Flight Nurse Salary, Job Description and Training

By Patmos Zen •  Updated: 07/20/16 •  4 min read

Flight Nurse is a specialist nurse that provide medical care in-flight usually in an air ambulance, the flight nurse salary is between $50,347 – $92,996 and hourly rate at $24.22 – $39.88. The job of the flight nurse is one of the most demanding jobs, it requires timeliness. Every minute counts in regards to keeping the patient alive until he or she gets to the hospital.

The role of the flight nurse is to keep the patient on-board alive until  they get to the hospital. The flight team work in a team of three or more, usually a pilot and 2 nurses.  They can also work in a military environment, where rescuing an injured or wounded soldier is a matter of priority.

Flight Nurse Salary

The flight nurse salary in the US is between $50,347 – $92,996, the hourly wage is expected to be $29.03 per hour. While the hourly wage range is between $24.22 – $39.88. Most flight nurses enjoy benefits and perks as part of their package, which includes overtime allowance, Insurance, 401(k), and more.

The profession is projected to have an increase in salary in the next 5 years, while over 60% of the flight nurses are women. The job is high risk and most find it challenging, however they experience a high level of job satisfaction.

Flight Nurse Job Description

The flight nurse has the responsibility of getting the patient on board on time and safely transporting them to a medical facility. They transport patients aboard air ambulances, this may be an airplane or helicopter. They also aid the pilot to find a safe spot to land and avoid obstacles that may cause harm to them and their patient.

They essentially help in preparation and planning for missions requiring aeromedical evacuation.

Aside from this, they have other responsibility to handle, though they may not have a full brief of the situation of the patient. They ensure they have adequate supplies, equipment and medications needed to keep the patient alive during the flight.

The training necessary for this career includes hemodynamic support, mechanical ventilation, vasoactive medications and a variety of training relating to intensive care. This job is for a nurse who can stay calm under pressure and work with a variety of medical team.

Must have be physically fit, be able to handle work in rough terrain, handle night shifts, and odd hour calls.

Flight Nurse Training and Education

To became a trained flight nurse you must have completed the normal education path to become a flight nurse. Most flight nurse have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, some start with certifications or a 2-3 years associate degree in nursing.

A flight nurse may further their education to a masters or doctorate in nursing. Some of these certifications are ACLS, BLS, PALS, and advanced trauma. Experience is required in intensive care unit, the profession also requires a certification and license to practice.

Qualifications that need to be acquired in order to be a flight nurse are neonatal resuscitation, pediatric advanced life support, advanced cardiac life support, and pre-hospital trauma life support. As a general rule, they also must obtain a minimum experience level of 5 years in an ICU, ER or other critical care based hospital setting.