I am in the process of putting together my packet for the selection board to become a RN in the Air Force- hopefully ready for January deadline, if not, then later in the year. I have 3 years ER experience (my hospital currently does not have a trauma designation), and will be 2 years cardiac cath lab experience by the time my packet would be up for review. I have a few initial questions.
1) I understand my ER experience basically does not count towards ER experience since I work at a rural non-trauma designated hospital but does count towards overall nursing experience. Does this basically entail that my only initial option in the Air Force is for a clinical nurse position (Med-Surg RN)
2) When i mentioned cath lab to my recruiter, she said there might be something there. From the research I have done, I have not heard of cath lab positions in the Air Force. Any input?
3) Is there anything I can do in the next 6-12 months other than get a new job to give me a chance to be commissioned into a specialty nursing position? (ex. CEN, CCRN, ect.)
4) Can someone explain an "accession bonus"?
5) As of right now, my goal would be to get back to a critical care position, ICU, Trauma ER, Flight, etc. I am not totally shooting down the med-surg option because honestly, I probably could use the experience because I have never had a true inpatient position (ER and cath lab as I mentioned). So what are your experiences or what have you heard as being a clinical med surg nurse in the Air Force?
6) My number one goal would be to advance as an officer in the Air Force, more than advance my career as a nurse, if that makes any sense. Basically, do i have to become an advanced practice nurse (CRNA, FNP, etc.) in order to rank up to say at least Major?
7) Lastly for now, i'm confused as to which base I could possible be stationed at since its my understanding that not all AF bases have hospitals. Which ones would be options and what are your opinions of best/worst AF bases to work at as a nurse/medical personnel.
Thank you in advance to everyone for your time.