Is it difficult to join the Air Force reserve

Specialties Government

Updated:   Published

I've been a nurse for 9 years and in am currently researching reservists nursing careers in the military. I'm more so interested in joining the Air Force but I'm hearing that it's very competitive and that my only chance would be as a flight nurse. However, I don't have critical care experience. Is this true?

Specializes in ED. ICU, PICU, infection prevention, aeromedical e.

I'm an active duty flight nurse. We interact quite a lot with the reserves and guard units.  It is very competitive to commission, yes.  Directly into reserves or guard as a flight nurse, most do want either ER or ICU, but it never hurts to ask and try. 

reserve and guard flight nurses are not the typical 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks a year. Flight nursing demands more time to stay current. And keep in mind there is quite a lot of training to start and they are on active duty orders for months and have to go to the trainings away from home.  Officer basic training in Alabama. Then survival school (SERE) water survival (2-3 weeks) in Washington, and then flight school (2 months) in Ohio. Then you go to your unit and complete your training.  

this is not a light commitment. But it is very rewarding.

Specializes in Adult Critical Care.

Honestly the process to apply often takes >1 year.  If you moved to an ICU today and then immediately contacted a recruiter, you'd likely have the minimum 1 year of critical care experience you need for flight nurse by the time you actually start.

The types of people they need change all the time.  I'd recommend you contact a recruiter and ask them what they are hiring for.  


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