What is a Flight Nurse?

If you are studying to become a nurse, you may be looking at nursing specialities and wondering “What is a flight nurse?” A flight nurse is a highly trained and experienced registered nurse who is able to administer critical care and other types of emergency care during rescue operations or aeromedical evacuations on a helicopter or an aircraft of some type. If you are interested in becoming a flight nurse, you must be equipped to provide care to patients while ensuring their safety in flight.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Flight Nurse

Flight nurses are part of an aeromedical evacuation team that is made up of physicians, nurses, respiratory practitioners and the operational flight team. In a general sense, the role of the flight nurse is to provide nursing care and management of a patient’s condition while aboard an airplane or a helicopter. The nurse will evaluate the needs of the patient during the flight and provide the physicians with all of the equipment and supplies they need during the course of the flight. In addition, the flight nurse may also work as the middleman between the operational crew and the medical team.

Rewards of Being a Flight Nurse

If you are already planning to pursue a career in nursing, you probably know the benefits of working in the medical field. The financial rewards of choosing a demanding career like this one are enough to entice anyone with the skills to work towards becoming a flight nurse. The profession is also very rewarding because you have the ability to save any individual’s life in a single moment. In a field where the job outlook is positive and there is a growing demand for trained professionals, there has never been a better time to study to become a flight nurse specialist than now.

Becoming a Flight Nurse

Most flight nurses choose to complete a traditional Bachelor of Science Nursing program to become a registered nurse (see: Top 10 Best Online RN to BSN Programs). After getting registered, you will need to check your state’s certification requirements for becoming a flight nurse. Some states will require that you have certifications in Prehospital Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Basic Trauma Life Support and Advanced Burn Life Support before you can earn a special certification from the nursing board. Once you have gotten certified, you may need three to five years of experience in intensive care before you can complete a flight nurse program.

The median salary of a flight nurse throughout the nation is $67,700 per year, with the top 75 percentile earning $75,857. In addition to a competitive salary, flight nurses receive health care benefits, holiday pay and retirement savings as a part of their compensation package. The compensation package raises the average salary to about $95,226 per year. As you can see, flight nurses earn a great salary for playing such a vital role in emergency care. Now that you have learned more about working as a flight nurse, you can decide if you want to pursue this profession.