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Critical Care Transport Nurse Career Guide

Critical Care Transport Nurses labor to transport patients who require life-saving medical attention safely and swiftly. Their mission is to analyze individuals and establish their medical requirements as well as feasible actions that may be carried out along way to a big hospital system.


A Critical Care Transport Nurse is a member of the transport team that transports critically sick patients to the hospital for life-saving treatment. They receive extensive training to undertake life-saving medical operations such as intubations and tracheostomies.

Critical Care Transport Nurses work in an ambulance or on an airplane alongside other healthcare personnel to ensure that patients are transported safely and swiftly to their final destination.

Tasks and Responsibilities

A Critical Care Transport Nurse's major role is to ensure that patients get to their destinations safely and swiftly, whether it's a hospital or a long-term care facility. Patients that are transferred are usually critically unwell and require immediate medical attention. They must be stabilized to the best of the nurse's skills, although this is not always the case. Despite caring for patients in a means of transportation such as an ambulance or a helicopter, a Critical Care Transport Nurse's responsibilities are comparable to those of a hospital bedside nurse.

A Critical Care Transport Nurse is responsible for a number of tasks, including:

  • Immediate patient assessment

  • Vital signs are monitored, recorded, and assessed.

  • Getting the patient to a hospital or long-term care institution as promptly and safely as possible.

  • Getting the patients ready for the hospital

  • Monitoring the performance and output of life-support equipment, such as heart monitors

  • Wounds should be cleaned and bandaged

  • Medications are given out.

  • Blood products are infused into the body.

  • Patients are being watched for drug responses.

  • Adapting to a patient's changing condition

  • Communication and collaboration with other members of the transportation care team

  • Patient advocacy

  • Keeping in touch with hospital staff and medical personnel regarding the patient's transportation

  • Executing processes in the order that they were given

  • Follows evidence-based practice bundles and nursing standards/procedures consistently to deliver nursing care that prevents avoidable patient harm and promotes outstanding patient care.


According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the typical pay for a registered nurse in 2019 is $73,300 per year or $35.24 per hour, although conditions in your region may differ. Although the BLS does not distinguish between different nursing specializations, estimates a $65,870 yearly average compensation for Critical Care Transport Nurses.

Flight Nurses are a form of Critical Care Transport Nurse, according to They discovered that the average annual pay was $71,158, or $32.06 per hour.

With more years of experience, Critical Care Transport Nurses might earn a higher yearly pay.

  • With 1-4 years of experience, the average hourly wage is $29.44.

  • With 5-9 years of experience, the average hourly wage is $30.66.

  • With 10 to 19 years of experience, the average hourly wage is $36.46.

  • An hourly wage of $40.00 is earned by those with 20 years or more of experience.

Highest Paying States for Critical Nurses

  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - $46.50

  • Dallas, Texas - $41.00

  • Chicago, Illinois - $38.60

  • Denver, Colorado - $38.00

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado - $35.69

How to Become a Critical Transport Nurse

Step 1: Obtain a Nursing Degree

Step 2: Take the NCLEX-RN and pass the test.

Step 3: Gain Experience at the Bedside

Individuals must have at least two years of critical care bedside experience before becoming a Critical Care Transport Nurse. In most cases, new graduates are not employed right into this post.

Step 4: Earn Your Certification

A Critical Care Transport Nurse can pursue the following certifications:

Work Locations

Nurses that specialize in critical care transport operate in a range of settings. Despite the fact that they usually work outside of a traditional hospital environment, they are frequently affiliated with a bigger corporation. Most of the time, they work in:

  • Ambulances

  • Helicopters

  • Airplanes

  • Ships

They can also work for any of the following:

  • Hospitals

  • Government Agencies

  • Independent transport companies

  • Military

  • International medical organization

  • Long Term Care Facility


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States had 3,059,800 Registered Nurses in 2018. By 2028, an extra 371,500 nurses will be needed, representing a 12 percent increase. These numbers include Critical Care Transport Nurses.

Continuing Education

In most cases, an individual must fill out an application, complete a certain amount of CEU hours, and pay a small cost in order to renew their RN license. Each state has its own standards, so verify with your state's nursing board before filing for a license renewal. The CEU requirement will be for the state of permanent residence if the RN license is part of a compact nursing license. CEUs in child abuse, opioids, and/or pain treatment are required in several jurisdictions.

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