Flight Nurse

This position requires candidates to be at least a registered nurse.  This can be done by taking a diploma program or an associate's degree in nursing and then enrolling in a bridge program to become a registered nurse (RN), but enrolling directly in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program or earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree if you already have a BSN is more desirable. As this field requires working in an unstructured environment and involves making crucial decisions, nurses must be trained accordingly.

After successfully completing a program to qualify as a RN and passing the NCLEX-RN, candidates must attain additional qualification. Most flight nurses choose to take the following certification examinations.

  • Flight Nursing and ACNP certification
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum (TNCC)
  • CPR Certification
  • EMS Certification/License
  • Transport Nursing Advanced Trauma Course (TNATC)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP)

Why Choose Online Education
Online education presents an ideal opportunity for professionals who want to upgrade their careers. They can complete a nursing degree online without giving up their jobs.  It is also suitable for students who are not comfortable in the traditional brick and mortar learning environment.

What They Study
As flight nurses are required to be registered nurses, they will study the fundamentals of nursing practice. They must accommodate various aspects such as flight physiology, advanced procedures, and environmental influences. These are factored in while deciding on a clinical approach. Keeping in view the increased demand for nurses in unstructured environments, some schools are now offering graduate degree programs with a specialization in flight nursing. This program includes the regular coursework in a MSN degree program along with additional courses in flight nursing. These courses provide the skills and knowledge needed for providing patient care during air transfer to specialty care facilities. The following topics are covered:

  • Pediatric trauma and obstetric emergencies
  • Mass casualty scene response training
  • Placement and suturing labs utilizing high-tech simulated patients
  • Helicopter and airplanes simulation
  • Hazardous materials response
  • Flight safety and preparation of landing zones

What They Do
A flight nurse practices in air-medical services. He or she typically provides critical and emergency care to patients during aero-medical evacuations and rescue operations. The work responsibilities include the following tasks:

  • Fly to the scenes of emergencies as and when needed
  • Assume responsibility for patient's care during transport
  • Work in collaboration with physicians, flight communication specialists, medics, and pilots
  • Apply advanced clinical decision making skills while tending to patients
  • Monitor the patient's condition , diagnose health status changes, and prescribe medications
  • Deliver patient safely to the referred hospital
  • Document and report the diagnostic treatment given to patient during transport

Job Outlook
Health care is one of the fastest growing sectors in United States. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the job outlook for this profession is very good. Their employment is expected to grow by 26 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is highly attributable to the technological advancements as many hospitals now offer critical care air medical services to patients.


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