Jump to content

Air Force Reserves Flight Nurse Process

Specializes in ICU, Management.

Hello everyone! I am a surgical ICU nurse and I have decided to apply for the Air Force Reserves as a flight nurse. I am currently working on my MSN in management and plan to apply for CRNA school next year after I complete my MSN. I have been a nurse since '08 working in many different settings (management, ICU, clinic, etc.)

I recently submitted my paperwork, along with all of my personal documentation, to the recruiter and have an interview set for this Wednesday to set up my physical and interview with the CNO of flight nursing.

I was wondering if any one has experienced this process, recent applicants would be ideal, and would be willing to supply me with any insight that they may have?

#eagertolearnandserve

Hi! I can give you some first hand advice since I did what you are planning on/are doing right now. First thing I would like to say is make sure the command of your unit understands that you are planning to attend CRNA school. I ran into big problems when I decided to do this. Most likely they will prefer you hold off of school until you have finished all of the required training (orientation, COT, flight school, SERE, etc..). Even after you are finished with training, they may not like the thought of you in school because flight nurses are not usually like a "typical" reservist. You need to keep up to date with certs and flying hours. So at the minimum plan on attending CRNA school up to a 1 to 1.5 years after you're assigned to your unit (the time needed to finish training can vary due to certain school dates and slot available). That's IF they allow you. They may not want you to do it at all, so if you accept the 3 year bonus (if its still the same) they pretty much make the call.

Also, one of the more important things is actually passing the flight class III physical if you have not done that yet. This can make or break your goal of flying. You are still pretty early in the whole process so I would really think about your long term goals before you commit to anything.

That is everything in a nut shell for you, if you would like anymore info or advice let me know! Good luck with everything!

Edited by berms123

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

*berms123

Thanks for the insight. I have taken into consideration most of the things you mentioned above regarding CRNA school. I do not plan to apply until the end of next year, which would start me in the summer 2018. I have been a military spouse, my husband is a retired officer after 24 years, and a previous DoD employee so I am completely aware as to the hurdles that command can bring. I am aware that I will have to get approval from command to even attend the school, and honestly I am in no rush to attend CRNA school but if accepted I would be willing to go.

My real desire at this time is to serve. I have never had any medical conditions, beside giving birth to my sons and being allergic to shrimp and latex. I took the time to read as much as I could of AFI48-123 to gain as much insight as I could regarding the exam. I have had workups done with my MD to screen for about anything we could think of before me making the decision to join. So my question is, what can you can tell me regarding the Class III flight physical? What portion of the physical do you believe would pose a problem, the hyperbaric chamber?

Thank you for taking the time to provide whatever information you will provide!!

That is great that you have an understanding of all of that. That is something I did not do and wish I had. As in regards to the flight class III, I was not trying to make you worried. It was nothing "physically" that I would worry about. It was just a long, extensive exam and I was told by others that it is pretty much the barrier between people being able to fly or not. Specifically, it is just way more in depth than your typical MEPS physical. I can't really think of anything specifically that would disqualify you, especially since you have seemed to cover your bases. There is a lot of info on the web talking about class III because its pretty widely used by most flyers.

If you have anything else you would like to know, let me know!

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

*BERM123

Any information that you could provide that you believe would be useful would be much appreciated!

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

Hey bsuciu I just spoke with my recruiter (texted 2 days ago) who just came off leave, again lol! So he informed me that he has already sent up my scroll after our last appointment and we are still waiting for that. He said that he received my transcripts for my BSN and that my medical records have been sent to the CMO for review. He says that I should receive word of my physical this coming week for my physical.

*(A little inside information) I think that my recruiter tells me that he is going to be on leave for a week only because he doesn't like the fact that I am very persistent and ask a lot of questions. So if he tells me again before I get my actual physical that he is going on leave I am just going to show up at his office (which is about 20 minutes away) and see if he was telling me the truth.

My recruiter, because of a little bit of miscommunication, told me that he supports 70% of Texas alone and that is why I sometimes don't get replies for a day or two. He said with the reserves process, there are no boards and after the face to face interview with the CNO you could know within 24 to 48 hours if you are "hired". I have already scheduled a text for Tuesday April 26th at 0900 to question the status of my physical. Don't get discouraged "bsuciu", just stay focused and keep everyone posted. I will be sure to let everyone know if I make any progress in this process. :-)

Hi just a quick question, do you know if every AF base has flight nurses drilling? and is it true that is more than a weekend a month of drill for flight nurses because you need to maintain flying hours. thanks

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

*gilversplace

I am not sure about rather or not every AF base has flight nurse drilling. I wouldn't see why they wouldn't as long as it is an AF base and not like an Army base or something. I can ask my Recruiter just to verify for you. And yes it is true that reserves flight nurses have to do two weekends per month, once week of basic and one week of flight training.

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care.

Hello Everyone!

