I am interested in the Reserves & have spoken with a healthcare recruiter from both Army & AF. I am a 46 yr old RN with 5 yrs nursing experience in ICU(2.5 yrs) & school nursing(3 yrs). (yep, drastic change I know... I switched for the schedule b/c my husband was traveling & had 4 kids at home. His job is more stable now).
I have been told that I would be qualified for public health nursing (but only 6 or 7 RN's are accepted at the Oct board review according to another recruiter). I have thought about the reserves for a long time, but really don't know anyone who is actually in it to ask procedural questions.
Can anyone give me an overview regarding what to expect? The recruiter asked me yesterday if I didn't get accepted into public health, was I willing to take a med surg slot. I think so? I haven't done anything in nursing so far that I haven't enjoyed, lol but again don't know how different it may be in the military.
If I were accepted into any of the programs, what can I expect once I actually get to the weekend/summer drills? The recruiter also told me it was possible to switch specialties to critical care if I switch my civilian job (which I have been considering). Is this true? Also, is it possible to stay until retirement? Pros/Cons?
Obviously I have to move quickly to get everything submitted, but the recruiter didn't seem to think it was a big problem. From reading other posts, I thought it would take a really long time, so I was surprised at the recruiters encouragement? I'm in good health, no issues with my license or personal background. A little concerned about PT as I've never been terribly athletic. I have done some 5k's in the past & enjoyed them though, so idk...
Any information will be much appreciated!
Jul 14, '13
by jeckrn, BSN
I was a med/surg nurse in the Army Reserve at one time. How your weekend goes depends on your unit, the two combat support hospital s (CSH) that I was in you were a warm body and did not do much since there were no military hospitals nearby. I know of others who work in a hospital almost every drill weekend. Yes you can change the type of nurse you are once you are in. I do not know why your recruiter is saying it's not a big issue about getting your paperwork done since it takes time to get it done. It has been posted on this site that it takes 6 months or longer. It could be that he thinks that you have little chance of getting a age waiver right now because it is so competitive and just hoping you lose interest. A recruiter can not turn you down if you want to join and must complete some if not all of the packet to have it sent up for review if you meet basic criteria. If you would become too old for the age waiver 48 I believe it is you would not continue the process. As far as retiring you would need a yearly waiver to stay past age 62 which means there is no guarantee that you will be able to.
I do not want to discourage you but you must push the recruiter to get things done since he is going to focus his time on a person who he thinks has the best chance of being picked up. If this is what you want go for it because if you do not you will always wonder if you would have been picked up. Depending on the need at the time and the applicants you could get your waiver.
Last edit by jeckrn on Jul 14, '13