how to get a job as flight nurse

  1. 1
    im a nurse with 2 years of experience in intensive care unit and i would like to become a flight nurse
    TraumaSurfer likes this.
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Here is one flight requirements.....
    California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) is a nonprofit regional air ambulance service. Our mission is to save lives, reduce disability and speed recovery for victims of trauma and illness.

    Flight Nurse Updated 7/2013

    I. POSITION SUMMARY: A flight nurse is a professional registered nurse who is responsible for assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating care to critically ill and injured patients. Flight nursing requires a high-level of critical thinking during periods of extreme physical and emotional stress. The flight nurse practices autonomously within the scope of practice defined by the California Nurse Practice Act and policies and procedures set forth by CALSTAR. The Flight Nurse is accountable for the completion of all work assignments and is responsible for the safety of patients and crewmembers. The position requires proficiency in critical care nursing, knowledge of the adaptations necessary for patient management, and the ability to establish positive interpersonal and professional relationships.

    II. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
    A. CALSTAR Flight Nurses:
    1. Are accountable to the Chief Flight Nurse and shall adhere to all written standards of care
    2. Possess effective communication skills

    3. Work effectively as a team member
    4. Possess an extensive working knowledge of all CALSTAR policies, procedures, and protocols
    5. Extensive knowledge of Crew Recourse Management (CRM) practices
    6. Will acquire and maintain a strong knowledge-base in critical care practice and is adept at critical thinking.

    7. Must be able to stabilize and manage patients involved in transport. This includes: field emergency stabilization, ICU inter-hospital interventions, and management of specific aeromedical problems while in-flight
    8. Is expected to have knowledge of applicable sections of the Federal Aviation Administration regulations
    9. Possess significant knowledge of equipment needed during transport. 10. Are responsible for checking bags, equipment and aircraft. 11. Are proficient in the use of radios and all other communication equipment used (by Flight Nurses) during medical air transport
    12. Will anticipate patient needs; which includes, but is not limited to: oxygen therapy, airway management, IV fluids, medications and expanded role skills
    13. Will continually monitor patient’s status in coordination with additional flight nurses, and will intervene when appropriate
    14. Possesses a strong knowledge of flight physiology. This includes: the stressors of flight and its effect on both patient and crew members
    15. Will complete all records of patient(s) condition; will also manage care according to established standards and guidelines
    16. Are responsible for restocking flight bags and aircraft. Equipment must be cleaned and maintained so that it is prepared for subsequent flights
    17. Will complete all required flight records and charge-documents as required
    18. Participate in debriefing with all members of the flight crew—including the dispatch team post flight
    19. Attends a minimum of 75% of scheduled staff meetings
    20. Completes all required training and educational requirements
    21. Participates in the teaching and training of orientees
    22. Participates in public education programs and public relation functions 23. Works competently on both fixed and rotor-wing aircraft III.

    QUALIFICATIONS:
    CERTIFICATIONS AND JOB REQUIREMENTS:
    1. Must possess and maintain current California licensure as a registered nurse with an Associate’s degree or higher
    2. 3-years or greater recent nursing experience in emergency, trauma and/or critical care
    3. Certifications: ACLS BLS PALs Additional certifications required post-hire:
    a. Neonatal Resuscitation Provider (NRP) required within 6-months of hire
    b. Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) required within one-year of hire
    c. Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) requires within 18-months of hire
    d. Flight Nurse Advanced Trauma Course (FNATC) or CALSTAR Advanced Trauma Course required at 2 years of hire
    e.
    AWHONN level II fetal monitoring class
    4. Required during the first year only: 10 successful live intubations in the field or during ‘OR’ rotations. Thereafter, 6 successful oral intubations minimum, per calendar year: (Jan 1 to Dec 31)

    a.
    At least 3 of the intubations must be live intubations obtained in the field or during OR rotations. 3 of the intubations may be done through mannequin/SimMan intubations. Intubations may include GlideScope.

    b. The flight nurse must be evaluated on technique and proficiency in both conventional laryngoscopy and GlideScope through quarterly mannequin intubations by the Chief Flight Nurse, Medical Associate or Education Coordinator The evaluation is to be recorded in annual the intubation record
    5. Annual Clinical Rotation Requirements:
    a. 12 hours of adult critical care contact hours as determined by an annual audit via the charting system.
    b. If the 12 hour minimum isn’t met a corresponding amount of time in the ICU and/or ED will meet the requirement.
    c. One 8-hour L&D; OB Stat or similar course pre-approved by the DMO or Medical Director may serve as an OB rotation
    d. Two 8-hour PICU or one 8-hour PICU and one 8-hour NICU. STABLE or similar course pre-approved by the DMO or Medical Director may serve as an NICU course
    e. Clinical rotation requirement(s) may be waived if the nurse routinely works outside of CALSTAR in one of these specialty areas. Proof of employment must exist on file.
    6.
    Clinical Competencies and Objectives:

