Enlighten me please!

Specialties Government

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  • Specializes in GYN/GON/Med-Surg/Oncology/Tele.

Okay, I was recently accepted to an ADN program. I'll start this August. For about 3 years I've been considering joining the air force but as an officer. I've read on their website that you have to have a BSN in order to go in as a healthcare commissioned officer. So, a semester after I graduate, I plan to enroll in a RN-BSN program and complete it in a year. My goal is to join the Air Force by 2013. I will be 30 years old.

Basically, I'm wondering what should I do in the mean time. I'm slightly overweight so I know I'd need to drop a few lbs before trying to join but after talking to someone who recently retired from the Air Force, I was told they'd work with you to lose the weight. Although, I'm hoping I can drop the 70 or so lbs sometime over the next 4 years.

If you don't mind sharing, how was your experience in the Air Force as a nurse. Would you recommend me joining as an enlisted after getting my ADN and then letting them pay for me to get my BSN? Like is that even possible, would they allow me to work as a nurse with my ADN? How long does it usually take to get commissioned from enlisted to an officer or does it vary. If going in with an ADN and a previous Bachelor's degree in "IT" would I automatically have rank?

Any and all suggestions or comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks,

Tiff

allnurses Guide

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

5,125 Posts

Specializes in Anesthesia.
Okay, I was recently accepted to an ADN program. I'll start this August. For about 3 years I've been considering joining the air force but as an officer. I've read on their website that you have to have a BSN in order to go in as a healthcare commissioned officer. So, a semester after I graduate, I plan to enroll in a RN-BSN program and complete it in a year. My goal is to join the Air Force by 2013. I will be 30 years old.

Basically, I'm wondering what should I do in the mean time. I'm slightly overweight so I know I'd need to drop a few lbs before trying to join but after talking to someone who recently retired from the Air Force, I was told they'd work with you to lose the weight. Although, I'm hoping I can drop the 70 or so lbs sometime over the next 4 years.

If you don't mind sharing, how was your experience in the Air Force as a nurse. Would you recommend me joining as an enlisted after getting my ADN and then letting them pay for me to get my BSN? Like is that even possible, would they allow me to work as a nurse with my ADN? How long does it usually take to get commissioned from enlisted to an officer or does it vary. If going in with an ADN and a previous Bachelor's degree in "IT" would I automatically have rank?

Any and all suggestions or comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks,

Tiff

1. You definitively need to lose the weight. The AF is currently making their recruiting goals and is highly unlikely to work with you on any weight issues coming into the AF.

2. I absolutely don't recommend coming in as enlisted and then trying to become an officer. It would literally take you years to convert to being an officer while trying to take classes etc. You wouldn't even be allowed to take classes as an enlisted member until after basic training, technical training, and achieving your 5 level training which could take up to 2yrs and after all that it would still be up to your supervisor to let you take classes or not.

3. ADN to BSN usually only takes a year after your prereqs are done. I would recommend finding a job in a speciality area that you like and working during that time. The AF will give 1/2 credit towards rank for your RN experience so the time won't be a total loss.

jeckrn, BSN, RN

1,868 Posts

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR.

Have to agree with wtbc, you need to start losing the weight now inorder to lose it safely. As far as enlisted you might what to explorer doing reserves while in school, I do not know if it is diffucult to go enlsited reserves to active officer in the AF. if it is like the Army or Navy it will not be a problem. Not only will this give you some ensite on how the AF works but will give you some TIS (time in service) which will help increase your base pay once you go active. I do not if a BSN program is close but with it going to take you 4 years anyway you might want to look at transfering in to a BSN program after 1 semester of the ADN program. Understand if there is a long commute etc. because the option you are doing is the only one in my area for someone who is working. Good luck

markisrn

64 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Family Medicine, Urgent Care.

