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Airforce Nurses

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by bganseveld bganseveld (New) New

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I am feeling pulled towards joining the military after I graduate nursing school with my second degree Master of Science in Nursing. I will not have this degree until March of next year, but I really want to gain more insight into which branch is the best in regards to pay, benefits, tuition reimbursement after going to school, and family life with 3 kids. Does anyone know anything about these things? Also, would the reserves be a better option for me? I like the idea of moving and exploring the world in active duty, while serving as a nurse. My kids will be 3.5 years old, 1.5 years old, and 2 months old when I officially graduate. I have heard controversial information on if they would let me join having 3 dependents and a husband (who is a veteran). I have always wanted to work in the NICU when I graduate, but would the military allow this as a new nurse? Which type of nurse would I be more likely to be when I first graduate? Thank you!

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Silverdragon102 has 31 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

7 Followers; 1 Article; 38,952 Posts; 143,474 Profile Views

Moved to the Government/Military forum

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jfratian has 7 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

1,330 Posts; 11,960 Profile Views

So, you did a direct entry MSN and have no RN experience? No, the AF will not let you do NICU as a new grad. You will almost certainly being doing inpatient med-surg for the first 2 years; then they will let you do something else. A very small number of new grad nurses are allowed to do OR or OB. Everything else is off limits to them.

Keep in mind only a few bases/locations have NICU, so you do severely limit your options to 3 bases if you do NICU.

You are certainly able to be an active duty nurse regardless of your family size, and that won't be held against you. You will be forced to deploy and leave them behind potentially as often as 6 months out of every 24 month period. I'm not really sure what NICU nurses do when they deploy; it's a very small group of people and I've never met one. My guess is that they would be doing adult ICU.

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3 Posts; 128 Profile Views

Thank you for your response. Do you know how many years of NICU experience they like in order to be in that field? Additionally, which bases have NICU? Where are the bases for inpatient medsurg and what does a day in the life of a medsurg nurse look like? Do you know any helpful information about reserves as a new nurse? Any tuition bonuses available for active duty or reserves?

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jfratian has 7 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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1 year of full time RN experience is required at minimum to qualify for any of the specialties, such as ER or ICU. Ultimately, the decision to award you a specialty code is to a large extent at the discretion of the specialty consultant you interview with. A lot of times they don't like small, community hospital ICUs. To have your best shot, you need to get level 4 NICU. I'm really drawing a blank on where the NICUs are. I think there are 3: I know one is in Japan and I think one is in San Antonio, TX.

Med-surg exists at Lakenheath (England), Landsuhl (Germany), Elmendorf (Anchorage, AK), SAMMC (San Antonio, TX), Travis (Fairfield, CA), Eglin (Pensacola, FL), Langley (Langley, VA), Wright Patterson (Dayton, OH), Nellis (Las Vegas), and Keesler (Biloxi, MS).

Bonuses change all the time. You need to ask a recruiter.

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