NICU nurse seeking AirForce NICU nurse information

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    I am seeking information related to NICU nursing in the AirForce. I have been a NICU nurse for 6 years and have a strong portfolio backing my skills. I am a certified PICC nurse, transport nurse, skilled in intubations and uvc/uac placement, chest tubes, etc. I have my RNC-NIC and I am looking at joing the AirForce when I graduate with my BSN in sept/2011. I would love some information from anyone who is currently working in the AirForce as a NICU nurse. Info regarding deployments, bases, and the chances of going straight into the NICU. My entire nursing career has been spent in the NICU and I am NICU obsessed, which leads to my next point of being very hesitant about caring for adults. Do NICU nurses get deployed? Also, i'm having a hard time getting ahold of a Healthcare Recruiter. I have called multiple times with no answer and finally got ahold of somebody on the AirForce website live chat who said he'd try to have someone contact me next week. If anyone has experience or information related to NICU nursing in the AirForce please please please share with me! I'm very excited about this possibility! I'm young (27) and in good shape so i'm not worried about the fitness side of things. I am married with two kids so the deploying issue is concerning...talk to me guys/gals

    Thanks!
  2. 5 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from RNmom2RJC
    I am seeking information related to NICU nursing in the AirForce. I have been a NICU nurse for 6 years and have a strong portfolio backing my skills. I am a certified PICC nurse, transport nurse, skilled in intubations and uvc/uac placement, chest tubes, etc. I have my RNC-NIC and I am looking at joing the AirForce when I graduate with my BSN in sept/2011. I would love some information from anyone who is currently working in the AirForce as a NICU nurse. Info regarding deployments, bases, and the chances of going straight into the NICU. My entire nursing career has been spent in the NICU and I am NICU obsessed, which leads to my next point of being very hesitant about caring for adults. Do NICU nurses get deployed? Also, i'm having a hard time getting ahold of a Healthcare Recruiter. I have called multiple times with no answer and finally got ahold of somebody on the AirForce website live chat who said he'd try to have someone contact me next week. If anyone has experience or information related to NICU nursing in the AirForce please please please share with me! I'm very excited about this possibility! I'm young (27) and in good shape so i'm not worried about the fitness side of things. I am married with two kids so the deploying issue is concerning...talk to me guys/gals

