Published Jun 26, 2009
I am a new graduate nursing student waiting to take my boards next week. I have strongly considered joining the Air Force Nurse Corps and have begun my application process (processed through Meps) and am medically qualified. Anyways I am still struggling with whether this is the right career choice for me and could use any and all advice on this matter. I feel that I would find nursing most fulfilling if I were caring for those in the armed forces, what I consider our nation's heroes, though this may sound cliche.
Can anyone tell me what the nurse transition program is like? What happens if you don't pass? What is COT like and again, what happens if you don't pass? What is nursing like in the Air Force? What is military life like and would anyone consider this a great opportunity?
Additionally what are deployments like and what is it like to leave your loved ones behind?
I have so many questions and would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thank you for taking the time to read my post :).
athena55, BSN, RN
I am not in the Air Force, but I am an Army Nurse.
I can tell you that making the decision to initially put my packet forth to become an Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, Reserves was the second best decision I had ever made.
My first best decision I made was going over to the Active side of the house.
I am appreciated and respected for what I know and who I am (rank-wise)
I have yet to witness any of the drama that I saw or was a witness to while a civilian. Just doesn't happen, at least in the Army Nurse Corps.
Sure there are rules and regs but they are there for a reason (just like any society must have certain rules of behavior)
Officers Basic Leadership Course (OBLC) wasn't all that bad. I think I would have enjoyed it and understood it more if I had come up "through the ranks" as Enlisted first, but that is just me.
When I went through OBLC, no one didn't pass, per se....Except perhaps for the few of us who didn't pass their diagnostic APFT....Then we had 90 days to lose either the weight or pass the PT and then you would get your OBLC diploma. Without passing OBLC you can not get promoted, go overseas or go to any short courses.
When you are active duty you still will have do pass your PT (which, for the Army is given twice/year) If you don't pass, depending upon your Company CMDR you will have mandatory PT until the next record PT is taken
Working in the MEDCEN: usually 12 hour shifts (unless you work in the clinics). Once you raise your right hand and take the Oath you are government property. You would be expected to drop everything and come in if there were a MASCAL, for example. You wouldn't be able to say, "Gee, sorry MAJ I have a date" when told to stay over. You will be "volun-told" to be on certain committees or to head up special projects and you will do so.
You will PCS q 2-3 years, so if you have a family they will PCS with you, possibly to areas or States you would rather not "move to"
Deployments are now usually 9-12 months in total unless you volunteer or are asked to stay longer.
Hard to leave your loved ones behind especially if they can't make the move (PCS) with you. Very difficult, especially if they didn't understand your reasoning for going into the Army in the first place All I am saying is: it would be nicer if you had the FULL support of your family.
Speaking for the Army, if I wanted I could request to go to different educational conferences/lectures. Education is a big deal in the Army and I suspect for all the different branches
Good luck in your Boards and good luck with your application for the AFNC!
By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X