USAF 2012 NTP Board

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    Forum for any and all discussions about the upcoming nurse transition program selection board for the USAF in 2012
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  3. 378 Comments so far...

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    Hey everybody!

    So I graduated in Dec 2011 with a BSN and just found out I passed the NCLEX. My plan all along has been to apply for the Air Force NTP after graduation. My recruiter tells me the next board is in July 2012, which looks like the same info many of you are getting. I'm interested in how many applicants will be applying to the July 2012 board, and what their qualifications are...you know...GPA, years of prior service, work experience...stuff like that. I have no idea how much of that really matters...my recruiter tells me that the NTP board members rely heavily upon the Chief Nurse Interview results that are submitted with each applicants package...so who knows. I think I'd just really like to know who I'll potentially be competing with or even better getting selected and going to COT with. . So I'll start...

    ~BSN 2011.
    ~Board certified, NCLEX complete.
    ~Licensed RN in Idaho.
    ~GPA 3.5 overall (3.7 nursing).
    ~11 years prior active duty USAF.
    ~3 years USAF Reserve during BSN.
    ~Currently working full time on 11-bed ICU step-down unit.
    ~36 yrs old, no age/health/whatever waivers.

    I'd really like to hear from others out there!
    Last edit by LN75 on Jan 28, '12
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    Congratulations on getting your BSN!

    I think that your strongest recommendation is your military service - that counts for a lot! That switch from enlisted to officer can be tough, it's a very different culture.

    I'm a 46P3 (psych nurse), not a 46N (general nurse), but I'd be glad to answer any questions you have. I went through COT last January, and my husband went through COT as a 46N in July 2011.
    Best of luck!
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    Hello LN75!

    I'm also applying for the Air Force July 2012 NTP board...although I'm not sure if I have much of a chance since I don't graduate until spring 2013. Unfortunately I don't have any prior military experience - although I had originally hoped to enlist in the AF Reserve while completing my BSN, MEPS made a mistake that took so long to clear up that by the time it happened I had already been accepted to nursing school and would have had to give up my spot in nursing school to go to BMT, etc, so I decided not to go forward with it.

    How did you like the reserve compared to active duty, and what afsc did (or do) you have? If I can't get selected as an active duty and/or reserve officer/nurse I'll probably enlist in the Reserve at some point.

    Here's a few of my qualifications:

    -GPA 3.5 overall (3.2 in nursing currently, but hopefully that will improve after this semester)

    -24 yrs old, no health, moral, etc waivers.

    -Will graduate with BSN Spring 2013

    -Volunteer experience in hospital ER, and with an organization that ships donated medical supplies to countries in need.

    Good luck to everyone applying!
    Last edit by UCAFblue on Jan 29, '12
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    hey aura_of_laura thanks for chiming in! yeah, i'm hoping that my prior service time will help out, since i'm sure there will be other applicants with higher GPAs. so here are some of my questions...

    How long is NTP? The packet my reciter gave me says 10 weeks, but I've seen postings on here of folks who were in it for 9 weeks or 11 weeks. Does the length of NTP vary depending on the base/hospital you're assigned to? Is it possible that I could be assigned to go through NTP in a civilian hospital? During NTP, are you sort of "attached-at-the-hip" to a mentor, like precepting or orienting to a new unit in a civilian hospital?

    How long is COT? The packet my recruiter gave me says 4 weeks, but I've read a few posts saying that it was longer or shorter too...

    Can you give me a ball-park time frame for how long it could take between submitting my application for NTP, getting notified of the results, and beginning a COT class if selected?

    What are your thoughts on which track I should apply for? Honestly, i'm not really interested in med-surg or OB nursing…i really want to be in critical care, emergency, and eventually flight nursing. I've heard that there are more slots available for the med-surg track, but generally fewer applicants for the OB track.

    How about scrubs or uniforms? It looks like some of the bases (like Keesler) have their nurses come in in ABUs then change to scrubs…do you know about any other bases? In all the years I was active duty (1997-2008), I only ever saw nurses in BDUs, but that was at Aviano, Holloman, Luke and Sheppard and only in clinics…I never set foot in an AF hospital.

    Lastly, my recruiter tells me that if accepted i'll most likely be stationed at one of the bigger hospitals in the CONUS for my first assignment. Have you ever heard of any newly commissioned nurses being stationed overseas for their first assignment? Either in one of the hospitals like Germany or Alaksa, or at a base with a smaller clinic?

    I know this is a ton of questions, and even if you dont know the answers, i appreciate whatever info you can share!
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    UCAFblue...

    good luck to you in the board this summer and hang in there with school…it feels soooooooo nice when you're finally done and you can just focus on working and soaking up some experience.

