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A flight nurse is a nursing professional who is trained to provide prehospital emergency care to patients during air transport, either in fixed wing aircraft or helicopter.

Flight nurses may work as a solo clinician or within a medical team that can include paramedics, physicians, respiratory therapists and medical specialists.

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Flight nurses are responsible for the clinical management and nursing care of patients being transported which can include triage, care prior to, during and after air transport, administrative duties and clinical care during ground transport.

As flight nurses are often the first responders, they must have a broad range of medical skills and be able to cope in high pressure situations.

Flight nurses must be confident attending to patients with cardiac conditions, neurological and orthopaedic injuries, high risk pregnancy, severe trauma and respiratory failure as well as a range of other medical conditions.

Flight nurses may work in a civilian setting with organizations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, CareFlight or an air ambulance service, or they may choose to work in the military.


In Australia, flight nurses are generally required to hold a dual registration in nursing and midwifery as well as previous critical care experience in Emergency, ICU or cardiac units. Postgraduate nursing education is also preferred.

Flight Nurse Salary

Starting salary for a flight nurse is typically around $75,000 to $85,000 per year. Salaries increase based on education and experience with Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Managers earning approximately $100,000 - $130,000.

Click here for more information on nurse salaries in Australia.


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