Exam Overview for The Paramedic Certification Exam
The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) was established in 1970 in response to a suggestion by the U.S. Committee on Highway Safety. Today, the NREMT is an independent, nonprofit agency whose job is to certify that EMTs and paramedics have the knowledge and skills to do their jobs—to save lives and preserve health. By setting uniform national standards for training, testing, and continuing education, the NREMT helps ensure patient safety throughout the United States.
In all 50 states, the National Registry and state offices of Emergency Medical Services work together to establish certification requirements for EMTs and paramedics. All states test individuals seeking to become EMTs or paramedics. Some states make sole use of NREMT tests, while others offer state tests.
The curriculum for paramedic education and testing comes from the Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration National Standard Curriculum (DOT/NHTSA NSC). The curriculum was phased in as the basis for educational programs and testing. The NREMT tests and the state tests are all based on this curriculum.
Minimum Certification Requirements
In order for an individual to become certified as a nationally registered NREMT-Paramedic, he or she must meet the following requirements:
- be at least 18 years old
- hold current National Registry or state certification at the EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate/85, or EMT-Intermediate/99 level
- successfully complete a state-approved EMTParamedic program that reaches or exceeds the behavioral objectives of the EMT-Paramedic National Standard Curriculum (NSC) within the last two years*
- truthfully complete the “Licensing Action and Felony Statements” on the NREMT application and provide documentation as required for any positive criminal history
- possess current CPR for the healthcareprovider certification
- successfully complete the NREMT-Paramedic cognitive and psychomotor examinations
* If the applicant’s initial EMT-Paramedic training was completed more than two years prior and the individual has maintained state certification at the EMT-Paramedic level, the individual must submit documentation verifying completion of an EMT-Paramedic refresher course within the past two years.
If the applicant’s initial EMT-Paramedic training was completed more than two years ago and the individual has never obtained state or NREMT certification, the individual must complete another state-approved EMT-Paramedic training program in its entirety.
If the individual’s initial EMT-Paramedic training was previously certified by NREMT or a state agency, reentry into the National Registry may be granted providing the individual
submits official documentation of successful completion of DOT EMT-Paramedic training after January 1, 1977.
shows satisfactory evidence of prior state certification as an EMT-Paramedic.
has current status as an American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) provider or instructor.
has completed either Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) or Basic Trauma Life Support (BTLS) within the past two years.
has completed a state-approved DOT EMT-Paramedic Refresher training program or 48 hours of ALS training similar to that of the DOT EMTParamedic Refresher training program.
has a letter of approval from the state EMS office in the state where the individual works or intends to work, supporting such recertification.
successfully completes the NREMT-Paramedic cognitive and psychomotor examinations.
NREMT-Paramedic certification requires successful completion of both cognitive (knowledge-based) and psychomotor (practical skills–based) exams. Successful completion of each exam remains valid for a period of 12 months. If you fail to successfully complete the remaining portion within that 12-month period, you will be required to repeat the original exam as well. For example, if you pass the cognitive exam but fail one of the stations in the practical exam, you will have 12 months to pass the practical exam or you will be required to retake the cognitive exam. Successful completion of both the practical and cognitive examinations must occur within two years of the completion of a state-approved EMT-Paramedic training program.
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