    a. Must demonstrate annual competency in the following: 1) Transport ventilator management 2) Cardiac monitoring, transcutaneous pacing, EKG interpretation 3) Invasive line set up and trouble shooting 4) Capnography 5) IV pump management 6) Airway management techniques to include endotracheal intubation, rescue airway, bag-valve-mask ventilation, surgical cricothyrotomy, needle cricothyrotomy, needle thoracostomy, determination of death, intraosseus cannulation 7. Must meet the weight requirement as set by CALSTAR weight policy 8. Must be willing to be trained to staff both rotor and fixed wing aircraft 9. Must staff bases other than that identified as the primary base B. Supervision: 1. Reports directly to the Chief Flight Nurse of the flight nurse’s assigned base C. Failure To Meet Requirements Of Job Description: 1. Refer to Failure to Meet the Requirements of Flight Nurse policy

    rnjinny likes this.
  4. 2
    start networking...try to transfer to a trauma center in the Trauma ICU or ED. What degree do you have? What certifications do you have? Here is a good article.....http://allnurses.com/flight-nursing-...ng-890788.html

    check out this thread....http://allnurses.com/flight-nursing-surface/what-education-requirements-884939.html


    bebbercorn and TraumaSurfer like this.
  5. 1
    A zillion years ago, when I was applying for flight nursing jobs (ok, maybe 17 years ago) I called the flight nurse supervisors directly and asked them what they were looking for. They tend to be great resources as well. Esme12 posted some good articles, but different areas have nurses doing different things. For example, our northern hospitals the choppers have 1 RN and 1 paramedic, but in the south, it is 1 RN and 1 MD so the roles are a bit different.
    Esme12 likes this.
  6. 0
    It definitely varies state to state/crew to crew. If they re academic based there is usually a resident. Independent crews usually have a medic and an RN. It will vary if the crew does accident scene landing or critical transport. It will vary with fixed wing or rotor air craft.

    Network! Call a crew near you ask about ride along programs for medical personnel.
  7. 1
    The type of service provided by the flight team will determine the requirements and experience you will need. Never assume the flight company will prepare you fully. What the company will do is take your existing education and experience to build a competent crew member. But, some companies might expect you to fly a 23 weeker just like an adult. You also don't know what you are made of until you have to intubate and stabilize a toddler in flight. For these transports you really hope it is an RN/RN team with one of you having mega kids experience. Learning a few cool skills will not replace 1000s of hours at ghe bedside.

    You might consider trying to get on with a hospital specialty transport team. Peds transport offers a great variety especially if the facility does cardiac and ECMO. Hospital based flight teams are great also because you can still keep your ICU knowledge and skills current. Some of the complaints for independent flight companies based at an airport include not being able to stay current and COMPETENT with all the new meds, equipment and protocols.

    The team composition will vary depending on the type of services offered and the budget. In Florida and California you will find several RN/RN teams. In Michigan, RN/MD. In Maryland you will have the State Troopers' helicopter with a Trooper who is also a Paramedic. Some places will have FD based helicopters.
    Last edit by TraumaSurfer on Jan 18
    ICUman likes this.
  8. 1
    Keep your head up and keep pushing forward.. You'll definitely get there if it's what you truly want.. At two years of ICU experience in a university-affiliated teaching hospital and specialty referral center, I was just beginning to feel confident in my abilities to work as part of a highly skilled team to manage complex critical patients. I'm sure you're there too..
    It took a few more years, seeking additional challenges and responsibilities, for me to realize what I really "didn't" know, which I still do to this day.. lol.. I embrace these moments now, instead of being "threatened" by them, as valuable opportunities to learn and better myself.
    As an RN with two years of ICU experience, I would suggest that, whatever you decide to do, please keep a healthy respect for, and awareness of, the clinical, emotional, psychological, and physical challenges you face every day.. Take care of yourself while you take care of others. This is a VERY humbling and demanding profession.. I'm sure I don't need to convince you.. Your patients deserve the very best of care and you have many people relying on the decisions you make every day.
    Learn from everyone you can; the MD's/OD's, RN's, RT's, PM's, techs.. Everyone.. But, most of all, learn from your patients and their families! They're the ones who have the most riding on your skill..

    Good luck to you! ; )

    ~K
    Here.I.Stand likes this.
  9. 0
    Do your due diligence.....research maintenance , aircraft, pilot contractors and safety record. The university system here is currently hiring and fly safe aircraft. To get in there, get a job in the EMTC first. Fly safe.
  10. 0
    You might do well to get some 911 EMS experience if you can.


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