Air Force nursing questions

  1. 0
    Hey..I'm a RN with a BSN, have been working in a civillian hospital for about 1.5 years on a med-surg floor. For a while I've been considering joining the Air Force. My packet is finished I still have the chief nurse interview. From talking to former nurses in the milltary they all have recommended joining. In the process I've heard different things. So here a few questions

    I've read that nurses get to captin and then sort of plateau there and may take longer to make major. If you do have a extended time without being promoted does that look negitavily on you? Or if you're skipped over enough times do they kick you out of the Air Force?

    How does the patient acuity of a base hospital in the states and overseas compare to a civilian hospital?

    Who makes up the majority of the inpatients?

    Most nurses are deployed to Germany. But when they are sent to say Afghanistan, what types of settings do nurses work in...normal brick and mortar hospitals, tent hospitals...

    And COT...I'm a runner and in decent shape I don't think the physical requirments will be a problem. How is the academic side of COT. Lectures, tests, leadership exercises...people yelling at you?


    Thank you
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Quote from mben
    Hey..I'm a RN with a BSN, have been working in a civillian hospital for about 1.5 years on a med-surg floor. For a while I've been considering joining the Air Force. My packet is finished I still have the chief nurse interview. From talking to former nurses in the milltary they all have recommended joining. In the process I've heard different things. So here a few questions

    I've read that nurses get to captin and then sort of plateau there and may take longer to make major. If you do have a extended time without being promoted does that look negitavily on you? Or if you're skipped over enough times do they kick you out of the Air Force?

    How does the patient acuity of a base hospital in the states and overseas compare to a civilian hospital?

    Who makes up the majority of the inpatients?

    Most nurses are deployed to Germany. But when they are sent to say Afghanistan, what types of settings do nurses work in...normal brick and mortar hospitals, tent hospitals...

    And COT...I'm a runner and in decent shape I don't think the physical requirments will be a problem. How is the academic side of COT. Lectures, tests, leadership exercises...people yelling at you?


    Thank you
    It basically takes 8yrs to become a major after pinning on Captain. The AF is the slowest branch for nurse corps promotions. We all pin on major about the same time.

    Patient acuity on med-surg is less than at most civilian hospitals, and has to do with the size of the hospitals. Most AF hospitals are the size of small community hospitals with a few exceptions.

    Most nurses are not deployed to Germany. Most nurse are deployed to the middle east, Africa, South America, Afghanistan etc. What type of buildings you have while deployed depends totally on the type of base, but in general most deployed bases have been there long enough to have some permanent structures i.e. fewer tents.
  5. 1
    I was an active duty US Air Force Nurse Corps officer/nurse for 9 years. You will come in with collective credit equals to have your civilian time in months (i.e.. if you have 18 months civilian full time credit, they will give you 9 months credit towards time in grade). What this means is that you will come in with 9 months of 2LT rank and get promoted once you hit 24 months collectively (which is 15 months). Your next rank will be 1 LT and you will need to be in that grade for 24 months before being promoted to Captain (O-3). Once you make Captain, you will need to get your Masters Degree, complete Squadron Officer School, and be certified by a professional organization to demonstrate your expterise in nursing (CEN, CCRN, RNC, etc). Then, you will have to meet a formal O4 board and all your officer evaluation reports, medals, accomplishments, as well as your professional achievements, will be looked at by HQ in San Antonio. The O4 promote rate is 75% for Nurse Corps officers so it is not a guaranteed thing.

    I could write a whole book on this topic. PM me if you need more info about the USAF NC.

    HawaiiRN808
    Skeletor likes this.
  6. 1
    Quote from HawaiiRN808
    I was an active duty US Air Force Nurse Corps officer/nurse for 9 years. You will come in with collective credit equals to have your civilian time in months (i.e.. if you have 18 months civilian full time credit, they will give you 9 months credit towards time in grade). What this means is that you will come in with 9 months of 2LT rank and get promoted once you hit 24 months collectively (which is 15 months). Your next rank will be 1 LT and you will need to be in that grade for 24 months before being promoted to Captain (O-3). Once you make Captain, you will need to get your Masters Degree, complete Squadron Officer School, and be certified by a professional organization to demonstrate your expterise in nursing (CEN, CCRN, RNC, etc). Then, you will have to meet a formal O4 board and all your officer evaluation reports, medals, accomplishments, as well as your professional achievements, will be looked at by HQ in San Antonio. The O4 promote rate is 75% for Nurse Corps officers so it is not a guaranteed thing.

    I could write a whole book on this topic. PM me if you need more info about the USAF NC.

    HawaiiRN808
    You do not need your Masters or a speciality certification to be eligible for Major, and the current promotion to Major is somewhere in the upper 80's percentile. It helps to have a Masters and your certification, but I know quite a few nurses that made Major without it. I just went up for Major this last month.
    Skeletor likes this.
  7. 2
    wtb- good luck with your board!

    As for COT, it is just a game. Being tired and around people all the time is probably the hardest thing. The tests anyone can pass if you stay awake and pay attention.

    I was civilian nurse for 15 years before I came in in 2010. I have to say as far as pt care, the actual work is much easier. The other things that you have to do for being in the military are repetitive and never ending. There always seems to be some checklist I need to get done. Pt population will vary depending on location. Expect to see retirees and dependents more than servicemen/women on a daily basis (at least where I am).

    The places I went on deployment (yes, deployed in under 1 year of service) were actual structures and hard buildings. But there are plenty of opportunities to play it rougher, depends on the luck of the draw.

    It will take 8 yrs as captain to make major. You have to take initiative and set yourself up to make it. National certification is a definite, SOS (as mentioned) is a must, the Master's is the one that isn't required, but sure sets you apart.
    Skeletor and wtbcrna like this.


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