Any Navy CRNA's out there?

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    Would it in your opinion be better to lt the Navy pay for CRNA school, or would you say it is better to just take the loans?

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  2. 26 Comments...

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    Hey,

    I am a 1/C MIDN on my nursing cruise out here in San Diego at Balboa Hospital. I am looking into CRNA with the navy and have been asking a bunch of questions. It comes right on down to this: are you prepared to deploy often and for long periods of time while you are paying back your schooling? It is a 4.5 year pay back, and you'll probably be deployed at least twice, definitely once. CRNAs are NEEEEEDED in the Navy very badly so they go out more often and longer than most.

    Right now, the Navy is trying to increase depolyment time to a year. Year home, Year away, Year home, Year away, half a year home...

    If you're okay with that, then the Navy is a good deal. You'll be trained well and see first hand the lives you are saving. Good Luck with your decision. I'm still working on mine.
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    I know this thread is old but for anyone out there wondering: jacyRN is right about deployments. I am currently in the Navy Nurse corp and on my way out next July. The Navy has a great program but THEY OWN YOU while you are in school and after school is done. Also you dont get your bonus until your payback is completed (7 years) Just like jacyRN if you are willing to be deployed constantly, especially this day and age, then do it. Your clinical starts 5am in the morning and you dont go home until your room is done. That maybe 4pm or 11pm.... then you have to go home and prepare for the next case. I on the other hand chose freedom and a civilian program. But in my case I still have the government paying for my school...YEAH GI BILL! I know CRNA programs are intense but not as intense as the Navy program. Another thing to think about: You can't just join the Navy and apply. You have to be stationed at a hospital etc.. and do a 3 year tour and in the last year apply and only in that last year. If you don't get in you can extend for another year and apply again. NOW if you dont get in a second time then you HAVE to do another tour of two to three years at another duty station before you can apply again. Unlike civilian programs you can apply as much as you want. Now the army is real desperate and are taking anyone. A couple of my shipmates switched from blue to green and went straight into the CRNA program. Also you get your bonus as soon as you pass the boards and it is way bigger then the navy bonus. The big thing is deployments and no matter want branch of service you join YOU WILL BE DEPLOYED TO THE DESERT! Trust me in my short 4 year naval carrier I have been deployed 4 times and I am tired of being shot at. So to make a long story short, take the loans and you will be happier person in the long run.
    Last edit by SRNA-Halothane on Dec 13, '06
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    Wow.....I am currently a senior nursing student, whom have entered into the Navy nurse program. If you are attached to a hospital eg Portsmouth VA, will you still be deployed to the desert/heat/conflict/war of the Middle East?
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    As a veteran, yes, anyone from anywhere CAN be deployed.
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    Quote from carib76
    Wow.....I am currently a senior nursing student, whom have entered into the Navy nurse program. If you are attached to a hospital eg Portsmouth VA, will you still be deployed to the desert/heat/conflict/war of the Middle East?
    I am a Navy RN, have been since 2000 and have been in the NAVY for over 20years. Yes you can be deployed, but most RN's are not out there getting shot at, as the poster above seems to indicate, a bit of a tall tale. I think they are just disgruntled with the Navy.
    I work with 3 Navy Corpsman who have Purple Hearts for being wounded in Iraq, now THEY are the ones out there on the front lines, with the Marines.
    I have not heard of ANY Navy RN's getting into actual combat, let alone getting a purple heart in this ongoing operation. of course there is always the risk.
    Please PM me or reply if you want more specifics.
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    I'll second that Navy1. I was an Army medic for seven years and an Army nurse for four. I separated 1 1/2 yrs ago after OEF. The previous post was likely a bit exaggerated, but everyone's experiences are different. The medics and corpsmen are usually where the bullets are, but with the changing way that wars are fought nowadays the battle can be anywhere.