    Thanks!
    Hello. I have been trying to get into the AirForce as a NICU nurse for 2 years now. It is very competitive and they only take so many Specialty NICU nurses each year. They don't decide how many spots they have available for this area until September-October (beginning of the fiscal year). You would have to talk to a recruiter and start to get the application packet ready. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the application. Since your background is only NICU and you are RNC-NIC, you shouldn't have any problems staying within NICU. The way they decide is if you have 6 mos or more experience in the area. They will look very highly of you for being certified in this area. Also, make sure to keep your certifications up to date, such as NRP and CPR/BLS. Your chances of going straight into NICU is very good, but it all depends on if they have the slots available. They only had 5 slots last year and my paperwork was not ready in time, so hopefully this year will be my year. The recruiter will have you fill out the application packet, you will need 3-5 really good references and they will provide you with a form for those references to fill out, you will have to go in and do a military physical and security clearance which the recruiter will explain to you, and then you will have to interview with a Chief Nursing Officer. After all of these things are completed, your packet will be sent to the board where they will decide if they will essentially hire/accept you into the AirForce.
    If accepted, you will go to a 5 week Commissioned Officer Training and then to your base. There are very few NICU's in the Air Force. You have somewhat of a choice, however, the Air Force will send you to where you are needed most. Air Force NICU's are located at Travis AFB, CA; Lackland AFB, TX; Langley AFB, VA; Germany, and Japan. When it comes to deployments, in the Air Force, I believe it is 6 months every 2 years. Not necessarilly saying it will be 6 months consecutively, but a total of 6 months. And, you may or may not get deployed. When it is time for your company/flight to go and they don't have anywhere to send you at that moment, you won't go anywhere. But, during that 6 month period of time, be prepared to get deployed. Deployment is where ever you are needed at the time. It may be stateside or it may be overseas, it may be due to natural disaster or it may be for a war; there are no specifics for deployment for nurses is the AirForce. Also, they will not have you do something during deployment that you are not able to do (ie. care for a critically injured adult when you have no idea how to do that). They will put you where needed within your scope of practice.
    (Someone correct me if I am wrong about any of this!)
    IF you are serious about this, I would suggest getting the application started. If you tried to contact the AirForce on their website asking for more info, they should have someone contact you. I filled out an email requesting more info and a healthcare recruiter sent me an email and called me. If you have any other questions, don't be afraid to ask on here.
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    Thank you so much for the information! I got a call from a healthcare AF recruiter today, YAY!! She's located out of Louisiana and will be coming to Eglin to do the interview in a few weeks. I spent hours on here last night reading through various posts and see that the "process" usually takes a year. That works out perfect for me as I will be graduating BSN school in sept/11. I can see how it would be competitive in the AF NICU considering the amount of AF NICU's is limited. A fellow coworker of mine (with the same skills and has BSN already) is applying with me. I sure hope one of us doesn't get sent without the other We will absolutely support eachother though if one goes and the other doesn't. We are both NRP, BLS, STABLE, PALS, and PICC certified. I'm working in a NICU now and will continue until in my position until something changes i.e. maybe military employment. I've been in the same NICU for 6 years, 5 as a NICU RN. She's testing for her RNC-NIC in september. I'll be very interested to see how many NICU slots are open this fiscal year. The recruiter said sometimes "spots" aren't open but if an impressive enough resume comes along that they can sometimes get you in as a NICU RN anyways. I guess we shall see how this works. As far as the fiscal year goes...does it end/start this sept/oct for 2011 admittance? Do you know when (certain months?) the Officer training schools start? I undertsand there is a risk for deploying and as long as it's in the NICU field i'd be perfectly fine with the deployment. I always say i'm NICU smart and life-dumb as in I am clueless when it comes to other specialties. Of course, as a nurse we can all critically think our way through circumstances but I would be happy to stick with what I know. How long did it take you to organize your packet? I'm anxiously and cautiously excited about this!! Thanks for your time replying!
    Last edit by RNmom2RJC on Jul 9, '10 : Reason: quote didn't appear correctly
  5. 0
    Quote from RNmom2RJC
    Thank you so much for the information! I got a call from a healthcare AF recruiter today, YAY!! She's located out of Louisiana and will be coming to Eglin to do the interview in a few weeks. I spent hours on here last night reading through various posts and see that the "process" usually takes a year. That works out perfect for me as I will be graduating BSN school in sept/11. I can see how it would be competitive in the AF NICU considering the amount of AF NICU's is limited. A fellow coworker of mine (with the same skills and has BSN already) is applying with me. I sure hope one of us doesn't get sent without the other We will absolutely support eachother though if one goes and the other doesn't. We are both NRP, BLS, STABLE, PALS, and PICC certified. I'm working in a NICU now and will continue until in my position until something changes i.e. maybe military employment. I've been in the same NICU for 6 years, 5 as a NICU RN. She's testing for her RNC-NIC in september. I'll be very interested to see how many NICU slots are open this fiscal year. The recruiter said sometimes "spots" aren't open but if an impressive enough resume comes along that they can sometimes get you in as a NICU RN anyways. I guess we shall see how this works. As far as the fiscal year goes...does it end/start this sept/oct for 2011 admittance? Do you know when (certain months?) the Officer training schools start? I undertsand there is a risk for deploying and as long as it's in the NICU field i'd be perfectly fine with the deployment. I always say i'm NICU smart and life-dumb as in I am clueless when it comes to other specialties. Of course, as a nurse we can all critically think our way through circumstances but I would be happy to stick with what I know. How long did it take you to organize your packet? I'm anxiously and cautiously excited about this!! Thanks for your time replying!
    I am prior service so it didn't take long to get my end of the paperwork complete since I could look back at my previous military paperwork. The thing that has taken the longest for me is to get people to fill out the reference/recommendation forms and send them in and the fact that I have had some not so great recruiters! I have to have my forms redone because they are only good for 6 months, so tracking down everyone to re-fill out the forms is difficult. I am not NICU certified so I have had to do some CEU's that will hopefully get me qualified for the AF. I have not been able to get a job in NICU where I live. Most will only hire very experienced NICU nurses. My first and only NICU position was not the right place for me. Not because of it being NICU, but because I had no support or guidance from them. Their orientation program is not very good for a new grad. So, I have very little NICU experience but have been doing post-NICU Pediatric home care for the last year or so. Am hoping that all of this will be enough to get accepted into a NICU position in the AF. That's all I have ever wanted to do and the reason I became a nurse. Like you, I live NICU, just can't get a job there and can't afford to relocate.
    Sept/Oct is the beginning of the 2011 fiscal year. Not sure when the boards meet. Used to be a few times a year, then every month, and now I am not sure because they have been slammed with applicants for the last year or two. COT school is 5 weeks in Alabama and there is usually about 9-10 per fiscal year. As for deployments, it will most likely not be within NICU field. However, I am not sure exactly what a NICU nurse would be doing during deployment.
    Good luck to you and your friend, and pray for me to finally get in this year!
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    So, I am in the air force and have been in for 14 months, and i am applying for a nicu position. To answer some of your questions. As far as being deployed your eligible every 18 months, and will be deployed for up to 6 months. And because nicu is such a specialty, you most likely wont get deployed as a NICU nurse but as a ICU nurse, and thats if you get deployed. As far as commision officer training, that is 5 weeks and its basically a vacation. As compaired to boot camp, you have people that clean your room everyday, and by the 3-4 week your allowed off base and you can have some adult beverages and have a good time. As for app process, i am unsure for you because i am already in and it is a little easier for me, but the requirements for me are at least 1 year experience as a nurse, and basically recommendations from my leadership. For me it is a 3.5 month fellowship, i.e. didactic and some orientation on the floor, then you get sent to one of those bases and you orient to that floor ect. You really need to seek out a really knowledgeable recruiter who has been a recruiter for awhile, some are not smart! When you do find the right one, have him work the angle for you to be a nicu nurse, and make sure your application states thats what you want. You will most likely come in as a 1st lieutenant because every 2 years of experience gives you 1 year in air force. And with 6 years you would be a 1st LT and probably be a captain in a year. Again make sure all that is included in your application, before you sign anything!!!!!!!!! So Air force is great and the benefits are great, insurance for all your family!!, tax free housing, gi bill, ect, sign on bonus. There are some drwbacks, deployment, air force needs come first, sometimes you are volunTOLD things to do and be in charge of, extra duties. But i am glad i am in because everything is paid for such as training acls, pals, nrp, tncc, ect, military discounts at a lot of places, and you will serve your country, not many people can say that. So main point is to find a good recruiter, and dont stpo if they tell you no, go to another one!
    any questions, let me know!
    anthony
  7. 0
    August 9, 2012

