Need Advise regarding my highschool girl mentoree - page 2

Here's the situation: I've been mentoring a highschool girl from my church. She used to babysit for me, and I've more or less known her since she was 4. Her family is very conservative, religious,... Read More

  1. by   Altra
    Quote from jlsRN
    Here's my dilemma. When she first approached me about this, her original plan was to move to another part of our state near her oldest sister and go to State University. Then, a few months later she confided in me that she now plans to enter ROTC and apply to a very expensive, private, religiously affiliated and prestigeous university. She would go to nursing school and then be obligated to serve in the military.

    ...

    What if she gets married while she is in the service and has a child? She will be at the beck and call of the Armed Forces and will very likely be sent to Iraq! One thing I've emphasized is how flexible nursing is for parents!

    Quote from jlsRN
    So, I want to present some other funding options, with the suggestion that it is not in her best interests to try to obtain a nursing degree from an expensive private university, but get grants and loans and go to a State University.
    As far as your post indicates, you are long-time acquaintances of this young woman and her family. She has provided babysitting services for your child(ren). You belong to the same church. As a nurse, you have agreed to be a mentor of sorts as she explores nursing as a career. These things in no way obligate you to impose your opinion this young woman's educational, career, or life decisions. You express disdain for her family's strong views but intend to impose your own instead?

    Her life plan, whether it includes military service, civilian nursing, professional surfing or living in a commune is none of your business.

    If she participates in a high school JRROTC program she will gain a great deal of understanding of what a commitment to military service entails, and she will make decisions accordingly.
  2. by   rn-jane
    This girl is going to be an growing adult when she goes to school. I really hope by the time she finishes college this dang war will be over but here are my thoughts being a former woman marine. I treasure the 6 years i spent in the marines and am very proud of the time i served. No I did not go to combat but I had a tour in beirut when the trouble was bad back in the early 80's. I was married to a civilian and yes it was rough but i honored my contract. We are still married(24 years this oct) Realize Rotc will prepare her all throught college for what she has contracted for, granted there are nurses at the mash units but most are stateside or on naval medical ships.
  3. by   FireStarterRN
    Computer glitch?
    Last edit by FireStarterRN on Dec 2, '07
  4. by   FireStarterRN
    Another glitch
    Last edit by FireStarterRN on Dec 2, '07
  5. by   FireStarterRN
    Posted before I was done writing.... deleted
    Last edit by FireStarterRN on Dec 2, '07
  6. by   FireStarterRN
    I'm sorry if I came across as judgemental of the family. Probably, many here would actually consider the family to be very opinionated, judgemental people themselves. So that goes both ways. As I said, I have a lot of respect for the family, and they've raised a great daughter. They also drove another daughter of theirs away with their controlling, arch conservative ways. However, they've done a lot of things right and I respect them, as I mentioned in my first post.

    I think, the most, I want this girl to realize that by making this huge commitment to the military she is closing off the option of being free to marry and raise a family. I"ve read heart wrenching stories of mothers being separated from their children, it doesn't matter if you are an officer or not. In the military you lose much of you freedoms.

    On the other hand, I did tell her, when she first told me of this new plan, that she would get great trauma experience if she went to Iraq.

    It's just that, in this I feel more old fashioned than this family, I don't like women in the military and would do everything in my power to keep my daughter from going down that path.
  7. by   ready4crna?
    Quote from jlsRN
    I'm sorry if I came across as judgemental of the family. Probably, many here would actually consider the family to be very opinionated, judgemental people themselves. So that goes both ways. As I said, I have a lot of respect for the family, and they've raised a great daughter. They also drove another daughter of theirs away with their controlling, arch conservative ways. However, they've done a lot of things right and I respect them, as I mentioned in my first post.

    I think, the most, I want this girl to realize that by making this huge commitment to the military she is closing off the option of being free to marry and raise a family. I"ve read heart wrenching stories of mothers being separated from their children, it doesn't matter if you are an officer or not. In the military you lose much of you freedoms.

