Hi all. I am in the process of joining the AF Nurse Corp as a 46N3E (critical care nurse). Background: I'm a nurse in a mixed ICU working at Mayo Clinic with 1 year + experience. I was wondering if anyone had any advice or input on COT. I could possible be going as early as April 2017 if I am selected. I have already had my chief nurse and NP interview, both of which went very well.
If you are a current AF nurse could I get some input on how life has been for you and what it's been like being a nurse in the military versus the civilian sector. Thanks in advance
Nov 5, '16
I was prior service military before coming in as a nurse. I thought I knew what to expect. Nope, lots of surprises.
Your time is rarely your own. That's what it felt like at first. AF can work you 6 days a week. Same pay. They can switch you nights to days and back at their whim. Ok, so it's supposedly mission essential - but most times it's seems to be bad leadership.
I was ICU nurse coming in. That was my goal. I was 42 years old with 14 years as a nurse. I was repeatedly asked what I wanted to do when I "grew up". Really. You must always have the next goal, even when this is your goal. Lol
ICU in the AF is not like ICU as a civilian. You have for the most part a very stable young and healthy population. There are few real ICU units left in AF. San Antonio and Travis are your best bets to be in a real ICU. Those are 2 big hospitals with crazy political games. At first you will be immune to the games as you learn your new position. But after a couple of years, you'll see it.
this was a huge decision for me. There have been ups and downs. I thought about leaving when the time came. But despite the stuff I don't like, I love being a part of something as great as our AF.
Nov 5, '16
Great description midi! Have you consideeed reserves Jay? That way you can keep your civilian job and also get military experience?
Nov 7, '16
Thank you so much for your response. I have had my concerns about the type of "ICU" population I would be dealing with. I'm still tied to wanted to serve due to prior military in my family, although no one on the medical side. I'm leaning towards just one term as of now if I get accepted, just to see how I like it!
Nov 7, '16
Hi Ray, I have considered reserves. My only draw back was that when I talked to a reserves recruiter they weren't offering any loan repayment nor a few other things I was interested in. I do love my civilian job at Mayo so needless to say despite how far along I am in the process of going Active I'm still very nervous!
Jan 5, '17
HEY Jay Q. do you know what times of the year the nurse selection board meets? What are some things I should be sure my recruiter does to make things go more smoothly. Did you work as an ICU nurse at mayo
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