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Active Duty vs Reserve Air Force

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lervin has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in RN, BSN, Trauma ICU/ED.

120 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Hi all! Inquiring about different paths for end goal of CRNA

Experience: 2 years RN, BSN at Level 1 trauma center started in ED and moved to Trauma ICU. So far I have BLS, ACLS, PALS, TNCC, ENPC, NIHSS and i'm reviewing for CCRN. 

Goals: Most interested in Flight, CCATT, or ICU with a future goal of CRNA. I'm considering either active duty or reserves route.

Questions:

-If I went Active Duty, is there a standard time (like one contract at minimum) that I would owe before being able to apply for something like HPSP for a CRNA program?

-I know there are more reserve units for Flight, would I be able to join as an Active Duty Flight RN or have to serve a contract as an ICU RN before being able to submit a packet for Flight?

-Transitioning from Reserves to Active Duty... is likelihood all 'based on the needs of the military'?

-Reserves path for Flight/CCATT; best options for helping pay for CRNA school?

Any and all advice accepted, thanks in advance for your time and help!

 

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jfratian has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

1,362 Posts; 12,255 Profile Views

If CRNA is your goal, forget about flight nursing and CCATT.  Going those routes will add at least 3 years to your journey (the shortest possible active duty commitment).  The fastest way to become a military CRNA is to start applying for CRNA schools once you have a year of ICU experience.  At the same time, contact military healthcare recruiters (see each branch's website) to research options for getting your school paid for.

Options:

1. With 1 year of ICU experience, you are eligible for HPSP.  That gives you a stipend to attend a civilian school and pays for your tuition in return for an active duty service obligation (probably 4-6 years).  

2. You can go to a civilian CRNA program and take-out federally backed loans (no private loans from a bank).  Graduate, contact a recruiter, and then ask about the active duty health professions loan repayment program (ADHPLRP) and accession bonuses (sign-on bonuses) to pay back loans retroactively.  Taking both of these together would incur a 6 year active duty service commitment.

3. Once you have 1 year of experience, apply to one of the active duty military CRNA programs: USAGPAN (Army/VA-Baylor) or USUHS (Air Force/Navy/USPHS).  If you get in, you get paid as an active duty officer while in school.  Then you owe 5 years of active duty service upon graduation.

4. Commission as an active duty ICU nurse, work for 2 years at your first base, and apply to one of the active duty CRNA programs (USAGPAN or USUHS) I just mentioned.

 

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lervin has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in RN, BSN, Trauma ICU/ED.

2 Posts; 120 Profile Views

Thank you jfratian, I appreciate all of the info!

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HappyCCRN1 has 6 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Burn and Surgical/Trauma ICU.

56 Posts; 739 Profile Views

I will second the above in regards to your CRNA goal. 

I'm not at all familiar with military options, but in civilian world, ground or flight transport will typically require a bare minimum of 3 years experience (in ED or ICU). CRNA requires 1 year of ICU experience (but most people will get in with >3 years).

I started a new job doing critical care and trauma ground transport as I was applying to schools, and the director for one of the programs urged me to stay in the ICU until the start of the program. Point is that almost every single school will not view flight as an equivalent to ICU or critical care experience, so you should think about which route you ultimately want to take. 

Again, I am not sure if my above statements apply to the military CRNA programs.

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