Nunez Paramedic Program Adds Associate Degree, Renews Accreditation

Nunez Paramedic Students

Students in Nunez Community College’s Paramedic program now have the option to pursue an associate degree in applied science. The Paramedic program at Nunez also recently renewed its accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Pictured, Nunez Instructor Rachel Lestelle, second from left, looks on as Paramedic students, from left, Joy Melerine, Troy Simmons and Michelle Beaudette practice loading patients into an ambulance.

Students in the Paramedic program at Nunez Community College have a new degree option beginning with the Spring 2024 semester.

Nunez now offers an Associate of Applied Science – Emergency Medical Services Paramedic degree following a year-long process to establish the credential, which requires 61 credit hours to complete. Previously, the Paramedic Certificate of Technical Studies was the highest credential offered, requiring 37 credit hours.

Emergency Medical Services Education (EMSE) Program Chair Don Mieger said the national governing bodies that accredit collegiate EMS programs are moving toward requiring a degree for new professionals entering the field. Therefore, students completing the Paramedic AAS will have more career options available, as well as more academic options.

“Our program is forming partnerships with several universities to allow our graduates to continue in their programs working toward a bachelor’s degree,” said Mieger. “This is a big step for our program. We can now accommodate students seeking a degree in the field of Paramedicine, as opposed to having them complete an associate degree in general studies while they earn their technical certificate in Paramedicine.”

Program Accreditation

At the same time that Nunez was developing the AAS – Emergency Medical Services Paramedic, the Paramedic program was also under routine review by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs’ (CAAHEP) Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for Emergency Medical Services Professions (COAEMSP). In September 2023, Nunez received notification that it had met all requirements from the CAAHEP and that the Paramedic program’s accreditation would continue uninterrupted.

In order for students to be eligible to sit for the National Registry Exam for Paramedics, they must attend a paramedic program accredited by CAAHEP.

While Mieger and Nunez Dean of Allied Health Mary Fernandez fully expected the Paramedic program to retain its accreditation, Mieger expressed relief that the process concluded successfully.

“Anytime you undergo a review or audit there’s always a little nervousness that occurs,” he said. “I’m very proud of everyone involved and the work they did to ensure we were doing what we were supposed to do in order to maintain our accreditation status.”

The accreditation process required Nunez to provide extensive documentation. Additionally, COAEMSP reviewers conducted a two-day site review during which they inspected every aspect of the Paramedic program, including interviews with current students, former students, college administration and various community and industry partners.

Registration is currently open now for the Spring 2024 semester at Nunez, which begins Jan. 16. Information on all college programs, including Paramedic and EMT, can be found at A list of available courses, including both Full Term and Mini-Sessions, can be found at

EMT and Paramedic Refresher Courses

Nunez EMSE will also offer EMT and Paramedic Refresher courses in January. The EMT Refresher course will cost $300 and will meet Jan. 8-10 from 8 a.m. through 6 p.m. The Paramedic Refresher will cost $450 and meets Jan. 8-11 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a final class on Jan. 12 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Persons interested in the Refresher courses can submit a Course Inquiry at Use CRN 20398 for the EMT Refresher or CRN 20399 for the Paramedic Refresher. Questions may be emailed to Program Chair Don Mieger at

About Nunez Community College
Nunez Community College is a student-centered institution that delivers relevant and innovative curriculum integrating the arts, sciences, and humanities leading to academic credentials and workforce opportunities. Nunez serves a vital role in the community by engaging with partners to support student success and personal growth. Nunez Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Nunez Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website ( Nunez is located at 3710 Paris Road, Chalmette, LA. For more information, visit