The physical demands of flight nursing

While there aren’t any specific physical requirements one must have in order to apply for a position as a flight nurse there are certain restrictions that may vary from one health care organization to another which may influence the chances of being hired for a position as a flight nurse.

Some of these possible restrictions include a flight nurses Age, Health Status, Height and Weight.


While there aren’t any specific regulations against hiring flight nurses because of their age there are some physical aspects of their health that may be affected growing older in which a flight nurse needs to be able to provide proper care for his patients and ensure safety for both him/herself and the individuals they are taking care of.

If increasing age affects a flight nurses ability to perform their daily tasks they may have difficulty finding a position as a flight nurse.

Again age isn’t a clear indicator of physical health and there are flight nurses who have been known to work into their 50’s so this is just one possible indicator that may affect their ability to become or maintain a position as a flight nurse.

Health Status

When it comes to working as a flight nurse it is important that the nurses in this field maintain a good level of health.

Exercising regularly and having regular follow-up treatments are vital to ensuring that the flight nurse will be capable of caring for a patient.

Flight nurses must be able to lift patients, operate heavy machinery, stabilize those suffering from trauma’s and perform a host of other physical activities that require strength and good health.

If a nurse is suffering from a physical or health related ailment (such as a high level of asthma) which could potentially prevent him or her from completing all of the necessary duties a flight nurse has to deal with on a daily basis then it may also affect the possibility of being able to get hired to fill in a position as a flight nurse.


Flight nurses have to be able to operate in closed and sometimes crapped spaces onboard a variety of aircraft.

If the nurse is too tall to easily manuever around the aircraft and perform his or her duties without causing interference with equipment or other flight staff then there is a chance that the individual may be too tall to operate on board particular aircraft that are operated by flight nurses and the crew.

Conversely if a nurse is too short to safely operate on board then that may also affect his/her ability to work in this field.


Some hospitals and organizations place a weight limit on hiring flight nurses.

Because of the often small cabin space available in the aircraft for both the patients and the crew flight nurses must maintain a certain level of weight to ensure that they won’t affect anyone’s ability to perform their medical tasks while on board the aircraft.

Nurses that are overweight or are simply too big to function the way the need to in a confined air cabin will have much more difficulty finding a job in the flight nursing field.

While these restrictions aren’t always fair the purpose of having them in place is to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew.

For instance if a young, healthy, qualified flight nurse is too tall to maneuver safely around the cabin of the aircraft he or she could put the patient and/or flight crew in danger by making it difficult for them to safely perform their job.

Every hospital has their own regulations and aircraft so the best way to find out what their specific restrictions are is to contact them and ask them.