A Flight Nurse is a Registered Nurse who provides comprehensive prehospital and emergency or critical nursing care to all types of patients during aeromedical evacuation or rescue operations aboard helicopter and propeller aircraft or jet aircraft.
Civilian Flight Nurses
Civilian Flight Nurses work for hospitals, Federal, State, and Local governments, private medical evacuation firms, fire departments, and other agencies.
Aircraft and Equipment
Flight Nurses can work aboard either helicopters or airplanes. They can also work with Paramedics and aboard Ambulances if their training allows.
Military Flight Nurses
The military flight Nurse performs as a member of the aeromedical evacuation crew, and functions as the senior medical member of the aeromedical evacuation team on Continental United States (CONUS), intra-theater and inter-theater flights – providing for in-flight management and nursing care for all types of patients. Other responsibilities include planning and preparing for aeromedical evacuation missions and preparing a patient positioning plan to facilitate patient care, comfort and safety.
Flight Nurses evaluate individual patient’s in-flight needs and request appropriate medications, supplies and equipment, providing continuing nursing care from originating to destination facility. They act as liaison between medical and operational aircrews and support personnel in order to promote patient comfort and to expedite the mission, and also initiate emergency treatment in the absence of a physician for in-flight medical emergencies.
Education Requirements and Training
License as a registered nurse in the respective State of practice
2-3 year’s critical care/emergency experience or applicable acute care nursing environment
BCLS – Basic Cardiac Life Support
ACLS – Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certificate
PALS – Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certificate
NRP – Neonatal Resuscitation Program
A nationally recognized trauma program such as TNATC (Transport Nurse Advanced Trauma Course (TNATC), BTLS (Basic Trauma Life Support), PHTLS (Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support), TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum)
Certifications such as Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN), Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN), Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) may be required within six months to one year of hire
Additionally, some programs and/or State’s may require nurses to have EMT-B or EMT-P (Paramedic) certification.
Flight Nurse Salary:
According to Salary Wizard, flight nurses in the U.S. earn a median salary of $66,271 a year.