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Flight nurse salary and qualifications information

A flight nurse travels, usually in helicopters, to deliver acute care at the sites of major disasters, road accidents and other serious incidents. More routinely, flight nurses may collect and help to treat seriously ill patients, including children.

Flight nurses are generally registered nurses, and many are advanced practice registered nurses. The Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association--also known as the National Flight Nurses Association--advises that most employers require a minimum of two to three years of experience in acute, critical and/or emergency care environments plus additional qualifications or certifications, ranging from basic cardiac life support to pediatric advanced life support.

Flight nurse salary expectations

Flight nurse salary ranges are likely to be wide because of the considerable variations in qualifications and experience. Some practitioners, for example, have Master of Science Nursing degrees that include specialist flight nurse training, and these are normally better rewarded than their colleagues.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not break out flight nurse salaries from those of RNs in general. The BLS does report that in 2012, the annual mean wage of the 2,711,500 RNs employed by general medical and surgical hospitals (where most flight nurses presumably work) was $65,470. That converts to an hourly mean wage of $31.48. The top 10 percent of all RNs earned an average of $45,880 a year ($22.06 an hour), and it might be reasonable to assume that the best flight nurse salary ranges were closer to those figures than to the average for all RNs. It's likely that flight nurse jobs bring not only the satisfaction of flying to the rescue of desperate patients, but also attractive compensation packages.

Sources:

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

 

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