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Male Nursing Student. Considering Air Force

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by mfleege91 mfleege91 (New) New

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Hello! I am a Nursing student who will be graduating in May of 2013 with a BSN. Currently I am trying to decide where I want to start with my career with the end goal of being a CRNA. I am highly interested in joining the military, particularly the Air Force. My questions are what are the chances of landing a Critical Care job directly out of school in the military? Is it possible to somehow work that into a contract? What are the advantages and disadvantages of joining the military as a nurse? With the goal of becoming a CRNA would it be smarter to take a civilian job in an ICU first and then join after a year? Any help is much appreciated.

A little information about myself...

University of Iowa College of Nursing

Worked as an NA on a Speciality Surgery floor (Transplants, GI surgery, Bariatric)

Overall current GPA 3.62

Nursing GPA 3.5

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132 Posts; 2,853 Profile Views

Hello! I am a Nursing student who will be graduating in May of 2013 with a BSN. Currently I am trying to decide where I want to start with my career with the end goal of being a CRNA. I am highly interested in joining the military, particularly the Air Force. My questions are what are the chances of landing a Critical Care job directly out of school in the military? Is it possible to somehow work that into a contract? What are the advantages and disadvantages of joining the military as a nurse? With the goal of becoming a CRNA would it be smarter to take a civilian job in an ICU first and then join after a year? Any help is much appreciated.

A little information about myself...

University of Iowa College of Nursing

Worked as an NA on a Speciality Surgery floor (Transplants, GI surgery, Bariatric)

Overall current GPA 3.62

Nursing GPA 3.5

Hey there, I'm currently active duty in the AF and the chances of you going directly to a critical care area right out of school aren't the greatest. You can always apply for it, but don't be upset if you don't get it in. You would more likely go to a Med/Surg unit to get experience and then apply to an ICU/ER/OR fellowship.

Here is my advice: Apply to the nursing board and then take the spot they give you because competition to just get in is fierce. You will come in as a 2nd Lt, make 1st in 2yrs and then Cpt in another 2. They'll want you to get at least 12 mo general nursing experience before specializing. You would more than likely go through the Nurse Transition Program (NTP) in Cinncinatti, OH before going to your permanent duty station. The biggest advantage you have is that you will have a huge variety of bases to go to whereas with my area, ER, I'm getting pretty limited on where I can go because so many ERs are being closed.

As far as advantages vs disadvantages.

The obvious disadvantage is that it's the military and you're not going to get everything you want. But understand that and you'll be fine.

The advantages: travel, education, professional development. The ability to do into cutting edge nursing care. The clientele is like none other: you are highly, HIGHLY, respected. I have been in ER 7yrs and have never felt that I've been appreciated like I have in the last 3 months in the AF. It helps the military customs and courtesies are observed and enforced but you also get to take care of some of the nicest, most generous and humble people. I get the privilege of taking care of Wounded Warriors everyday. I went from absolutely hating my job to finally loving it once I crossed into the blue. I love that I'm no longer "just a nurse", but an Officer. It's really a neat thing.

I wish you luck in your journey and be prepared for it to take a long time and you'll want to pull your hair out. But just remember your end-goal and the fact that the opportunities from the AF and unmatched in civilian world. Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!

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