[HELP] Any civilian nurses working in GERMANY? I have questions

  1. hi there ,

    i've been searching through this forum about civilian nursing and what not and have had limited success. i've also gotten in touch with some army nursing recruitment contacts and they've referred me to various websites. again, there is a lot of information that is quite confusing .

    if any of you know anything about civilian nursing in germany and would care to share some of your experiences i'd really really appreciate it! i'm considering it as something i'd like to do within 2-3 years from now after i get some experience under my belt since i just graduated with a bsn.

    specifically, if possible :

    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.

    hmm, i think that's enough. any responses would be most appreciated! again, i have very little to work with and i know people have said some things already in this forum but i wanted to see if i can get more thorough insight.

    thank you, thank you! :spin:

    (you can also pm me or email me at azzurra29@gmail.com.)
    Last edit by azzurra29 on Jan 10, '07
    •  
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   LDRNMOMMY
    Bump!
  4. by   NursePamela
    I was a civilian nurse in Germany, Landstuhl in 2001. First let me say that everything is subject to change. However getting a job at the hospital was next to impossible. Many civilian nurses I knew over there gave up and got odd jobs at the BX or coffe shop or went back to the states. The application process is long and has a points system. You are given extra points if you are a spouse of an active duty memeber serving in the area. You are given points if you are veteran. You are given points based on several criteria. If you dont have points you do not have much of a chance. There are alot of nurses who are spouses and this seems to have the highest priority. ANd there are NOT alot of vacancies, maybe one a year. I do not want to sound discouraging and like I said in the begining everything is subject to change. I know the pay scale has changed since I was there. I made less than an E-4 as a civilian RN.

    Good Luck,
    Pam
  5. by   va nurse
    This comes from two very reliable resources. Both were relatively high ranking officers returning from Germany. They knew of my interest in transferring to DOD overseas and how I had not received so much as a reply. I have an MSN, am a service connected, 10-point vet, and have 13 years experience as an RN. So I was somewhat surprised.
    They informed me that the military "low balls" the RN's overseas because they can get away with it. They realize that as a spouse of a military member, you have no choice in being there. In addition, today's families are predominantly two income families and they realize that you need to work. They offer the lowest salary they can get away with and say "take it or leave it".
    The DOD should be ashamed and this should be against the law. I'm surprised that congress lets them get away with it.
  6. by   Seank
    Well, that's bad news. I actually had a head nurse request my resume when I contacted her by email; she said they needed ICU nurses. But, I sent it and haven't heard a word in over two weeks. She didn't acknowledge receipt or tell me they weren't interested or let me know what happens next, if anything that is. So, it sounds pretty hopeless. They have a lot of reserve nurses going over there so I guess that's one reason they don't need many. There is an open Direct Hire announcement on USAJobs so they can pull people off there. They don't have to take into account any preferences like vets, or spouses with direct hire.
  7. by   LaeDeesNP
    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!
  8. by   Seank
    There is a temporary opening for a Nurse in Vischeck but its not direct hire, so all the preferences are in place, e.g. spousal, etc. It closes Oct. 1, only open a week (which usually means they have already chosen who they want but under the law have to post it), but what the heck. If someone is interested it could be a way to get to Germany. http://federalgovernmentjobs.us:80/j...m_medium=email
  9. by   emtneel
    RNKatePSU can you or anyone who is in Germany email me?
    emtneel@hotmail.com

    I am going to apply for a civilian position as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and if you know of any clinic looking for one PLEASE send me the contact info!!
    I am a Peds RN,BSN with 2 years experience and graduate with FNP, MS Dec.14, 2007.

    I speak fluent german which probably doesn't matter. I will work ANYWHERE in Germany but esp. like frankfurt area.

    i will be apply to army civilian and air force civilian but if anyone knows of any other contacts please email me!
    thanks
    Neelia

    Oh i will be in Germany Jan 29 through Feb.13th and could travel to ANYWHERE in Germany for a job interview. I can also do a phone interview before that. And i have prof.resume available.
    Last edit by emtneel on Nov 18, '07 : Reason: forgot something

close