, certification is recognized nationally, while licensure is granted on a state-by-state basis.  State licensure acknowledges your education and training, and grants you permission to practice your profession within the state your seeking licensure.

National certification by the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) is ultimately a recognition–and not a state credential.  The NREMT helps to assure that EMS personnel hired to help and administer treatment to patients are competent.

This is done by way of the NREMT examinations.  For prospective paramedics, once you graduate a paramedic program, you will be eligible to take both a computer adaptive test and a skills test.  If you complete the NREMT exams successfully, you will become Nationally Registered.

State licensure is different, however, as a state license is needed to actually practice within a given state. Depending on the state, those seeking state licensure might only need to supply proof of their National Registry card and fill out some paperwork to become licensed.

Other states, like Florida, don’t accept NREMT certification as the basis for licensure.  Instead, you will need to take a state test to gain licensure.

Confusion between the term “certification” and “licensure” typically occurs because some states use both terms interchangeably.  This is often only a nomenclature difference.  While state certification or state licensure can grant an individual the right to practice, certification from the National Registry does not.

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