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Joining military as new grad or with experience?

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by doridem11 doridem11 (New) New

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I am a nursing student in Arizona, and will be graduating with my BSN in April. I am 20 years old, and have been pretty interested in joining the military as a nurse, more specifically the Air Force. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether it is better to join as a new graduate, or with some experience first? I was thinking about doing a new graduate program at a hospital in Phoenix and then talking to a recruiter after about a year. I know it is probably based on personal preference, but any information or pros and cons would be much appreciated!

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,948 Posts; 171,995 Profile Views

If you think you might be interested in military service, talk to a recruiter now. Find out what your options are, what they recommend as far as entering as a new grad or getting some experience first, etc. Investigate other branches of the service as well. Thirty years ago, a dear friend investigated all of the services and selected the Navy, both because of the locations of the bases, and because of the specialties and opportunities available.

I will share that my ex-husband was an Air Force nurse. He dearly wanted the ICU, and actually received an ICU assignment. In a 30 bed hospital with a two bed ICU and only one nurse on at a time. The experience that he got there wasn't really ICU, and he didn't learn nearly as much as he would have in a larger hospital with a larger ICU and other staff present from whom to learn. He solved most of his problems by telephone -- by calling me at work in the big city ICU nearby and asking me what he should do.

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jfratian has 7 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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If you join as a new grad in the AF, then you'll have to start in either med-surg or L&D. If you have at least 1 year of experience in a specialty, like OR, ER, or ICU, then you can join in that specialty.

I would agree with the other poster that experiences vary. Some military ICUs are at large hospitals. Others are

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