Quote from azzurra29
1. what is the minimum tour duration for a civilian nurse in germany or does it vary? (i know maximum is 5 years supposedly)
2. what gs level would a nurse with 2-3 years of stepdown/telemmetry experience be? this is so confusing to me.
3. are the nursing ratios over there comparable to units in the states? i'm more interested in stepdown/critical care units.
4. is relocation required as a civilian nurse? if so, within the country, continent or across the world even?
5. what are some pros and cons of working as a civilian nurse? i may or may not be single if and when i do go. i'd like to experience working in another country though and get some extra experience.
i'm an rn working in germany (husband stationed here) and thought i'd give some of your questions a try. i don't have insight on all of them though!
1. the minimun tour requirement will always vary...especially depending on what kind of position you take. there are temporary, permanent, full- and part-time jobs. for example, some jobs are "temporary, not to exceed 6 months" or "temporary, not to exceed 2 years" etc. mine is full-time permanent three years. i'm not really sure that you can't stay longer than 5 years. from what i've heard (and impressions i've gotten about the nurse before me), you can put in for an "extension" or basically reapply for your job when the deadline approaches and keep the position. that's especially true if your supervisor likes you and you've performed well in the position.
2. the job categories are presently changing from gs to another system...but... i was hired on at an ambulatory care clinic (basically family practice) as a gs-09 with one year of experience in med/surg. there are a series of levels, and levels within levels...it's quite confusing actually. i would guess (based on the gs schedule) that a nurse with 2-3 years tele/stepdown would be a high level gs-09 or low to mid 10. but there's a lot of "wiggle room" in the levels... for instance, a 09 can expect a wage anywhere from $35,000 annually to $95,000 annually. yea...i'm not joking! haha
3. no clue about the nurse/patient ratio. i'm not working in a hospital (unfortunately!), sorry!
4. i'm not quite sure if i understand what you mean by is it required... mainly because you would have to relocate even for a short term placement. i can tell you... the government will move you and your things to your new duty station for free within a weight limit. i'm not sure about shipping a vehicle...i know service members get one free car shipped but i'm not sure if that's true for civilian gov't employees. it probably is, but you never know!
5. pros and cons...? wow, i could go on and on...but i won't. *sigh* it is definitely awesome living and working in a foreign country with so many opportunities to travel and see europe. that is the best part! working as a civilian rn in a military setting is sometimes frustrating. the rank, bureaucracy, enlisted vs commissioned soldiers issues, people frequently moving in and out of positions (inconsistancies) etc...but every place is different and a lot of the same gripes could be said about "civilian" hospitals too. if you've no longer single when/if you make the decision to work in europe, you're family may accompany you to your new position.
i do want to say, landstuhl is the only large military medical facility in germany. there are only a few american hospitals left in germany as the military is downsizing their medical facilities here. so, it's hard in general to get a gov't job and this downsizing may make it even more difficult. you can go to this website: www.cpol.army.mil
and search jobs in germany (anywhere, really). i've heard, once people get into a gov't job, they aren't quick to leave it. that's also another reason why it's hard to get in. a previous person mentioned how there is a "point" system...which is true. a veteran has the highest preference, then a spouse (me!), and it goes down from there. so, if you're up for a job and a vet or spouse also applies...more than likely they'll get it. but..that doesn't mean there's no hope for someone with little to no "points." just keep applying and searching. oh, and on that website i mentioned...make sure you tailor your resume to exactly what the announcement asks for...even if you stretch the truth...because you have to get "flagged" by the computer system to even reach an hr person's desk. everyone knows this so and it's not seen as lying on your resume...it's the system that's in place and that's how you work it.
well, this is long enough i think! i hope i've been helpful. good luck to you in your search for an assignment over here! keep hope if it's what you want!