Flight Nursing in Air Force Reserves

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RobdRN

65 Posts

Has 15 years experience.
On 10/4/2021 at 3:46 PM, jfratian said:

Yes, you can change nursing jobs in the reserves somewhat easily.  There is additional paperwork (and of course training), but you could join as a clinical nurse and switch over to flight nursing afterwards.  This would allow you to get things like the 8 weeks of COT (officer basic training) out of the way while you're waiting on your flight physical.  Flight nurses are in the AE squadron and clinical nurses are in either the AMDS or ASTS squadrons; that will add extra hoops to jump through.  I would highly recommend you do ASTS as a clinical nurse; it's in the same squadron as CCATT if you decide to go that route.  AMDS basically handles all the pre-deployment physicals on reserve weekends and don't deploy; unless you like clinic nursing I'd steer clear.

Since you are a new accession, you do want to check what your contract commits you too.  Make sure you do have the ability to cross train after a year or two.  Double check with both your recruiter and the chief nurse you interview with.

Also, just know that typically there are not accession bonuses for general clinical nurses in the reserves.  But, you wouldn't get any money until you were a fully qualified flight nurse anyway.

I'm not sure what your background is clinically, but if it's ICU or ER you could also do critical care air transport team (CCATT).  It requires a flight physical but you can fill the spot without a flight physical.  See my earlier post in this thread.  Tell your recruiter you want a 46N3E job in an ASTS squadron.

 

Hello.   

Thank you for your quick response and insight.  I am an Army Reserve Operating Room Nurse, O3/Captain.  Currently full time OR nurse civilian side.  Working on inter-service transfer to Air Force Reserve, hoping I can be a Flight Nurse and I don't have to do COT. 

I just found out that I am being schedule for interviewed with AMDS unit because I don't have Flight Physical at this time. Recruiter said there's about 2 years back log for Flight Physical. I wonder if I can request ASTS squadron vs AMDS?  I do have ER experience for almost 6 years though.  Do you know or recommendation to get in sooner for Flight Physical?  I wonder if other branch like Navy can do flight physical? 

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,528 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

It's possible that there may not be an ASTS unit near you.  AMDS medical squadrons are far more common, since every base needs one.  If you are willing to travel (travel for 46N3s is reimbursable up to $500 per drill weekend right now...everyone over 50 miles already gets free hotel), you can ask to interview with an ASTS squadron at a farther away location instead.  You won't need a physical to apply for ASTS.

I have no idea about Navy flight medicine doing flight physicals for AF flight jobs.   I have no idea about your COT requirements.  The only people I've heard getting out of COT are people who were Air Force officers in other jobs (I.e. engineer).  

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,528 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.
15 hours ago, RobdRN said:

Hello.   

Thank you for your quick response and insight.  I am an Army Reserve Operating Room Nurse, O3/Captain.  Currently full time OR nurse civilian side.  Working on inter-service transfer to Air Force Reserve, hoping I can be a Flight Nurse and I don't have to do COT. 

I just found out that I am being schedule for interviewed with AMDS unit because I don't have Flight Physical at this time. Recruiter said there's about 2 years back log for Flight Physical. I wonder if I can request ASTS squadron vs AMDS?  I do have ER experience for almost 6 years though.  Do you know or recommendation to get in sooner for Flight Physical?  I wonder if other branch like Navy can do flight physical? 

Also, you should know that you will get zero...0...time in grade (TIG) transfer between branches.  Hopefully, you just pinned on O-3 and that won't be an issue.  Otherwise, I would recommend you wait on your flight physical in the Army until you promote.

Specializes in NP / USAFR Flight Nurse.

I commissioned with an “in lieu of” which basically means pending flight physical.  I finally had it completed a year and a half after being gained at my unit LOL.  There are pros and cons to that.  I was non prior, so the time in grade didn’t affect me thankfully.

I am at FN/AEIQ now finally and I’ll be qualified roughly 2 years after commissioning.  It’s a very long process. 

