Flight Nursing in Air Force Reserves

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Bravodeltaj

Bravodeltaj, BSN

Specializes in ICU/ER. Has 12 years experience. 10 Posts

For those of you who are already flight nurses in the reserves:

  • How do the benefits look like?
    • Do you get full medical, dental, vision being in the reserves?
    • Investment/Retirement accounts?
    • What other benefits are there?
  • After being deemed “qualified”, and it may have taken you longer than expected (i.e. two years) do you get a lump sum of the two years worth of bonus? (If they told you $45K/year x 3 years... meaning would they give you $90K on your second year regardless if you’ve only been qualified for 1 year?
  • For deployments, how soon in advance do you know if you are getting deployed?
    • I was told a deployment could be a weekend in Germany, for instance, how far in advance would you know this?

Thanks for the info guys! Much appreciated!

As of now, I’ve finished and passed my MEPS since Sep 12th and still waiting for my interview and flight physical prior to commissioning.

Devo19

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care. Has 8 years experience. 169 Posts

16 hours ago, oneile said:

Good Afternoon,

I have received quite a bit of information for someone trying to enter the flight nursing reserve position. If anyone could address the deployment and time away from home part. I am aware that I will have time away from my kids but I am trying to just kind of plan and prepare of what the expectations / realization actually is.

From what I can decipher from the thread, it looks like the 1 st year is all about school / training and getting qualified - once that is completed its the 120 days of Flight time at the unit which I gather is AD time - Im trying to plan for the amount of time away from work and away from family. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Deployments for flight nurses last only 4 months and it is a volunteer basis (at least at our squadron). Depends on where you deploy to but technology is pretty good so internet calling/FaceTime should be an issue.

Yes, you will be placed on Active Duty orders for schools and the 120 days of flying after you are qualified.

oneile

oneile

Specializes in Acute Care NP. Has 15 years experience. 2 Posts

Thank you .... that's what I have been told (4-6 mos) deployments every 18-24 mos and for the most part are volunteer basis - after initial flying qualification/training it is about 50 days per year instead of the 38 (weekend a month/2weeks a year) knowing that to keep flying status is more often.

My other question was in regards to incentive pays - meaning flight pay and such - is that included during reserve weekends - what all is included in flight pay?

I know its hard to get an idea of how things will work but im trying to piece as much together as possible in order to prepare for what I can.... hopefully! ?

Thank you again for answering questions!

marcieD.

marcieD.

Has 1 years experience. 23 Posts

My unit just made their deployments no longer voluntary, anyone that’s qualified is now going. You don’t get your bonus until you’re fully qualified. Flight lag is exactly that, you have to be flying, not just at drill weekend.

You have the 12 drills a year, 15 AT days a year you have to use. All of that probably won’t keep you flying, as not everyone can fly every drill weekend. There’s not flights every weekend and there’s a limit to the number of people who can go. Most flights are on the weekends that aren’t drill as well, so you spend a lot of weekends there.

Devo19

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care. Has 8 years experience. 169 Posts

On 10/1/2019 at 6:52 PM, jbar3 said:

For those of you who are already flight nurses in the reserves:

  • How do the benefits look like?
    • Do you get full medical, dental, vision being in the reserves?
    • Investment/Retirement accounts?
    • What other benefits are there?

As a reservist, you can apply for Tricare Reserve (but I don't know much about it because I also work for the VA so I can't apply for it as a federal employee). TSP is a great retirement plan and they match. I'm not sure about the specifics but its better than a 401(k). After being on long orders (to become qualified) you can apply for TA (tuition assistance) and Post 9/11 GI Bill for education.

  • After being deemed “qualified”, and it may have taken you longer than expected (i.e. two years) do you get a lump sum of the two years worth of bonus? (If they told you $45K/year x 3 years... meaning would they give you $90K on your second year regardless if you’ve only been qualified for 1 year?

After becoming qualified, you will receive two payments at once and the final bonus the year after.

  • For deployments, how soon in advance do you know if you are getting deployed?
    • I was told a deployment could be a weekend in Germany, for instance, how far in advance would you know this?

My squadron starts will starting asking people about deploying a year in advanced. I knew that far before but didn't get my orders until 11/2018 and deployed 5/2019. There are some short falls that people can fill which is a quick turnaround and short notice. Our squadron CAN NOT make you deploy! You are not active duty so it is asked not told.

Thanks for the info guys! Much appreciated!

As of now, I’ve finished and passed my MEPS since Sep 12th and still waiting for my interview and flight physical prior to commissioning.

Devo19

Devo19, BSN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care. Has 8 years experience. 169 Posts

On 10/2/2019 at 1:19 PM, oneile said:

Thank you .... that's what I have been told (4-6 mos) deployments every 18-24 mos and for the most part are volunteer basis - after initial flying qualification/training it is about 50 days per year instead of the 38 (weekend a month/2weeks a year) knowing that to keep flying status is more often.

Depends on your unit. Mine just switched from every two years to every year and it is on a volunteer basis. You can be a flyer who only flies on drill weekends or you can fly all the time, it is whatever you want to do. I fly a mission one weekend a month and attend drill another week.

My other question was in regards to incentive pays - meaning flight pay and such - is that included during reserve weekends - what all is included in flight pay?

To be honest, I haven't received flight pay in a like two years so I can't really answer that lol

I know its hard to get an idea of how things will work but im trying to piece as much together as possible in order to prepare for what I can.... hopefully! ?

Thank you again for answering questions!

Jer Lightrings, BSN

Specializes in Med/surg cardiac, trauma, psych nurse. Has 10 years experience. 4 Posts

Quick question, I know this thread is old...but I just submitted my application alongside with all the other documents my recruiter sent to me to fill out. How long was the process to get in? Unfortunately I would not be able to make flight nurse because I'm a shortie. Any words of wisdom from those who are in the air force reserves?

mcaselogic

mcaselogic

Specializes in ID. Has 6 years experience. 79 Posts

On 11/22/2019 at 6:09 AM, Jer Lightrings said:

Quick question, I know this thread is old...but I just submitted my application alongside with all the other documents my recruiter sent to me to fill out. How long was the process to get in? Unfortunately I would not be able to make flight nurse because I'm a shortie. Any words of wisdom from those who are in the air force reserves?

In one word, patience. It took me 2 years to finally get in for the Reserve. It seems a bit discouraging but hang on if it's what you really want. It took me 4 months to get to MEPS, 3-4 months after that for flight physical because I too did not meet the height. Then from there I had to wait a while to get a base to accept me in Florida. Hope that helps. Good luck.

Jer Lightrings, BSN

Specializes in Med/surg cardiac, trauma, psych nurse. Has 10 years experience. 4 Posts

Thank you for the insight. But my biggest worry is the age cut off. I'm located here in southern California and there nearest a.f.b is March. It really took 2 years? Wow.

Bravodeltaj

Bravodeltaj, BSN

Specializes in ICU/ER. Has 12 years experience. 10 Posts

I’m also here in SoCal waiting for March AFB to get back to me for flight physical. I did my MEPS beginning of September, been following up and waiting for a response.

Jer Lightrings, BSN

Specializes in Med/surg cardiac, trauma, psych nurse. Has 10 years experience. 4 Posts

When did you start the process? Was your recruiter in contact with you? Or do you recommend I bug him?

Hello everyone! I understand this thread is old..but can anyone explain the process post interview and flight physical? Is it just a waiting game? I’ve been told that my interview with the chief nurse went well and the offer is ready to be signed once flight physical results have processed. Flight physical was completed and passed all areas..just waiting for the lab results and not sure what happens from this point forward.

Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Edited by Nomadic_Nurse