Jump to content

Air Force nursing

Government   (932 Views | 4 Replies)

78 Profile Views; 1 Post

Hello all! I’m new here. I’ve been an RN for almost 8 years.. a total of 2.5 years ER (6 months in trauma ER), 1 year in pediatric nursing, and the rest of the time has been in OB (postpartum, ante partum, and nursery). My husband and I are considering looking into the Air Force. I have my BSN so I would be an officer. So a few questions.. 

1) would I have trouble finding a position in Air Force OB? 
2) what is the possibility of deployment of working OB? 
3) how long are deployments working as a nurse in the air Force? 
4) how does vacation time work?

any other information is appreciated as well.. like I said, we just started looking into it so I’m picking other peoples brains about what the Air Force is like before talking with a recruiter.

thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1,362 Posts; 12,263 Profile Views

They are still taking new OB nurses, but all branches are slowly planning to phase-out active duty slots for pediatrics, OB, NICU, and other non-operationally related specialties.  Nobody knows the time-frame for this, but it will eventually happen.  Currently, nurses in these areas deploy as either adult med-surg nurses or in some sort of outpatient medical support role.  So you will very likely deploy...just not as an OB nurse.

You accrue 2.5 days per month of vacation (leave).  You get unlimited sick time, but are forced to use military healthcare to receive it.

I predict these phased-out specialties will eventually be routed to med-surg or outpatient clinics.  Unless that suits you, I would look at getting back into the ER if the military is a true priority for you.  Otherwise, go to USAjobs.gov and you'll find plenty of civilian OB RN jobs in federal facilities.

Edited by jfratian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bratapfel has 6 years experience.

7 Posts; 43 Profile Views

Definitely recommend talking to a health professions recruiter for all AIR FORCE questions and anyone in the AF for NURSING questions. 

 

1. They are indeed phasing out AD OB nurses (kind of) however I don't think you would have a problem commissioning as one. It is a path that new air force nurses can take however so it may be SLIGHTLY more competitive, but with that experience... I think it would be pretty easy.

 

2. OB nurses do deploy but you might not be in a OB setting. I could be wrong but I do think they can stick you in a clinic. Maybe an AD OB nurse can chime in here.

3. Deployments vary depending on your job but typically nurses deploy for 6mos at a time. It would change if you were on a team such as GST, CCATT, or some other special task team. 

4. Vacation is as above 2.5 days a month. It depends on your unit staffing, policy, etc. but sometimes it isn't the easiest to use leave. Everyone's results may vary here. You also can NOT call in, you typically HAVE to go to the ER and get seen and they decide if you can work or not. 

 

5. It should also be noted that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to switch specialities within your first years. If you come in as an OB nurse, be prepared to be an OB nurse for a few years. There's no changing floors, specialities becuase you are burnt out, tired, or want change. 

 

If you come in as OB.. it's going to be pretty difficult to switch from OB to something else. Also, if you come in as ED it will be almost impossible to switch to something else also. ICU/ED are critically manned so once you get that identifier it's very difficult to go somewhere else except maybe flight nursing.

 

6. With all your experience (they cut your years in half) you should come in as a capain (o-3). You can look up pay tables for a captain with <1 year for your pay. It may seem pretty low but it rises drastically when you get your BAH/BAS (housing/food allowance) added on, but that changes with zip code.

 

Not sure of your financial status but there's loan repayment programs you can get when you commission or if you come in as ED with your certification they are offering 6yr contract with 35k a year additional to your pay (210k total). That's a big chunk of money. Med-surg can get 4yr with 20k a year (80k total). I don't think there's any bonus for OB nurses but i'm not 100% sure.

 

Source: Am a Med-Surg (MSU in AF) nurse about to go to the ICU fellowship in January.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dad_RN is a ASN, LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg.

3 Posts; 153 Profile Views

On 12/22/2019 at 12:52 AM, Bratapfel said:

Definitely recommend talking to a health professions recruiter for all AIR FORCE questions and anyone in the AF for NURSING questions. 

 

1. They are indeed phasing out AD OB nurses (kind of) however I don't think you would have a problem commissioning as one. It is a path that new air force nurses can take however so it may be SLIGHTLY more competitive, but with that experience... I think it would be pretty easy.

 

2. OB nurses do deploy but you might not be in a OB setting. I could be wrong but I do think they can stick you in a clinic. Maybe an AD OB nurse can chime in here.

3. Deployments vary depending on your job but typically nurses deploy for 6mos at a time. It would change if you were on a team such as GST, CCATT, or some other special task team. 

4. Vacation is as above 2.5 days a month. It depends on your unit staffing, policy, etc. but sometimes it isn't the easiest to use leave. Everyone's results may vary here. You also can NOT call in, you typically HAVE to go to the ER and get seen and they decide if you can work or not. 

 

5. It should also be noted that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to switch specialities within your first years. If you come in as an OB nurse, be prepared to be an OB nurse for a few years. There's no changing floors, specialities becuase you are burnt out, tired, or want change. 

 

If you come in as OB.. it's going to be pretty difficult to switch from OB to something else. Also, if you come in as ED it will be almost impossible to switch to something else also. ICU/ED are critically manned so once you get that identifier it's very difficult to go somewhere else except maybe flight nursing.

 

6. With all your experience (they cut your years in half) you should come in as a capain (o-3). You can look up pay tables for a captain with <1 year for your pay. It may seem pretty low but it rises drastically when you get your BAH/BAS (housing/food allowance) added on, but that changes with zip code.

 

Not sure of your financial status but there's loan repayment programs you can get when you commission or if you come in as ED with your certification they are offering 6yr contract with 35k a year additional to your pay (210k total). That's a big chunk of money. Med-surg can get 4yr with 20k a year (80k total). I don't think there's any bonus for OB nurses but i'm not 100% sure.

 

Source: Am a Med-Surg (MSU in AF) nurse about to go to the ICU fellowship in January.

Quick Question for you. I have been searching for an AF Nurse to talk to for a bit. 

I did 9 years in the Marine Corps, I am starting my RN-BSN in April and hope to finish by October 2021. I have worked Med Surg for approx 5 years, I am wanting to go in as a Clinical Nurse, in to Med Surg. I have studied up on AF knowledge, interview process, and all that good stuff. My wife wants to know how deployments work for Clinical Nurses. Do they go to other base hospitals overseas on a rotation? Or is it truly a deployment like i did in the USMC? Desert and all? She knows deployments are a part of the Military life, she'd just like to get a better understanding of what to expect. Thanks in advance for any information.

Dad_RN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1,362 Posts; 12,263 Profile Views

AF clinical nurses generally do not go to true FOBs in austere environments.  The most 'austere' you'll get in that role is Bagram in Afghanistan...a dangerous but somewhat secure deployment location with a lot of amenities and resources.  Common other deployments for AF clinical nurses are Al Udeid, Qatar, Al Jaber, Kuwait, and Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.  They are so safe, you don't even get IDF/HFP at most of them (besides Bagram).

AF ICU and ER nurses especially can and do go to true FOBs in the middle of nowhere.  ICU/ER nurses can operate as a member of air evac teams (CCATT, TCCET), ground surgical teams (GST), and special operations surgical teams (SOST).

There are hospitals overseas (OCONUS) in Europe and Asia...generally very small, but those are treated as full PCSs.  Your family can typically come with you (except for Turkey and Korea).

 

-deployed recently as an AF ICU nurse

Edited by jfratian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.