flight nursing in the air force? - page 3

by KR

72,931 Views | 64 Comments

Hello, I was wondering if anyone could give me any opinions or information about flight nursing in the air force, especially in the reserves? I woudl appreciate any information. Thank you. Kimberly Rush... Read More


  1. 0
    hello,
    i will be graduating high school next summer and i'm trying to hammer out my plans for the future. i've been searching the internet for info on what to do to become a flight medic in the air force and am stumped. i found that this website was the most helpful but some of the threads on the subject did not answer some of my questions. do i need to become an officer? what kind of training will be provided and how long will i be in college? what classes should i take? if you could PLEASE help me, i would be VERY grateful.
  2. 0
    Quote from tx04
    hello,
    i will be graduating high school next summer and i'm trying to hammer out my plans for the future. i've been searching the internet for info on what to do to become a flight medic in the air force and am stumped. i found that this website was the most helpful but some of the threads on the subject did not answer some of my questions. do i need to become an officer? what kind of training will be provided and how long will i be in college? what classes should i take? if you could PLEASE help me, i would be VERY grateful.
    First thing is to talk to a USAF recruiter.

    You will have to go through basic training, then the 4NO medical service specialist course, The last time I checked you couldn't go directly into a flight position, you had to work as a USAF Medic then apply for flight school. If accepted you head off to wonderful San Antonio TX again for some more training.

    You don't go to "collage" and there is nothing you can take in the way of classes specificly. There are things you can do to help. Take an EMT class, things like that. If you jsut looking at college, start with the core stuff,english, math, chem, bio and the like. That will set you up for whatever you want to do.

    The other thing to remember, is that altough USAF flight medics are doing some front line work in Afghanistan, the vast majority are working fixed wing, multi patient long distance transports.

    Oh and besides talking to the recruiter, you could find a base that has a flight unit and talk to them there.
  3. 0
    Quote from B141emt
    I am a flight medic at march afb in ca and a nursing student. what do you want to know.
    B141emt,

    I am an enlisted aviator right now with 4.5 yrs in service. I am seeking an AF commission into a nursing career field. I would LOVE to remain as a professional aviator as I LOVE flying, but i'd also like to do nursing. I was thinking flight nurse would be a great avenue. I am going to apply to the NECP or AECP for nursing next year. I believe they will send me to school for a couple of years and then commission me, how then do i become a flight nurse?

    Thankyou
  4. 0
    Hey FlyingED,

    I was reading your note here about flight nursing in the Air Force Reserve. I have a few questions for you if you have the time. I am currently talking to an AF reserve recruiter about the flight nursing. I am about 4 hours away from Dobbins, Charleston, and Pope. Charleston is the prettiest area, Dobbins is small and has been almost closed down before and Pope is starting a new program I believe.

    1. In your opinion, is a 4 hour drive something I will do much more often than once a month on my dime?
    2. Do you know anything about these bases or how I would go about finding out more?
    3. How do I go about comparing the programs on the different bases?
    4. Do you recommend any readings/books for a person new to military reserves?
    5. Do you have any other recommendations or insight as to understanding and finding out everything I need to know about this process? At times, I am not even sure what to ask, who to ask, and I feel like I am in the dark about lots not having any military background.

    Thanks for any help,

    Dale
  5. 3
    I was an AF Reserve Fight Nurse for over 6 years. At that time my background was ER but we had nurses from every specialty . I rec'd my commission and went to 2 weeks of officer training and then to Flight Nurse school at Brooks. It was probably the best times and the best friends I have had. I still keep in touch with a few friends who I went thru flight training with. The active duty nurses (if they get to fly) only fly for 2 years then are rotated. The reservists did most of the missions as someone else said. The only thing you have to realize is that a flying slot in the Reserves is "the part time job with the (close to) full time requirements". There is a lot of time to put in - it was at least 2 weekends a month and if you work every other weekend then it can get to be rough. I worked full time but only 4 days a week and few weekends. It's definitely a commitment. One of the nurses at our officer training told us that it was the perfect job because where else did you get to travel, meet men( I met my husband), and learn lots of great skills. I loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat.
    Good luck to you!!
    Daryl
  6. 1
    Thanks Daryl for the email! I am waiting to interview at Charleston AFB. I am a critical care/pacu nurse and looking for new challenges/opportunities and the military is something that I have always wanted to do. Although I do work at a VA now, I have always had great pride in this country and our vets. My wife says to go for it, but I do want her to understand the type of committment it will be. It sounds like they will call me in on more that the weekend committment. That may get old eventually especially since I will be driving 4 hours each way, but in the short term sounds like something that would be fun for me. Thanks again for the reply and I hope that you continue to be blessed!

