flight nursing in the air force? - page 3

Hello, I was wondering if anyone could give me any opinions or information about flight nursing in the air force, especially in the reserves? I woudl appreciate any information. Thank you.... Read More

  1. by   ugaRN
    cdr1882 -
    Thank you for that post. I am a Pediatric Neuro/Neuro-Surgery Nurse in Atlanta who has been in the process of joining for what seems like an eternity right now in my head. I had my initial stuff all done in May and Squadron interview at Dobbins ARB in May which went great and then Flight Physcial in June and have been going back and forth on the medical side since then but hoping to hear soon. (would have preferred Charleston ot Montgomery but how could I when Dobbins is 25 min from house?)
    I am at the point where I am getting nervous, antsy, and patience is declining and I really needed that post to give me positives again and "remind" me why I have and still want it so bad. Thank you again.
    Hoping to hear some good news soon so I can take the last step and send in my entire packet!

    Also, if you have any further advice I would love to hear it. Assuming this all goes that way I hope it to - any advice on preparing for COT, flight school, SERE (we have to do full course now of both COT and SERE)?

    Glad you had such a great experience!
  2. by   cdr1182
    For Britt,
    I'm not sure what they are doing now with the new longer training but I do know that they provided us with everything we needed to know. The flight nursing basically reviewed every system and how it related to altitude changes. There was definitely an emphasis on triage, ABC's and trauma (prob more so now) but another nurse I was there with was a Neonatal ICU nurse and she did fine. We studied but we also enjoyed ourselves. Once we had a 3 day weekend and drove to Mexico.We became the "mobile study crew" while the ones who stayed back to study all weekend didn't do as well on the test as we did. So work hard but enjoy yourself too. My other advice is to find a good mentor. Also, many of the enlisted are really sharp, well educated people. Don't dismiss them because they are not "officers". I learned a lot from them. Our "first shirt" had his Masters degree and was a wealth of information.
    My husband was at Dobbins for about 6 years- then they dangled the Active Duty carrot in front of his face so he went back on AD and now has 1.5 years to go for his AD retirement. It's very different from the reserves though.

    For Dale:
    As to the commitment and commuting, you will learn to group your trips to accomplish as much as you can each trip. On your "drill" weekend there is not usually any flying(unless your squadron has made special arrangements). We had a large group who came down from Boston(to NJ). The squadron would do a Friday" trainer " to fly up to Boston, pick up the members and then the Boston group flew the leg back to stay current. talk to your squadron and see what they have in place already. If you have to drive, see if you can carpool with someone or use the time to listen to audiobooks, learn a language, take a class!!!
    If it's something you really want to do, you will find a way. Also, the VA should be really supportive of your reserve duty.
    That extra paycheck is nice!!
    Good luck and enjoy!!
  3. by   Goat70
    Greetings all,
    I am currently an Active Duty Flight Nurse, stationed in beautiful Ramstein Germany. I have been reading this thread and there are many questions regarding AF Flight Nursing. First and foremost, to fly on active duty, you must have a BSN. Second, you must have at least 2 years of bedside experience. This experience does not have to be ER/ICU or any other critical care exp. My previous experience is cath lab nurse, GI, and radiology. Others I fly with have med surg exp some have ICU. The important issue is to be a well rounded nurse. The patients we care for range from infants to retirees, so you never know what you will get. Furthermore, we care for nearly every type of disease process, not to include battlefield trauma. To apply, simply let your chief nurse know you are interested. It took me nearly two years to complete the requirements. Then another 6 months from the time I started flight school to be fully mission qualified. It is a long process, but definitely worth it. Our unit provides AE coverage for Europe, but we also deploy downrange to Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been all over the world, but unfortunately, it is only a special duty assignment. After my 3 year assignment is over, I will return to the Hospital. Rarely, individuals are able to complete another flying assignment. These are generally the Technicians, not the nurses. If you want to fly for a long time, the Guard/Reserves is the way to go.
  4. by   Spencer2002
    I'm currently a med/surg nurse and have been working for six years. I'm pursuing a nursing position at Mt. Home AF Base. Thanks for all the comments and insight to flight nursing in the Air Force. This thread has given me a wealth of information, thank you everyone. I go to MEPS next month and have my Chief Nurse interview. I have been recharged about my nursing career and even having the possibility of being a flight nurse is "icing on the cake!"
  5. by   NrsCyn2011
    I don't know too much but I'm looking to join when I get my RN and here's the info I have found out (reserves):
    1-currently have to have a BSN
    2- go through OTS (officer training school) 2 or 4 week program...I was told to do the 2 week because it was only reservists but if you want to go active duty then it would be the 4 week program. Maxwell AFB, AL
    3-reserves does 80% of the mission of aeromedical evacuation, active duty as far as I have found out will fly their first year and then get put in a hospital
    4- water survival 2 days-Fairchild AFB, WA
    5-combat survival 19 days-Fairchild AFB,WA
    6-flight school-31 days Brooks City Base, TX
    7-basic qualification - whichever squadron youre in
    8-phase 1 training (tech school)-69 days Sheppard AFB,TX
    9-Phase 2 training-30 days-varies where
    10-phase 3 training- 90 days-varies where
    11- basic qualification -180 days- your squadron
    12-annual tour-15 days
    13-UTA weekends- 24 days a year
    14- currency flights- every 90 days (your flight hours become like another UTA weekend, so you do more that traditional reservists)
    15- altitude chamber-every 5 years
    16-flight exam- yearly
    17-ACLS/CPR-every 2 years
    18-CEU's (cont. edu. credits)- 60/3 years
    19- AEF deployments (iraq/afghanistan/germany) 180 days (if activated)
    20-AECOT- every 5 years-Sheppard AFB.TX
    21-check rides-every 18 months
    and of course continued training, presidential recall, and any other training that may come