RobdRN

65 Posts

Has 15 years experience.
1 hour ago, Danish said:

I commissioned with an “in lieu of” which basically means pending flight physical.  I finally had it completed a year and a half after being gained at my unit LOL.  There are pros and cons to that.  I was non prior, so the time in grade didn’t affect me thankfully.

I am at FN/AEIQ now finally and I’ll be qualified roughly 2 years after commissioning.  It’s a very long process.

 

 

Congrats.  Even tho it took couple years.  Did you sign with ALC Code?   That’s what my recruiter told me.  Clinical nurse with AMDS unit is with an  (ALC) Assignment Limitation Code. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Because I don’t have flight physical.  

I’ve been O3 for over 3 years.  It’s kinda sucks if I I have to start with zero  TIG.   I really have to think about it now.  Thanks for the info Jfratian..

RobdRN

65 Posts

Has 15 years experience.
On 10/7/2021 at 5:31 AM, jfratian said:

Also, you should know that you will get zero...0...time in grade (TIG) transfer between branches.  Hopefully, you just pinned on O-3 and that won't be an issue.  Otherwise, I would recommend you wait on your flight physical in the Army until you promote.

 

On 10/7/2021 at 5:31 AM, jfratian said:

Also, you should know that you will get zero...0...time in grade (TIG) transfer between branches.  Hopefully, you just pinned on O-3 and that won't be an issue.  Otherwise, I would recommend you wait on your flight physical in the Army until you promote.

 

I’ve been O3 for over 3 years.  It’s kinda sucks if I I have to start with zero  TIG as O3.  Because, technically, I should be eligible for promotion to next grade in about 1 - 2 years.  I really have to think about my pros and cons (Army vs Air Force).  Thanks for the info Jfratian..

RobdRN

65 Posts

Has 15 years experience.
On 10/7/2021 at 5:31 AM, jfratian said:

Also, you should know that you will get zero...0...time in grade (TIG) transfer between branches.  Hopefully, you just pinned on O-3 and that won't be an issue.  Otherwise, I would recommend you wait on your flight physical in the Army until you promote.

Hello,

Update here:  I am finally transferred from Army Reserve to Air Force Reserve as of 06/01/2022).  I got to keep my rank as Captain (O3), with TIG (4 years as O3).  Currently doing my at Travis AFB as a Surgical Nurse AFSC (46S3).  Just getting situated here and will try to transfer to an AE as flight nurse once my unit let me.  

Rob

RobdRN

65 Posts

Has 15 years experience.
On 10/7/2021 at 5:31 AM, jfratian said:

Also, you should know that you will get zero...0...time in grade (TIG) transfer between branches.  Hopefully, you just pinned on O-3 and that won't be an issue.  Otherwise, I would recommend you wait on your flight physical in the Army until you promote.

Hello,

Update here:  I am finally transferred from Army Reserve to Air Force Reserve as of 06/01/2022).  I got to keep my rank as Captain (O3), with TIG (4 years as O3).  Currently doing my at Travis AFB as a Surgical Nurse AFSC (46S3).  Just getting situated here and will try to transfer to an AE as flight nurse once my unit let me.  

Rob

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,528 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

I'm glad you got it.  The Navy was not going to recognize my Air Force time so I stayed put.  Once question I have is are you going to be at a disadvantage for promotion to O4 when you meet the board in about 2 years?  Annual performance reports are way different between the services, and I'd worry how you'll stack up.

RobdRN

65 Posts

Has 15 years experience.
On 9/29/2022 at 7:53 AM, jfratian said:

I'm glad you got it.  The Navy was not going to recognize my Air Force time so I stayed put.  Once question I have is are you going to be at a disadvantage for promotion to O4 when you meet the board in about 2 years?  Annual performance reports are way different between the services, and I'd worry how you'll stack up.

I hear you and that's one of my question to my recruiter before I transferred.  Never got a definitive answer tho.   I don't know if they will consider my Army OER (Officer Evaluation Report).   Ill have to do some research.