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jfratian MSN, RN


Active Duty Air Force Nurse

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

Active Duty Air Force Nurse

jfratian's Latest Activity

  1. jfratian

    AD Air Force Nurse Question

    Advanced academic degrees from your SURF are not viewable to the board for major. That's why you're not allowed to discussed masters in OPR bullets any more. The only way they would know is if you got your MSN via AFIT...and would then have an LOE from AFIT that the board would see. Since it takes time to get pre-reqs, time on station etc for AFIT, most O-3s haven't finished AFIT yet. So MSNs won't matter for Major. It will help to have a board certification (CCRN, CEN, CNOR, etc). You definitely need SOS. They look at those two things for sure. I honestly don't know of any nurses who have been passed over for Major with: clean records (no article 15s), passed their PT tests, have a board cert and have done SOS. You never know what the future will bring, but Major has not been competitive for AD AF nurses in recent memory.
  2. jfratian

    CAC Reader and iPad?

    How else would you do it? You need to download the certificates on that website so your CAC will work.
  3. jfratian

    Airforce October 2020

    Would just recommend you talk to a few Air Force nurses first to make sure you understand what you're getting into. People who join the military for the bang-bang shoot-em-up trauma are generally disappointed. Nursing in a military MTF is like traveling back in time about 10 years. Everything in the military is just slower to change and adapt. That's very frustrating for civilians coming from a big university medical center. Example: I've never pushed lytics for an MI prior to joining the military. We just didn't have prompt access to a cath lab...and presto! You would certainly take a step back in terms of average patient acuity joining any military branch. You get a lot of military specific training and travel in exchange for that loss. I know more than a few nurses that thought they would get all this awesome trauma experience...only to realize you get that very rarely and only on deployments. Even on deployments, there's lots of waiting around for something to happen.
  4. jfratian

    CCAT AF Nursing

    I would be up front with your recruiter on what you want. In the reserves, you actually apply directly for the job you want. CCATT is not an additional duty in the reserves; it's your primary job. CCATT is going to be more likely to deploy and has more associated training than other jobs. Your total time commitment will be slightly greater than the typical reserves "one weekend per month and 2 weeks per year" deal.
  5. jfratian

    CCAT AF Nursing

    You need one year of full-time ICU experience minimum. That is the bare minimum. The CCRN would of course be helpful. You'll also need to be able to manage specific sorts of patients and articulate that in the interview. You need to be able to manage EVDs, common invasive monitoring, common vasoactive drips, and CRRT. You'll need to pass a flight physical. Essentially any medical condition requiring daily meds needs a waiver. As far as the height/weight goes, you should be able to get a waiver as long as you can pass the AF PT test (Google the standards). The training is two separate two-week courses in Cincinnati which focus on ICU patient care in flight. CCATT nurses don't go through the 3 months of flight nursing courses (SERE, ECAC, etc) because they aren't considered air crew. The flight nurses only take the med-surg patients anyway, so I think CCATT is still the better gig.
  6. Definitely don't try to re-class after joining. You may never get to be an NP. You'll have to apply and compete against others at competitive board to switch over. It's very difficult, and most people are not successful. You have to be a strong applicant and also hope your desired specialty (FNP) is more undermanned than your current specialty (say med-surg clinical nurse). I currently work with several bedside nurses with NP credentials who have unsuccessfully tried to switch over. Not even sure you could come in as an RN. Does your direct entry NP program allow you to even sit for the NCLEX-RN exam?
  7. You might eligible be if you are: 1. U.S. citizen, have no criminal background, meet height/weight standards (Google AF PT test standards), and have no chronic medical conditions. 2. Your program is properly accredited by an organization that the AF accepts. The direct entry NP programs are fairly new and not sure if the AF recognizes them yet. You need to verify with a healthcare recruiter ASAP; look on the AF website under the 'find a recruiter' link.
  8. jfratian

