Becoming a flight nurse can be highly rewarding however the path to get there takes time, focus, education, training and effort.
Those who are interested in becoming a flight nurse must first earn their high school diploma or GED.
Once you’ve earned your diploma the next step is to look for and apply to a college or university that offers a four-year bachelor’s of science degree in nursing.
It is very important to look at the cost, necessary prerequisites and level of competition each school has in terms of getting accepted into their nursing program.
Not all schools are created equal and you may stand a better chance of getting accepted into a nursing program if a school has less competition or allows you to transfer credits you may have already attained.
After finding a school that fits you the next step is to apply to the nursing program and take any necessary prerequisites that are required to get accepted into the nursing program.
You’ll also want to make sure you keep your GPA average above the nursing program requirements. The higher the better.
Once you’ve taken your prerequisites and have been accepted into the program you’ll want to focus your energy on gaining as much education and training as possible.
At the end of your program you’ll need to take and pass the national licensing exam to get licensed as a qualified registered nurse.
Next you need to find a nursing job (preferably in the critical care field).
Most flight nurse jobs require registered nurses to have at least 5 years of experience in a critical care setting so it is important to make the transition to critical care as soon as you are able to.
As you begin your career working as a registered nurse it is also extremely that you take as many continuing education courses and certification programs as possible that are related to critical care and flight nursing.
Here is a list of some of the certifications you may need to take before applying for a position as a flight nurse: Flight Nurse Training and Certification.
The requirements may change from one hospital or health care facility to another so check with your employer to find out what requirements are needed to apply for position as a flight nurse.
In addition to the education courses and certification programs that you take you may also want to get flight nurse certified (although this is optional it may help you in getting hired as a flight nurse.)
Once you’ve acquired your 5 years of experience in critical care and have obtained an adequate number of continuing education courses/certifications programs you are now able to apply for a position as a flight nurse.
10 steps to becoming a flight nurse
- Earn your high school diploma or GED.
- Apply to an accredited college or university that offers a four-year bachelor’s of science degree in nursing.
- Take any necessary prerequisites required to get accepted into the nursing program and maintain the required GPA requirements needed to qualify for being accepted into the program. ( You may want to consult the teachers in the program to find out what you have to do in order to obtain the best chances of getting into the program.)
- Apply for and enter the four-year nursing program.
- Complete your four-year education and pass the national licensing exam.
- Get a nursing job at a hospital or health care facility that will allow you to work in a critical care setting and gain as much experience as possible. (You may need to work in another field and gain experience before being able to work in the critical care field.)
- Take all necessary continuing eduction courses and certifications related to the fields of critical care and flight nursing. (Here is a list of some of the flight nursing certifications you may need to obtain: Flight Nurse Training and Certification.
- Continue working in the critical health care field (Most flight nursing jobs require 3 – 5 years of experience in a critical care setting before hiring a registered nurse into the flight nursing field.
- Get flight nurse certified.
- Apply for a position as a flight nurse.