Air Force Nurse Corps Overseas Assignments

Prior enlisted service doesn't have anything to do with assignment selection. The reason overseas assignments are not given to new nurses very much is because most nursing jobs in the Air Force are stateside. The AF does send new grad nurses to England and Germany. If you come in with a couple years of experience, then you could go anywhere. Most overseas bases are very small outpatient clinics that wouldn't benefit you much clinically.

Special forces don't really use nurses. They use PAs and enlisted medics. There are limited roles for ICU, OR, and ER nurses to be in austere environments supporting special forces units. However, you're not going to be a special forces squad medic going out on missions as a nurse.

The vast majority of nurses work in stateside hospitals as bedside nurses, much like any civilian nurse. You work a variety of shifts depending on your area.

Loan repayment and sign-on bonuses may exist for when you join still, but I don't know for sure. The incentive special pay (ISP) is only for experienced, board certified nurses in a high need specialty (right now most things other than outpatient clinic work). That can be up to 20K per year, but you can't do it if you took the loan repayment or sign-on bonus.

Air Force Nursing duty locations

by samiyah1987, BSN, RN
  Views: 5,559   Comments: 18

  1. 0 Wanted to get input on the best duty stations And which ones have the least deployments. Here is my preferences

    US
    1. JB Andrews
    2.Wright Patterson, OH
    3. US Air Force Academy, CO
    4.Eglin Florida
    5. Kessler, Ms

    Overseas
    1. Landstuhl, Germany
    2.Aviano, Italy
    3. Lakennemath, England
    4. Yokota, Japan
    5.Osen, Korea
    Last edit by samiyah1987 on Jun 16, '16
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  2. Last edit by jfratian on Jun 16, '16
    So, I would list what you want keeping in mind what you can realistically get. I know a former AF nursing assignments officer. According to her, nurses that enter with <4 years of experience all end up at either Travis, San Antonio, JBER, Eglin, Wright Patt, Langley, Keesler, or Landstuhl (uncommon). They don't like putting new grads or newer nurses at outpatient clinics, which is most of what you listed.

    As far as deployments, the least likely location is probably a PACAF/PACOM base like JBER. You'll gain some insight into deployments based on what major command a base is assigned to. Air Force medical elements are grouped at individual bases and report to line officers, unlike the Navy or Army which have unified medical commands with a somewhat distinct chain of command. However, deployments are impossible to predict over all and really shouldn't factor much into your decision.
  3. Thank you. I'm not a new grad. I have 6 years clinical experience in Nursing. That should definitely qualify me for clinics correct?
  4. Jun 17, '16 by Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-PSenior Moderator
    Quote from samiyah1987
    Thank you. I'm not a new grad. I have 6 years clinical experience in Nursing. That should definitely qualify me for clinics correct?
    I thought you said you were coming in as an OR nurse? It seems more likely that they'll put you in an OR.
  5. I am perioperative nurse currently which will fall under OR for army. But I was saying that bc u said the places I chose were clinic and they don't give new nurses those. So I'm saying I'm not a new nurse just new to military
  6. You're definitely an experienced nurse. So, you will have the option to apply as an un-designated clinical nurse (46N); this would allow you to be put in a clinic. However, if you choose to apply as a 46N-S (OR), then you'll have to serve as an OR nurse for 2 assignments or 4-8 years; that means no clinics in that time. You will have a easier time getting-in if you apply as an OR nurse.

    Another word of caution: the Air Force rarely releases OR nurses to do other specialties. It's the most undermanned nursing area.
  7. Why is is undermanned. The recruiter said that was the only field that offered bonus last year which made me scratch my head bc normally that's not a good sign since bonuses are hard to come by these days
  8. Although I haven't looked it up, OR appears to be one of the more undermanned specialties in the civilian world too. It seems like there was a whole generation of OR nurses who didn't do a good job of recruiting and here we are. It's not like its a bad job. Every AF OR nurse I know is super happy with their job, minus a handful who are just tired of the military in general.

    Just know that you won't be able to do OR at the AF academy or most of those overseas bases, with the exception of Landsuhl.
  9. Quote from jfratian
    You're definitely an experienced nurse. So, you will have the option to apply as an un-designated clinical nurse (46N); this would allow you to be put in a clinic. However, if you choose to apply as a 46N-S (OR), then you'll have to serve as an OR nurse for 2 assignments or 4-8 years; that means no clinics in that time. You will have a easier time getting-in if you apply as an OR nurse.

    Another word of caution: the Air Force rarely releases OR nurses to do other specialties. It's the most undermanned nursing area.
    Sorry to hijack this thread... Is the OR undermanned in other branches as well?
  10. I'll defer that question to Navy and Army people on this site. I want to reiterate again that you have to agree to take the OR designator and work as an OR nurse to take advantage of any shortages. You can't just have the experience and say, "I'll take the OR money and go work in a clinic."
  11. Thank you for your insight
  12. Please help me out!. I am an RN with 2 years experience and have started the process of joining the Air Force and wanted to know about duty stations. I am from South Carolina and would like to remain relatively close there because I am a single parent and my childs father lives in SC as well. How likely is it for me to get stationed at Shaw Air force Base or in GA, SC, NC, or FL?
  13. Extremely unlikely that you'll get any of those, with the exception of Eglin AFB in Destin, FL. New nurses, which is what you'll be considered with <4 years (see above) rarely go to clinics (which is what there is at most of those locations). See the locations I listed above that have hospitals for where you could end up. Other than Eglin, all of the possible bases are over 1000 miles away. I would highly discourage you from joining the military if your location matters to you greatly.

    If you're dead set on applying anyway, make sure you apply as a 'clinical nurse' or 46N. If you take a specialty designator, like ICU, OR, or ER, you wont be able to go to a clinic.

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