Published Jul 1, 2009
I am considering joining the air force as a nurse and I have been told that all slots are full for student loan repayment for this fiscal year (2009). But that the bonus is still available.
I know the new fiscal year starts October of this year. However, my recruiter says that he has heard that there will be no bonus or student loan repayment because of the economy and that they over-did the amt of nurses that they accepted last year. Does any of that sound accurate?
I am also told that I need to give a definitive yes or no on whether I want to join the Air Force before he will even enter my application into the system. He says if I go through the process of getting accepted and then turn it down, then I wasted 4 AFB's time and money.
I am uncomfortable with giving a yes to this before I even get the opportunity to find out about student loan repayment & bonuses for the next fiscal year and before I even find out if I am accepted.
He says if I want to wait to hear about that, it will be December before he knows anything about student loan repayment and then he can enter my app.
Does any of this sound accurate?? Just curious b/c I have no other sources.
FarawaySoClose, BSN, DNP, RN
I was originally applying to the Air Force a few months ago before I decided to go with the Navy; I can tell you that it felt like my Air Force recruiter was kind of pushing for an absolute committment too. I have to say though that you have a choice up until you take the oath; to expect you to give a definitive answer right away is ludicrous. Yes, you're taking up time and resources but that's what those resources are in place for; I suspect that this is more of a problem with your taking up his time because as a recruiter it's more beneficial to him to be able to focus strictly on those he knows he can get to commit, keep in mind it's his job to recruit you. You're essentially applying for a job and should be allowed to keep your options open especially if they aren't going to offer you some sort of incentive package like this recruiter seems to be suggesting. On that note: he is correct to say that they are done with loan repayments for his fiscal year but to say that there won't be sign-on bonuses or loan repayments for fiscal next year doesn't sound accurate I would find another source in the Air Force to ask about his. Waiting until December also seems iffy because loan repayments may all be taken by then.
I'll admit the primary reason why I chose to apply to the Navy rather than the Air Force was that I felt pressured to make my decision ASAP with the Air Force much like you are being pressured by this recruiter. My experience with the Navy recruiter has been completely different; she actually told me I should apply to both the Navy and Air Force to keep my options open.
If you like I can give you the phone number for the recruiter in Arizona that I spoke with. He may be able to clarify what is happening with sign-on bonuses and loan repayments for next fiscal year.
Is it rude or impossible to ask for a different recruiter?
I would assume you could find a new recruiter especially if you haven't already signed anything; if not in your town maybe in a near-by town. Sure, your current recruiter may not be too happy, he has invested time in your already and recruiters work hard and invest many hours in the process, but if you believe that he isn't doing a good job... well this is your future on the line not his. Just bear in mind the next recruiter you get may tell you the same things so it's always good to ask them a few questions first over the phone before meeting in person.
carolinapooh, BSN, RN
The number of USAF Health Professions recruiters is limited, and these folks are the only ones who can help you get into the nursing side of the USAF. Essentially what you can do is contact the flight chief (this recruiter has an E7 or E8 who's his boss) and get straight answers from that individual. That's what I had to do. The AF is, as usual, doing "more with less"; my recruiter is responsible for 3 states.
I report to COT 19 October 2009.
Have you considered the Army Nurse Corps?
The number of USAF Health Professions recruiters is limited, and these folks are the only ones who can help you get into the nursing side of the USAF. Essentially what you can do is contact the flight chief (this recruiter has an E7 or E8 who's his boss) and get straight answers from that individual. That's what I had to do. The AF is, as usual, doing "more with less"; my recruiter is responsible for 3 states.I report to COT 19 October 2009.
I didn't realize you were reporting to COT in Oct......I may also.....if my Chief of Nursing Interview was good enough Still no word from the recruiter
The Little Greek
I am also told that I need to give a definitive yes or no on whether I want to join the Air Force before he will even enter my application into the system. He says if I go through the process of getting accepted and then turn it down, then I wasted 4 AFB's time and money. I am uncomfortable with giving a yes to this before I even get the opportunity to find out about student loan repayment & bonuses for the next fiscal year and before I even find out if I am accepted.He says if I want to wait to hear about that, it will be December before he knows anything about student loan repayment and then he can enter my app.Does any of this sound accurate?? Just curious b/c I have no other sources.
My advice is to press forward with your package with your current recruiter. As another person mentioned, AF healthcare recruiters are in short supply so are lucky to actually be working with someone. The fact that the recruiter put you on the spot to give a definitive "yes" or "no" should not sway your decision to put together a package. There is absolutely NO recourse if you are selected and decide that the AF is not for you. The recruiter obviously wants to work with people that are 100% committed to commissioning, but he/she cannot make you do anything you want to do. I had a friend who declined her commission to the Navy Nurse Corps after she was selected because she decided it wasn't for her. I knew another person who was accepted to the AF Nurse Corps and turned down her commission because she did not like the base they assigned her to and they refused to offer her another. Granted, neither of these two people had commissioned yet so they had the right to say "no". Now once you commission, that's a whole different story. In short, if you are accepted and decide that you don't want to do it for some reason, it's your right to say "no" as long as you have not taken your oath and signed the paperwork.
Bonus and loan repayment is always something people are concerned about. The powers that be should release that information around the beginning of the fiscal year (as you already know). If you begin your package now, it's likely that you would be submitting it to the board around the beginning of October depending on how quickly/slowly the process goes for you. I began my packet in late September, submitted it to the board in early December, and did not hear anything about my selection until March. I got both loan repayment and a bonus.
I would go ahead with everything if I were you just don't let the recruiter intimidate you. Read everything you sign and ask lots of questions! Be professional and honest with the recruiter. If he/she asks you again about your commitment to the process explain that you are exploring all of your options as you would with any other job search.
Thank you very much Little Greek.. that was probably the best advice I have recieved regarding the AF yet, I appreciate it!
The process is also so lengthy that you will have lots of time to decide. I would also agree with submit your information. If you do feel 100% commited later on and they are offering bonus,loan repayment atleast you will be finished with the appliation process.
my recruiter told me that the board is reviewing apps next week. has anyone else heard this? does anyone know how long it will take to hear back if selected?
I started my app process in June of last year and I am attending the last slot for COT in August. I was told that for the next fiscal year, it was either going to be loan repayment or bonus, not both. I don't know if that's accurate or not, but the AF isn't hurting for nurse recruits right now, so it may be.
Recruiters want a yes or no if you are serious about it because it is such a loooooooong process. They don't want to waste your time or theirs. You can go through the process, but just know if you end up getting selected and turning it down, you likely won't be picked up again at a later date.
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