Neonatal Flight Nursing


Hi all,

I am interested in doing neonatal critical flight transport once I graduate from NNP school. Anyone doing anything like this, and care to give me a "Day in The Life"




120 Posts

Specializes in critical care,flight nursing. Has 9 years experience.

Well couldn't find too much info, but we have a dedicated team at my center. Here a web page with some info. I'm sure you could get to talk to someone that would give you info. They actually get an advanced training to be on the team.


2 Articles; 2,512 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

Thanks for the info!

FlyingScot, RN

2,016 Posts

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

I am a neo/peds CCT nurse. We do ground, rotor and fixed wing transports. With the exception of out west where the cities are very widespread or there is only one children's hospital per state and DC where the traffic is horrendous I think you will find this is pretty much the norm. We do about 70% ground 20-25% rotor wing and the rest fix-winged. We are currently starting negotiations with a helicopter service to provide a dedicated AC for us at which time our roto-wing numbers will increase tremendously. Where I am located dedicated transport teams (the RNs aren't pulled from the unit) generally do both neo and peds. As far as a day in the life goes. Our first task of the day is to check our equipment which includes our primary peds equipment and cots (2 sets), primary isolette, flight isolette (2 of those) and our nitric isolette. We make sure batteries are charged, cables and other equipment aren't missing and that the isos are on and warm. We check our glucometers and I-Stats and download the data to the lab. Make sure all bags are locked. Restock and lock those bags that aren't. Check drug bags (6 of them), anesthesia bags (4 of them). Do the user tests on the Lifepaks. Make sure all flight helmets are present and the comm box batteries are good. Then we check the MICU' (3 soon to be 4 of them) both from a mechanical viewpoint (fuel, fluids, tires), emergency lights and sirens and patient care side which includes supplies in the vehicle, air/O2 levels in the M clinders, Lifepaks in each, on-board equipment like suction and IV pumps. Also emergency supplies like backboards, c-collars which are stored in the external compartments and the survival kit for if we crash in a remote area or rescue is delayed. We then go and check the helipad for lights out, debris or damage and PPE equipment. This takes a good amount of time. We usually eat breakfast as soon as we are done because we never know when the next meal will come (or the next bathroom break). Then we do the office scut work. We do chart reviews on 100% of our charts, follow ups on the previous days transports, general equipment cleaning and maintenance. Most of us have projects we are working on because our unit is run by shared governance. We also are each assigned hospitals in our region for which we act as liasons. Finding out what they would like or need from an educational standpoint, taking them pens and stuff for PR. We do a lot of PR. In the summer we are in parades and at all kinds of festivals which wouldn't be bad if our flight suits weren't so darned hot! We also respond to codes and traumas but do not have a primary role in them.However the intensivists usually ask us to assist the floor staff because we are accustomed to these type of situations. We are often called to the floors for IV sticks and lab draws (10-15 times a day at least). In addition most of us teach PALS,NRP,ACLS,BLS,STABLE etc so we have to keep up with that paperwork. If we get paged out we gather the appropriate equipment and hit the road or the air depending on the situation. Neonatologists in our area are not that keen on flying but seem to be coming around to our point of view about needing to get to the referral hospital in a timely fashion. Once we are there getting back to our hospital is usually less of an issue unless there is a surgical emergency or the kid needs ECMO. We can do nitric on transport so our ECMO numbers are down. Our transports can take from 30 minutes start to finish (hospital literally one block away) or can take hours and hours (waiting on a delivery, bad weather, super sick kid). We pretty much never know. We eat when we can, pee when we can, take a break when we can and sometimes there is no time for any of that. We rarely get off on time due to late trips and often work for 16 hours straight and then have to come right back in. There are tons of certifications we have to keep up and annual competencies way above what a regular floor nurse needs but it's a very rewarding job and worth the extra effort. Oh, BTW we don't get any special pay and that's pretty common. Hope this answers your question. If not let me know.!


2,438 Posts

Vanderbilt LifeFlight flies NNPs. Might want to check it out.


1,804 Posts

Try Geisinger in Danvill. PA. I know that some of the nursing staff from NICU (I am not sure abt. NNP) go along for Neo Flight transports. On Geisinger's website, it talks about the fly along program in general. Also, try Penn State's Hershey Med Center. I think they have a program to.. It is called Life Lion. Good Luck! What a cool job!