Flight Nurses are responsible for the nursing and clinical management of patients being transported by the relevant aircraft, between regional and metropolitan hospitals and health facilities within states and interstate.
Responsibilities include triage, clinical care of patients prior to, during and after flights. Flight Nurses also assist during some road transport, other ground based activities and administrative duties. Flight Nurses predominately work independently, where they may also work as a member of a larger retrieval team for complex high acuity patients. The crew on a standard flight include a Flight Nurse and Pilot. Flights are prioritised according to the patient acuity and assigned an appropriate response time.
The aircraft becomes an extension of an emergency department, hospital ward, intensive care or any specialty unit. A diverse range of broad based medical categories and diagnostic groups are transferred ranging from cardiac, high risk obstetrics, surgical, neonatal, trauma to aged care and palliative patients.
Prior to becoming a Flight Nurse you will need to have all the practical experience and qualifications of a Registered Nurse (RN) with at least three years practical full time experience. Registered Nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside other skilled professionals including doctors, surgeons, specialists, therapists, specialty nurses, social workers and many others to provide ongoing patient care to people who are sick, disabled, injured or recovering from surgery. Registered nurses deliver primary health care predominantly in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, aged care facilities, Government or military institutions, community or school settings, in the home or in outpatient facilities.
Read about all other Specialty Nursing Roles here
To become a Flight Nurse in Australia you need the following:
- Dual Nursing and midwifery registration with the relevant board agencies and registers
- Relevant Registered Nursing qualifications such as a Bachelor of Nursing
- Prior experience in Aviation Nursing or adult critical care fields limited to Emergency, Cardiac, Cardiothoracic or Intensive Care Nursing
- Demonstrated knowledge of the relevant state health system
- Knowledge of the relevant air ambulance service
- Ability to swim
- Class C Driver's License NSW or equivalent
To become a Registered Nurse in Australia you need to complete a 3-year Bachelor of Nursing, which is available at most Australian universities. Alternatively, for students with previous tertiary qualifications, complete a two-year Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) program. Further study is essential if you are looking to take the next step in your career and advance in specialist nursing roles.
Nurses who specialise in a particular area of medicine may need to complete further studies or specialist training and obtain relevant experience.
All Nurses must apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Registration must be renewed annually.
- AHPRA Registration
- Aged Care
- Acute Care
- AHPRA Scheduled Medicine Endorsement
- Patient Care
- CPR Certificate
- Time Management
- Care plans
Registered Nurses can undertake further studies to obtain qualifications and progress their career into more senior positions such as;
Registered Nurses can specialise in other roles, undertaking further studies to obtain qualifications and specialise in a particular area of nursing. Specialised Nursing Roles include:
- Aged Care Nurse
- Alcohol & Other Drug Nurse
- Anaesthetic Nurse
- Cardiac Nurse
- Child and Family Health Nurse
- Community Health Nurse
- Critical Care & Emergency Nurse
- Flight Nurse
- Infection Control Nurse
- Intensive Care Specialist Nurse
- Mental Health Nurse
- Oncology Nurse
- Paediatric Nurse
- Palliative Care Nurse
- Perioperative Nurse
- Post Operative Nurse
- Rehabilitation Nurse
- Surgical Nurse
- Theatre Nurse