Aerospace nurses embrace the art and science of the profession and incorporate critical thinking skills and specialized knowledge into their professional practice and interprofessional collaboration with members of the aerospace team. These skills and knowledge must emerge from a code of ethics, standards of care, and a scope of practice for the provision of holistic, competent, compassionate, evidence-based care.
Aerospace Nursing is the specialty of nursing engaged in the health promotion and human performance of individuals participating in air or space travel and includes, but is not limited to, air passengers, flight crews, pilots, skydivers, and astronauts. Aerospace nurses apply the nursing process to assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate the human response and adaptation to the environment of flight and the associated risks and stressors of altitude, hypoxia, decompression, disorientation, motion sickness, vertigo, acceleration, g-forces, environmental stress, fatigue, sleep disturbance, jet lag, space adaptation syndrome, microgravity-induced bone loss, muscle atrophy, and more. Aerospace nursing roles include direct patient/client care, development and management of processes and systems of care, policy and procedural development, research, and education. Aerospace nurses practice globally and in a variety of settings, including the airline industry, aviation medical examination offices and clinics, space agencies, military and government-related entities, aviation groups and organizations, and research and academic institutions.
(Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls)