New BSN grad here. I'm debating on whether to stay in Dallas or Join the Air force as an officer to do Air force nursing. I just wanted to know your opinions or if anyone had any experience in the Air force.
I spent 7 years as an Air Force nurse and it was, by far, the best time of my life.... both professionalIy and personally. I only got out because I got married to another active duty member and we started a family. It was difficult for us to get assignments together and I didn't want to get deployed and leave my kids behind. I could write pages a pages about how wonderful it is and how it compares to the civilian. In short, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, 1 the worst, I would rank AF nursing 10 and civilian about a 4. I have worked several civilian jobs since getting out of the A.F. ... all med/surg and critical care inpatient. I know the military has changed a lot. They've consolidated a lot of the big medical centers and they don't do a lot of inpatient anymore. However, you still have the opportunity to advance your education for free and see the world. And I can't say enough about the commraderie. The people I met in the A.F. have been my friends for life. I just joined this board today but if there is some way to private message me, please do so. I'd be happy to give you my phone # and I can tell you more specific things about it.
Thank you so much for your input. This had definitely been a huge debate on my mind. Unfortunately I can't private message you since I'm new to this site as well. Apparently I need to make 15 posts before I can do so. Is there any other way I can contact you?
I just commissioned with Air Force for the Nurse Transition Program (NTP) which is for new grads and will be heading to training next week. It is very competitive but I would not let that deter you from applying. To harp on what phaniea69 said, the Air Force is definitely a 10! Just to get an idea of what to do, I would recommend talking with a healthcare recruiter to see when the next board is meeting because they like the paperwork done within 6 months of the board meeting and there are quite a few things you need to get done (i.e. recommendations, MEPS). In the mean time, get a job as an RN somewhere to get experience and wait patiently for the board to meet. Not sure what your GPA looks like but a lot of people are under the impression that the GPA sways which way your package goes but from my experience I beat out numerous people who had higher GPAs then me so that makes me believe that they look at the package as a whole so don't let that deter you either. So in a nut shell, I would say "It doesn't hurt to try". Good luck and let me know if you have any questions, I'll be around til Monday and then off to training
I agree with Dreaming1007 that it doesn't hurt to try. I'm starting my packet for this year's board, but I'm still in the early stages of it. The board meets in either June or July this year, and the decisions are supposed to be out late August or early September. I would definitely do some research about the air force. There are a couple great threads from last year's selection that answered a lot of my own questions. They also give you an idea of what the process is like. But if you're even slightly considering it, I'd meet with a health care recruiter to see about starting a packet. Even if you decide later it's not for you, it's better to start now then realize later you wanted to try but can't till next year! Good luck!!
Thanks for the input. I started my packet and cleared my meps for the NTP. All I pretty much need is my interviews and my recommendations. I haven't gotten my license yet but I plan on taking my nclex in February. I just want to make sure I'm 100% committed and sure of what I want to do. Most internships in TX requires a 2 year contract so I couldn't just bail if I got a hospital job.
The great thing about active duty orders is that they nullify most contracts: leases, gym memberships, and more. Unless they give you money with strings attached, what could they possibly do to you? Wag their finger disapprovingly? I'd say take the internship and break the contract if you are selected. If not, apply later when you have more experience.
Also, the AF NTP board is always mid summer (July-ish). Even if you were accepted the first time, you might not leave for commissioned officer training (COT) until January. That's a pretty long time to be working as a tech, assuming you don't take a civilian nursing job in the meantime. If you weren't picked up for the board, you wouldn't be able to apply for another year.
If you had been working as a civilian RN for that 6 months, you would be eligible to apply as an experienced RN for the February board. Plus the FQ boards are every 6 months right now, giving you a much better chance.
Hi Again,Not sure if you are still checking this but I sent you a message w/ my phone number so you can call me if you want more info. It appeared to go through...I know you said PM won't work yet. We'll see.