    I was active duty from 1997-2008 as an F-16 Crew Chief (2A3X3 - airplane mechanic). I got a BS in Aeronautics and thought i was gonna work on airplanes the rest of my life, but i lost interest when one of my kids got sick, and i decided i wanted to get into something medical. so I separated from active duty, got accepted into nursing school, and joined the USAFR to keep my retirement clock running, and still be eligible for Tricare health coverage. In the reserve, I work as a unit training manager (3S2X1)…much different than being a mechanic. I work inside with a phone, desk and computer as opposed to the flight line. Its boring, but easier, so there are pros and cons.

    I definitely having prior service has its advantages, but my recruiter tells me that its very hard to know exactly what the NTP board members are looking for from year to year, so we just build the strongest package possible and go for it. While on active duty, I applied for a commission as a Maintenance Officer after finishing my BS in aeronautics, and i was not selected. My package seemed perfect, and I felt I had a very strong chance, but it wasn't meant to be. I think i mention that just to illustrate that its almost impossible to know what the selection boards are looking for, so you just apply and if you're not selected, you try again. My recruiter told me that certifications will help add strength to my package as well, so I've done as many of those as I could. I recommend you do the same. I got BLS, ACLS and PALS certified during my last semester of nursing school. Not only for my NTP application, but i believe it really helped me market myself to the civilian hospital I applied to work at. I had that much more going for me than the classmates i graduated with. I had to pay for the classes myself, but it was worth it. I also worked as a CNA in the "float pool" in the hospital, which helped me gain some experience with patient interaction, and helped me figure out where i do and dont want to work as a nurse. If you have time and opportunity, i suggest you do that as well…even if its just on weekends or a few days a month…thats what i did…1 weekend/month drilling with the USAFR and the other 3 at the hospital as a CNA, then left my weeknights free for homework and family stuff.

    anyway…good luck with the application
  9. 1
    Quote from LN75

    How long is NTP? The packet my reciter gave me says 10 weeks, but I've seen postings on here of folks who were in it for 9 weeks or 11 weeks. Does the length of NTP vary depending on the base/hospital you're assigned to? Is it possible that I could be assigned to go through NTP in a civilian hospital? During NTP, are you sort of "attached-at-the-hip" to a mentor, like precepting or orienting to a new unit in a civilian hospital?

    How long is COT? The packet my recruiter gave me says 4 weeks, but I've read a few posts saying that it was longer or shorter too...

    Can you give me a ball-park time frame for how long it could take between submitting my application for NTP, getting notified of the results, and beginning a COT class if selected?

    What are your thoughts on which track I should apply for? Honestly, i'm not really interested in med-surg or OB nursing…i really want to be in critical care, emergency, and eventually flight nursing. I've heard that there are more slots available for the med-surg track, but generally fewer applicants for the OB track.

    How about scrubs or uniforms? It looks like some of the bases (like Keesler) have their nurses come in in ABUs then change to scrubs…do you know about any other bases? In all the years I was active duty (1997-2008), I only ever saw nurses in BDUs, but that was at Aviano, Holloman, Luke and Sheppard and only in clinics…I never set foot in an AF hospital.

    Lastly, my recruiter tells me that if accepted i'll most likely be stationed at one of the bigger hospitals in the CONUS for my first assignment. Have you ever heard of any newly commissioned nurses being stationed overseas for their first assignment? Either in one of the hospitals like Germany or Alaksa, or at a base with a smaller clinic?

    I know this is a ton of questions, and even if you dont know the answers, i appreciate whatever info you can share!
    I didn't go through NTP because I already had several years of nursing experience - I think anyone who has less than one year of RN practice goes through NTP. There are only a few locations to do NTP, Scottsdale, AZ, Wright-Patt, OH, and I think in Florida. We used to do it at Travis, but I think they're stopping it after our current class. I think that they sometimes use civilian hospitals, but you'll be with a cohort of military nurses, with an instructor guiding you through everything. It's very much like a preceptorship, from what I understand. I think it's 10 weeks...

    My COT class was 5 weeks (about 33 total days, I think). They're talking about making it longer to match the BOT class (which is 10 weeks, I think), but I don't know what the time table is for that to go into effect.

    You don't actually apply for NTP, you're applying for a commission. Time from application to notice of acceptance is pretty standard - about a month after the board date, give or take a few weeks. Time from acceptance (you can commission any time after that) to COT depends on what slots are available. I had four weeks between getting my acceptance and leaving for COT. Some people have 8 months, just depends.

    As for specialties, as a new nurse you don't really have options - L&D or med-surg. If you have more than a year ICU experience, you may be able to work ICU. Most ICU and ED nurses are 1LTs or Captains, and lots of Majors. I think they even want clinic nurses to have experience, since they do telephone triage. Coming through NTP, you'll all be the same AFSC - 46N1 - general nurse. Some specialties will change that AFSC (I'm a 46P3, psych nurse), some just add an identifier (ICU nurses get an E Enabler identifier, I think). You'll usually get the opportunity to specialize after a few years. Flight nursing is very competitive (almost everyone coming in wants to be a flight nurse).

