Travel & Flight

How to Become a Flight Nurse

How to Become a Flight Nurse

If you are a registered nurse and are interested in taking your career to new heights, then becoming a flight nurse may be just what you are looking for. Flight nursing is an exciting and challenging field that requires specialized training and skills. In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to become a flight nurse.

Education and Training

To become a flight nurse, you must first become a registered nurse (RN). This requires earning a degree from an accredited nursing program, which can take anywhere from two to four years. Once you have completed your degree, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain your nursing license.

After becoming an RN, you can gain experience in a hospital or emergency setting to build your skills and knowledge in critical care. Many flight nursing positions require at least three to five years of clinical experience.

In addition to clinical experience, specialized training in flight nursing is necessary. This training can vary depending on the employer but typically involves completing a course in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and pediatric advanced life support (PALS). You may also need to complete additional training in trauma care, flight physiology, and aviation safety.


Once you have completed the required education and training, you can obtain certification as a flight nurse. The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) offers the Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) certification, which is recognized as the gold standard in flight nursing. To be eligible for the CFRN exam, you must have a current RN license and a minimum of two years of experience in flight nursing or critical care transport.

Job Outlook and Salary

The demand for flight nurses is growing, particularly in rural areas where access to medical care is limited. Flight nursing is also a high-demand field in the military and for private air ambulance companies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for registered nurses was $75,330 in May 2020. However, flight nurses typically earn higher salaries due to the specialized nature of their work and the additional training required. Salaries can range from $70,000 to $100,000 or more depending on experience and employer.


Becoming a flight nurse is a challenging and rewarding career path for registered nurses who have a passion for critical care and enjoy working in high-stress environments. With the right education, training, and certification, you can join the ranks of these specialized healthcare professionals and make a difference in the lives of patients in need.

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