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jfratian MSN, RN

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

jfratian's Latest Activity

  1. jfratian

    Active Duty vs Reserve Air Force

    If CRNA is your goal, forget about flight nursing and CCATT. Going those routes will add at least 3 years to your journey (the shortest possible active duty commitment). The fastest way to become a military CRNA is to start applying for CRNA schools once you have a year of ICU experience. At the same time, contact military healthcare recruiters (see each branch's website) to research options for getting your school paid for. Options: 1. With 1 year of ICU experience, you are eligible for HPSP. That gives you a stipend to attend a civilian school and pays for your tuition in return for an active duty service obligation (probably 4-6 years). 2. You can go to a civilian CRNA program and take-out federally backed loans (no private loans from a bank). Graduate, contact a recruiter, and then ask about the active duty health professions loan repayment program (ADHPLRP) and accession bonuses (sign-on bonuses) to pay back loans retroactively. Taking both of these together would incur a 6 year active duty service commitment. 3. Once you have 1 year of experience, apply to one of the active duty military CRNA programs: USAGPAN (Army/VA-Baylor) or USUHS (Air Force/Navy/USPHS). If you get in, you get paid as an active duty officer while in school. Then you owe 5 years of active duty service upon graduation. 4. Commission as an active duty ICU nurse, work for 2 years at your first base, and apply to one of the active duty CRNA programs (USAGPAN or USUHS) I just mentioned.
  2. jfratian


    I realize this might not make sense to a non-military person. Time in grade is very important for promotion. You are only eligible to compete for a promotion board if you have the minimum time in grade required. Time in grade (TIG) is the amount of time you have held a given rank/grade. O-4 boards generally require between 4-6 years of TIG as an O-3 for consideration. If you were to lose several years of TIG, you would need to wait several years longer to promote. That would certainly cost you a significant amount of money...and may cause a delay in career opportunities down the road (which are sometimes rank-driven). That is why switching branches can be disadvantageous.
  3. jfratian

    Air Force Nursing Corps

    Philippines nursing schools are not accepted by any branch of the military. Only U.S. nursing schools are accredited by the organizations that the military accepts. Your best option to commission as a nurse in the U.S. military will be to get an MSN from a U.S. nursing school. Many MSNs are as short as 32 credits. You also must be a U.S. citizen to commission as an officer in any branch of the military. That includes nursing.
  4. jfratian


    I've looked into it for myself. As a nurse, you don't really do an inter-service transfer. Instead, you separate, have your experience/service re-evaluated and re-commission. Generally speaking, you tend to loose rank when you do this. That's because time in grade resets. If you were to leave as an O-3, you would probably enter the new branch as an O-3 with no time in grade.
  5. jfratian

    Looking for Insight into AF Nursing Corps

    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.
  6. jfratian

    Air Force nursing

    AF clinical nurses generally do not go to true FOBs in austere environments. The most 'austere' you'll get in that role is Bagram in Afghanistan...a dangerous but somewhat secure deployment location with a lot of amenities and resources. Common other deployments for AF clinical nurses are Al Udeid, Qatar, Al Jaber, Kuwait, and Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. They are so safe, you don't even get IDF/HFP at most of them (besides Bagram). AF ICU and ER nurses especially can and do go to true FOBs in the middle of nowhere. ICU/ER nurses can operate as a member of air evac teams (CCATT, TCCET), ground surgical teams (GST), and special operations surgical teams (SOST). There are hospitals overseas (OCONUS) in Europe and Asia...generally very small, but those are treated as full PCSs. Your family can typically come with you (except for Turkey and Korea). -deployed recently as an AF ICU nurse
  7. jfratian

    Navy FY2020

    Eventually, yes you probably will. Who knows when that will be. The complete DHA transition is going to be lengthy...probably years. Even though everyone has the same governing organization now, many of the changes haven't been implemented yet. People are still generally going to bases run by their branches.
  8. jfratian

    Working for military with foreign degree

    An RN/ADN to MSN program would make you most competitive when applying. It would be more work up front, but it would allow you to come in at a higher rank too. A nurse with an MSN and at least 4 years of full time RN experience in the U.S. would enter as an O-3.
  9. jfratian

