Hi, I have a few general questions. I will graduate next year as an RN. I am interested in flight nursing and am not too sure how to go about getting the right qualifications to get to my goal. I dont really need to do the quickest route, just the best route to help me become a "GREAT" flight nurse. I live in Alaska and will hopefully be moving to Hawaii about a month after I graduate. Should I try to get my foot in the door to ICU or ER so I gain experience? I am already EMT I qualified but that will probably lapse because I have no time to get the hours needed to advance with that right now due to school. Any suggestions?
Jun 3, '03
If you are interested in becoming a flight nurse, you will need at least 3-5 years ER or ICU ecperience. The busier the hospital and the higher the acuity, the better. I think ICU gives you much better and more thourough assessment skills. You will also need plenty of certifications such as ACLS, PALS, NRP, ENPC and usually CCRN or CEN. Depending on where you are, flight nursing is very difficult to break in to. If your hospital has a program, get to know the flight crews and you may get your chance. Good luck!
Jul 6, '03
First, remeber that you have already given yourself a goal for the best nursing job around...congratulations!!! In my experience as a flight nurse, I had spent time in both icu and er. I found that based on the flights of the program I was in, icu provided me with a far greater knowledge base. Almost any patient needing transport is a critical patient, be it a child, cardiac, or trauma. My program was only 20% scene work and 80% interhospital transport. A teaching institution will keep you on the brink of all the best treatments out there and keep you very competetive as far as knowledge goes. If you are at an institution that has a flight program on an occasion they may offer a ride along program...this is really hit or miss but it does happen and is worth looking into. Get to know the flight crew as you become more experienced, and knowing the medical director doesn't hurt much either. GOOD LUCk....There is no other job like it in the world!!!!!
Sep 10, '03
You should keep your EMT current. I would check Hawaii's Department of Transportation requirements for flight nurses....as in TN, they may require EMT as a standard. I also agree with the previous posts to gain ICU/ER experience in a level 1 trauma center to keep up your assessment skills.
Above all, remember to treat the patient, not the machines.
Oct 27, '03
I too am interested in flight nursing. I have searched the web for sites to preview and this one is good www.astna.org
After you get on the home page it has a link to Transport Nurse FAQs. There you will find the requirements for the job. I also called the hospital that I want to get into that offers air and ground transport and the director told me to get generalized ICU experience and then ER and also some pedi. I will start working on that come the new year.
Good luck to you.
Why are you moving from Alaska?
Nov 13, '03
Hey Lori, thanks for the link! As for leaving Alaska, my husband is in the Coast Guard and our tour is up. In general, I love Alaska..where we are at though it is a little too isolated. For school, I have to do a lot of it by distance and fly to Anchorage for my clinical experience and it gets REALLY expensive. But, it will be worth it in the end. Just one more semester to go! WHOO HOO!