questions about Air Force nursing

  1. 1
    Hi everyone! I'm considering a career in nursing and I've heard some very good things about the Air Force. The Air Force website was helpful, but I was wondering if some Air Force nurses might answer some questions for me if they didn't mind.

    1. What do you do in COT? Like the physical fitness part? Do you need to know how to swim?
    2. How long in enlistment for?
    3. Is the Air Force safe for nurses? (Well it's the military so I know there's risks, but have nurses been killed?)
    4. Will you have to know how to work a firearm and use it?
    5. Can you have a family life (kids and husband) and an Air Force life at the same time?
    6. Is the Air Force worth it?

    I know that's a lot of questions, but any answers you could give would be GREATLY appreciated!
    bella201 likes this.

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  2. 9 Comments...

  3. 0
    Hello, I am a nurse and my husband is in the Air Force, I too looked inot this and I cant tell you there are pluses to the job, but there are alot of negatives as well. I'll try to answer all your questions truefully as I followed a nurse to see if this was for me.
    1. COt i think you are meaning Officers Training, you have to have a bachelors in Nursing first, then you go to OTS, there is physical fitness tests you must pass but they are mostly running and sit ups those sort of things. I dont think swimming is one.
    2. The commision, not enlistement b/c you are an officer i was told depends on you, it is like a contract you agree to work for them for so long.
    3. The AF is probably the safest branch of the military, not many nurses are deployed much but there are a few, but you have to be willing to move. You could live anywhere there is an AF base and they have a clinic.
    4. I think you do M-16 training, you are taught in OTS how to fire and then have to maintain that?? This is the one question i am not 100% sure on.
    5.You can have an AF life and Family likfe, but it is more of everyone being able to give and take. The military expects alot from you as well as the family and it is a very big commitment. I have been military (AF) all my life i was born into it, so it was alot easier for me i didnt know any other way of life, but everyone is effected by the moves and the deployments and the TDY's.
    6. I personally have think the AF was wonderful for me. I have expereinced things amny others have not, lived in germay signed the berlin wall, (while it was still there), Shopped in East Germany (when there still was one), traveled to many places at a very young age.
    But this is a very serious life changing decision, they recruiters arent always the best people to speak to as thier goal is to get you on board and sometimes they will do or say what ever it takes to do that! I wish you the best of luck !!
    ALi
    Quote from adh_09
    Hi everyone! I'm considering a career in nursing and I've heard some very good things about the Air Force. The Air Force website was helpful, but I was wondering if some Air Force nurses might answer some questions for me if they didn't mind.

    1. What do you do in COT? Like the physical fitness part? Do you need to know how to swim?
    2. How long in enlistment for?
    3. Is the Air Force safe for nurses? (Well it's the military so I know there's risks, but have nurses been killed?)
    4. Will you have to know how to work a firearm and use it?
    5. Can you have a family life (kids and husband) and an Air Force life at the same time?
    6. Is the Air Force worth it?

    I know that's a lot of questions, but any answers you could give would be GREATLY appreciated!
  4. 0
    Quote from adh_09
    Hi everyone! I'm considering a career in nursing and I've heard some very good things about the Air Force. The Air Force website was helpful, but I was wondering if some Air Force nurses might answer some questions for me if they didn't mind.

    1. What do you do in COT? Like the physical fitness part? Do you need to know how to swim?
    2. How long in enlistment for?
    3. Is the Air Force safe for nurses? (Well it's the military so I know there's risks, but have nurses been killed?)
    4. Will you have to know how to work a firearm and use it?
    5. Can you have a family life (kids and husband) and an Air Force life at the same time?
    6. Is the Air Force worth it?

    I know that's a lot of questions, but any answers you could give would be GREATLY appreciated!
    I was not on active duty Air Force but was in the Air National Guard. And did my OCT at Lackland (?) Air Force Base. Yes, I need to know how to swim but that was not a problem, I was a sufer, in San Diego, in high school. I served for almost six years before resigning my commission. I resigned because of a move to another state, not because of the military. Yes, the Air Force is as safe as any other organization you could work for. Yes, I had to learn how to fire a gun but again, it wasn't a problem. I had already been hunting with my uncle. I had a daughter and my weekend duty was not very difficult on my daughter. I have friends that are currently on active duty. They have families and it fits into their lives very well.

