I am a flight nurse for a hospital based, rotary wing, critical care transport program. One of the major perks of flight/transport nursing is that you are in charge of your downtime. We are expected to round on our patients and provide follow up to the requesting provider or service. The ICU and ED are great places to learn. We round a few times each shift to offer our skills or provide education to the newbies. We like to be available when the departments are "blowing up." This way the CNLs, charge nurses, and RRTs will call us for the fun stuff. On days when the residents aren't there we try to pick up on opportunities for airway management, central line placement, thoracostomy, ultrasound, and other procedures and skills. I will do anything to stay out of the OR!
Our team is responsible for all facets of our operations, so we are all involved in some capacity. Many of us are involved in education, marketing, outreach, safety, performance improvement, research, and the like. Some of us are also involved in hospital, system, regional, and national level activities. Most of us are driven and want to produce, but like everywhere else there are degrees of participation. A very simple concept is to have something to show for your time and you will be left alone.
Many of us have advanced degrees or are pursuing them. MSEd, MSN (CRNA/ACNP/CNS/Edu), and MBA are the most popular. I know several people that have put themselves through school in their downtime. Again, produce for the program and the rest of the time is yours! The training, scope of practice, and responsibility are truly amazing. The professional opportunities are near endless. In no other area of our profession have I had the time and latitude to create and carve out my own path.