Changing nursing specialty while in Air Force

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    Hello my name is Mike and am currently in the process of entering the AF as a qualified mental health nurse. I have been an RN for 2 years now and have had jobs in inpatient mental health and PACU nursing. My primary concern about joining the AF is that because I will be going into the Air Force as a qualified mental health nurse I will be stuck within this specialty and not have the opportunity to branch out and gain experience in other settings such as med-surg, ER, ICU, flight nursing. I love mental health nursing I just dont know if it is something I can do for 20 years (plan is to retire from AF). I just do not want to see myself getting away from the medical side of nursing and that type of patient care that goes along with it. Would I be pigeon-holed into staying in a mental health specialty or be forced to get out? Or would the AF offer opportunities based upon one's desire to broaden their nursing scope. If anyone could help me with this question it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Mike

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  2. 2 Comments...

  3. 0
    Quote from kep1014
    Hello my name is Mike and am currently in the process of entering the AF as a qualified mental health nurse. I have been an RN for 2 years now and have had jobs in inpatient mental health and PACU nursing. My primary concern about joining the AF is that because I will be going into the Air Force as a qualified mental health nurse I will be stuck within this specialty and not have the opportunity to branch out and gain experience in other settings such as med-surg, ER, ICU, flight nursing. I love mental health nursing I just dont know if it is something I can do for 20 years (plan is to retire from AF). I just do not want to see myself getting away from the medical side of nursing and that type of patient care that goes along with it. Would I be pigeon-holed into staying in a mental health specialty or be forced to get out? Or would the AF offer opportunities based upon one's desire to broaden their nursing scope. If anyone could help me with this question it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Mike
    Try to get your identifiers in both mental health and general nursing (46N3). That will give you much more opportunity to transition between different fields of nursing while in the AF.
  4. 0
    Ok so what you are saying is that the AF can give me two identifiers upon commission; both mental health and general nursing. With both identifiers I will still be going in as a mental health nurse to fulfill their need (which MH is in greater need then general nursing) but at a later time would be able to more easily transition to something different? Is this something as easy as telling my recruiter? Would this hinder me getting into the AF in any way?

    Thanks,

    Mike


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