    Is the military worth it? Yes, it is. I come from a military family, my dad served almost 28 years before retiring and my younger brother, 22. They both retired, in ther 40s, and went on to other careers. If I could have, I would have continued in the Guard. If I had not suffered a back injury and had surgery, I would have gone on active duty and served out my time to retirement. Twenty years, you get a pension, commissary priviliges, travel priviliges and staying at military resorts all over the world. And health care til age 65. Then you get Medicare and military care as secondart coverage. Would I do it over? YES, YES, YES

    Grannynurse
  5. 0
    Thank you both.
  6. 0
    I also agree - the military is a wonderful (albeit difficult) way of life! I am a little biased towards the Army, but have respect for my Air Force and Navy medical colleagues.

    Jana
  7. 0
    Look the Air Force has its pluses and minuses, the biggest on being slow progression of rank, ie promotions happen slower. In the Army Promotions happen on time, of course also long as you maintain the Army Standard, for example my peers and I were commissioned in 99 and >95% of us were promoted to Captain in the last 4 months of 2002-and first four months 2003, basically came down to this all Army nurses were promoted with 37-42months of service, each a little different. What does that all mean, more $$$$. I've worked in Military Medical Centers and now civilian hospitals, and would not hesitate to send a family member to an Army Medical Center. I've worked with the air force, and was not impressed with the training their critical care nurse recieved, although my option is biased, the army's program of producing critical care nurses is the gold standard, 16-week course, now in two phases (a correspondance) and 12 weeks of didatic/clinical time. And believe it or not, the air force has sent nurses to the army's critical care and emergency nursing program, along with several of our allied nations. There is also air force nurses who go to the Army's Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesia. Yes I'm an Army nurse, I have worked closely with the air force in aeromedical evacuation and although the army nurse corps has their fare share of slugs, I feel overall on the whole the army nurse corps has an edge on our air force nurse corps brotheren.
    But in the end, it really doesn't matter, because we are all on the same team.
    It's just inter-service rivalvry, nothing harmful.
  8. 0
    Maybe I can help you. I am an AF nurse who went to COT Aug of 2004.

    1. In COT you have to pass the AF fitness requirements: run 1.5 miles, do sit-ups and push-ups. This is a timed test for points that add up to a total score up to 100 percent. The official websits: ots.maxwell.af.mil has a lot of good information. To be totally honest, COT is the easiest commissioning source the AF (and the military) provides. As for swimming....no, you do not need to know how.
    2. The length of the commission depends on what you want. You can sign on for 4 years and get a $10,000 sign-on bonus, or for 3 years and get student loans up to $27,000 paid off. Be ware that they take taxes out so you only get about 75% of the bonus or they only pay off 73% of the loans.
    3. General Jumper recently stated that all specialties in the military are deployable...no one is exempt. Right now a lot of AF nurses are finding themselves going to Iraq to relieve the Army. As far as I know, there hasn't been any nurse casualties, but that is always a risk. But so is getting out of bed each morning....or staying in.
    4. According to the Geneva Convention, medics are noncombatant. Therefore, we cannot carry firearms. But we can shoot to DEFEND our patients. If we take up a weapon otherwise, we became combatants and can be targets. The only problem with this ideal situation is that the countries that we fight don't recognize the Geneva Convention.
    5. Many people do have a family and are happy in the military. Other people don't find it very easy to do. Some spouses are apart frequently and have to deal with keeping their relationship strong across the distance. Other couple are lucky and are seldom to never seperated.
    6. This question, I could never presume to answer for you, only myself. I am happy that I joined. It is probably the best decision that I have made. I love serving my country by providing care to our country's heroes. I have had the opportunity to receive wounded patients coming back from the war....I talk to them, nursed them, and have the upmost respect and admiration for them. I have met the man I love and plan to marry....my very own pilot! But we are station about 7 hours apart and will be across the continent from each other. I plan on getting out to be with him and doing trauma nursing. (There are only a couple of trauma centers in the military and none of them are where he can be stationed.) I am considering switching to the reserves, but I might get out completely.....time will tell. But I am thankful that I've had the opportunity that I have had.

    Like I said before, I hope this helps you.
  9. 0
    Thank you all! This information is quite helpful!
  10. 0
    This is very useful information! I'm in a similar situation to adh_09, I have a previous Bachelor's degree but I am starting a BSN program this August. I'm also interested in the air force, but I have mild controlled asthma. Should I stop thinking air force right now?

    Thanks for your help
  11. 0
    Quote from penny07
    This is very useful information! I'm in a similar situation to adh_09, I have a previous Bachelor's degree but I am starting a BSN program this August. I'm also interested in the air force, but I have mild controlled asthma. Should I stop thinking air force right now?

    Thanks for your help
    I don't think the Air Force will take you with asthma. The Army or Navy might but each branch is a little different on admittance criteria.

    Good Luck!


    Air Force nurse


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