    There's a big push for all inpatient nurses and staff to wear scrubs. At DGMC, we wear the UOD in to the hospital and change into blue scrubs. We have to change every time we step outside the hospital. Most clinic staff don't change.

    As for bases, I know a few new nurses that got to go to Alaska, and one that went to England for their first duty station. It doesn't hurt to request it. Lots of nurses go to Travis, Lackland, and Florida, though they can go almost everywhere. Travis is a great base, and we have the biggest AF hospital (which isn't huge).
    bigsick_littlesick likes this.
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    Quote from aura_of_laura
    I didn't go through NTP because I already had several years of nursing experience - I think anyone who has less than one year of RN practice goes through NTP. There are only a few locations to do NTP, Scottsdale, AZ, Wright-Patt, OH, and I think in Florida. We used to do it at Travis, but I think they're stopping it after our current class. I think that they sometimes use civilian hospitals, but you'll be with a cohort of military nurses, with an instructor guiding you through everything. It's very much like a preceptorship, from what I understand. I think it's 10 weeks...

    My COT class was 5 weeks (about 33 total days, I think). They're talking about making it longer to match the BOT class (which is 10 weeks, I think), but I don't know what the time table is for that to go into effect.

    You don't actually apply for NTP, you're applying for a commission. Time from application to notice of acceptance is pretty standard - about a month after the board date, give or take a few weeks. Time from acceptance (you can commission any time after that) to COT depends on what slots are available. I had four weeks between getting my acceptance and leaving for COT. Some people have 8 months, just depends.

    As for specialties, as a new nurse you don't really have options - L&D or med-surg. If you have more than a year ICU experience, you may be able to work ICU. Most ICU and ED nurses are 1LTs or Captains, and lots of Majors. I think they even want clinic nurses to have experience, since they do telephone triage. Coming through NTP, you'll all be the same AFSC - 46N1 - general nurse. Some specialties will change that AFSC (I'm a 46P3, psych nurse), some just add an identifier (ICU nurses get an E Enabler identifier, I think). You'll usually get the opportunity to specialize after a few years. Flight nursing is very competitive (almost everyone coming in wants to be a flight nurse).

    There's a big push for all inpatient nurses and staff to wear scrubs. At DGMC, we wear the UOD in to the hospital and change into blue scrubs. We have to change every time we step outside the hospital. Most clinic staff don't change.

    As for bases, I know a few new nurses that got to go to Alaska, and one that went to England for their first duty station. It doesn't hurt to request it. Lots of nurses go to Travis, Lackland, and Florida, though they can go almost everywhere. Travis is a great base, and we have the biggest AF hospital (which isn't huge).
    Thanks! Oh i'd love to come to Travis! I was at Aviano for 6 years, and in Germany for 2 years…so I really miss Europe…but at Holloman for 4 years and I really started liking the warm weather all year round! Being back in Idaho for nursing school has really made us miss the year-round sunshine…being able to go running outside in january without wearing 17 layers of clothes…you know.

    ok thanks for the answers and quick response…i'm really loving this website so far
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    LN75,

    I definitely am looking foward to the relief of being done with school, even though it still seems so far away!

    My brother was also an active duty F-16 crew chief! He was in from 2001-2006 and spent his entire enlistment at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. He also thought he was going to work on airplanes the rest of his life, but now he works for a military contractor while working on a college degree in aviation - but I'm unsure of what his ultimate plans are for the degree since he changes his mind all the time.

    I'm sure your prior military experience will definitely help, how could it not? It would be completely wrong if they looked at it as anything but positive.

    I've thought about getting a few extra certifications (ACLS, PALS) like you mentioned, but still a little over two semesters away from graduation, I feel like there is a possibility it would be like trying to run before learning to walk. I've heard that they are difficult classes if you aren't finished with nursing school, but if I have a chance in the next few months I might still give them a try. Did you feel like they were difficult for you in your last semester of nursing school? As for working as a CNA, I might try to do something like that starting in the summer (unfortunately too late to include in my packet) because I definitely feel like it would add to my knowledge and help with getting more comfortable with patient interaction. However, for the next few months I really want to focus on my classes and improving my GPA. I had a lot of distractions last semester which really hurt my grades, so I'm trying to make this semester as distraction free as possible. Not to say that working as a CNA is a distraction, I mainly want to wait because I'd have to study for the CNA exam, take it, find a job, etc - all things that would take up time from studying for my nursing classes.

    Good luck to you as well with the application....
  12. 0
    Quote from LN75
    Forum for any and all discussions about the upcoming nurse transition program selection board for the USAF in 2012



    hello LN75,

    when it comes to nurse transition board selection, do you only have to be a new nurse, or can you be an experienced nurse and apply for these kinds of board selections? I am waiting on hearing whether or not i got accepted for this med/surge position for the Feb. selection board but if i dont then my recruiter is going to submit my packet to a NTP selection board in June for L&D. Do you know if you are more likely to get selected if your a brand new nurse rather than an experienced nurse for NTP or does it matter? thanks for any feedback.


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