    I have been reading some of the posts here, and they have been extremely helpful, but I still have lots of questions. To start, I am an RN-BSN with 12 overall years of nursing experience. Six in dialysis and the last six in NICU. Currently I have met with a recruiter and have started my paperwork, but seem to be having a hard time getting meps scheduled. I have been almost set to go 3 times now, only to have plans cancelled because the Dr requests more medical records and info as I have had 3 c-sections, and one repair after hemorrhaging with my first. I know, say as little as possible, but I felt the need to divuldge since I don't think any Dr would miss my scars! This has caused us to get past our "30 day" mark from signing the initial paperwork. I am 41 years old, married with 4 young children. I intend to stay NICU and probably not accept any other area of nursing. I have a very strong desire to go blue though! I have already turned in 5 very good references. I am a little worried about timing though. It is the beginning of Aug now. Will I make it into the next group for decision? Will we know ahead of time how many slots there are? My recruiter says the board meets in "Sept or Oct". I worry that my recruiter may not be working as hard as I would like. I seem to have a hard time getting response from him. Is this a normal part of the process? I've read some posts where people have been trying to get in for 2 years! I was hoping to know before my 42nd birthday in January! As for my age, there seems to be some extra hoops to jump through. Since I signed the first papers at the very first meeting with the recruiter I have been trying to regain my pre baby shape. I currently make weight, but worry about measurements. My last two babies were twins and that took a little out of me, but I am running 1.5 miles in the time I need to pass pt and am good on situps. Still working on pushups, but just need to keep pushing. I am a former collegiate swimmer and team captain, so I know it's within me...under the layer of baby fat! Just very anxious, and very much wanting and needing this for my family! Any comments would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
    Last edit by Hokefam6 on Aug 9, '12 : Reason: Adding date


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