Civilian RN jobs in overseas military hospitals?

  1. 0
    My husband is a pilot in the AF, and we are surely going to be stationed overseas in the next year or two. We will probably relocate to Germany or Okinawa. I graduate this May (2006) with my BSN. I already am a nurse partner in high risk L&D, but am flexible about where I work. My husband told me today that some people at his work had told him that it was difficult for dependent wives who are nurses to find work in the military hospitals. Is this true? His one friend said I might have to work as a bagger in the commissary or something! I really don't want to have worked this hard through school to not be able to work as a RN. I was in the Army, so I am a veteran, and I know as a dependent and a veteran you can get GS job preference, but I am just wondering if there are even slots available to civilians over there. Does anyone know?? I definitely don't need health insurance or anything like that, but I do need to and want to work. We have no children now, but I want to work as much as I can now before we have children so I don't have to work as much then.

    TIA!
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  4. 13 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Quote from lauritasol
    My husband is a pilot in the AF, and we are surely going to be stationed overseas in the next year or two. We will probably relocate to Germany or Okinawa. I graduate this May (2006) with my BSN. I already am a nurse partner in high risk L&D, but am flexible about where I work. My husband told me today that some people at his work had told him that it was difficult for dependent wives who are nurses to find work in the military hospitals. Is this true? His one friend said I might have to work as a bagger in the commissary or something! I really don't want to have worked this hard through school to not be able to work as a RN. I was in the Army, so I am a veteran, and I know as a dependent and a veteran you can get GS job preference, but I am just wondering if there are even slots available to civilians over there. Does anyone know?? I definitely don't need health insurance or anything like that, but I do need to and want to work. We have no children now, but I want to work as much as I can now before we have children so I don't have to work as much then.

    TIA!
    My fiancee is stationed on okinawa right now, and I looked into exactly the same thing. You would have an easier time than me, since you're a vet and a military spouse. At kadena, all the jobs require at least one year of experience as an RN, but are open to civilians. He asked around at the hospital and was told that it's not easy to find nursing work there, even though the websites have tons of jobs listed. I'm sure you have access to the various websites with job postings, so you'll see what i mean.

    that being said, I thought about checking into the american school there- figured they might retain an on-site school nurse. In the end, we decided it was best for me to stay here and work during his last year in the service (which ends next summer! yay!!).

    As for germany, I have no idea. I can shoot you the websites I used, if you want. Good luck to you, whichever continent you end up on!
  6. 0
    Thanks for your help and advice! I'd love to see the sites you were looking at. Could you post them here or email me at lauritasol at ou dot edu? I hadn't thought of school nursing, but that definitely is an option, although not my first choice! I really, really want to go overseas for all the benefits of traveling and living in a foreign country - especially before we have children, but I definitely don't want to have worked this hard to go over there and have nothing nursing related to do!

    I guess things are up in the air until we find out where we are going, but I'd like to research it first. Miguel was thinking of taking the overseas requests off his wish list if I can't work over there, so I'm trying to find out in hope that I will be able to find out I can work!

