Flight Nurse

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Job Summary

Flight Nurses are responsible for the nursing and clinical management of patients being transported by air. Flight Nurses generally work autonomously, but they may also work as part of a larger retrieval team for complex high acuity patients. Some cover all ages and specialties while others operate within their own specialty area e.g. adult, paediatric. The scope of the duties performed by Flight Nurses various according to the employment situation but may include the following:

  • Caring for patients being transferred between country and metropolitan hospitals/health facilities. This includes triage, clinical care of patients prior to, during and after flights
  • Informing patients of procedures for transportation, what care will be provided, answering questions and allaying concerns
  • Responding to unexpected or sudden changes in patients with complex conditions or the environment in which they are working e.g. emergencies such as sudden depressurisation
  • Completing patient documentation
  • Participating in emergency medical care if patients are being transported from an accident site


Personal Qualities


In addition to technical competencies Flight Nurses require good interpersonal and communication skills for interaction with patients. They must be able to operate effectively in highly stressful situations, be capable of critical thinking and good decision making in emergency or crisis situations.

Entrance Requirements


Flight Nurses are required to be qualified as a Registered Nurse and may also need to be a Registered Midwife. Qualifications and/or experience in aviation nursing or critical care fields such as Emergency or Intensive Care may be necessary; this will often require postgraduate study e.g. Master Nursing (Nurse Practitioner).

Principal Employmet Sectors and Industry

Typically Flight Nurses will be employed by ambulance services, but there are also opportunities with organisations like the Royal Flying Doctor Service, as well as jobs in Defence.