In order to become a flight nurse you must first have acquired a position as a registered nurse and have several years of experience in the intensive care field.
Due to the high demands of being a flight nurse and the required experience they must have most flight nurse jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years of experience (although 5 years is preferred) in a hospital that specializes in critical/intensive care.
Flight nurses are in charge of providing in-flight management and medical care to all types of patients while aboard aircraft and play a critical role in the patients well-being from the first moment of contact until the patient reaches the hospital.
Because flight nursing jobs require a lot of physical and mental demand some flight nurse jobs may also ask applicants to participate in a series of physiological tests to ensure that they are a proper fit for the position.
All potential flight nurses must first complete post-graduate training as an emergency medical nurse and/or intensive care nurse as well as have extensive training in hemodynamic support, vasoactive medications, mechanical ventilation and a variety of other skills related to the intensive care field.
Flight nurses must also become certified in several other medical areas and having the proper certifications may depend on the particular job requirements.
Some of these required certifications may include:
- Basic Life Support Certification
- Critical Care Registered Nurse
- Certified Emergency Nurse
- Certified Flight Registered Nurse
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support
- Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support
- Neonatal Resuscitation Certification
- CPR Certification
- EMS Certification/Licence
- EMT Certification
- Trauma Nurse Core Course
- Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses
- Advanced Trauma Life Support
- Advanced Burn Life Support
- Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems
- Transport Nurse Advanced Trauma Course
- TNATC Advanced Provider Course
Hazardous Material Training
- NIMS Training IS 100, 200, 700, 800
Depending on the hospital or company you are applying for the specific certifications and requirements may vary so it is important to contact a professional flight nurse, recruitment expert, hospital and/or private/government company that employs flight nurses to get a better understanding of what their specific requirements and qualifications are.
The more education you can acquire as a registered nurse the better.
If the hospital you work for offers medical classes/programs related to the training and certification courses necessary to becoming a flight nurse it would be highly beneficial to take them as soon as possible.
Not only will it look good on your resume it will also provide you with the necessary skills needed to operate efficiently and effectively under extreme and unpredictable situations.
In addition to gaining the necessary training and certifications need to become a flight nurse you must also be an effective leader and an excellent communicator as you will be responsible for working with a small flight crew and flight medical team, planning and preparing for missions and ensuring proper patient care and safety.