i applied last year while i was a student, and had began the process of applying again for ad this year until they changed the requirements to 2 years experience. so, i will answer as best i can based on my own experience..
how long does it generally take from beginning the application process to being accepted? how does the application process work?
a lot of how long it takes can really depend on how efficient you are in getting all the necessary paperwork done.. and there is a lot of it. there are several different forms that need to be filled out along with getting letters of recommendation and evaluation forms, you also need copies of things like your birth cert, ss card, license, etc. i felt i was able to get everything board ready pretty quickly last year.. i began the process in early-mid june and was board ready by november. as long as you and your recruiter are on top of this, it can get done quickly.
he was talking about presenting the application before the board. he was pushing to complete the application soon because the 2012 boards might already fill their need for nurses. how does that work?
the new fy begins in october, they've released their mission so they know what they're looking for but haven't begun to fill slots yet. the first board for the year will meet in the beginning of november.. chances are, as in years past, that will be the only board for the year because they have been filling all available slots in that first board. you don't actually have to present anything, your packet is a big file they put together electronically and send to the board for review.
should i gather more information before i even go to meps?
this i don't really have any info on. i got lucky and didn't have to process through meps, i went down to ft. knox and had my physical done right at ireland community hospital so that was pretty smooth sailing.
as most people will tell you, make sure anything you're promised is in writing.. if its not in writing it doesn't count. but overall, getting the application together wasn't too bad.. it was long and time consuming, but nothing difficult. the worst part is after the application is done and out of your hands and into the hands of the people deciding your fate! lol