New nursing going USAF

  1. I am in the process of getting my packet together and sending it to my recruiter to get into the USAF Nurse Corps and I was wondering what life was like after you get through NTP. I'm looking at furthering my college education once at my first duty station and was wondering if the AF has a habit of sending the nurses out on TDY's and the such your first two or three years of enlistment, or do they leave you alone and let you build up experience. I've been the USAF Air National Guard for 11 years and I know that it is different. My unit was pretty cool in that they knew that I was going through Nusing School so they held off on sending me anywhere. Just curious as I am in the education mode and don't want to find my self three years down the road not having pursued any more schooling after NS. Thanks for your time.
    •  
  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from victorh
    I am in the process of getting my packet together and sending it to my recruiter to get into the USAF Nurse Corps and I was wondering what life was like after you get through NTP. I'm looking at furthering my college education once at my first duty station and was wondering if the AF has a habit of sending the nurses out on TDY's and the such your first two or three years of enlistment, or do they leave you alone and let you build up experience. I've been the USAF Air National Guard for 11 years and I know that it is different. My unit was pretty cool in that they knew that I was going through Nusing School so they held off on sending me anywhere. Just curious as I am in the education mode and don't want to find my self three years down the road not having pursued any more schooling after NS. Thanks for your time.
    Do you know where you are going to stationed, yet? In general since you are a new nurse they usually want you to have one year experience as a nurse. On your paperwork you should be coming in as an 46N1 after a year of nursing experience your AFSC should be updated to say 46N3. Normally only 46N3s are deployed. The requirement can be waived by your chain of command, but it is not the usual.
    Now if you are going to Lackland/Wilford Hall all bets are off. Wilford Hall has probably been hit the hardest with deployments especially since hurricaine Katrina hit the AirForce's second largest hospital/Keesler.

    Good Luck!

    I will be glad to answer any questions about the AirForce.


    Capt E, USAF, NC
  4. by   penasco man
    Thanks for your reply. I do have a few questions in regards to deployments, length, region, etc. How is the work schedule 3-12's 4-12's? Average length of stay at assigned duty station before PCSing? How about rank and how easy is it to gain it? I was told that if I get accepted into the NTP program I'll go to one of seven or eight bases that conduct the NTP after COT. I'm hoping for Travis or Nellis as my NTP base. I'm hoping that after the NTP I can stay at one of these two bases as my first duty station. Is it true that after about two years, if you get into a masters program they will take care of the costs associated with furthering my education, and will I transition into a full time student status during my time at school. What about OCONUS PCS's? Are they hard to get? How about nurse to pt ratios and support staff? Thanks again for your input, I know that I asked a lot. I'm excited about this venture and like I said I've been in the guard for eleven years and would love this opportunity to go active.
  5. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from victorh
    Thanks for your reply. I do have a few questions in regards to deployments, length, region, etc. How is the work schedule 3-12's 4-12's? Average length of stay at assigned duty station before PCSing? How about rank and how easy is it to gain it? I was told that if I get accepted into the NTP program I'll go to one of seven or eight bases that conduct the NTP after COT. I'm hoping for Travis or Nellis as my NTP base. I'm hoping that after the NTP I can stay at one of these two bases as my first duty station. Is it true that after about two years, if you get into a masters program they will take care of the costs associated with furthering my education, and will I transition into a full time student status during my time at school. What about OCONUS PCS's? Are they hard to get? How about nurse to pt ratios and support staff? Thanks again for your input, I know that I asked a lot. I'm excited about this venture and like I said I've been in the guard for eleven years and would love this opportunity to go active.
    Oh my gosh....so many questions...lol

    Shift work is usually 12hr shifts....work Mon, Tues, off Wed/Th, work Fri,Sat & Sun. Next week off Mon, Tues, work Wed/Th and then off Fri, Sat, Sun.
    Non Shift workers M-F 0730-1630
    Deployments: Length 4-6 months, most often deployed to Iraq, Germany, and Afghanistan.
    Normal length of stay at CONUS base is now 4.5 yrs just changed from 3yrs
    Normal length of stay at OCONUS base still 2yrs
    I think somebody was trying to tell you about going to school using AFIT. AFIT is based on AirForce wide selection board and you can go to school full-time on active duty. It is doubtfull that you will get picked up for one of these slots at your two year mark d/t competition, experience, and time in service. The good news you can get 100% tution assistance and go to school on your own while working. If you want to PM your email address I will email you last years requirements for AFIT selection. It is about 50 pages.
    OCONUS PCS's are not hard to get, but you will probably have to wait atleast two years. Normally they don't send new nurses overseas. You will be eligible to put in for an OCONUS assignment at your two year mark.
    Nurse to patient ratios vary...Med-Surg units usually run a high of 5-6 pts per nurse, but it depends on the base. Support staff is great you will usually have one tech per one-two nurses.


    Did I get them all? Let me know if you anymore questions.