    this is what i have from talking to different people, including flight nurses in the reserve. i would suggest going to a recruiter that is specifically for medical fields. it can be a bit discouraging becuase if you don't already have your BSN they always seem reluctant to speak to you. Also, if there is an aero medical squadron (AES)in a base near you and you have access, I'd call or go in and talk to people. that's how I've gotten my info...otherwise, I'd be at the mercy of the recruiter who refuses to really give me info because I don't have my BSN yet. I'd also go ahead and get my paramedic license. That takes about a year and will get you the CPR/ACLS/ITLs or PHTLS/ PALS or PEPP. That's all I could think of right now. Hope it helps. Good luck
  6. by   Miss Mab
    Great detail.
    Good luck on your path!

    Just a minor clarification---numbers 8-11 actually do not apply to flight nurses. Those items are for enlisted med tech training. Seems like someone combined both paths and timelines when explaining. Everything else looks pretty much right on.


  7. by   NrsCyn2011
    thanks for clarifying that. i appreciate it. any info that i can get is great! how long then is tech school? any input you can give is very much appreciated!
  8. by   iodine66
    Enjoyed the thread on likely the most exciting nursing I've even done: in the air. Don't forger, reserves are not the only place to be a flight nurse, ck. out the Air National Guard (unless they've closed that down, too). I was a young RN with a couple years experience in varied fields of nursing when I joined the ANG, and trained literally, around the world. I flew active duty mostly out of Clark AFB, Phillipines(which is no longer even there) bringing back guys from Nam, lots with mud still on their boots.

    I worked full time, co-ordinated my holidays, vacation days, off days, and military days so that I got as many off at the same time as possible to go active duty. I had to work weeks and weeks with no days off, but it was truly worth itl!

    The times I couldn't go active, I did training flights with my group to places all over the world. I did 1 Guard weekend a month, plus extra nights to keep my flying status by going on essentially "touch and goes"(take off, land, take off-land, etc), just to get my flying time in and keep my pay scale steady, when I wasn't doing a lot of active duty.

    Yep, it takes some time and dedication, but the rewards are too many to count. My most satisfying nursing experience in a long career. It's one of those things that you have to just take a leap of faith and go for it. I did, against all advice from those who had no reason to know, and I will say, it was one of the best professional and personal decisions I made. I was very proud to wear the AF uniform and prouder, even, with my wings on it.
  9. by   e1d2b3a4g5
    Hi all! I'm just jumping in with a question regarding FLight Nursing in Air Force Reserve! I had a position and went through the class III physical in June, Today I was told that my refractory error is outside the limits of a waiver! I am completely healthy and have 20/20 corrected vision with my glasses. My refractory error is 7.25 in my left eye and my right eye is 8.25. My information still has to go to the Surgeon General they say for the official denial, any chance that they will allow the waiver, my eyes are otherwise healthy and I am not color blind. My health history is benign and I have been an RN for 16 yrs. They say I can still receive a Comission as a Clinical nurse.
    Any help would be aprreciated!
  10. by   rghbsn
    Flight waivers are hard to come by when it comes to eyesight. If flying is the only reason you're looking to join, then I wouldn't do it. They would likely require a waiver every time you had a flight physical, and if you were to fail a flight physical and still have time on your contract, you'd be grounded anyway.
    If you just like the idea of serving, then I'd sign up anyway and try to work it out while serving. I know that you can get PRK done by the Air Force while in, so that could actually get you flight ready.
  11. by   e1d2b3a4g5
    My waiver was approved on 10/09/2009! It was approved for 3 years, during that time I plan on getting approval for PRK. I do just want to serve my country and was more than willing to do a clinical spot, however SG sent back an approved waiver! Now my next question is how quickly can a Commission come through? My recruiter had to send my rank calculation in three times for it to finally not get kicked back, once my rank is confirmed then I believe my file gets checked by her boss and then forwarded to the East Coast to the head of Nursing for Commission approval, so my question is: how fast or slow is the turn around? I would love to swear in on Nov. 3rd, is that a possibility or am I expecting too much? I'm just anxious to start a new chapter n my life, I specifically went back to school to get my BSN to be able to serve my country, so now that I finished, I'd like to get started!
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  12. by   rghbsn
    I think that would be rather quick, but who knows. It's been a long and painful experience for many people, long and not painful for others...but the theme seems to be a long process either way.

    I didn't know they would commission you at all without a BSN...unless of course you have a BS in something else.
  13. by   e1d2b3a4g5
    Actually, I have my BSN now, I finished up in Aug of this year! That was a whole other painful experience. I had to switch Universities when I was 3 classes from graduating with my BSN due to the fact that their ADN program was accredited but their BSN was not yet and I needed to graduate from an NLN or CCNE accredited program to be able to go into the Air Force! I've wanted to do this since I was 19 yrs. old nothing like waiting 21 yrs to fulfill a dream! I'm sure it will be well worth the wait!