    Part of the reason I separated was during my OEF tour the Army would not send me overseas. Instead they placed me (a career critical care nurse and former combat medic) at a stateside hospital to be a case manager (and no, I didn't **** anyone off!). This, coupled with the fact that new nurses from my unit who had never seen trauma much less knew the maximum effective range of the M16A2 rifle were being sent overseas. I couldn't deal with the blatant mismanagement of resources so I left.

    To this day, the military was and will be the best choice I ever made in my life...amazing when you consider I was 20 when I made this choice. I still haven't completely closed the door on a return. I always will speak highly of the greatest fighting force in the world! I say, if you are interested, make the decision that is best for you.
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    Buddy of mine, reservist CRNA, was in Iraq after the initial invasion. He and another medic were left to guard a hundred or so newly captured POWs when -- surprise -- the hostiles returned in force. These two ('noncombatants') laid down such a field of fire that the hostiles beat feet. Both received Bronze Stars.

    Nurses. They're tough.

    .
    NurseKitten likes this.
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    Don't get me wrong guys I love the deployments but the Nurse corp it self is another issue. Disgruntled with the Navy = NO. Disgruntled with nurse corps= YES. Called in on phone watches, collateral duties that you are expected to do on your own time outside of work, and working with division officers that are only concerned with making rank then actually being leaders (excluding my current ones because they are by far the best ones I have had) I am in no way shooting down Navy life style or what you can get out of it. I will forever miss deployments and my fellow shipmates but the politics involved with nurse corps is what I can do without. The Navy has a great program and you will get experience like no other but I was just posting what is in store for anyone who says yes to DUINS.
    As far as getting shot at...YES corpsmen are usually on the front lines more so then nurse corps officers. However some, including myself , have been up front in various front line med-battalion stations, medi-vac ICU patients on blackhawks, been mortor while in camp and lost my favorite corpsmen to an ambush in Afghanistan so don't say that only corpsmen are the only ones getting shot at because that is not true anymore.
    I am currently stationed at Portsmouth Naval Medical and the answer is yes you will be deployed. But look at deployments as a new experience not as a bad thing. I believe I didn't come across in my last post how I wanted to so I will try again.
    Navy life isn't for everyone but it is definitely different from civilian life. Not just in it being military but the things you can do. Deployments, places you can be stationed, people you will meet, various vehicles & ships you can be on etc.. But it is a major commitment and they won't put you through school without getting what they paid for. You will work harder then your civilian counter parts in a CRNA program but you will definitely be prepared for what ever situation arises. They definitely prepare you to be a independent practioner. I must admit that Navy nursing is far less stressful then civilian nursing and if you were just going to stay a nurse and that is it then you will make more money in the long run as a Navy nurse then civilian. As for CRNA the money is in the civilian world. Every CRNA I shadowed home and on deployments all told me to do it on my own since I don't have much time invested. If you are prior enlisted and augmented to officer (nurse corp) to CRNA then retire is not a bad choice either. The Navy will definitely make you come out of your comfort bubble and be a better nurse. The military always wants to see you progress and never regress. You will be in charge of teaching corpsmen, teaching classes, in services etc.. and at certain duty stations you could be in charge of a whole ward as a division officer with other nurses and corpsmen that you are responsible for. So you will have to know your stuff before you can teach it to another (see one, do one, teach one motto) so thats how they make you become a better nurse.
    Just like MethaneMan said, "You have to do what is best for you." I am just giving my opinion on my situation and my experiences I have had and let you decide for yourself. There are pro's & con's to both Military vs Civilian life that you will have to discover for yourself. Again like MethaneMan said if you are interested then try it out. I don't regret not for one sec my decision to enter the Navy but I just realize that 16 more years of this is not for me or my family. If you have any questions or if I still didn't come across clear with this second post please PM I will gladly elaborate more on MY views of the Pro's and Con's of civilian vs military life.
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    Well said...I do think you got your point across. As for deployments, that is a fact of life in today's military. You should expect them. There is a reason the Army's program is ranked 2nd and the Navy's program is ranked third. You get excellent training and they have been educating CRNA's forever.


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