    Dale
    Skeletor likes this.
  7. 0
    cdr1882 -
    Thank you for that post. I am a Pediatric Neuro/Neuro-Surgery Nurse in Atlanta who has been in the process of joining for what seems like an eternity right now in my head. I had my initial stuff all done in May and Squadron interview at Dobbins ARB in May which went great and then Flight Physcial in June and have been going back and forth on the medical side since then but hoping to hear soon. (would have preferred Charleston ot Montgomery but how could I when Dobbins is 25 min from house?)
    I am at the point where I am getting nervous, antsy, and patience is declining and I really needed that post to give me positives again and "remind" me why I have and still want it so bad. Thank you again.
    Hoping to hear some good news soon so I can take the last step and send in my entire packet!
    Britt

    Also, if you have any further advice I would love to hear it. Assuming this all goes that way I hope it to - any advice on preparing for COT, flight school, SERE (we have to do full course now of both COT and SERE)?

    Glad you had such a great experience!
  8. 1
    For Britt,
    I'm not sure what they are doing now with the new longer training but I do know that they provided us with everything we needed to know. The flight nursing basically reviewed every system and how it related to altitude changes. There was definitely an emphasis on triage, ABC's and trauma (prob more so now) but another nurse I was there with was a Neonatal ICU nurse and she did fine. We studied but we also enjoyed ourselves. Once we had a 3 day weekend and drove to Mexico.We became the "mobile study crew" while the ones who stayed back to study all weekend didn't do as well on the test as we did. So work hard but enjoy yourself too. My other advice is to find a good mentor. Also, many of the enlisted are really sharp, well educated people. Don't dismiss them because they are not "officers". I learned a lot from them. Our "first shirt" had his Masters degree and was a wealth of information.
    My husband was at Dobbins for about 6 years- then they dangled the Active Duty carrot in front of his face so he went back on AD and now has 1.5 years to go for his AD retirement. It's very different from the reserves though.

    For Dale:
    As to the commitment and commuting, you will learn to group your trips to accomplish as much as you can each trip. On your "drill" weekend there is not usually any flying(unless your squadron has made special arrangements). We had a large group who came down from Boston(to NJ). The squadron would do a Friday" trainer " to fly up to Boston, pick up the members and then the Boston group flew the leg back to stay current. talk to your squadron and see what they have in place already. If you have to drive, see if you can carpool with someone or use the time to listen to audiobooks, learn a language, take a class!!!
    If it's something you really want to do, you will find a way. Also, the VA should be really supportive of your reserve duty.
    That extra paycheck is nice!!
    Good luck and enjoy!!
    Daryl
    ugaRN likes this.
  9. 2
    Greetings all,
    I am currently an Active Duty Flight Nurse, stationed in beautiful Ramstein Germany. I have been reading this thread and there are many questions regarding AF Flight Nursing. First and foremost, to fly on active duty, you must have a BSN. Second, you must have at least 2 years of bedside experience. This experience does not have to be ER/ICU or any other critical care exp. My previous experience is cath lab nurse, GI, and radiology. Others I fly with have med surg exp some have ICU. The important issue is to be a well rounded nurse. The patients we care for range from infants to retirees, so you never know what you will get. Furthermore, we care for nearly every type of disease process, not to include battlefield trauma. To apply, simply let your chief nurse know you are interested. It took me nearly two years to complete the requirements. Then another 6 months from the time I started flight school to be fully mission qualified. It is a long process, but definitely worth it. Our unit provides AE coverage for Europe, but we also deploy downrange to Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been all over the world, but unfortunately, it is only a special duty assignment. After my 3 year assignment is over, I will return to the Hospital. Rarely, individuals are able to complete another flying assignment. These are generally the Technicians, not the nurses. If you want to fly for a long time, the Guard/Reserves is the way to go.
    Skeletor and Spencer2002 like this.
  10. 0
    I'm currently a med/surg nurse and have been working for six years. I'm pursuing a nursing position at Mt. Home AF Base. Thanks for all the comments and insight to flight nursing in the Air Force. This thread has given me a wealth of information, thank you everyone. I go to MEPS next month and have my Chief Nurse interview. I have been recharged about my nursing career and even having the possibility of being a flight nurse is “icing on the cake!”


Top