Paramedic to flight nurse

  1. I work for a flight progarm as a paramedic. I have 17 years experience as a medic. I will graduate in May as a ADN. Do you think I should be able to fly as a RN? The state board of nursing says I will need 4000+ hours as a critical care area RN. Do you agree with this? I know I will need critical care experience, how do you think I need, given my background and current job? Thanks for the feedback.
  2. Visit Jim Rodgers profile page

    About Jim Rodgers

    Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 9; Likes: 1
    Flight paramedic


  3. by   JohnnyGage
    I would agree with this requirement. After all, it's only 100 full-time weeks (200 weeks at 0.5). That's between 2-4 years. While you might think that it is a little excessive, being a flight nurse is different from being a flight paramedic. I know that in my job paramedics simply aren't allowed to manage critical drips or vents, for example. Or when we are transporting a patient with PA catheters, the medics aren't allowed to monitor those. Also, from the questions that I've been asked by medics, I know that they aren't as familliar with the details of hemodynamics as an RN who has been working critical care for a while. Don't get me wrong -- I need and value the medics I work with, but they ain't nurses. We each have our own niche.

    Now, having said that, your experience will be a great asset when you become a flight nurse -- just as your critical care experience will help in different ways.

    Good luck!
  4. by   RickyRescueRN
    Most, if not all Flight programs require RN's to have a minimum of 3-5 years experience in ICU and ER. Typical programs get literally 100's of applications every year from RN's wanting to get into this speciality. Unfortunately there are not very many positions open very often, so Program's can be very selective when choosing potential new hires. Someone with 5-10 years experience as well as all the required certs and a few additional ones (TNATC, CFRN, CTRN, CCRN ,NRP) will get far more interest than someone with just the bare minimum.
    Your prehospital experience and training will definitely stand you in good stead, however nothing can beat good solid ICU experience. Thats one of the main reasons why Flight Programs use RN's.(the ICU component)
    Good luck in your career.