Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who offers the practical and written examinations?
A. The NH Bureau of EMS Field Offices offer periodic examinations at various locations throughout the state. Our local state field office is in Epping, NH. The schedule can be found at Certain other EMS training organizations make available examinations in conjunction with their EMT-Basic courses. They will usually allow other candidates to participate in the examinations. These examinations may or may not be listed on the online state list.
Q. Where can I obtain the skill sheets for the practical exam?
A. We will provide you with the skill sheets used in the practical examination. The course practical examinations will follow the same format as the State practical exam, and will use the same skill sheets. The sheets can also be obtained directly from the NH Bureau of EMS website (these sheets are slightly different from what may be in your textbook or on the National Registry Website). Make sure you are using the correct sheets:
State of New Hampshire sheets for the N.H. Basic Life Support practicals
National Registry Skill sheets for the regional Advanced Life Support Exams
Q. When do I find out whether I passed the practical exam?
A. You will be told on the day you take the practical exam whether you have passed .
Q. What happens if I fail the practical exam?
A. It depends.
State of New Hampshire Basic Life Support Exams: If you fail no more than 2 stations, you may retake the portion you failed (most testing locations allow you to retest the same day). If you fail 3 or more stations, you will need to retake the entire exam on another day.
Regional National Registry Advanced Life Support Exams: If you fail no more than 2 stations, you may be able to retake the portion you failed (in New Hampshire, you cannot retest on the same day). If you fail 3 or more stations, you must retake the entire exam on another day.
Q. What happens if I fail the written exam?
A. After 3 fails you will have to do remedial training before being allowed to test again. At this stage you will have another 3 attempts. If you fail for the 3rd time after remedial training, you will be required to take a full EMT course over again.
Q. Is the written exam on a computer or old-fashioned paper?
A. The written NREMT exam is an online cognitive test. The test is multiple choice, and adaptive. This means the test learns from your answers and adapts the questions accordingly. The exams are held at Pearson Vue testing centers, and you have to schedule this online at a time that suits you.
Q. How long will the process take after I complete the course?
A. You will need to schedule and take the practical and written examinations. After passing the exams, you will receive your NREMT certification card in 4 to 6 weeks. You can find out online whether you passed the written exam before receiving your certification card.
Q. Once I obtain my National Registry of EMT Certification, does that mean I am certified in every state?
A. Unfortunately, no. While the NREMT certification is accepted by many states (including Maine), it is not universally accepted. (Welcome to the bureaucracy that is EMS.) For states other than NH, we refer you to the applicable state EMS bureau for complete information. We have provided a brief summary for Maine and Massachusetts below.
Maine is a National Registry state. Once you have your National Registry card, if you are affiliated with a Maine EMS service, you may submit the card and required paperwork to Maine and obtain a Maine provider's license. See for more information.
Massachusetts is a National Registry state. Once you have your National Registry card, if you are affiliated with a Massachusetts EMS service, you may submit the card and required paperwork to Massachusetts and obtain a Massachusetts provider's license. See for more information.
Note: These are summaries only and are subject to change. If Massachusetts or Maine certification is important to you, we suggest you consult with the applicable Massachusetts or Maine state EMS agency before proceeding.
Q. If NH is a "National Registry" state, why do I need to obtain a Provider's License from the State of NH? Why isn't my NREMT certification card sufficient? What's the difference between certification and licensure?
A. Certification means that some entity (in this case, the NREMT) has determined through examination that you are qualified to perform certain skills. Licensure means that a state or other governmental entity (in this case, the State of NH) has granted you the right to practice as an EMT in the covered area.
Q. I want to become an EMT to be better equipped to deal with medical emergencies that arise at home and at work. I don't intend to join an EMS service.
A. We commend your desire to be prepared. You can take the EMT course and obtain NREMT certification without being affiliated with an EMS service. In NH, however, to obtain a Provider's License you must be affiliated with an EMS service. We suggest that you at least consider practicing as an EMT with an EMS service for a period of time; like any skills, EMT skills can only be fully developed with practice.
McGregor Memorial Ambulance offers an observer program that gives prospective EMT's who do not already belong to a service the opportunity to ride along with ambulance crews and experience EMS first-hand. In addition, we are always interested in new EMT volunteers. Newly licensed EMT's who volunteer with McGregor progress through an extensive training program, making McGregor an excellent place to begin your EMS career. To learn more about volunteering for McGregor click here.
Q. Why is the process so complicated? I just want to volunteer with my local EMS service.
A. Uh... that's a good question to which there is no good answer. Next question!
Q. I am an EMT in another state but want to become a New Hampshire EMT. What must I do?
A. This depends. If you hold a National Registry certification then this should easily transfer to New Hampshire. You will need to take a New Hampshire Scope of Practice Modules and protocol exam prior to becoming licensed.
If you are not Nationally Registered but hold an EMT license from another state that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation’s standards you may be allowed to test for your National Registry EMT certification after undergoing a shortened procedure. For more information on this process we recommend contacting the New Hampshire Bureau of EMS.