Airforce or Navy

  1. 0
    Hello fellow nurses, I'm anticipating graduating this December with a BSN. I have recently decided (about 85% sure at this point) to join Military nursing when I'm done with school. I spoke with a recruiter and he basically told me that,'since I graduate in December, I would have just missed the "selection" time so I would probably have to wait a year. The Air Force is sounding real good as well. I guess my question you you is

    -AF vs Navy "pros and cons" if you will.
    -O1-salary
    -furthering education
    -BAH

    I've been in a hospital as a tech for a year now and my skills are very much up to par. Maybe that will play a role in where I go. I'm really interested in trauma. I get the chills to be around it. I'll be 25 next yr. I have no military background in my family, and I am looking to make a career and great future from this.

    Any tips/advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Ken, TX
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hey Ken,

    I'm currently an Active Duty AF nurse. I had previous civilian experience (CICU) as an RN before I joined 3 years ago. Because I didn't need to go to NTP, I went straight to an MTF (military treatment facility) after graduating from COT. I started working in Family Health (at my request) as my long term goal is to become a FNP. I've since PCSd to a new base and work as a nurse manager. As a new grad nurse, you'll go to one of the few bedded facilities around the AF. I think the only options are Travis, Wilford Hall, Keesler, Wright Patterson, Eglin, and Nellis. There might be one that I'm forgetting:-( Most likely, you'll have to work on Med-Surg for a year and then you can request to do an ICU/Trauma/ER fellowship. The AF has been good to me, but being active duty has it's challenges (crappy EMRs, staffing issues, etc). Please don't think that I'm trying to discourage you. The salary is great. Since a lot of our income is not taxed (housing and sustinence), I make a lot more money on AD than I could in the civilian sector. Even with the great salary, I'm not sure if I'm in it for the long haul.

    If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to try to help!

    Ginger
  5. 0
    Quote from gambron
    Hey Ken,

    I'm currently an Active Duty AF nurse. I had previous civilian experience (CICU) as an RN before I joined 3 years ago. Because I didn't need to go to NTP, I went straight to an MTF (military treatment facility) after graduating from COT. I started working in Family Health (at my request) as my long term goal is to become a FNP. I've since PCSd to a new base and work as a nurse manager. As a new grad nurse, you'll go to one of the few bedded facilities around the AF. I think the only options are Travis, Wilford Hall, Keesler, Wright Patterson, Eglin, and Nellis. There might be one that I'm forgetting:-( Most likely, you'll have to work on Med-Surg for a year and then you can request to do an ICU/Trauma/ER fellowship. The AF has been good to me, but being active duty has it's challenges (crappy EMRs, staffing issues, etc). Please don't think that I'm trying to discourage you. The salary is great. Since a lot of our income is not taxed (housing and sustinence), I make a lot more money on AD than I could in the civilian sector. Even with the great salary, I'm not sure if I'm in it for the long haul.

    If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to try to help!

    Ginger
    Hey Ginger, thanks for the reply. I guess I can't shake medsurg huh? 😩 Fine. I can deal with it for a little while, maybe sharpen on some of my skills. I was kind of expecting being put on med-surg but I can't do it for too long. There's "crappy" staffing everywhere I guess right? Especially the place I work now. There's no way I can continue being there when i graduate, the morale is so low. If you do know, how often does one get deployed and at what length? I will look into that fellowship. Thank you.
  6. 0
    Quote from NoKoward
    Hey Ginger, thanks for the reply. I guess I can't shake medsurg huh?  Fine. I can deal with it for a little while, maybe sharpen on some of my skills. I was kind of expecting being put on med-surg but I can't do it for too long. There's "crappy" staffing everywhere I guess right? Especially the place I work now. There's no way I can continue being there when i graduate, the morale is so low. If you do know, how often does one get deployed and at what length? I will look into that fellowship. Thank you.
    Yes, I'd say staffing issues are everywhere, but in the military, you lose your say in how things operate...especially, at the lower ranks, which is something I've struggled with. Leadership always says everyone's opinions count, but they don't.

    If you decide to join, I'd recommend making your wishes/goals known with your supervisor and chief nurse early on. They're the ones who have the know-how to get you where you want to be.

    As far as deployment goes, I think you're probably safe for the first year or so since you're a new grad. Other people who came in with me deployed within their first year, but they were fully qualified already. I've been in for over 3 years and haven't deployed yet. Manning at my old base was tight so I never got tasked. I'll be in the deployment band later this year and probably won't be so lucky. In the AF, a lot of people (not all) are assigned deployment bands, which just means we're vulnerable to deploy for 6 months out of every 18.

    Hope that helps.
  7. 1
    I celebrate 3 years in the AF in May. And I'm half way through my 2nd deployment. I came in fully qualified ICU. I'm stationed in San Antonio where Army and AF are combined at SAMMC. This is a huge deployment place for us. Right now, AF deploys for 6 months at a time. then the home dwell time is 18 months before your band comes up again and you may be selected for deploying. I was home 6 months when I got my 2nd tasking assignment - which left 7 months of predeployment processing and training.
    BUT - there are some people who have been in years and have never deployed. And with the drawdown of forces here in the middle East, maybe the deployments will decrease, but I am not counting on that. I came in to deploy, and I'm glad to be here.

    As far as pay, PT requirements, and the like... go to military.com all the pay scales and requirements are easy to find there.

    As a new grad, you get to go through the nurse transition program (NTP). It's a bit more classroom nonsense, true. But where else will you find a hospital that will ease you into your new career as gently as that? Put deep thought into where you wish to go, make sure it's someplace you actually like to live for a few years.
    nurse2033 likes this.
  8. 0
    Does anyone know what is the weight requirements in the Navy? I think I better start shedding fast! I graduate soon my BSN
  9. 0
    Just Google "Navy height and weight standards" and you'll find something like this: Height and Weight Chart - Navy
  10. 0
    So I figured I should add my 2 cents into this since I've been on/off about joining the military w/ specifics to the AF since I was a young kid. Now I've graduated a Diploma RN program and currently finishing up gathering my BSN. I have as of this moment 2 years Med/Cardiac ICU experience (straight outta school hired) and my ultimate goal is to be a critical care flight nurse (either AF or civilian sector). In addition I've got ACLS, PALS, NRP, TNCC, TCCC, BLS (Instructor), Hazmat Ops & Communications, in addition to NIMS 1,2,7 and 8. Any thoughts/guidance/help? Thanks!
  11. 0
    I am currently in NTP and at the cincinnati location. It's great! They train CCATT (critical care air transport team) here and we were able to actually go up in a C130 with them a few weeks ago. Amazing experience overall.

    The only advice anyone is really going to give you about thoughts/guidance is to talk to a health professions recruiter. They will know what spots are available for different specialties and such as well as the active duty bases you would be eligible for.


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