    Good Luck!
  6. by   cmv35167
    Just want to suggest that you request Travis (or even Wilford Hall) as a first assignment. I'm at Nellis, for a number of reasons, and it's been good to me but not a great learning experience as far as nursing goes. I've heard great feedback from my friends who've done NTP at Travis (or are stationed there) and same goes for WHMC. Depends on what you're looking for nursing-wise but Nellis is a medium-size facility combined w/VA (like Elmendorf)....we have challenges b/c of the combined AF/VA venture that are different than other military facilities but then again...it's all relative

    Good luck w/your decisions!
  7. by   penasco man
    Thanks for all of the info. I like the ideas of having a 12 hr work schedule because you get some good time off. Out of Travis and Nellis I would prefer Travis as it is closer to home, but I'm not going to complain if I get sent elsewhere. I did an apprenticeship in the ICU/CCU at one of our local hospitals during nursing school and was offered a full time position there once I had graduated. So I feel that I would like to start off in the ICU but I think in the military you have to work into that specialty if you don't come in with some experience before hand. I am also interested in becoming a Flight Nurse later on down the road. I would like to get into CRNA school as well, if that happens great, if not I can live with it to. I just see the military as a great opportunity to learn and also serve. Nursing is not my first career, but it's the first where I've had so many opportunities to do so much. The deployments don't sound too bad either. Germany is great and I wouldn't think the sand box is all that bad, aside from the obvious risks, but you have a greater risk of getting seriously hurt or killed every day driving down the road. Awesome! thanks again for sharing your thoughts about the AF. Being a Air Guardsman, it wasn't a hard decision to go AF, as I have always loved going on TDY's all over the world and have loved every AF location.
  8. by   penasco man
    So I sent off my packet today and the waiting begins. I'm in no real hurry as I have to go on a deployment til the end of May. I hope everything goes smoothly, and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead.
  9. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from victorh
    Thanks for all of the info. I like the ideas of having a 12 hr work schedule because you get some good time off. Out of Travis and Nellis I would prefer Travis as it is closer to home, but I'm not going to complain if I get sent elsewhere. I did an apprenticeship in the ICU/CCU at one of our local hospitals during nursing school and was offered a full time position there once I had graduated. So I feel that I would like to start off in the ICU but I think in the military you have to work into that specialty if you don't come in with some experience before hand. I am also interested in becoming a Flight Nurse later on down the road. I would like to get into CRNA school as well, if that happens great, if not I can live with it to. I just see the military as a great opportunity to learn and also serve. Nursing is not my first career, but it's the first where I've had so many opportunities to do so much. The deployments don't sound too bad either. Germany is great and I wouldn't think the sand box is all that bad, aside from the obvious risks, but you have a greater risk of getting seriously hurt or killed every day driving down the road. Awesome! thanks again for sharing your thoughts about the AF. Being a Air Guardsman, it wasn't a hard decision to go AF, as I have always loved going on TDY's all over the world and have loved every AF location.
    Good Luck!!!! There is critical care internship thru AFIT that you will probably want to look into if you want get into ICU then later CRNA school. It is a year long at Wilford & BAMC in San Antonio.
  10. by   Gennaver
    Quote from victorh
    So I sent off my packet today and the waiting begins. I'm in no real hurry as I have to go on a deployment til the end of May. I hope everything goes smoothly, and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead.
    Good luck,

    Not sure how often the selection/review board meets, (for the Army it was around the begining of each month). If yours is the same then it may be reviewed on March first, take a few weeks before you find out and so on.

    Try to not be too impatient.

    Why are you deploying in May?
    Gen
  11. by   penasco man
    I'm currently in the ANG and have to go out for about three months to fulfill an AFE rotation. If you could wtbcrna send me the requirements for AFIT selection via penmex1@hotmail.com thanks for all the help.
  12. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from victorh
    I'm currently in the ANG and have to go out for about three months to fulfill an AFE rotation. If you could wtbcrna send me the requirements for AFIT selection via penmex1@hotmail.com thanks for all the help.
    I will send it right now.
  13. by   The Little Greek
    Hello all,
    This thread was of interest to me because I am in the process of applying to become an Air Force nurse. I have two years experience as a civilian nurse and I will be entering with an MSN (I have a BS in another field and took the MSN route a quick transition into nursing). My specialty is OB/GYN and am currently working in a large trauma hospital. I am hoping that I will get my first choice of duty stations (Wilford Hall) but I'm curious, what other hospitals might be reasonable requests? Specifically I'm interested in hospitals that might have more high-risk OB patients, if such an assignment even exists. I would certainly appreciate any suggestions. Any insight/suggestions/words of wisdom associated with AF nursing would also be appreciated!
  14. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from The Little Greek
    Hello all,
    This thread was of interest to me because I am in the process of applying to become an Air Force nurse. I have two years experience as a civilian nurse and I will be entering with an MSN (I have a BS in another field and took the MSN route a quick transition into nursing). My specialty is OB/GYN and am currently working in a large trauma hospital. I am hoping that I will get my first choice of duty stations (Wilford Hall) but I'm curious, what other hospitals might be reasonable requests? Specifically I'm interested in hospitals that might have more high-risk OB patients, if such an assignment even exists. I would certainly appreciate any suggestions. Any insight/suggestions/words of wisdom associated with AF nursing would also be appreciated!
    I am not an OB person, but any AF hospital that has a NICU should have high/higher risk OB. I know Wilford Hall has a NICU, Keesler has a NICU but is still building back up after Hurricaine Katrina, and you might consider Landstuhl in Germany, also.

close