    Nursing/Health Informatics

    I don't know the Navy specifically (I'm Air Force), but you generally can't start in a job like that in military nursing. You have to work somewhere as a bedside nurse for a few years and apply for that job. That job code also doesn't guarantee that you will always have that job...simply that you're qualified to do it; I'm an ICU nurse but could easily be a commander's executive officer. Typically, nurses in the military work in patient care for a few years, do a special assignment mid career (such as an instructor position, grad school, a developmental fellowship, or informatics), and then go into command or an advanced clinical position at the end of their career.
  10. jfratian

    What does each branch have to offer for a new grad?

    There are certainly CCATT nurses in the reserves and guard. TCCET is sometimes filled by a CCATT nurse, so I think it is possible. So you know, TCCET is really an Army job that the Air Force does sometimes. I keep hearing that the Army is taking it back permanently...but they never seem to be able to fill all the spots. If you really are into rotary wing/POI, you probably should look at the Army.
  11. jfratian

    Army Nurse Corps or Navy/Air Force After BSN

    As far as the racial/gender thing, I can't really comment as I have neither consideration. I can say that my current direct boss is a black woman. The current AF surgeon general is a white woman and the current Army surgeon general is a black woman. I assume you're doing FNP? I think a key benefit is the pay (google O-2 pay with 0 years experience and add about $1800 per month in housing and food allowances)...my ballpark math says you come out ahead in the military as an FNP once you factor-in free healthcare and free malpractice insurance along with the retirement pension. Plus, the retention bonuses can raise your pay $20-35K per year depending on the need. The day to day is largely similar to the civilian sector. You work in an outpatient clinic but take care of military dependents and retirees. As an FNP, you'd probably run the outpatient sick call in a deployed setting. A common deployment tempo is 6 months every 18-24 months. FNPs don't generally go every time though.
  12. jfratian

    Air Force FY 2019

    If you need money ASAP, take the accession bonus and/or loan repayment. If you can afford to wait about a year after you join, then wait for the retention bonus...refuse the loan repayment and accession bonuses. The retention bonus if a lot more money (up to $35k per year for 6 years), but it has strings attached (board cert, qualifying Air Force formal course) that take time to meet. If you take the accession bonus or loan repayment, then you can't do the retention bonus at all for 3, 4, or even 6 years depending on your contract.
  13. jfratian

    Air Force FY 2019

    JBER (Anchorage) is pretty doable for a first base and is considered OCONUS. The others are much more rare for new AF nurses to get, but I have heard of it happening on occasion.
  14. jfratian

    FY2020 Army Nurse Corps

    Mbabs84, your personal experience with those forward surgical teams can be very variable. I would highly recommend you talk to several people at your first base to get their experiences before volunteering. You can be put in extremely remote areas and basically sit on your hands/bored to tears for months straight.
  15. jfratian

    Air Force FY 2019

    Rhonda, having worked both sides of the fence myself, I take exception to most of that. The higher "twice as much" pay in the AF is debatable...but you probably did get a raise if you're from somewhere in the Southeast. You could make quite a bit more money as a travel nurse in California...contractor RNs in the bay can make $100/hr. Since you're expected to routinely deploy as an AF nurse, often working six 12-hour shifts a week for 6 months straight, I highly doubt you routinely work "half as much" as you did in the civilian sector. Sure, the day-to-day stateside/non-deployed military nurse job may have lower acuity patients. However, I suspect you've so-far missed out on the plethora of additional duties that most AF nurses enjoy; they tend to fill-up any down-time you get.
  16. jfratian

    Primary Care Nurse Parctitoners in the Military?

    I've not heard of a primary care NP in the Air Force; primary care in the Air Force is handled either a family medicine clinic (most patients), an internal medicine clinic (sicker patients), or a flight medicine clinic (fliers/pilots). The Air Force does use acute care NPs in ICUs, inpatient med-surg, and internal medicine clinics. The Air Force uses FNPs in the family health clinics.

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