    New FNP, Military Spouse, & Army Nurse Corp

    FYI: It is Army Nurse "Corps" You can Google the current Army PT test requirements. If you can do those, then you should have no issue with fitness. The VA is way more flexible and accommodating (once you get into the system) than the military. You can also look at GS positions on usajobs.gov. Both are great for spouses. The military is tougher. They try to put you at the same base as your spouse, but plenty of people spend time apart. Even if you get stationed together, your deployment schedules probably won't line up. I know two active duty Air Force nurses that have spent the last year apart because each deployed back to back for 6 months.
  9. jfratian

    Clinical RN in AF Reserve

    Clinical nurse is all of the above. It's the 'catch-all' for nurses without a qualifying specialty. Your job completely depends on your unit. It might be outpatient physicals, en-route patient staging, or ensuring annual medical readiness requirements are done.
  10. jfratian

    ARMY- Gaining competitive RN experience

    I can't speak specifically to the reserves (there is an Air Guard, Air Reserves, and Naval Reserves), but in general the Navy and Air Force have all of the opportunities you mentioned. Minus a few specialized jobs, nursing in each of the 3 branches is largely similar. Humanitarians, deployments to combat zones (Kandahar and Bagram role IIIs are almost exclusively staffed by Navy and AF respectively), military CRNA school with Uniformed Services (Navy/Air Force), and civilian CRNA school funding via HPSP. I would recommend looking at the reserve or active components of each branch and joining the one with the best offer for you. DHA is gradually making military medicine fairly homogeneous anyway.
  11. jfratian

    Army Nurse

    Low patient acuity is literally the bane of my existence as a military ICU nurse. Patients are lame and downright boring when not deployed. There are just not enough sub-specialty surgeons and internal med docs to bring in complex patients. There are a few bases (San Antonio and Walter Reed) that offer decent acuity. Even those don't hold a candle to a major civilian university medical center (Duke, Baylor, etc). It's counter-intuitive but it's like that at every base in every branch of the military. There is absolutely no escaping that. You get some good training on a variety of topics (chem warfare, weapons, field-craft, etc). Acuity sucks. Military nursing in a phrase: "hurry up and wait over in _________(insert war torn-country) for 6-9 months for a maybe." The maybe usually never comes. All officer recruiters are like that. You have to convince them that you want to join. Just keep being persistent.
  12. jfratian

    Interservice Transfer Army to Navy

    You can probably get in, but you need to understand that you will probably lose rank. I looked into this for myself, and you at minimum lose all time in grade. I'm assuming you're an O-3 at this point. You would start off as an O-3 with zero years of time in grade towards O-4. It is certainly not easy. You essentially apply for a new commission...and undergo most of the processes therein...in the desired branch and apply to conditionally separate from your current one.
  13. jfratian

    Navy Nursing Education Reqs

    I'm AF not Navy. ODS, their officer basic course, differs from what I did. The most common deployment locations for Navy nurses are Kandahar, Afghanistan or on one of the 2 hospital ships (Mercy or Comfort). I think they do 6 month deployments too; I don't know the frequency for them. I can tell you that you'll want to get civilian experience in the area that you eventually want to practice in (ER, ICU, etc). Otherwise, the military traditionally starts new grads in inpatient med-surg for the first couple of years. New nurses enter as O-1s (Ensigns in the Navy), while nurses with experience or masters degrees enter as O-2s or O-3s (LT JG or LT).
  14. jfratian

    Navy Nursing Education Reqs

    Yes, the MSN works. No RN experience you attain prior to the MSN will count towards your initial rank, however. Other branches count all RN experience.
  15. jfratian

    Military nurse certification pay

    The short answer is "sort of." A board certification (CEN, CCRN, CNOR, etc) is a requirement for eligibility for the CSP (consolidated special pay). The CSP is a retention bonus of up to $210K (up to $35k/yr) on top of your normal pay for up to 6 years of active duty contract extension. They constantly change who is eligible/what amount/how much pay-back time based on who they need (ICU, ER, etc).
  16. jfratian

    Air Force Nurse Transition Program

    I don't think that will impact you at all. NTP is for anyone with less than 1 year of full-time nursing experience. Plus, they only do one board per year. Many applicants graduate at irregular times or simply don't get a job right away. As long as you are within 1 year of graduation, I wouldn't worry about it.

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