Thinking of joining the Air Force

  1. Hello everyone, this is my first post but I have been a member of the forums for a few months, just mostly lurking. I an currently an RN, 24yrs old, and will be finishing up by BSN in may and have been contemplating going into the military, mainly the air force. I have 1 yr telemetry experience and 2yrs of ER experience at a lv2 center. I would like at some point to try and get into either crna school or NP school; not too sure yet. Im a military brat and have always wanted to serve my country in some form or fashion since I was a little kid. I talked to an officer recruiter today and Im pretty psyched about it. I would appreciate any kind of advice, tips or just plain info you more experienced military nurses can offer.
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  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   PRicanRN
    No advice??
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    keep checking and be patient. Hopefully someone will be along soon to help you with nursing in the USAF advice.
  5. by   penasco man
    I'm in the same boat. Just graduated from college w/ my BSN RN and have finally made up my mind to go active after 10+ years in the Air Force Guard. After being deployed all over the world with the AF and being able to work with and talk with other brothers and sisters in all the other branches, I have to say that the Air Force is the way to go. The AF really takes care of their troops and most of the duty locations are unbelievable! Yea, you might end up in the middle of North Dakota for a few years, but after that you will more than likely move to an awesome location like Italy, Germany, or Hawaii. You have every opportunity to excel in MS programs and becoming a CRNA in the military is worth the struggle, because when you get out of the military and go civilan it looks very good that you have years of military CRNA experience to back up you knowledge. Plus the AF is giving huge bonuses and will pay for all you schooling to name a few perks. Oh did I mention the retirement. Being 24 you get in do 20 and retire at 44 pulling a pension, free health, and then some! You could start a whole new nursing career somewhere and by the time you're 60/64 retire again pulling more retirement money in so that you can sit on a beach in Mexico sippping on drinks, or do whatever your heart desires. By the way nothing wrong with North Dakota, been there and love it, except for the AF base is a little sparse and is the only reason why you wouldn't want to PCS there.
  6. by   nurseangel47
    No military experience here. But wishing you luck in your future endeavors.
    It's great that we have young men and women like you who want to serve this great nation of ours.
  7. by   JCubby
    I have army experience (I was an OR tech) and wish I had gone Air Force. My husband and I are contemplating me going back into the service upon completion of my BSN (Air Force this time) as we miss the perks. Also, I believe the AF was short CRNA applicants this last go-around. In addition, they take RNs from many more areas including ICU, OR, Med-Surg, Tele… On top of this, not only will your education be paid for, but you will keep your RN salary while going to school.

    Of course, you have to weigh this against the possibility of war-time deployment and being stationed for a couple of years in a not-so-desirable place…

    Good luck with your decision!
  8. by   traumaRUs
    I am a USN vet (not nursing), married to a career Air Force guy (enlisted). He retired at 42 with 23 years of service. We collect a nice pension (pays mortage and all utilities) and he started a second career teaching and will have another pension from it. The military insurance (called Tricare) is okay but as we age, it is best to stay with double coverage if you can. Tricare is not widely accepted in my area since there are no military bases nearby.

    However, it is a decent lifestyle. I got fed up with the moving though: we moved in four different countries and 8 different houses in 12 years - that was enough moving for me!
  9. by   PRicanRN
    Thanks for the info you all. Im a little worried about having to be deployed but I know its bound to happen at some time. Another question about CRNA school by the way,... I know I probably will have to wait some time before I can get into the air force crna school but how long do you all think is a reasonable time frame. The recruiter told me to start going to the education resources office as soon I get in and get started on the requirements.
    Last edit by PRicanRN on Dec 16, '06
  10. by   JCubby
    I believe the same rules apply in the Air Force that would apply to a civilian school: you still have to apply to the masters program, still need a higher GPA, still have to interview, and you still have to have 1-2 years experience working as a RN… It’s just not quite as competitive and they accept more areas of work experience.

    There are various sign-on bonuses that would require certain commitments of 2 to 4 to 6 years and the recruiter cannot guarantee CRNA school since people have to apply for it and get accepted on his or her own merits. Maybe start small and go from there to see how you like it.
  11. by   PRicanRN
    I already have been an Rn for 3 years but at ADN level, so do you mean I need 2 more years as a BSN to apply? What is the preferred gpa? I have a 3.4 currently.
  12. by   JCubby
    From what I have seen from the various schools outside of the Air Force that I have looked into, a GPA of at least 3.0 is expected. A 3.5 to 3.75 would keep you very competitive. I believe the AF still wants a 3.0 or better GPA, but if there are say 50 slots and only 30 people apply… not too much to compete against since there are 20 slots not filled.

    I have not really considered the question concerning ADN vs. BSN experience in regards to civilian CRNA programs, but I would bet experience is experience regardless of which degree you have – you are working as a nurse. What I was referring to in regards to the AF, is that you may have to fulfill your original contract working as a RN before you can apply to the CRNA program. That’s why the 2-year commitment looks good. And you probably already know, but regardless of AF or civilian master programs, you do have to have your BSN when you apply.

    There is another area on this board specifically regarding CRNA information that I have found very helpful. And as far as I know, the AF requires the same things that many of the other civilian school look for. Your best bet is call the recruiting office and make an appointment to see what they have to offer specific to your current situation and maybe set some goals. An ADN would have you going in as enlisted – depending on what the recruiter tells you, I would recommend probably waiting to go in until you have your BSN.

    I hope this helps – sometimes I’m really good as “speaking in circles”!
  13. by   PRicanRN
    Im signing up in may after I get my BSN. I already talked to the recruiter I will be going in as an officer and being going to COTS on August 20th.
  14. by   #1Gemini
    Do you know if there is an age limit the Air Force requires in order to begin a career with them. I will probably be 29 when I graduate, add a couple of years for experience and I'm looking at 32-33 y/o.... Is that too old to join?? Sounds like a fun adventure

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