Quote from Duncan3178
The AF recruiter that I talked to a couple of days ago said that you have to have a full year experience AFTER your NCLEX to count as any previous experience. If you do not, they count you as a new grad and you go in under the Nurse Transition Program. With this program, you choose either Med/Surg or OB. ICU comes after several years of Med/Surg nursing.
I am prior AF, so know what goes on in the AF world. I know about being deployable, etc. The recruiter that I talked to was explaining about being deployable every 15 months. You are deployable for 3 months. If you group gets called up during that 3 months, then you go. If you do not get called up during those 3 months, you are not deployable for 15 more months. Has anyone else heard otherwise?
I do know that many people asked questions about the CRNA program through the AF. The recruiter skirted around the issue. Lots of people want to do pursue that avenue, and there are few spots for it.
The recruiter gave you mostly correct information, but we no longer do 3 month deployments w/ 15month cycles. We are currently doing 4-6 month deployments, mostly 4 months, with an 18 month cycle. If you don't go during that AEF cycle...you can still be deployed in another cycle. They are not really supposed to do that, but they do it all the time to meet readiness needs.
As far as the CRNA application goes it is thru AFIT and the best thing is to ask your healthcare recruiter for a copy of the last nursing call for canidates (it is about 50pgs long) and will explain pretty much everything you need to know about getting into CRNA/ graduate nursing schools/fellowships thru AFIT. There are generally around 20 slots per year for AFIT CRNA school, I have been in over 5yrs, and have yet to see them fill all the slots when their is 20 something seats available. Most people that apply just don't really meet the minimum requirements.
If your ultimate goal is to come into the Air Force and apply to CRNA school then you should go into a large civilian ICU thru critical care residency course right after graduation and gain one year's experience as a new nurse/ICU nurse. About your 9-10 month point go talk to your AF recruiter, but make sure that he/she knows that you will not be coming on active-duty until after your one-year mark. At the one year point in ICU you will be able to come on Active-Duty with your ICU identifier, E designator, then you will be able to go directly into ICU in the AirForce. Now depending on what month you get to your new base, two-three years later you will be able to apply for a long AFIT slot.
FYI: The AF recently changed time on station requirements for CONUS to CONUS moves it is now 4-4.5 years instead of three, and I think there was a resulting increase for CONUS to OCONUS also....3-3.5 years instead of two, but still 2yr TOS required at most OCONUS bases before you can reapply for reassignment.
The whole process is complicated and the recruiters most of the time just do not know much about the medical/nursing field. Most recruiters come from the line side and have jaded view of what the medical field does.
Good Luck! I hope this helps explain things a little better.