There are many paths Airmen take to become nurses whether being prior enlisted or commissioning immdiately after college. Whatever the case, the Nurse Transition Program is here to prepare them for their future endeavors.
“The NTP helps provides a solid foundation for brand new Air Force nurses,” said Col. Carol Andrews, 56th Medical Group chief nurse. “It gives them a ‘safety net’ to practice their newly learned clinical skills under the supervision of experienced healthcare staff.”
Although the nurses have already completed their schooling, the NTP gives them an opportunity to take what they’ve learned into action.
“The program is nine-weeks long and is composed of various hands-on skills and/or task training, “said Maj. Nancy Johnson, 56th Medical Support Squadron NTP Scottsdale Healthcare program manager. “We focus on establishing fundamental and foundational nursing skills by bridging all the theory and knowledge gained in nursing school and helping apply those to the care provided at the bedside.”
Additionally, the nurses will need to complete two clinical rotations, Johnson said. The first rotation consists of skills acquisition and performing as a member of a healthcare team. The second rotation targets time management and leading nursing care activities for a team of patients.
Even though there had been some cuts made to other training sites the Scottsdale Healthcare training site is one of four that is still in existence.
“There are now just four Center of Excellence NTP training sites available,” Johnson said. “They were reduced from 11 to four in just three years. We typically hold three classes per year. Each class can take a maximum of 25 nurses. Since July 2009 there have been nine classes held. The most current class began Oct. 4.”
Though the course is for Air Force commissioned NC officers, it couldn’t be accomplished without the help of their civilian counterparts.
“The course is a team effort,” Johnson said. “And it wouldn’t be a success without our Scottsdale Healthcare partners and a few Luke contractors.”
The nurses share a common path now, but they each began their journey in different ways.
“These nurses come from different nationally accredited nursing school programs,” Johnson said. “There are also different avenues in which they can enter the Nurse Corps such as the Nursing Enlisted Commissioning Program and the Airman Enlisted Commissioning Program which enable prior enlisted personnel to cross train into nursing. Other avenues are direct accessions such as Reserve Officer Training Corps.”
No matter the path the nurses have taken, 56th MDG’s mission will always be the same.
“Our mission is to ensure mission-ready forces, promote safety and wellness and provide great health care,” Johnson said. “This statement also encompasses what the NTP is all about. This training platform is a success because of the great partnership between Luke Air Force Base and the SHC which began in 2004 and has grown and blossomed throughout the years, preparing our Air Force as well as sister services’ medics from around the world.”