Flight transport nursing is the specialty within the nursing industry where registered nurses (RNs) provide nursing care to every type of patient while in flight.
What Is Flight/Transport Nursing?
The care that is performed is considered comprehensive emergency or critical and pre-hospital care and is performed in situations during rescue operations or aeromedical evacuation aboard jet aircraft or propeller aircraft and helicopters. Additional responsibilities of a flight transport nurse include preparing and planning for aeromedical evacuation missions. They also prepare a plan for patient care to make care, safety and comfort easier to accomplish.
What Is A Flight/Transport Nursing Job Description?
Flight nurses are responsible for evaluating the in-flight needs of patients and follow up by requesting the needed medication, equipment and supplies. In addition to requesting the needed supplies, they provide nursing care from origin to the final destination. These professionals are the liaisons that work in between the operational aircrews and medical team as well as the support personnel so that they can help to promote a comfortable experience for the patient and to expedite the mission. Emergency treatment is also initiated in the event that a physician is absent when an in-flight medical emergency occurs. Nurses in this specialty have expertise in a wide range of skill sets. This expertise includes intensive care skills such as vasoactive medications, hemodynamic support and mechanical ventilation.
What Educational Requirements Are Needed For Flight/Transport Nursing?
In order to begin your nursing career as a flight transport nurse, you generally must first become a registered nurse (RN). There are various online RN programs, online LPN programs and online nursing programs available. In addition to becoming an RN, you must also possess training as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at the basic or paramedic level and must have some amount of work experience in an intensive care unit, emergency department or pre-hospital care. Some bridge programs exist that allow you (as a nurse) to take an accelerated course to become an EMT at the paramedic level in less than one year’s time. You will also find some flight transport nurses that have prior experience in the military and some that have a combination of all of these educational elements and experience.
Some nurses who have received proper training to become a paramedic are also considered to be Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) and cannot be considered as flight transport nurses in some states due to the fact that LVNs cannot delegate any type of authority over those who are paramedics. In order to obtain certification, flight nurses obtain it in Critical Care (CCRN), Flight Nursing (CFRN) or Emergency Nursing (CEN).
What Is The Job Outlook For Flight/Transport Nursing?
Once you have obtained the appropriate nursing education and certification, you must ensure that you are able to perform certain duties in order to be an effective nurse. These duties require you to be able to reach, speak and hear the patients; frequent sitting, crawling, crouching, kneeling, stooping, walking and standing; be able to perform duties at high stress levels; lift and move objects that are 80 pounds on a frequent basis; maintain good working and employee relationships; and maintain an adequate level of physical health and conditioning. It is important to realize that you will be exposed to harsh conditions and blood-borne pathogens as well as airborne particles; this is the case in many nursing occupations.
What Is The Average Salary For A Flight/Transport Nurse?
When speaking in terms of wages and income, the average salary depends on the experience level, education level, employer and location that you work in. The average annual salary of a flight transport nurse is $67,000. The employment outlook for every type of registered nurse is expected to increase by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. Many can expect to find nurse jobs due to the replacement of those who transfer, retire or decide to leave the field for other reasons.
- Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association: This site links to the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association, which is also referred to as the National Flight Nurses Association. On this site you will find a wide range of educational resources and publications. You also have the option of becoming a member.
- Registered Nurses: This is a link to the official entry in the Occupational Outlook Handbook on registered nurses as provided and put together by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here you will find a wide range of information from the nature of the work a registered nurse performs to the educational requirements and reported wage information.
- Association of Air Medical Services: This links to the official site for the Association of Air Medical Services. This is an international association that serves medical transport systems providers. On this site you will find links to educational materials and publications.
- American Nurses Association: The website of the American Nurses Association which is the largest nursing organization in the United States.
- Flight Nurse/Critical Care Transport Nurse Requirements; This links to an informative article that discusses the specific information related to a career as a flight nurse or critical care transport nurse. This information includes the role of this type of nurse, the responsibilities, the qualifications and the work environment.
- Aerospace Medical Association: This is the official link to the Aerospace Medical Association, which is the international leader in aerospace medicine excellence. On this site you will find a wide range of information that includes meetings and events, related organizations, the journal and an opportunity to join as a member of the association.
- Air Care and Ground Transport Services: This is the home page of the program offered at the University of North Carolina. The description provides you with information on what to expect in this type of nursing program.
- The Advanced Practice Flight Nurse Program: This links to program information as provided by Case Western Reserve University. This site provides you with information on what to expect when enrolling in a program at this level.
- Nursing Degree Programs: This links to the informational page at Wright State University. This page explains, in detail, the basics of the nursing programs, including the option for the specialization in flight and disaster nursing.
- Flight Nurse Turnover: This is an article as provided by the University of Michigan that discusses the career of flight nurses including where they go, why and what they do.