Just a thought here. I have been an ADN nurse for 12 + years. I recently commissioned into the the Army Reserves as a 1st LT. I am in the STRAP program where the ARMY pays me a stipend of 1905.00 per month to complete my BSN and I have the Healthcare Loan Repayment plan where they are paying back the student loans I took out to get my ADN. In a year, I will have my BSN and have had it paid for while getting some cash along the way. The Airforce reserve doesn't let you go in as an ADN that I know of, but you could do this, give the Army 3 years (you will owe them 1 year for every 6 months of STRAP) and then switch to the Airforce. Good Luck

jeckrn, BSN, RN

1,868 Posts

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR.

If you do STRAP and want to go active check to see if the comment is reserves only. When I checked into it several years ago the pay back time was in the reserves since this is for nurses in th reserves to get their BSN. This info came from the department at HRC which runs the program. Like everything else it is subject to change.

By the way Army nursing is not that bad. Even thou I am Army I would advise you to speak to the Army & Navy along with the AF.

markisrn

64 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Family Medicine, Urgent Care.

Jeckrn,

You are correct, the payback time is in the reserves, but I was thinking that the time in the reserves as and officer would be a better choice than going enlisted first as was mentioned earlier. He would have 3 years minimum in the reserves.

Year one while getting BSN (doesn't count against your payback) getting stipend here.

Year two counts against payback

Year three counts against payback.

As always check with a recruiter, but this is a possible option.

MotivatedOne

366 Posts

Specializes in GYN/GON/Med-Surg/Oncology/Tele.

Thanks for all of the advice. I tried the BSN route but wasn't accepted for the ABSN program I applied to so I opted for the ADN route. I can no longer get loans and can't afford the pricey tuition that comes with the BSN program. I could have probably tried to get scholarships but didn't even bother. With my ADN I'm looking at no more than about 4000 for both years. My current employer will pay half of that.

All of my prereqs are completed, including those needed for a BSN so basically once I finish getting my ADN I would only have to take the nursing classes needed to get my BSN.

I bought the Michael Thurmond 6 week body makeover about 4 years ago, it really works, you just really have to be motivated to actually prepare 6 mini meals and have time to eat them.

I've joined the gym, it's just getting there that I'm having a problem with.

I think that what I'll more than likely do is just wait until after I get my BSN (giving me at least a year of experience as a RN) and then join the AF.

Again, thanks for the info and I'll be sure to contact my local health care recruiter

Take care,

Tiffany

markisrn

64 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Family Medicine, Urgent Care.

Tiffany,

I wasn't very clear, sorry about that, but I was trying to point out that the Army Reserve will let you in the Nurse Corps as an officer with an ADN, so after you get your ADN you could get in to the Army Reserve Nurse Corps and have them pay for your BSN. Pretty much what I am doing now.

Markisrn

jeckrn, BSN, RN

1,868 Posts

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR.
Jeckrn,

You are correct, the payback time is in the reserves, but I was thinking that the time in the reserves as and officer would be a better choice than going enlisted first as was mentioned earlier. He would have 3 years minimum in the reserves.

Year one while getting BSN (doesn't count against your payback) getting stipend here.

Year two counts against payback

Year three counts against payback.

As always check with a recruiter, but this is a possible option.

Cant agree with you more. If this the route that he takes, he is better off being a officer then enlisted. This is from 1st hand experience since I am a mustang officer. Enjoyed my time as a NCO but enjoy my time as an officer more.

markisrn

64 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Family Medicine, Urgent Care.

I was and NCO in the infantry, was out for 23 years, and am now back in. Wished I'd never got out. It is good to be back. The Army is lucky to have your experience Jeck. HOOAH!

MotivatedOne

366 Posts

Specializes in GYN/GON/Med-Surg/Oncology/Tele.

BTW...I'm not a "he" but a she...I'm a female :-)

I think that I will look into the whole Army Nurse Corps

Thanks!

jeckrn, BSN, RN

1,868 Posts

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR.
I was and NCO in the infantry, was out for 23 years, and am now back in. Wished I'd never got out. It is good to be back. The Army is lucky to have your experience Jeck. HOOAH!

Thanks, and we are lucky to have your experience also.

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