Please help- airforce ?'s

  1. I will graduate in May 2006 (BSN), and have been thinking about the airforce. If I join it would be ~JAn 2007, after working in a civilian hospital for a year. I have 2 small children( single parent), which I plan on taking with me to live on the base. Right now my first choice base is Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. Do you think they would deploy me oversees with my family situation ( kids, etc)? I talked to my instructor who is Colonel in LA, and she said that its a slim to none chance that they send women oversees that are single parents. Is this true? What has happened on your bases in this situation? I wouldnt go in as an enlistee, I'd be an officer; do they send the volunteeers first? I don't have any desire to go into combat, I'd be happy working at the base hospiatal or clinic. Just tell me wh at u guys think. Has anyone been at Lackland? Also, where( state) do they do the health care (RN) basic training, I cant find anything about its location on the website. I know they dont do it with the enlistees training. ANy advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   Jerico
    I went in the Air Force BECAUSE I was a single mom. It was the best thing I ever did. Why? The pay is equal to men. The medical benefits for my child (children) cost me nothing. My medical care cost me nothing.

    I think taking children overseas is a GOOD thing. Most nurses are based at larger facilities, but you can also get deployed. I did for Desert Storm and I had a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and a 13 year old.

    The only thing you MUST do is be sure you have a dependable family member who you trust totally with your children. Not a boyfriend - but FAMILY who you know would do the best for them. You are obligated to sign family plans for IF you get deployed - who will take care of your children, etc should you get deployed.

    Joining the Air Force is the best thing I ever did in my life, for my children and myself regardless that I've been deployed. It was hard leaving them, but I also could fly standby to come home to see them, and they could fly to see me.

    If you like independence, good. If you can handle being alone in new places (though friendships in the military are priceless!) with your children and can deal with finding daycare/dependent care, I think it is a great thing to do.

    Ask for a bonus. The Army recently offered me $35,000. to join - and I was Air Force for 17 years. I would not suggest a single mom join the Army, though. Too many places to be deployed without your kids. Army offers more bonuses and base choices just to get you in though.

    The Air Force has the highest number of women to men ratio. It is women friendly.

    I loved it and have never regretted it a single moment in blue. I loved being an officer (though I wasn't nurse corps at the time), it pays very well.

    Go for it. I'd do it all over again and I had kids - didn't hurt them. In fact they are very proud of my military history and even have given presentations in their school about me in uniform.
  4. by   Jerico
    Oh, and yes, I've been at Lackland. I live in San Antonio as a matter of fact.

    San Antonio has so much to offer, I love it here. Lots of nursing and military community.
  5. by   mjbsn2006
    Hey thanks Jerico!!!! Glad to hear from someone who been there and done that from TX-lol I want to do it, but I just have to really makw my mind up with leaving my kids. M y mom can keep them, I just dont want to leave them. Overseas do you just work in the hospitals over there, and take care of our soldiers? thanks. my friend and I r really considering this, she has small kids to.
  6. by   mjbsn2006
    Oh I forgot to ask you if we can do our 4 week? training for healthcare at Lackland or do we have to go to another state? ALso do u live on the base?
  7. by   Jerico
    Generally, in the Air Force you go to larger bases - or you could get sent to small clinics overseas, or even field hospitals. Though field hospitals are more rare.

    You may be sent back and forth between an eastern seaboard AF base such as Andrews AFB in D.C. or Dover, Delaware and Germany on air evacuation flights. These will sometimes be overnight "turns" or several days - air evacuating our soldiers from larger hospitals overseas back to the states.

    It just depends where you are needed.

    Ask a recruiter where the most critical need is for AF nurses.

    You'll get GREAT training, given lots of opportunity to lead others, the AF usually has nice facilities and bases. They also have medics who work on the floors and clinics, to help out nurses.

    I am truly considering rejoining - because I have less than 10 years before retiring - and I still have a 11 year old at home.
  8. by   Jerico
    Am not sure where "MIMSO" is now - it is likely called something else by now. That is a short "how to be a medical corps or nursing corps officer school". It is not difficult. It teaches you how to salute, wear the uniform, about military law, medicine, etc.

    I became an officer through AFROTC, so did not go through MIMSO.

    You also should consider Navy nursing too. My dad was 31 years Navy. Navy nurses are usually at big hospitals stateside - and Navy supports Marines as far as medical goes. Bethesda (huge Naval hospital) is the largest, I think - in D.C. where the president/VP goes for medical care.

    Other bases for Navy are San Diego, CA, Norfolk, VA, Jacksonville, Florida.

    Air Force has San Antonio (though Wilford Hall is being changed into a day clinics, rather than the large hospital it is now); Tucson, Arizona; Kelley AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico; South Carolina, Delaware, so many.

    You can go on line to find Air Force hospitals and the bases they support.
  9. by   Jerico
    Living on base. Well, here in San Antonio there is also Randolph AFB - which has a clinic, but not a hospital.

    I think the AF nursing training is here in San Antonio, but am not sure - maybe someone else on here knows?

    Usually the less senior you are, the less likely you will live on a base. I like living on bases though, especially being a single mom. That is because it feels safer when in a large city. Being a single mom, you may get more priority, am not sure.

    Education is anothe huge benefit. AF will send you for a masters or perhaps nurse practitioner degree if you sign up for more time. The army offers a nurse anest. at Tripler in Hawaii. You go to Hawaii for 16 months. So "sad"
  10. by   mjbsn2006
    thank alot this info is great. I guess I need to consider bases other than in texas huh? since we dont have many of the large hospiatls anymore.
  11. by   Jerico
    Yes, please consider other than Texas! San Antonio is fine, but in the middle of no where, actually.

    You also get extra living expenses if you live in someplace expensive like San Diego or D.C.
  12. by   mjbsn2006
    wow I would love to go to Hawaii, but I dont think the army is for me. Wish the navy or AF offered that there.Yea I was hoping to live on base for the community (securuty), schools and all that,cause I AM not from the city!!!! All the city stuff will be totally new to me, and alittle scary.
  13. by   mjbsn2006
    I was in the process of applying to grad school here at my school, but I could just take advantage of military benefits and go while in there. I am just terrified of going into combat, and with my luck they'll send me the first month I get there-lol. I gues its just something you just have to get use to. How long did you have to stay over there each time?
  14. by   wtbcrna
    Let's see if I can help a little bit on a couple of your questions. I am currently an active duty nurse stationed at Keesler AFB. Commissioned Officer Training for nurses/docs/chaplains/lawyers is at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.
    You can plan on being deployed right now if you enter the military doesn't matter which branch, but the Air Force does have the shortest tours(currently 4 months). Single parent status is not a disqualifier for being deployed, and most of my active duty nursing colleagues that are single parents have been deployed.
    I know that you stated what the Colonel had said, but I bet she is probably in the reserves.
    Also, your 1st duty station is almost guarenteed for nurses. Just put on your preference worksheet that you will only go to X AFB and don't sign your contract if you don't get it. You will be shown exactly where you are going in writing before you sign your last set of paperwork and are sworn in for the last time before active duty.


    Good Luck!

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