What kind of shifts will I work in AF Nursing?

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    I'm looking for knowledge on the type of shift I'll work as an Airforce nurse. I'd like to work day shift or even 2nd shift, I struggle with 3rd shift. I've heard things about swing shifts where every three months I'd switch between 3rd shift and 1st shift? Is there any way to request to not work third? I really am like a zombie nurse when I stay on third.

    Is it true that most airforce nurses work a 9-5pm type clinic job?

    Also what is likelihood that you will get stationed at one of your 8 bases you provide them with?

    The recruiter tells me that 3 years into my 4 year contract I could apply for the airforce to send me to CRNA school. I will have right at a year ICU experience if I choose to join, what is the chances of getting selected to go to CRNA school?

    Thanks for the Help!
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  4. 4 Comments so far...

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    If you are working an inpatient unit, you will most likely work 12-hour shifts. Most facilities try to do a panama type schedule where you work 14 shifts in a 28 day period. Additionally, you will, most likely, flip between day shift and night every three months. The only way you were able to avoid that was if you and another person on the opposite shift were willing to stay how things were.

    Clinic nurses work different times, but all day shift. Currently I work APU/PACU and work 3 various shifts, 6-3, 730-430, and 8-5.

    CRNA school is an AFIT slot that you apply for. I do know that you need at least a year of ICU experience, but I don't know if they require the identifier to apply or not....I don't believe so, but I'm not positive. It is possible to apply and go from there and see if you make it or not.
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    Thanks for the information, It confirmed a few things that I've been hearing. I really don't like the idea of swing shifts every 3 months. I would like to work in a surgical environment like the PACU or Surgery day shift. I have ICU experience, does that transfer well to that Dept?

    If you have your year in ICU experience in civilian life does that transfer well to working in a Doctors office or Surgery environment? Will they still consider you for the CRNA program?
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    Many AF nurses have little to no control over your shifts or choice in the department you work unless you have an identifier (such as ICU). Inpatient shifts are 12hours and we rotate from nights to days. Everytime you change duty stations, you adapt to your new unit's schedule. On deployment, you don't get to choice what shift you work there either. I'm ICU, but have worked in the ER and the wards and in the CASF for deployment. You have to meet the needs of the AF and the mission. The AF will not change to meet your needs. Honestly, if you are being as particular as you are sounding here, you may want to rethink if the military is the right choice. There are great opportunities in the AF, if you aren't afraid to try. CRNA is definitely a good possibility. There are many programs and the military is very education oriented. You need to be aware that it is a lifestyle not a job.
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    I can see your point of view midinphx. I'm not sure that I'm ready to give up all control and direction of my professional career just yet. I'd like to serve and I think I'd enjoy the lifestyle in most areas, but having no say in whether you work nights/days or as a Med/Surg nurse or ICU nurse... that will be something hard to deal with. I've worked many years and spent lots of money earning my BSN and would probably resent not being given any say in what I do with it. Thanks for your perspectives, I'll think long and hard before making any decisions.


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