OB nurses in the military!


Hey everyone,

I'm a labor and delivery nurse with 3 years of floor experience with my BSN. I'm considering joining the Air Force as a commissioned officer, and wanted to get some insight from those with some experience in this area. There are a lot of pros and cons to joining, and i have not talked to a recruiter yet because I am not looking to join for another year or so; I just joined our perinatal flight team and want to experience that for a while, and am getting married next year and would like to be married before commissioning.

I have a few questions/concerns and would love to hear any input you all may have.

1. Someone I know said her friend (granted she was Navy, not AF) worked the floor for only a short time before she was transitioned into doing exclusively administrative duties, and she worked around 80 hours per week. Is this something that may happen? I don't want to leave bedside nursing anytime soon, and want to maintain a good work-life balance as much as possible.

2. What bases do you know of where an OB nurse may be stationed? I know not all bases have hospitals.

3. I know this is a big "it depends", but how often can I expect to be deployed? What are the chances of going on a "short tour" (like to Korea, etc.)

4. If you are an OB nurse or any kind of nurse in the Air Force, what has your experience been like? Do you feel like you are still able to spend plenty of time with your family, and especially with your kids as they grow up?

5. What can I expect from COT?

6. I don't need exact numbers, but how does the pay compare to civilian nursing?

7. Were you able to get your student loans repaid? This is something that would be a huge perk for me.

8. As a commissioned officer, what length of time can I expect my commitment to the Air Force to be?

9. I have 3 years experience (will be 4 or 5 by the time I join), my RNC in inpatient obstetrics, and other relevant certs (NRP, STABLE, ACLS). I don't really want to do any other kind of nursing (med-surg, trauma, etc) although I would be open to clinic nursing. Do people often get placed in a completely different specialty?

10. How often do you PCS?

11. Do my years of experience as an RN count toward my rank upon joining?

I guess that's all for now. I know it's a lot! I really appreciate any advice you all may have and look forward to hearing your responses. I also appreciate any other input you may have including why you like/dislike military nursing, if you're happy with your choice to join, or anything else you think may be helpful as I make this huge decision.

Thank you!!