Air Force vs Navy? - page 2

by ekb938s

11,283 Visits | 16 Comments

I am going to graduate in May with my BSN and I'm exploring all of my nursing options including the Air Force and the Navy. I really want to travel and see the US and the world as soon as possible. I was wondering if anyone new... Read More


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    If you are considering both, make it known to both recruiters that you would like to visit an active hospital for an extended weekend. They have funds for just such trips, though I can't guarantee whether you will have much of a choice of which base or method of travel (drive vs. fly). They will put you up on base, show you the exchange (shopping center), the fitness facilities, and usually the bowling alley (oh joy!). On your trip ask to speak with several people both with the recruiters listening in and without; this can usually be accomplished by letting it known that you want to spend a night on the town with some new lieutenants (AF) or ensigns (Navy).

    Remember that your base pay and benefits will be equal no matter in which branch you serve, though your housing money will vary depending on where you are assigned (i.e. you get more money for housing in San Diego than San Antonio). Speaking of which, if you have your heart set on a particular base or area of the country, don't be afraid to play smart poker and hold out for a week or so as the recruiter badgers the assignment folks. Be honest, be polite, be professional, and remember that they are as interested in signing you up as you are in getting your base of choice. Some bases can take 'one more' and some can't.

    I am in the AF, and we usually wait a year before deploying brand-new nurses. Of my year group (entered in '99) some peers have done two desert rotations (from 3-7 months) and some haven't done any. Some folks have seen the world and some have seen Texas.

    Either way, if it is adventure and travel you seek, give either a try and make the most of the opportunities that you find.
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    I think anyone who does this deserves all our thanks....
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    I am an Air Force Nurse-- here's what I think... I agree with whoever said you can't go wrong either way-- Air Force and Navy have the best nurses in the world. I love Air Force nursing. I don't know much about navy, but all the Navy nurses I've met have really impressed me, so I'm sure they're great. We do deploy and we do see combat, everyone does right now, so be ready for that if you join. You'll make the best friends you've ever had and you'll see the world. Right now flight nurses are deploying 8 out of 12 months, but I'm a hospital nurse currently and will probably no deploy until next year because I'm a new grad. Air Force is a great way to see the world, but so is Navy. I would visit a base of each and check out the housing, meet some new nurses and talk to them. Talk to some old nurses too who've been around to help you decide what's best for you. If you want to travel and don't want to join, travel nursing is paying big buck right now too. PS- we may look like smurfs in our uniforms, but I think jumping out of perfectly good planes for a living is fun!
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    My two cents leans toward Air Force. Not likely to get deployed on a carrier... nicer bases overall. Generally nicer overall facilities in general. Both have good hospitals though. I'd definately look long term and see where you might wind up serving.
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    Hi, well I was enlisted in the Air Force and now I'm a Navy Nurse. I would have prefered to go back into the Air Force - my heart is in the Air Force (even thought I was only in for 3 years). I still wonder if I should switch I have only been in the Navy for 1 year. The navy had the better program -NCP program and $5000 plus $500 a month for the last 2 years of school and the Air Force - I was told I had to do one year of civilian nursing before I could get into the AF. So, I chose the Navy. The uniforms are horrible. Try working in direct patient care in a poly wool uniform that you have to have tucked into your pants with straps to hold your shirt down tight and nice with name tags and ribbons and ensignia - and having to bend down to empty a foley or reach up high to put up an IV bag!! The uniforms in the Air Force are much better. And you only have 2 not a whole bunch that YOU have to pay for - $1500 and maybe never wear them again. The Navy does have the bases closer to the coasts and the air force you may be stuck in grand forks north dakota or somewhere else in the middle of no where. The chances of getting a nice base house is good in the AF and almost impossible in the Navy. The Navy you may get to work with the Marines and live in thier base housing. The Marines are so great - so respectful! I do not know what else to tell you I loved the AF and probably would again - but I'm in the Navy and it's great too!! One big thing is that the AF is a smaller service and it may be harder to advance. My division officer an O3 said he was at a confrence with some AF nurses and they told him that due to the cut backs there would be no O4 boards for this cycle (pretty scary - I thought). Either way I would be happy to have another nurse join the club of the "coolest nurses on the planet"!!
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    Quote from Dr. Gonzo
    Dont know that much about air force 1 thing i know for sure is that you probably wont see combat. But if you do wanna travel join the air force thats all they do is travel from place to place thats what a friend of mine who was in the air force told me if you wanna see the world join the air force.

    Easy there Dr. Gonzo, I am an Air Force nurse and we are currently taking over a lot of medical missions from the Army. My friends that just came back from Iraq were constantly having mortars fired into their compound. Another friend that was in Kuwait at a fall back field medical unit was having drive bys and people firing into their compound. The Air Force and the other services are all combining their medical teams during deployments now. The only time you get to see the world more if you're in the Air Force is as a Flight Nurse or critical care air transport nurse.

    No offense meant.

    USAF Nurse
    Last edit by wtbcrna on Jul 3, '05
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    I am a civilian contract nurse that works with the Air Force, I must say they are some of the best nurses I have ever met...of course there are bad apples in every bunch but for the most part...outstanding patient skills, respect, intellectual capabilities, and extremely loyal to their co-workers...I don't see alot of the slaughter of each other as I have seen in the civilian or army sector.

    When working with the Army nurses in the past...I haven't liked their attitudes, patients skills, or disrespect for each other. There seems to be alot of anger in that place but it was one hospital.

    I have never worked with the Navy however I have been in a Navy hospital when my mom was sick...It wasn't a happy place, nurses were short with us, poor education, bad attitudes, you could tell they were nit-picking each other. But I saw that for 3 days.

    I would choose Air Force hands down if I were you, from what I see from the 3 different bases...Air Force is cleaner, better benefits, better housing, better gyms...Remember who gets the most of the military money??? Air Force!

    All of the above is just my experience and opinion. Hence my disclaimer...LOL


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