L&D RN: Air Force or Navy Reserve?

Posted
by NurseAngelina11 NurseAngelina11 Member Nurse

Specializes in High-risk OB, Labor & Delivery. Has 5 years experience.

Hi All, 

I’m an L&D RN with 13 years of experience and am currently interested in pursing the Navy or Air Force as a Reservist and trying to decide between these two branches of the military.  I have a few questions:  

(1) Air Force: Given my L&D background, am I even needed in the Air Force?  Sounds like the Air Force only wants ICU/ER/DOU types so they can be Flight RNs.  

(2) Navy: Given my L&D background, am I qualified to work on a hospital ship like the USNS Comfort or USNS Mercy? 

I’m awaiting a call back from an Air Force Medical Recruiter, but it can take up to 10 business days to back to me, so I’m pitching these questions here first.  

Any insight would be appreciated! 😊

Demo

Demo, BSN

Specializes in ICU. Has 3 years experience. 9 Posts

L&D seems to be getting pushed back across the DHA transition which is supposed to focus on deployment capabilities. I don't think the Air Force wants all of their nurses to be flight nor is the Navy pushing everyone to go to a ship those are just specific jobs in each service. I think the more important thing to consider os the acuity capabilities of these hospitals. Only a few MTFs have Neonatal ICI capabilities so most complications are sent to a civilian partnership with NICU support. Hope that helps.

NurseAngelina11

NurseAngelina11

Specializes in High-risk OB, Labor & Delivery. Has 5 years experience. 94 Posts

Thank you for your input, Demo, BSN! I decided to pursue the Navy Nurse Corps. 

jfratian

jfratian, MSN, RN

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 1,485 Posts

The bottom line with L&D is they make you deploy as med-surg nurses.  That's a pretty common theme across all 3 branches from what I've seen.  When I was in Afghanistan, half the med-surg nurses were L&D nurses.  Obviously, that chapter has closed.  However, I can tell you that there is no dedicated L&D unit in any military deployment team.  It's ER, OR, ICU, and med-surg; NICU, peds, PACU, and L&D nurses all end up being sent as med-surg.

So yes, you'll do L&D in typically a small base hospital when stateside.  Unfortunately, you will also be forced to do things outside your comfort zone when you're not in the U.S.  

NurseAngelina11

NurseAngelina11

Specializes in High-risk OB, Labor & Delivery. Has 5 years experience. 94 Posts

16 hours ago, jfratian said:

The bottom line with L&D is they make you deploy as med-surg nurses.  That's a pretty common theme across all 3 branches from what I've seen.  When I was in Afghanistan, half the med-surg nurses were L&D nurses.  Obviously, that chapter has closed.  However, I can tell you that there is no dedicated L&D unit in any military deployment team.  It's ER, OR, ICU, and med-surg; NICU, peds, PACU, and L&D nurses all end up being sent as med-surg.

So yes, you'll do L&D in typically a small base hospital when stateside.  Unfortunately, you will also be forced to do things outside your comfort zone when you're not in the U.S.  

This is great information, thanks for the insight.  I'm glad I have a some  experience in most of those areas of nursing to mentally prepare me for deploying and having to adapt to another specialty.  I will have to train and prepare to be able to do all the specialties, which actually sounds great to me.