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jfratian

jfratian MSN, RN

ICU
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jfratian has 7 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

jfratian's Latest Activity

  1. jfratian

    Military Options for Nursing Students

    It depends on whether or not the 3 branches are taking new grad nurses or not. Sometimes, the ROTC pipeline fills up all of the new grad slots. In that case, they only take new nurses. Other times, they need to take new grads; in that case, you start applying about a year out from graduation. That situation changes from year to year. Only a recruiter would know for sure. I would recommend you compare all 3 branches to open up more options.
  2. jfratian

    New grad BSN - Advice on Joining Navy

    The problem is that you don't have enough time to apply for a direct commission. The entire application process from talking to a recruiter to showing up at officer basic training takes roughly one year regardless of the program or branch of service you join under. You should be able to start contacting a recruiter and getting your package ready shortly after starting your first job. You'll end up having a year of experience by the time you would leave for basic training.
  3. jfratian

    Air Force reserves vs active duty Air Force???

    Active AF: It's a full-time job. You can deploy as frequently as 6 months every 18 months. You work at a military/VA hospital when not deployed. You typically move bases at least every 4 years...and as often as every 2 years. Reserves: It's part-time. You work a few days a month. Depending on the unit, you are vulnerable to deploy 6 months out of every 36 months. You never have to move bases if you don't want to. You really can't volunteer for deployments. You can ask, but people's desires are pretty low on the list. It's more of a right-place right-time sort of thing. Google the Air Force PT requirements. If you can't do them with some practice, then you won't likely be able to join. If you take any prescribed pills (GERD, HTN, etc), then you'll at least need a medical waiver.
  4. jfratian

    What does deployment look like

    For the AF, you would come in as an Captain (O-3). Your starting rank would make you significantly more likely to do a ground surgical team deployment within your first two years. That would involve a very small forward operating base with minimal staff and few amenities. One guy I know is filling a Army slot and is going to a place that gets mail once a month; they also take turns cooking for each other and standing watch. They are fairly vulnerable to enemy attacks. My current deployment is as a basic ICU nurse. I am at an established larger facility with advanced equipment and wifi. We get transfers from lesser equipped bases, and I have definitely seen some incredibly sick injuries...mostly explosions and gun shot wounds. I work somewhere between 42 and 72 hours per week depending on census. I share a dorm room with 3 other roommates....we share a large hall bathroom. Our base has a large footprint and has many different forms of protection from enemy attacks. It's very safe here and fairly comfortable. As an AF ICU nurse, you can typically expect to deploy 6 months out of every 18 months. You won't see your family for that entire time. Your deployment team is decided by your commander based on your experience and the needs at the time.
  5. jfratian

    New grad BSN - Advice on Joining Navy

    It's too late for ROTC if you're graduating in a few months. You'll need to apply as a direct accession (direct commission). That's essentially how they fill the jobs left over once ROTC grads have been placed. I would challenge you to look at nursing in all 3 branches. There are advantages and disadvantages of each branch.
  6. jfratian

    What does deployment look like

    Your deployment experience depends on your branch of service as well as a variety of factors, including your nursing experience and personal desires.It's difficult to predict any one person's deployment experience as an ICU nurse. That will depend on your assigned deployment team. Many ICU nurses are assigned to larger field hospitals with several hundred staff, while others are assigned to remote surgical teams of as few as 5 or 6 people. Others perform transport missions in fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft. Some serve on one of the two Navy hospital ships. Deployments can be as short as 3 months while others are 6 or 9 months. Some locations have many amenities (running water, AC, and even Wifi) while others are glorified tent cities. I'm an Air Force ICU nurse currently deployed in a large inpatient facility with many amenities. I know another Air Force nurse going to a bunch of tents in the middle of nowhere with a small surgical team. It's just not possible for me to give you a good idea of what to expect without knowing your personal interests, branch of service, skill level, and level of physical fitness.
  7. jfratian

    Air force nursing

    The Air Force Nurse Corps is very regimented with its specialties. You can't just go from Med-Surg to flight nursing as easily as you would applying for a job in another nursing department in a civilian hospital. There are specific numbers of nurses allocated to each specialty. To transfer from one to the other you must generally wait a few years, apply, get accepted, and then attend several months of training. If you are okay with working inpatient med-surg for 2 years and then doing flight nursing, then I would say go for it. You shouldn't have a problem getting accepted into flight after you do the minimum 2 years, because it's a very demanding (lots of travel) and high need specialty. Otherwise, get a year of experience in your specialty of choice first and then apply to the Air Force.
  8. jfratian

