Pros: comradery, the support and encouragement of higher ranking officers
Cons: Active duty RNs automatically groomed for management. I chose bedside nursing
I joined at age 41. I was working as an RN in Urgent Care and while shopping, began chatting with a nice woman who turned out to be a recruiter. The Air Force had a shortage of nurses and were hiring RNs up to age 48. My children were launched and I joined on impulse. I had grown up near an Air Force Base and had friends whose parents were military, so I had some familiarity. A typical work day was almost identical to my civilian work day, except I wore an Air Force uniform. My first assignment was on Ambulatory Care, followed by a Medical Surgical floor, then PACU. Management was very supportive. I believe being a mature female and experienced RN contributed to that support. My co workers were numerous and also supportive. The hardest part was getting used to all the acronyms and what ranks meant on the hierarchy scale. Having a sense of humor got me over the rough spots.The most enjoyable part was my patient population. From Generals to Airmen, I treated them all with the same compassion and cheerful attitude. I enjoyed the sense of community in the Air Force. We were all in the same boat. After 4 years I went into an Active Reserve Group until my resignation in 2008. I still miss my last Unit.