Potential Disqualifying Flight Nurse Factors

Candidates must consider numerous disqualifying flight nurse factors when qualifying for aeromedical positions.

It includes a flight nurse’s age, health, and physical condition necessary to ensure the highest level of performance.

Not meeting the minimum flight nurse requirements can limit them from obtaining specific jobs.

Even with adequate training, certifications, and mindset, a person may not become a flight nurse if they don’t meet specific criteria.

Some of the most common reasons a candidate may not become a flight nurse include weight, height, age, and health concerns.

The following section explores the potential disqualifying flight nurse factors that keep these professionals from obtaining jobs.

Weight Restrictions

There is no official benchmark for how much a flight nurse must weigh to be eligible for a particular position.

However, healthcare organizations may limit a flight nurse’s maximum weight due to the aircraft they utilize.

Flight nurses must maneuver comfortably with the medical team in often small aircraft with lots of medical equipment.

As a result, they may not be eligible for particular jobs if their weight interferes with their ability to operate onboard an aircraft safely.

Height Restrictions

Another reason flight nurses may not be eligible for specific jobs is due to their height.

As with weight, there is no exact standard for what a healthcare facility considers too tall or short.

Nevertheless, flight nurses must be comfortable and able to perform their duties effectively.

They must also ensure their height doesn’t affect the patient’s care, the medical team, or their safety.

Extremely tall nurses may have difficulty maneuvering through the aircraft.

They may also be unable to provide patients with adequate medical care and comfort due to the aircraft’s limited space.

On the other end, some nurses may have problems transporting patients if their height makes carrying out duties difficult.

They may also have challenges operating specific equipment and tools.

Flight nurses must ensure they can lift weight for extended periods to quality for their jobs.

Being small isn’t generally a problem for most flight nurses, and in small aircraft, it may be beneficial.

However, if their height negatively affects their ability to handle patients and equipment, it can impact the healthcare facility’s decision to hire them.

Health Demands

Maintaining a healthy and strong body is essential for providing proper care and lifting patients and equipment.

Therefore nurses with debilitating conditions or in rehabilitation may be suitable for flight nursing jobs.

One factor that healthcare facilities may consider when hiring a flight nurse is their age.

With that said, age may not affect a flight nurse’s ability to get hired.

However, the older a person gets, the more challenging it may be to handle various physical tasks.

At a certain point, most nurses retire due to their age and retirement plan.

Being a flight nurse requires a lot of lifting, movement, and physical endurance.


As previously mentioned, flight nurses must meet certain physical criteria to be eligible for specific roles.

Nevertheless, they must also possess the proper mindset to ensure patients receive timely, effective, and efficient medical care.

Flight nurses respond to medical emergencies regularly.

As a result, they must have exceptional analytical skills, extraordinary decision-making processes, and be emotionally stable.

They must also understand how to communicate effectively with staff and the patients they serve.

Any mistakes in communication can profoundly impact the patient and be detrimental to the mission.

Accordingly, many healthcare institutions want nurses with critical care experience.

It ensures they have the psychological and emotional skills necessary to be effective in the field.

Those who prefer slower-paced work and aren’t interested in emergency settings may not qualify for flight nursing positions.

This profession is fast-paced and requires those with a mindset that caters to these environments.

Leadership Skills

Effective leadership is another critical skill flight nurses must develop to be effective in their field.

Flight nurses work with a variety of healthcare professionals depending on their job.

It includes registered nurses, physicians, pilots, first responders, emergency medical services, police, and other specialists.

Therefore, they must understand their roles and be leaders within their scope of practice.

To illustrate, a flight nurse may work alongside several EMS workers and police.

They must be able to organize, delicate, and direct these specialists to ensure the patient(s) receives adequate, timely care.

They must also communicate with the pilot and critical care/trauma unit to ensure the patient receives appropriate treatment.

Many flight nurses respond to emergencies alone or with a partner.

However, they need to work effectively with others and be team-oriented to ensure patients receive the care they need.

Nurses who prefer supportive positions instead of leadership roles and those who work isolated may not qualify for flight jobs.

Academic Demands & Expectations

There are no specific age requirements for those looking to start a career as a flight nurse.

However, education, training, and certification requirements are needed to become a certified flight nurse.

The time it takes to complete these requirements affects how young a nurse is when applying for a flight nurse position.

Most registered nurses applying for a flight nursing position are at least in their mid 20’s to early ’30s.

Flight nurses are also previously trained as registered nurses with at least five years of experience in a critical care/trauma setting.

Due to the education and training required to perform efficiently in this field, flight nurses must have a BSN degree.

Most bachelor’s nursing programs take four years to complete for those who do not have an ADN degree.

In addition, aspiring nurses must complete prerequisites and maintain a certain GPA standard to enter a nursing program.

After completing the BSN program, registered nurses must obtain career experience and look for work in critical care.

It enables them to obtain the necessary experience for becoming flight nurses.

It is also beneficial to obtain critical care and flight nursing certifications to develop the necessary skills and expertise.

Based on the education, training, and certifications required, it’s easy to understand why flight nurses start in their mid to late 20s.

The time it takes to become a flight nurse varies based on an individual’s education, experience, and dedication.

Hopefully, this article helped you understand the disqualifying flight nurse factors that keep candidates from getting hired.