Student Considering Air Force Nursing

  1. 0 Hello Everyone,
    I am a nursing student trying to decide whether joining the Air Force is the right way for me to begin my nursing career (graduation may 2006). I have found this discussion very helpful so far, thanks!
    Those of you who have been there: Is there anything you wish you had known before you decided to become an Air Force Nurse?
    Thank you so much!
    Sarah
  2. Visit  sarah8311 profile page

    About sarah8311

    From 'Texas'; 32 Years Old; Joined Mar '04; Posts: 1.

    77 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  uic254 profile page
    1
    Sarah- I'm a new grad RN,BSN who is considering the same thing. If you don't mind going to a nurse new grad transitional program (there is only 1 or 2 places where this is avaiable in the US), then being a new grad RN in the airforce would be good. This program will help you learn the ropes from a new grad->staff nurse.
    I decided to wait to get 6-9months as a civilian RN b/f applying b/c I wanted to have more options of where I would get stationed ( I really want to go to Europe). As a new grad you are forced to only go where the transitional programs are.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    puravidaLV likes this.
  4. Visit  kala noelle profile page
    0
    Hey there Sarah!
    I am actually a Nursing Student here at Michigan State University. I am in the AFROTC Program. I have been in the program since 2003 so I am very familiary with the program. It is great with lots of advantages but you have to have the motivation and dedication to put up with a lot of crap.. that is what I have observed so far with ROTC anyways. Let me know what kind of Q's you have and I can maybe help you with some answers. You have come to the right site though, I have found some very useful answer here about nursing and AIR FORCE.. keep searching!
    Kala
  5. Visit  wtbcrna profile page
    6
    Hi guys!

    I am a Air Force nurse at Keesler AFB. First of all let me wish you all good luck with all your nursing programs. I would like to help clear up some misconceptions about nurse transition program with the Air Force. The program is approximately 3 months after Commissioned Officer Training. After you finish your transition program then you are assigned to your permanent duty station most of the time it is not at the same place you did your nurse transition program at. Also, when you come in for your first time into the Air Force ( non ROTC ) you can pretty much get any duty station you want. You don't actually sign the last of your paperwork until you have been offered your duty station, and you can always turn it down... This is the greatest bargaining tool you will ever have while in the Air Force. I would be happy to answer any questions you guys have about Air Force nursing just PM me...
    sconnie, LadyPotter, menowhat2do, and 3 others like this.
  6. Visit  kala noelle profile page
    0
    Thank you so much for your reply.. sorry I have not been able to write back until now. What is your rank? Do you enjoy your job? Do you feel like you are given more opportunities in the AF as a nurse? How do you like Keesler. I was there two years old for a PDT. I thought it was great! If there is any other information that you can offer please do.. like a typical day for yourself? Have you been deploy? Any experiences you would like to share? I am going to be giving a brief on AF Nurses here soon.. would like to have a good grasp on it! Thanks so much for your help! Kala

    Do you have a sn? mines kala noelle. Maybe you would like to chat sometime?
  7. Visit  wtbcrna profile page
    1
    I am a Cpt. I just arrived at Keesler in June of this year, and I was enjoying working here in critical care. Now Keesler/Biloxi sucks since the hurricane.......A typical day for me is just like any other critical care nurse ( prehurricane of course/ I don't really have much of a job here until the hospital is repaired). I choose to get more involved in extra duties than some nurses, but 70% of the time my job is just like any other ICU nurse.
    Now the other 30% is what really makes my job/dual profession different....eg.....This week I am getting ready to deploy so I have to do a gas mask fit test, quailfy w/ the m9 (pistol) and the M16, I have to go to deployment briefings etc. At other times I teach various classes. I have gone to various TDYs courses including combat casulty care course, a week long seminar on how to run humantarian assignments etc. I was going to attend critical care air transport class and C-Stars, but I will have to wait until after I deploy now. This will be my first deployment.
    Being an officer you will be a leader from the get go. There is more expected from you than of your civilian counterparts. The politics/bureaucracy and deployments is what drives most military nurses to leave the military. The only way to really comprehend how different military nursing can be is to shadow a military nurse for a few days.
    I will see if I can find some links to post to help w/ your briefing.


    Good Luck!
    Quote from kala noelle
    Thank you so much for your reply.. sorry I have not been able to write back until now. What is your rank? Do you enjoy your job? Do you feel like you are given more opportunities in the AF as a nurse? How do you like Keesler. I was there two years old for a PDT. I thought it was great! If there is any other information that you can offer please do.. like a typical day for yourself? Have you been deploy? Any experiences you would like to share? I am going to be giving a brief on AF Nurses here soon.. would like to have a good grasp on it! Thanks so much for your help! Kala

    Do you have a sn? mines kala noelle. Maybe you would like to chat sometime?
    superman07 likes this.
  8. Visit  wtbcrna profile page
    0
  9. Visit  lwood336 profile page
    0
    Hi everyone,

    I recently graduated (in June 07) with my ASN and I am working in a post anesthesia care unit. I am very interested in joining the Air Force eventually, but I have a lot of questions. I know before I enter the AF I need my BSN so I am going to work on that now. Being 25 now I may be 27-28 before I get that degree. What is the cutoff age to enter into the AF? Also, I have a lot of loans to pay off, is there a certain amount that they will pay off? (I have heard they will pay them all off which sounds way to good to be true) and will they accept my experience in the PACU when I go for my CRNA (which they will pay for as well?) Sorry for asking so many questions, I am just very curious. Thanks!
    -Larry
  10. Visit  superman07 profile page
    0
    Hello, I am also considering joining the air force as a nurse after I graduate, and I was looking at becoming a CRNA in the air force. I was wondering what were those few locations that you were mentioning as a new nurse. I have two children, I don't know if that makes a difference. I have a lot of questions...

    thanks a lot for the advice
  11. Visit  JayBSN profile page
    0
    Tid Bits People have asked about and Questions I have myself:

    The age cut off is 48 for air force nurses. If you have some amazing experience, you can get a waiver.

