Advantages of Transport and Flight Nursing

Updated on January 24, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty uses advanced degrees in preventive medicine, psychology, and TCM in research and treatment for public and private health agencies.


Flight Nurse of the Year

US Air Force Maj. Deveril Wint, operations flight commander of the 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron was the Commemorative Air Force Dolly Vinsant Flight Nurse of the Year for 2013.

Definitions and Change in Transport and Flight Nursing

Transport Nursing began as Flight Nursing and the larger employment sector is said to be Air and Surface Transport Nursing.

This work includes critical care, emergency services,and disaster response medical services. It includes not only Registered Nurses (RNs), but also EMTs and Paramedics. This field of medical work began to gel noticeably in the 1990s with the increase in US population, the increase in senior citizens in the aging populace, Middle Eastern wars, and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

The workplace can include hospital ships, emergency squad vehicles and ambulances, government winged and helio-aircraft (particularly in wartime), commercial airliners, charter planes, hospital helicopters, prison vehicles, and others. "Life Flight" services include quick helicopter delivery of patients and/or transplant organs to surgical arenas in fashion timely enough to prevent death. On the other end of the transport spectrum, nurses may aid in delivering patients from one department in a medical center to another department.

The Pay Rate lists the average yearly wage of Transport Nurses in the US to Range from $60,000 to about about $75,000.

This does not count any perks, additional benefits that may be offered, hotel stays, and transporation expenses that would be covered by the client and client's family.

Job openings are increasing in number.

Medical Escort and Evacuation

The SS Hope

US Navy Hospital Ship SS HOPE in 1964.
US Navy Hospital Ship SS HOPE in 1964. | Source

Medical Escort

Certain companies specialize in hiring out nurses that work in both domestic and international partient trancport capacities around the clock.

Medical Escort nurses often work on commercial airliners, accompanying patients in their journeys. Like Travel Nurses, they likely earn a highly daly rate of pay than do most nurses that work in hospitals and clinics, They also have the opportunity of traveling to interesting locations at the customer's expense. Both of these are advantages over ground nursing.

US Army Hospital Ships Used Transport Nurses Early On

Nurses on SS Relief in 1898.
Nurses on SS Relief in 1898. | Source

Medical escort nurses help patients that have diffuclty moving or experience orthopedic conditions. They may also need to care for those with behavioral disorders and neurological conditions. They may help with oxygen and respiratory machinery.

Some patients must be lifted from mobility devices in and out of vehicles. IV saline and medications will be administered in some cases throughout the journey. These RNs must be experienced and well prepared, which helps their careers in an intense way to become more successful.

During WWII, AAF School of Air Evacuation at Bowman Field, Ky., student flight nurses learned how to handle patients.
During WWII, AAF School of Air Evacuation at Bowman Field, Ky., student flight nurses learned how to handle patients. | Source


Generally, in order to work in the field of transport nursing in the air or on the surface (land and sea), nurses must an active RN's license, proof of advanced recent training in life support, and substantial work experience in emergency and critical care services.

These nurses particularly must function effectively as part of a medical team, or risk losing the patients' lives. This is a team that must often:

  1. Transport hurt/sick individuals from remote areas (disasters, war fields, ski slopes, mountains) to medical centers,
  2. Evacuate injured people from disasters, and
  3. Provide effective medical support one or more patients that must have continuous care,
  4. Provide care to adultsm children, and infants.

These are life and death situations.

Increasingly, these nurses attain the BSN degree, and some go onto the Master’s Degree in Flight Nursing. This latter diploma combines the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner course with intense focus on emergency skills and disaster settings. Bioterrorism is a priority for treatment as well.

With all of these skills, training, certification, and experiences, Transport Nurses are extremely valuable workers.

Medical Evacuation at LSU in Baton Rouge, LA in 2008.
Medical Evacuation at LSU in Baton Rouge, LA in 2008.

Employment and Training

Transport Nurse Jobs Spiked in 2014 at 650% Increase



The Dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, declares Flight Nursing and Transport Nursing (Air and Surface) to be a rapidly growing field of endeavor.

In 2002, her school began the first degreed flight nurses' training program in America.

