Hey everyone, I'm a prior enlisted Air Force veteran looking to apply to COT and commission as a nurse in the Air Force. I have a few questions that I'd love to get some feedback on from anyone who has experience applying or actively nursing in the Air Force as my situation is somewhat specific/complicated.
1. My husband is also prior enlisted and commissioned last year as an Acquisitions officer. If I get into COT, how likely are we to receive joint basing? I'm looking for Perinatal/OB as I'm a postpartum RN and I saw that Wright-Patt is a big base for that and it is for his job as well. Same with Eglin. Do they do a good job of stationing mil-to-mil couples together?
2. I had a 3.9 GPA for my BSN and can get great recommendation letters from my current nursing management as well as my supervisors from my enlisted career, however, I do have an NJP on my enlisted record. How much will this affect my chances of getting accepted? Is it even worth trying? I got made an example of straight out of basic training and was advised by Air Force JAG to fight it because of how absurd the punishment was in relation to the "crime", but I never intended on commissioning and going back in so I chose to accept my punishment and move on. I separated honorably after my four year enlistment was up and have a great record of service with the Air Force (distinguished grad, multiple combat deployments and air medals, firewall 5 EPRs...) with the exception of that early NJP. How likely are the Colonels on the boards to overlook this time in my career? (It was 9 years ago, as well).
3. Do you receive your base assignment the day you are accepted into COT? Or is it something you receive while you are in COT?
4. How often are perinatal nurses deployed? It is a concern for us as my husband is also Active Duty so we would be subjecting our two boys to possible single-parenthood quite often if we get back to back deployments.
5. How much experience are they looking for in your civilian nursing career? I've been a post partum nurse for the last six months and am hoping to get L&D experience as well because my plan is to try for AFIT for Midwifery. However, before I was a postpartum nurse, I was a psych nurse for a year and a home health nurse for a few months. Does all that count?
Thank you so much to anyone who takes the time to read this and offer me any kind of guidance. I'm feeling very insecure and apprehensive regarding my enlisted NJP-- I should have listened to the JAG who told me I got a real raw deal and fought it. Hindsight is 20/20 now that I'm approaching 30 and not a carefree youngster anymore...
1. They do a decent job of stationing couples that are both in the AF together. It is definitely far from a guarantee and significantly more difficult as you both move up in rank. If you both plan to do 20+ years, you will definitely spent time apart, especially later in your careers.
2. It don't think your one instance of non-judicial punishment is going to impact your selection if your EPRs were all good and you got an Honorable discharge.
3. You get your base assignment when you are notified of selection prior to signing your commissioning documents. That is months before COT.
4. As a nurse (Perinatal nurses deploy as med-surg nurses), you should expect to deploy 6 months out of every 24 months. ICU/ER/OR usually go every time their cycle hits (6 months out of every 24). These days, other specialties don't always get used each time. It depends on what is going on in the world of course.
5. You need 1 year of full time RN experience to qualify to apply in that specialty. 50% of the sum all of your acute care full time RN experience will determine your starting rank. Home health doesn't count. Pysch counts if it's inpatient pysch. For example, if you have 4 years of acute care full time RN experience with 4 years plus 1 day of prior enlisted experience, then you'll start as an O2-E.
Thank you so much!! I appreciate your time and valuable information!