    Pediatric Exp & Loan Repayment

    Unfortunately, no military branch has an inpatient pediatric nursing specialty. There's pediatric NP (outpatient) and NICU. If you are dead set on taking care of sick kids in the inpatient setting, the military really isn't for you. Even military bases that have PICUs or NICUs (San Antonio) lack any of the usual peds sub-specialty docs you need to treat really sick kids (peds neurosurg, peds CT, etc). You're going to be doing a lot of low-acuity asthma and croup in a military PICU stateside, and will be forced to deploy taking care of adults when abroad. From what I've seen, NICU nurses are deployed as either med-surg or outpatient. PICU nurses are deployed as 'general' ICU nurses; there are no PICUs in deployed settings.
  9. jfratian

    What is an Accession bonus

    Accession bonuses are paid out in a lump shortly after you report to your first base. You get it all at once minus the estimated tax liability. I don't know the exact amount of the current bonuses is, but you will probably get about $60K all at once depending on your state of residence.
  10. jfratian

    ICU nursing in the AF

    Provided you are under 47 years old, can get your waist under 35.5", and do not have any chronic medical conditions...I think you are a strong candidate. Only the Navy excludes ADN nursing experience. Any full-time acute care experience (generally hospital-based nursing: ER, ICU) you had as an RN will count. I think you need to properly manage your expectations on what you think being a nurse in the AF will be like. It is generally very similar to civilian nursing. There are opportunities to branch-out of typical civilian-like bedside care, but that will be the exception and not the rule.
  11. jfratian

    Air Force Nursing Corps

    It is 4 years and 1 day on active duty. Realistically, they don't let you enlist for 1 extra day. Therefore, you have to have completed a 6-year active duty enlistment or it's reserve/guard equivalent in points prior to commissioning to qualify for the 'E' on your pay grade. You will get any prior enlisted service credited towards your retirement and pay date in MyPay. However, there are complex rules that govern the ability to retire as a mustang; it's not as easy as 'do 20 years and punch it.'
  12. jfratian

    RN to Air Force

    Even though stateside military hospitals have typically very little patient acuity to speak of, AF ER and ICU nurses are still expected to be competent with all skills required to manage critically ill patients in a major civilian trauma center. That is because many deployed settings require that nurses be able to manage an EVD, numerous drips, advanced ventilator settings, and CRRT. I'm deployed right now and currently manage patients with all of the above.
  13. jfratian

    Air Force initial rank

    Your pay grade should be O3E with 'over 8' years of service. This assumes that your ADN/RN experience was full-time and your prior enlisted experience was all active duty.
  14. jfratian

    Air Force Reserve Questions

    Your deployment job should pretty much reflect your reserve unit's mission; ask the unit. There are ground deployment jobs for patient movement/coordination and outpatient clinics. There are deployment roles for med-surg, ICU, ER, and OR nurses. There are oddball deployment jobs too...I know a pharmacist who is doing 'military protocol' at a large base in the middle east for when important people come through. I think flight jobs deploy more frequently in the reserves. An ground-ICU reserves nurse I know is expected to deploy 6 months every 3 years in his unit.
  15. jfratian

    NICU RN too Air Force Reserves

    There are NICU active duty jobs (very few), but I'm not sure if there are any reserve NICU jobs. I should tell you that NICU is being phased out. Currently deployed NICU nurses, along with peds and OB, work in either adult med-surg or outpatient clinics. The Air Force does not consider NICU experience to be ICU experience. You won't be able to do any jobs that require ICU experience until you have at least 1 year of full-time adult ICU experience (surgical, cardiac, burns, or neuro ICUs are most desirable).
  16. jfratian

    future FNP, Looking for advice

    I'm not an NP so can't say anything about the mentoring/training for new grads. I would say contact healthcare specific recruiters from all three branches about a year out from graduation; it takes almost a year to apply. The numbers that they need change ever year, and so it's impossible to predict the needs of any branch or what levels of experience they want.
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