    Good luck to you too! I'm sure it's hard with your FI so far away. We just married July 23rd, and I had THE best engagement, wedding planning, wedding and honeymoon. It is everything you dream of and more! So, I hope you get to see your FI often and best wishes on your future!
    Last edit by lauritasol on Aug 10, '05
  7. 0
    Hi! We just came from Germany. My husband was in the Army so I am sure it will be different. There is AF by the big hospitals and I am sure you would be able to find a job there. We was stationed at a small post and there weren't many jobs available for nurses. I had a friend who was a nurse and she worked at the health clinic that was 20-30 min. away. It was bigger but she said she wasn't paid very good and went on to the mental health clinic and didn't even work as a nurse than. She said they do not pay very good over in Europe if you are a nurse. That is Army though. I heard Air Force treats everyone better though. Good luck!!
  8. 0
    Quote from lalajenn
    Hi! We just came from Germany. My husband was in the Army so I am sure it will be different. There is AF by the big hospitals and I am sure you would be able to find a job there. We was stationed at a small post and there weren't many jobs available for nurses. I had a friend who was a nurse and she worked at the health clinic that was 20-30 min. away. It was bigger but she said she wasn't paid very good and went on to the mental health clinic and didn't even work as a nurse than. She said they do not pay very good over in Europe if you are a nurse. That is Army though. I heard Air Force treats everyone better though. Good luck!!
    Did you like Germany?? We're either going to NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen or to Spangdahlem Air Base. Ever hear of either of those? I've looked on both their websites and don't see any RN listings. I know they both have clinics, but not sure if they are fully staffed with military RNs or not. I know we can't work off base unless we can speak the language (which I can only speak English and Spanish - doesn't help in Germany!), and then if you can speak the language there is still some issues with the license and paperwork you have to get in order. Bleh! I'm so sad. I want to be supportive of my husband and go wherever he wants to go, but I also want to work as a nurse. I'd hate to go over there and not be able to do anything. Were you able to do anything in Germany? Did you enjoy living there? Did you live on base? At Geilenkirchen there are no on base housing and I was reading online that the off base housing doesn't come with furnished kitchens or sinks. Not really sure how you live there!
  9. 0
    Quote from lauritasol
    Did you like Germany?? We're either going to NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen or to Spangdahlem Air Base. Ever hear of either of those? I've looked on both their websites and don't see any RN listings. I know they both have clinics, but not sure if they are fully staffed with military RNs or not. I know we can't work off base unless we can speak the language (which I can only speak English and Spanish - doesn't help in Germany!), and then if you can speak the language there is still some issues with the license and paperwork you have to get in order. Bleh! I'm so sad. I want to be supportive of my husband and go wherever he wants to go, but I also want to work as a nurse. I'd hate to go over there and not be able to do anything. Were you able to do anything in Germany? Did you enjoy living there? Did you live on base? At Geilenkirchen there are no on base housing and I was reading online that the off base housing doesn't come with furnished kitchens or sinks. Not really sure how you live there!

    germany is really awesome! the best thing for you to do is wait until you get there and it will all work out--you can probably talk to some nurses there and get some ideas about where to start. good luck/hty.
  10. 0
    Germany is a very beautiful country and very clean which I like because going to the bathrooms here in the States can be nasty but not there. You do have to pay to use the bathroom though because the person who cleans the bathrooms charges which is worth it because it is so clean. Anyways I have heard of those bases. I have never been there but I have heard of them. The only Air Force bases I have been to was Ramstein and Rhein Main and I remember how nice their housing was. I would try to e-mail them because calling can run into some money unless you have international plan on your long distance phone bill. I am currently going to school to become a nurse but I had friends who was nurses over there. The small clinic that was on the base we was stationed at actually had a civilian nurse working there. Her husband was in the same troop as my husband. Most of the military ones were actually medics and didn't have a military nurse there. I think most of those went to the larger hospitals. The support base for us had several civlian nurses too. I just remember her telling me they just don't pay the nurses very much over there and there were quite a few other nurses who couldn't find jobs. I would talk to the base though that you will be going to or talk to both of them since you are not sure which one you will be going to. There are quite a few Germans who speak English. I had to go to the German Hospital one time and the doctor spoke pretty good English but the nurses didn't but they still go across what needed to be done. I do not know the laws with Americans working at a German hospital. I volunteered a lot at my kids school's on the PTA board and volunteered on base doing different things. One of my friend's tried to get me to work at her work on base but my youngest was just too small at the time and I wanted to be there for the kids since my husband was deployed for Iraq for so long and all. Anyways I did live on base housing though I wish we had lived off of base because off base housing was so much more nicer. There are places on base that will give you what you need for your housing. They are pretty good about that since Americans are use to a certain way of life. I know my husband complained about the refrigerator they were going to give us which was really small but the normal size for Germans and he ranted and rave about it and so they exchange it for a regular size refrigerator. It all depends how you make of it living in Europe. Just think though a lot of people would love to go to Europe and you are getting a ticket for free to go there. As for working as a nurse though, I would call them or e-mail them and ask. There may be other bases close by to where you will live too that you can work at. Good luck!!




    Quote from lauritasol
    Did you like Germany?? We're either going to NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen or to Spangdahlem Air Base. Ever hear of either of those? I've looked on both their websites and don't see any RN listings. I know they both have clinics, but not sure if they are fully staffed with military RNs or not. I know we can't work off base unless we can speak the language (which I can only speak English and Spanish - doesn't help in Germany!), and then if you can speak the language there is still some issues with the license and paperwork you have to get in order. Bleh! I'm so sad. I want to be supportive of my husband and go wherever he wants to go, but I also want to work as a nurse. I'd hate to go over there and not be able to do anything. Were you able to do anything in Germany? Did you enjoy living there? Did you live on base? At Geilenkirchen there are no on base housing and I was reading online that the off base housing doesn't come with furnished kitchens or sinks. Not really sure how you live there!
  11. 0
    I don't have much info on working as a nurse overseas but I can speak for Okinawa and Germany (and Korea if you want too). My husband is retired AF, we were stationed in all the above countries - accompanied.

