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Looking for Insight into AF Nursing Corps

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Dad_RN is a ASN, LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg.

153 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Ok my stat sheet.

35 years old

9 years prior service Marine Corps

LPN in 2014

RN (ASN) in 2017

Starting BSN April 1, will be finished October 2021.

Experience as LPN. 2 Years Med Surg

Experience as RN. 1 year ER, 1 year Surgical/Trauma (basically More Med surg), 8 months Urgent Care, 1 year Ortho with med surg overflow.  Currently an agency nurse working Rehabilitation Hospital mixing between CVA side and Med surg side, Shifts at hospital with straight Med Surg. 

I was thinking of going for Clinical Nurse (med surg) because I actual enjoy it. 

Can i stay Agency all the way up to boards, or should I be in a med surg position when I apply? Should I go for Med Surg Cert while waiting? Add 2 more years to my Nursing Experience while going to school, would this place me at a higher entry rank? Given I comission in 2022? 

Do we get paid in COT, my wife would not be able to work while I would be gone the 5.5 weeks.

While i understand deployments, been there twice in the Corps, she's having a difficult time with this part. I know it's a guessing game, does anyone have insight on deployment rates/ratio for med surg nurse and where I would go? 

I'd also prefer to be stationed at larger bases with large populations. With that in mind, does anyone have any recommendations for duty stations. I dont mind overseas, I'd rather that be later in my career when my children would be old enough to appreciate the culture. 

I need 11 years to retire,  if I enter at 37/38, that puts 20 years served at 49/50. Could instay in 10 more years? 

As far as Entry goes, I'm looking for information to make me competitive. I'll be volunteering at a local clinic, I can get recommendations from Dr's, DON's, supervisors, co workers, and the sort. Would past military letters help, from old Officers of mine? 

I'm putting together a study sheet of Air Force knowledge and such.

I'm sure i have a lot more questions, but this seems like enough for now. Thanks in advance to anyone who responds.


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jfratian has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

1,362 Posts; 12,263 Profile Views

See my response to your earlier post regarding deployments.  As a general clinical nurse, you are vulnerable to deploy 6 months out of every 18 month period; few people go every single time though.  Realistically, you can expect to deploy every other cycle on average (6 months every 36 months).

Any full-time RN experience in an acute settings counts at 50% towards your starting rank.  My rough math says you have around 4-5 years of experience (rehab is a bit iffy to be considered acute); that would make you an O-2E (1st Lt with prior enlisted active duty service of at least 4 years and 1 day).  You would need 8 years of full-time acute RN experience to come in as an O-3E.  Or, you can obtain your MSN prior to commissioning...that combined with 4 years would also make you an O-3E.

Generally speaking, clinical nurses are not guaranteed med-surg.  You can work anywhere there's an Air Force base in the world.  You can do outpatient clinic, PACU, GI, or med-surg.  It's completely up to your command where you work...and they can move you around to other areas within your hospital/clinic as often as they want.

Edited by jfratian

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midinphx has 19 years experience and specializes in ED. iCU, now add on PICU.

1 Follower; 846 Posts; 8,251 Profile Views

You can totally do this!

I was prior service army - 20 yr break in service - came in at 42 as RN with 14 years experience.  I will serve at least until 59 yrs old with no trouble.  I came in ICU, now I’m flight nurse.  I’ve have 5 deployments in 9 years because of my specialties.  Most don’t go as much as I do - but it is what I wanted and pursued.


you will get paid at COT (now OTS I think).  Your first move is paid.  I worked my civilian job up to 1 week before I left.

if you want to go to a busier inpt hospital put those down on your wish list.  San Antonio, Travis, elmendorf...  big MTFs are dying out in the Air Force - we tend to send real cases downtown.

Best way to make your package stronger - high GPA.  And a certification.

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423 Posts; 2,040 Profile Views

If the AF needs nurses when you apply you're a shoe-in.  I can't imagine them not wanting someone who has nursing AND military experience.  I think being an agency nurse when you apply will be fine.   And most nurses in AF are med-surg so that shouldn't be a problem (though you know the military 😀), though a certification will certainly help.  You should be able to do 30 total if you make rank.  Deployment...lower for AF than Army, at least what I saw Germany from 09-12.  And what I would do is go talk to your nearest recruiter and get your questions answered.  

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