I am a SICU RN at the Indianapolis VAMC and I am currently in the process of applying to the Air Force Reserves to become a flight nurse. I would be based out of Wright-Patterson AFB. Just wanted to give a insight on my timeline.

4/2015 - Submitted Paperwork to Recruited

7/2015 - MEPS

9/2015 - Interview with Lt. Col.

11/2015 - Flight Physical

As of right now, I'm waiting to be commissioned...just basically a waiting game. Medical issues (i.e. Lasik eye surgery and paperwork) are the main set back since they want ALL of the paperwork.

Hope this helps...

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

Thanks Vona86 for that valuable information. Thus far my timeline is:

28 March 16: Initial Recruiter contact

6 April 16: First appointment w/ Recruiter (sign docs)

8 April 16: Scroll sent up

11 April 16: All paperwork turned in

4 May 16 (future): MEPS physical

My Recruiter days that the flight nurse CNO here is very punctual and likes to get things done quickly. He states that she likes to get her interviews completed within a week of the applicant passing the MEPS physical, so I am hopeful that I get that step completed soon after. He also states that she generally only takes 24 to 48 hours to make her determination of rather or not the individual is "hired".

Vona86, I'm curious as to how the flight physical went? What does it entail? Everyone seems to make it seem like it is intense, can you provide insight to your experience (possible timeline of your day)?

Thanks!

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care.

It is definitely a long day. I had to report to the medical clinic around 8am (and I live about two hours away) so the base has a hotel that I was able to spend the night at. I was at the clinic at 8am. They took my vitals, a EKG, another hearing test (but I think this is more intensive than MEPS), vision test (with more dimensions such as color and dilation), a physical with the MD (more than MEPS), A LOT of blood work and than dental (not too intensive..more to check the health and to see if you have most of your teeth). It was a long day!

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

Thankfully for me (blessed), I have never had any medical issues where I have been hospitalized besides the birth of my children. I kind of have OCD when it comes to my health so I keep a strict regiment regarding dentistry & medical check up and interventions. I recently had a complete blood panel performed, OB/GYN, and dental examinations performed about two months ago, so I know my current health status.

Von86 do you know when your scroll was sent up? I am just curious as to the timeframe for approval from SecDef? Where there any issues that delayed your process? I have noticed the trend with various areas of the US having a delay in the process. I guess in my case, being 20 minutes from my recruiter's office helps with me pushing the process forward. But my recruiter states that the approval from SecDef could take about 6 months before it comes down, so that is why the scroll was sent up as quickly as possible.

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care.

It's nice having all of my records electronically so I was able to just email them to my recruiter...which all of my paperwork was through email. I also don't have any medical issues and don't take any medication so it was pretty easy but they do require you to get all medical records especially surgical. I had shoulder and LASIK surgery so I had get that BUT they did almost DQ me for a sprained ankle (I wasn't hospitalized but it was at work so they had a workers compensation report on it).

What exactly do is the "scroll"?

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

The scroll is the paperwork that is sent to the Secretary of Defense with all of your information to be reviewed and approved for your commissioning. Apparently it is the part of the process that takes the longest, which is why my recruiter says that it is the first thing that he does when starting the process. Why would they DQ you for a sprained ankle? Do you have residual issues from it?

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care.

I'm not sure about that. I would wonder if they would approve it before letting you go to MEPS.

I played volleyball since high school so I can literally walk on the side of my feet lol. They only reason they may have was because it was documented through the VAMC where I work

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

Yeah that was my initial thought as well, but unlike the AD route things are done differently. Recruiter states that he has seen scrolls come back between 1 week and 6 months. I actually had the opportunity to speak to an active reservist who had his scroll come back after 2 1/2 weeks, before he even had his MEPS appointment.

I trust my recruiter, he has been honest about things that could have turned me away (negatively affecting his recruitment numbers). I just hope the process goes as smooth and quickly as it has been thus far. I mean it hasn't even been a month and I am already almost done with everything. Optimism for me is important!! Patience is not one of my strongest virtues lol!!

#HURRYUPANDWAIT :nailbiting:

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care.

Exactly! Hurry up and wait. It's been longer than a year for me so I hope to hear something next month...

Edited by Vona86
Spelling

That would be great if you could ask your recruiter coz im in florida and the nearest af base is 60 miles and im not sure if they have flight nurses in there

mrs27smith

Specializes in ICU, Management.

*gilversplace

Just texted my Recruiter with your question and this was his response:

Not all bases have C-5s or C-17s. That's the type of aircraft that flight nurse fly aboard to care for patients.

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care.

MEPS is a longer process that the Flight Physical due to the fact that everyone locally will go through this process. I was prompted to get there early BUT since they found out that I will be going in as a commissioned officer they bumped me past everyone (so definitely let the know). The go through your medical history, eye, vision, urine test, blood work and the classic "walk like a duck" routine.

×

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.

OK