    Children are ok however, if you are a single parent, your "family situation" situation will be reviewd by some one. You must have a care plan in place if you are to deploy. It's easier if you're married. Enlisted air force women can not be single parents. Nurses get privilages : )

    From what I gather, you don't really get your choice of bases as a new grad. you have to choose either medsurg or ob. Rumor has it, if you check yes that you are willing to go overseas (which includes AK and HI for nurses) you are VERY likely to get AK even if you don't put it as a choice. Big risk for someone who HATES cold.

    My big question of the day is: How was COT? I'm terrified. I don't go until January (if im accepted) and I started running last week. I'm doing 10 minute miles which stinks, clearly.

    Also, I consider myself a "get up and go-er," In the Air Force, are there really "days off" when I can take off to the beach for a day or two and come back for work?
  12. Visit  The Little Greek profile page
    0
    Quote from sarahljameson
    it's easier if you're married. enlisted air force women can not be single parents. nurses get privilages : ) actually, enlisted can be single parents. i work with several women and men that are. if you are a single parent you must have a care plan on file, but the right is not limited to officers.

    from what i gather, you don't really get your choice of bases as a new grad. you have to choose either medsurg or ob. rumor has it, if you check yes that you are willing to go overseas (which includes ak and hi for nurses) you are very likely to get ak even if you don't put it as a choice. big risk for someone who hates cold. not necessarily so. alaska was my first choice and i really wanted to go. needless to say it didn't happen. i wasn't a new grad, but many of the new grads that report to my base got one of their top three choices.

    my big question of the day is: how was cot? i'm terrified. i don't go until january (if im accepted) and i started running last week. i'm doing 10 minute miles which stinks, clearly. cot really isn't that bad. i did more pt before going to cot than i did at cot. the only thing that killed me was the heat. a 10 min mile really isn't that bad. you'll be with people that do much worse. i'm not much of a runner and i still manage to get 90+ on my pt test. the af will be changing the scoring for pt tests jan 2010. the run is going to count for more so if you want to improve on anything, make it your run.

    also, i consider myself a "get up and go-er," in the air force, are there really "days off" when i can take off to the beach for a day or two and come back for work? yes, you will have days off. as long as you aren't on-call and you don't leave the radius that your commander allows (which may vary by base) you can leave the area to do as you please.
    hope this helps.
  13. Visit  JayBSN profile page
    0
    My mistake: People can not (according to the air force website) enlist as a single parent. Clearly, they will not kick you out if you are an unmarried pregnant woman, however, the option is given to leave.

    Stupid Radius.....blah. I went to mexico for a weekend while I was in nursing school, just to study. It was nice.
  14. Visit  wtbcrna profile page
    0
    Quote from SarahLJameson
    Tid Bits People have asked about and Questions I have myself:

    The age cut off is 48 for air force nurses. If you have some amazing experience, you can get a waiver.

    Children are ok however, if you are a single parent, your "family situation" situation will be reviewd by some one. You must have a care plan in place if you are to deploy. It's easier if you're married. Enlisted air force women can not be single parents. Nurses get privilages : )

    From what I gather, you don't really get your choice of bases as a new grad. you have to choose either medsurg or ob. Rumor has it, if you check yes that you are willing to go overseas (which includes AK and HI for nurses) you are VERY likely to get AK even if you don't put it as a choice. Big risk for someone who HATES cold.

    My big question of the day is: How was COT? I'm terrified. I don't go until January (if im accepted) and I started running last week. I'm doing 10 minute miles which stinks, clearly.

    Also, I consider myself a "get up and go-er," In the Air Force, are there really "days off" when I can take off to the beach for a day or two and come back for work?
    1. Enlisted AF women can be single parents in fact there are quite a few of them, but you can't be a single enlisted parent and be the child's custodial parent during basic training or AIT. Most of the time enlisted persons become single parents after divorce and then retain custody of their children.

    2. You get to pick your base preferences as a new grad. Pretty much any base is open to you if you come in as general med-surg nurse, but you are unlikely to go outside the US on your 1st assignment. Hawaii is unlikely on your 1st assignment also.

    3. COT has never really been that big of deal...it is not basic training or even officer canidate school. You are already commissioned and part of the AF when you go, so the whole mentality of the program is quite different. I would just consider it more of formality in order to teach some bare basics about the military/AF in 4.5wks.

    4. The typical work schedule for an AF nurse isn't much different than your civilian counterparts. You will eventually have some extra duties....have to go to meeting (sometimes on your days off or when you are supposed to be sleeping if you are working nights etc.), but otherwise your days off are your own. In general you can go up to 250miles w/o having to notify your supervisor or take leave. Your duty command will explain what their expectations are on accountability during days off etc.

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