    On the other hand, I did tell her, when she first told me of this new plan, that she would get great trauma experience if she went to Iraq.

    It's just that, in this I feel more old fashioned than this family, I don't like women in the military and would do everything in my power to keep my daughter from going down that path.
    Let's look at this objectively. You have said her family cannot afford to send her to this prestigious university. The military will pay her way and she gets a degree from a prestigious university. Assuming she is following a typical highschool/college route. She will be obligated at twenty one to approximately four years of service. That means she could be out by twenty five. She will be commisioned at a minimum rank of leutenant to start and if she chooses to leave after her obligation, she will be at least a captain. Not many people can say that at 25. She will have recieved some of the best medical training in the world (not just trauma) and is more likely to have a permanent duty station stateside with a one year "hardship" tour obligation- to be served in places like south korea, Iraq, or.... Germany. More than the one year is voluntary for most officers. The military will love to send her to school for as many degrees as she wants (yes there is a service obligation, unless she chooses to use the GI bill.)
    Not to mention in the military, that during her actual bedside care time, she will command more respect from other professionalls than most people on this board will see in a lifetime of delivering care. (She is a commissioned officer after all, and rank matters in the service.)
    And as for serving in Iraq- As a female, you are just as likely to be killed/maimed on the streets of any major city in the us-philadelphia, DC, houston, chicago,San francisco, LA, as you are in Iraq (But you can at least shoot back in Iraq)

    So to sum up-
    1.)She gets a prestigious degree she could not afford otherwise.
    2.)If she chooses to leave after her service obligation she will be of prime marrying age(see bolded quote above).
    3.)She will have the confidence that comes with command (How many other 25 year old men/women will have the training and experiences she will have?)
    4.) She will be taught incredible personal responsibility.
    5.) She will have an alumni association that permeates every walk of life in America (Former Vets).- No college can match it.

    Not saying it is necessarily the right choice for this girl, but please look at the possibility that she is not "brain-washed". She is probably well thought out.
  8. by   XB9S
    Quote from jlsRN

    I think, the most, I want this girl to realize that by making this huge commitment to the military she is closing off the option of being free to marry and raise a family. I"ve read heart wrenching stories of mothers being separated from their children, it doesn't matter if you are an officer or not. In the military you lose much of you freedoms.

    On the other hand, I did tell her, when she first told me of this new plan, that she would get great trauma experience if she went to Iraq.

    It's just that, in this I feel more old fashioned than this family, I don't like women in the military and would do everything in my power to keep my daughter from going down that path.

    In the US if you sign up for the military is it a lifetime commitment, I doubt it, not sure how long but in the UK you can vary the length of your service, I think it is 6, 9 or 12 years. Once you have joined are you never allowed to leave? Somehow I think not.

    Yes initially she may well not be in a position to have a family but she is young and has her whole life to plan getting married and having a family. I think the emphasis on this and your admission that you don't like women in the military again makes me wonder if you are trying to put your values and beliefs on this young women rather than encouraging her to be independent and make her own life decisions.

    I don't believe she is closing off the option to get married and have a family she may decide that doing this later in life is a better option for her.
  9. by   kukukajoo
    Can she go to this college and be a part of the ROTC program in any way and talk to those in the program? I would think that gathering more information on that end wold help her make a decidion that is best for her. Interactions with current students in the program (and maybe some that have completed and are serving) would open her eyes to the reality of it all.
  10. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from ready4crna?
    Let's look at this objectively. You have said her family cannot afford to send her to this prestigious university. The military will pay her way and she gets a degree from a prestigious university. Assuming she is following a typical highschool/college route. She will be obligated at twenty one to approximately four years of service. That means she could be out by twenty five. She will be commisioned at a minimum rank of leutenant to start and if she chooses to leave after her obligation, she will be at least a captain. Not many people can say that at 25. She will have recieved some of the best medical training in the world (not just trauma) and is more likely to have a permanent duty station stateside with a one year "hardship" tour obligation- to be served in places like south korea, Iraq, or.... Germany. More than the one year is voluntary for most officers. The military will love to send her to school for as many degrees as she wants (yes there is a service obligation, unless she chooses to use the GI bill.)
    Not to mention in the military, that during her actual bedside care time, she will command more respect from other professionalls than most people on this board will see in a lifetime of delivering care. (She is a commissioned officer after all, and rank matters in the service.)
    And as for serving in Iraq- As a female, you are just as likely to be killed/maimed on the streets of any major city in the us-philadelphia, DC, houston, chicago,San francisco, LA, as you are in Iraq (But you can at least shoot back in Iraq)

