Jump to content
2019 Nursing Salary Survey Read more... ×
SNOWPATROL SNOWPATROL (New Member) New Member

Looking for advice on joining with the new reduction in force just announced.

Government   (439 Views 13 Comments)
107 Visitors; 6 Posts
If you find this topic helpful leave a comment.
advertisement

Hey all,

I "was" considering commissioning into Air Force or Army as prior enlisted to become a nurse. I just saw this article put out and I was hoping someone currently in, maybe JFratian????, could clear up the rumor mills. https://www.stripes.com/more-than-17-000-uniformed-medical-jobs-eyed-for-elimination-1.563807

Does this mean that it's about to get even more difficult to join?

I'm in senior year of BSN and I'd rather get experience and specialize (ICU/NICU) before going in as Medsurg as a last resort, but this will affect it heavily I'm sure.

Thoughts?

Edited by SNOWPATROL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't let a news story affect your decision. All it would mean would be that it would become more competitive I guess. They just offered retention bonuses to flight nurses so... If you want to serve, apply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate the concern, but joining during a 13% RIF would be both career suicide and a huge morale slump. It's more than just a news story, DOD has announced the plans. I'm looking for advice on how and when to join, because I don't want to be held back as a medsurg nurse if possible, which would require experience in CC. Also I'm curious as to the current morale, as it was amazing in early 2000's, but it seems worse now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the specialty you plan on pursuing in the nurse corps.  I know in the Army they have recently increased the retention bonus for both ICU nurses and CRNA's.  At the same time from what I am hearing from leadership and briefings, there are talks of eliminating nurse specialties that are not needed or useful in a deployed setting. L&D and Family nurse practitioners are both specialties that I have heard that may be completely converted to civilian positions garrison, as they are not utilized downrange.

If you want to be an ICU nurse I don't see it being an issue, NICU though is not a specialty that would be relevant in a deployed setting and not useful for the military.  I am in the Army so I can't comment on the other services plans, but with DHA taking over I am sure they are similar.

I do think direct commissioning as a Med/Surge nurse will become very competitive, even more so than it is now. If you have critical care experience and are able to direct commission as a Critical care nurse, I think it would be much easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s pretty much the info I was looking for. Thank you for that. Critical care was the goal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I generally will remain optimistic in my plans to enter as an FNP.  Many of those reductions will be in eliminating billets as people will retire.  But they will still want to maintain some active duty billets in all areas even when they swap some to a civilian footing.  They also need to consistently keep some new people going in as they shut down billets to keep up force strength.  It will be more competitive for sure.  But will still be worth it for my long-term plans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

I just listened to the deputy AF chief nurse speak last week about this.  The theoretical reduction is targeted at nurses without a deployed mission.  These include NICU and L&D.  They haven't actually announced cuts, and currently plan to allow retirements and separations to weed people out.  I would expect that NICU and L&D would be the first people either pushed out or forced to retrain if they do start cutting.

ICU and flight nurses are still short. 

They will still direct commission some nurses (especially in ICU and flight), because of force shaping.  You need a certain number of people in each rank.  New accessions typically come in as Lts.

Edited by jfratian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the AF just increased the retention bonuses for current ER and ICU nurses to $35K per year for a 6 year deal ($210,000).  That should tell you something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And flight nurses: $20,000/3 years (retention bonus)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/15/2019 at 11:45 AM, jfratian said:

And the AF just increased the retention bonuses for current ER and ICU nurses to $35K per year for a 6 year deal ($210,000).  That should tell you something.

How does it work for loan repayments? Does it depend on what specialty you will be in, or does it depend on if they are offering incentives.  I was told in one of my interviews about 2 months ago that they were not offering any OR bonus until you are actually commissioned and get certified now your area.  Do you know anything about this?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently, retention bonuses (also referred to as incentive special pay) require a board certification (CNOR, CCRN, CEN, etc) and an eligible course AF course (you can get one done in your first year on active duty).  You can take one as long as you don't owe time for anything else. 

Just take a 3 year deal, get your cert, and sign-up for CSTARs once you get to your first base.  CSTARs (a 2 week class) is the easiest eligible course you can take to get the ISP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×