Career Definition of Flight Nurses
As a flight nurse, you will provide medical care to patients being transported by via air. This care will involve everything from assessing patients' conditions to administering medications and other prescribed treatments. You will be responsible for working with patients from intake until they are transported to the next medical facility. In this role, you may work for a medical personnel transport company or directly for a hospital.
Your job duties as a flight nurse may include participating in pre-flight informational meetings, providing training to junior personnel, and working with doctors and medical transport staff on patient care. You may also provide information to patients' family members. As a flight nurse, you must complete records for each transport and ensure that patient information is accurate. You must also ensure that you are in compliance with all flight nurse regulations, such as certifications and insurances.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Excellent communication skills, strong critical thinking abilities, and strong attention to detail|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$67,881|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||15% (Registered Nurses)|
Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
You will need to become a registered nurse in order to serve as a flight nurse. You can do so by pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Alternatively, you may also complete an associate's degree or earn a diploma from an accredited nursing program. In addition to earning your degree, you will need to obtain a nursing license by successfully passing the National Council Licensure test. You will also need to meet licensing requirements specific to your state.
You will need excellent communication skills in your role as a flight nurse. It is essential to effectively communicate with other members of the flight team to coordinate patients' care, especially those who are in critical condition. You will also need to interact with patients, including informing them about their care and addressing their concerns. You should have strong critical thinking abilities in order to accurately evaluate patients and determine what treatment is needed. Finally, you should also have strong attention to detail in order to ensure patients receive the correct medication dosages.
Career Outlook and Salary
PayScale reports that as a flight nurse you will earn a median annual salary of $67,881. Job growth for flight nurses is not specifically covered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As you must be a registered nurse to work in this field, registered nurses is the closest category covered by the BLS. The bureau reports an anticipated 15% job growth for this category, which is much faster than the average for all employment categories.
If you desire to work as a flight nurse, there are other careers that might interest you. Related options include both an emergency medical technician (EMT) and a certified registered nurse anesthetist.