Flight NurseWhat is a flight nurse is a question that nursing students often ask when looking at future careers. When most people think of nurses, they think of the men and women taking their vital statistics in the hospital and the workers walking through their doctors’ offices. The nursing profession actually has a number of specialized fields that let those trained medical workers work with patients in a variety of settings. Flight nurses work in different settings, including for private airlines and public airlines.

What is a Flight Nurse?

A flight nurse refers to someone who works outside of a hospital setting. During an emergency, the nurse will monitor vital signs, keep the patient comfortable and provide any critical care needed until the flight reaches a hospital. These nurses can work on board larger planes or smaller helicopters, but many nurses work for emergency care organizations and hospitals. Those organizations spring into action following a fire, earthquake or natural disaster. Some workers also take care of treating patients and taking care of patients when doctors transfer patients from one hospital to another hospital.

College and Education

Working as a nurse requires either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s in Nursing. During your college years, you’ll complete clinical rotations that let you work with doctors, nurses and patients, but you’ll also spend some time in the classroom. You learn from working professionals on how to take vital statistics, keep patients calm and record information. Upon graduation from an accredited program, you can apply to take the nursing board examination. This examination will ask you 75 to more than 200 questions on different topics relating to nursing. According to Nurse Without Borders, after taking the test and receiving your license, you can work as a nurse while you complete a graduate degree. Finishing your graduate degree qualifies you to take the Certification for Emergency Nursing offered by the nursing board.

Specialized Training

The Certification for Emergency Nursing is just one of the certificates that flight nurses possess. When you research what is a flight nurse, you might find yourself surprised at the qualifications that those nurses have. Some of the nurses have certifications that include a Certified Flight Registered Nurse certification or a Critical Care Registered Nurse certification. Before obtaining those certificates, you must take and pass the nursing board examination for that certificate.

Related Resource: Nursing Specializations

Military vs. Civilian Jobs

Those working as flight nurses work for either the military or in a civilian capacity. Civilian nurses typically work for larger hospitals. They transport patients between medical offices, help those injured in accidents until a doctor sees them and provides support during emergency situations. Military flight nurses work for the different branches of the military. They often work overseas, and they are the ones responsible for caring for soldiers and servicemen injured during duty.

Flight nurses handle emergency situations on a daily basis, but they also come into action when patients need transportation to a larger facility or a hospital in another town. When you find yourself looking at information on what is a flight nurse, you’ll find that these nurses finish college and grad school, have one or more certifications in the field and a license to work as a nurse.