Becoming a New Grad Air Force Nurse expectations


Hello! I graduate May 2014 with my BSN. I'm very interested in joining the Air Force and have in fact already started the process. So far I have only received basic information about nursing in the Air Force, meaning things anyone can read on the website. I'm interested in the nurse transition program and I was wondering if anyone can give me an insight to what the program is really all about.

Things I'm interested in knowing are:

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of joining?

2. What is the process to apply besides the application?

3. What happens after I graduate and how fast does things move?

4. Are there any trainings or test that must be completed before joining?

5. What are the opportunities for advancement and how long does it take to start moving up?

6. How long is the training for a new nurse? Where do they typically start out at? (Location)

7. How long before a new nurse gets deployed?

If anyone has any other information they would like to share, I am receptive to everything. I want a real life picture of what I'm getting into and not the fairy-tale. Thank you in advance!

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,544 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

I encourage you to search the Government/Military Nursing threads for more detailed info.

Let me be blunt with you: You are way behind the 8 ball on applying this year. Most NTP (new grads) nurses start applying roughly 1 year prior to graduation. The process of doing the paperwork, getting your medical records together, finding people to do recommendation letters (3-5 needed), MEPS (medical physical), and getting the interview done takes at least 3-4 months. You need all that done 1 month before the board meets. Usually they only take new grads once a year (sometime in July I believe), and therefore I wouldn't think there is any feasible way for you to apply for NTP this year (or ever since you can't have more than 6 months of experience to apply).

Your best bet is to get a civilian job, work for 6 months, and apply as a fully-qualified nurse.

To sum it up: AF Nursing is great for some people and not for others. It's for you if you are okay with meeting new people all the time, only seeing you parents/friends at home twice a year, staying in good shape, working 10-15hrs of unpaid overtime every 2 weeks, and contstantly completeing continuing education material. The benefits and pay are great; so is the room for career advancement (Lt Col is attainable for most with hard work).