Because oil rigs are often so remote and far removed from any normal means of health assessment and treatment, they all have either an emergency paramedic or emergency nurse and in some larger rigs an on-site doctor.
Who can gain employment as an Oil Rig paramedic/nurse?
Basically, you need to be both a registered nurse and a paramedic to be on an oil rig, depending on which country and where you want to work. Oil rigs like to employ Registered Nurses because they are trained and capable in providing longer term holistic care through the use of phone contact and phone orders by doctors, where as paramedics are used to working alone based on the clinical practice guidelines or protocols. Paramedics are also useful on an oil rig because of this fact, and because they often have more experience and great airway management skills as a result of providing pre-hospital care.
Although being either a paramedic or a nurse only will not preclude you from gaining employment on an oil rig, it is ideally better for you to be both a paramedic and a registered nurse. If you are only a registered nurse, you will need to have recent and strong experience as an RN in an emergency department.
If you can get a job as a nurse/paramedic on an off shore oil rig, you can definitely earn some good money ($120K plus), but the hours are long and you are away from family for some time.