Because of specialization in practice and the reorganization of healthcare America, we have a smaller number of medical centers that can provide emergency, trauma, and critical care services, Therefore, additional staff must transport patients to centers that can and do.

Read more about Dean May Wykle and her nursing programs at The Sky's the Limit.

US Navy Drill

Space Shuttle Medical Support Team transport Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Johnny Stewart to treatment area.
Space Shuttle Medical Support Team transport Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Johnny Stewart to treatment area. | Source

Relevant Labor Markets

Best Hiring US Companies

  1. PSA Healthcare
  2. Kaiser Permanente
  3. Christus Health
  4. Alacare Home Health & Hospice
  5. Tenet Healthcare
  6. Massachusetts General Hospital
  7. Air Methods
  8. Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  9. INTEGRIS Health
  10. Intermountain Healthcare
  11. Genesis Healthcare
  12. Catholic Health Initiatives
  13. Omniflight
  14. HCA Midwest Health System

Largest American Markets

  1. San Antonio
  2. Boston
  3. Houston
  4. Denver
  5. Seattle
  6. Baltimore
  7. Salt Lake City
  8. Cleveland, Ohio
  9. Shreveport
  10. Philadelphia
  11. Albuquerque
  12. Corpus Christi
  13. Fort Worth
  14. Wilmington, North Carolina

Texas is the state with the highest demand for Transport Nurses, listing openings in 5 cities: San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, and Fort Worth.

Canadian Labor Markets

Largest Relevant Hiring Companies in Canada

  1. Canadian Forces - The Canadaian Military Services
  2. Vancouver Coastal Health
  3. Interior Health
  4. SimplexGrinnell
  5. Agence Continuum Inc.
  6. Interior Health Authority
  7. Bon Secours Baltimore Health System
  8. Intercare Corporate Group
  9. Unika
  10. Maxi/Provigo/Loblaws
  11. Multi Options Nursing


Largest Markets

  1. Sechelt BC
  2. Squamish BC
  3. Central ON
  4. Powell River BC
  5. Dartmouth NS
  6. Toronto ON
  7. Calgary AB
  8. St. John's NL
  9. Quebec QC
  10. Medicine Hat AB
  11. Saint-Camillus QC
  12. Windsor ON
  13. Trois-rivieres QC

UK Labor Markets

Largest UK Hiring Companies

  2. Academics Ltd
  3. Eclypse Recruitment
  4. Geneva Health
  5. Capita Resourcing Ltd
  6. HCL International
  7. Job G8
  9. STR Health Ltd
  10. NHS Lincolnshire
  11. Basingstoke & North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust
  12. Oxfordshire PCT
  13. UK Healthcare Professionals
  14. JP Recruit

Largest Markets

  1. London
  2. Dartford
  3. Bristol
  4. City of London
  5. Horsham
  6. Basingstoke
  7. Reading
  8. Newcastle upon Tyne
  9. North East England
  10. North West London
  11. Plymouth
  12. Nottingham
  13. Derby
  14. South West England

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2009 Patty Inglish MS

    Comments & Opinions

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • thecnatraining profile image


        8 years ago from Vancouver

        wow, i did not know that transport nurses can make up to $70k+! also i live in BC Canada now and that canadian list is mostly BC lol. Anyways great hub!

      • Aisla profile image


        9 years ago from Norway

        Great information. Thank you. I hope that my information on negative pressure wound therapy can be of interest to some of your readers.

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        Hello, I'm searching for diet related blogs like mine and I stumbled your site, nice blog!. I hope

        you could also include me in your blogroll.

        By the way, you have a very good writing skills here. Keep up the good work.

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

        @Hello, hello - I knew little about it myself until I looked around a bit. Finding the college in Ohio was great. With all the wars we're having and with the aging populaiton, I think we really need a lot more pros in this field.

        @Cosmo Freebird - It's a more lucrative option that I'd known in the past. Glad the question was asked.

      • Cosmo Freebird profile image

        Cosmo Freebird 

        10 years ago

        Love the hub. It shows yet another option open through a career in nursing.

      • Hello, hello, profile image

        Hello, hello, 

        10 years ago from London, UK

        Thank you for a complete different subject I never even thought about it, leave alone knew anything about it. Very, very interesting.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)