    So to sum up-
    1.)She gets a prestigious degree she could not afford otherwise.
    2.)If she chooses to leave after her service obligation she will be of prime marrying age(see bolded quote above).
    3.)She will have the confidence that comes with command (How many other 25 year old men/women will have the training and experiences she will have?)
    4.) She will be taught incredible personal responsibility.
    5.) She will have an alumni association that permeates every walk of life in America (Former Vets).- No college can match it.

    Not saying it is necessarily the right choice for this girl, but please look at the possibility that she is not "brain-washed". She is probably well thought out.
    You make some excellent points. I think I'll approach this from the stand point that she needs to plan around this commitment. She hasn't had a boyfriend or experienced the overwhelming intoxication of falling in love and how that affects a persons mind by making them irrational, so I'm worried that she'll be stuck in the military and not have personal choices.

    I guess I see nursing as a flexible career around which a woman can construct a reasonable plan for childrearing and make great money while doing something positive.
  11. by   FireStarterRN
    Incidentally, I don't know why I'm being critisized for trying to influence this girl or give her another opinion. I am her mentor and part of my job is to give her some imput. I've held my tongue for months because I wanted to concentrate on mentoring and wanted to think about how to approach this.

    This girl's parents have a limited circle of friends who are all arch-conservatives. I happen to be a centrist who might be able give her another point of view. In no way am I planning to bludgeon her with a baseball bat to get her to come over to my way of thinking. But as a mentor, I think I have a responsiblity to give her imput.
  12. by   ready4crna?
    Quote from jlsRN
    You make some excellent points. I think I'll approach this from the stand point that she needs to plan around this commitment. She hasn't had a boyfriend or experienced the overwhelming intoxication of falling in love and how that affects a persons mind by making them irrational, so I'm worried that she'll be stuck in the military and not have personal choices.

    I guess I see nursing as a flexible career around which a woman can construct a reasonable plan for childrearing and make great money while doing something positive.
    She will be surrounded by some of the most fit men in the world. She will learn to say no to some pretty boys. If she manages to fall in love, I think she will better prepared for the "irrationality". Besides, the military and women of today are far different than what your impression may be from previous era's gone by. The most recent surgeon general of the army was a married woman with children. (And a Nurse!!)

    I am not trying to critique you, it is that your original post was very strong in some misinformed opinions. You will not be wrong to simply care and support this girl no matter what decision she makes. Error will come in providing a strong opionion not based in fact. That is where I think alot of us want to make sure you are fully informed, your advice matters to this girl and I do not want a misinformed opinion to possibly steer her away from a valid option that could positively affect her life.
    Last edit by ready4crna? on Dec 2, '07 : Reason: add explanation
  13. by   caliotter3
    You can not protect her from the horrors of anything if she chooses to take any path. You can only offer her options and opinions if she asks. While it is not a very safe time to go into the military now, she just might choose to do so, no matter what anybody tells her. That is her choice. She can meet Mr. Right, the drug dealer on the next corner, marry him, and start a life of woe. Mr. Right is not necessarily in the military. Nobody can really stop her from a bad decision concerning Mr. Right. Any decision about anything in her life is now hers. She must deal with the consequences, good, bad, or neutral. I appreciate your concern for her well being. More young people should have an adult who shows any interest in them. She is a very lucky girl and probably is not aware of it.

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