Have you decided that you want to be a flight nurse and want to know the only things that stand between you and your dream career? With this step-by-step guide, you can quickly gain an understanding of the timeline and requirements needed, from start to finish!
1. Earn your nursing degree! While a 4-year bachelor’s program (BSN) is preferred, flight nurses can also achieve their nursing certification through a 2-year AND program.
2. Take the NCLEX-RN! After graduating, taking this exam will allow you to become licensed as a registered nurse.
3. While this step is optional, some future flight nurses prefer to attain higher nursing degrees by pursuing a master’s or doctoral program.
4. Those who wish to eventually work as flight nurses should begin their careers in a critical care setting. For example, working as a nurse in an emergency department or ICU will result in experiences that are applicable in many situations a critical care flight nurse must tackle during their daily work.
5. Two years of flight nursing experience is usually required before becoming certified as a Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN), which is valid for four years. Other certifications may be relevant depending on your specific goals.
6. Once you’re employed, congratulations! You have many options available to you as a flight nurse. You can work in a hospital or trauma center, the military, search and rescue organizations, or the government.
7. A healthcare provider’s education is never truly finished! Thanks to the rapid advance of medical science, a critical care flight nurse is also expected to complete continuing education requirements.
While these steps are the typical path that flight nurses take towards their eventual goal, there are always exceptions. If you are passionate about air-based medical care but have special circumstances, don’t hesitate to speak to a financial advisor or career advisor!