    My advice is if you can go overseas, do it. You will not regret it. Life is short and so is your time in the military. Take every opportunity to travel and see as much as you can. Believe me, you will not be bored. Volunteer at the hospital at the very least to get your foot in the door and get your face known. You'd be surprised what you can learn from those in the trenches.

    Okinawa: we were there 1986-89 for three years. I worked for the school system (DoDDS) and for the civilian personnel office. The medical clinics were staffed by Americans...mostly active duty if I remember correctly. Lived off base and on base.

    Korea: we were there 1997-99 for two years at Yongsan. Loved it. Would go back in a heartbeat! The healthcare was mostly provided by local nationals and military. Doubt it very much if any dependents were hired. Lived on base.

    Germany: we were there 1999-2001 for two years at Ramstein. Loved it too. The healthcare was a combination of local nationals, military and dependents. Probably your best bet in employment but you need to do your research. We lived off base in a sweet little village. The landlord specialized in renting to Americans so his apartments had kitchens installed. What you heard about are the German quality apartments...they come with no cabinetry or kitchen setups whatsoever. The AF provided us with another full size refrigerator in addition to the German installed one. Our apartment was about 2000 sq ft. and very comfortable. Ramstein is located very close to Landstuhl.

    One caveat...my husband was an officer and we had three kids. You know the military gives you a housing allowance based on the military member's rank and dependents. You may want to look into on-base housing. All three locations we were at had very nice on-base housing. Good way to save $$. More $$ to travel with.

    Between my husband and I we have seen over 20 countries. The main reason for going overseas is to travel (and to stay together as a family too!) Your nursing career will take shape in time. Enjoy the time you have together now....
  12. 0
    Quote from boomerfriend
    I don't have much info on working as a nurse overseas but I can speak for Okinawa and Germany (and Korea if you want too). My husband is retired AF, we were stationed in all the above countries - accompanied.

    My advice is if you can go overseas, do it. You will not regret it. Life is short and so is your time in the military. Take every opportunity to travel and see as much as you can. Believe me, you will not be bored. Volunteer at the hospital at the very least to get your foot in the door and get your face known. You'd be surprised what you can learn from those in the trenches.

    One caveat...my husband was an officer and we had three kids. You know the military gives you a housing allowance based on the military member's rank and dependents. You may want to look into on-base housing. All three locations we were at had very nice on-base housing. Good way to save $$. More $$ to travel with.

    Between my husband and I we have seen over 20 countries. The main reason for going overseas is to travel (and to stay together as a family too!) Your nursing career will take shape in time. Enjoy the time you have together now....


    Thanks so much for your advice and info on all those countries! That was awesome! My husband is an officer as well, and it is true that I don't "need" to work, as his salary can support both of us. Also, it's not the case that I need a nursing "career". Rather, the situation is that I am 29 (30 this year) and I only have 3-5 years to work before we want (and need) to start having children. So, it's not that I want to move up the career ladder or have this wonderful nursing career. It's mainly 3 things: 1.) I don't want to have spent all this money on an education only to find that I can only work at AAFES or as a bagger or something. To me that is not fullfilling. 2.) I don't want to work after we have children, and so, like I said, I only have 3-5 years to work and I would like to work during this time in order to have a nice solid nest fund for our children and for when we drop back down to one income, and 3.) Because we don't have children, I just cannot see myself sitting at home all day - it would be a waste of my time and education (and money I spent on my education), I would be bored, etc., and I don't care to waste all my husband's money shopping, as someone advised. I know a lot of people have said I could volunteer, but again, that does not earn money and that is my focus right now. Making money prior to having children, so I don't have to work once we have children.

    So, anyway, from that viewpoint, I'm sure you can see why I'd be worried about moving anywhere where I won't be able to work. I also think it would be hard to not work as a nurse for 3 or more years and then come back to the states and try to find a job as a nurse or even feel as I'm competent anymore. It's such a dilemma, but I think that my DH is going to change his dream list, because I for sure cannot work in GK, Germany, so he's going to take that off. Neither of us want to be stationed somewhere where I can only sit at home and GK is a NATO base, so it doesn't even have all the comforts and opportunities as a real base.

    So that's my story. Thanks so much for your advice. Everywhere sounds so lovely, and hopefully the AF will send us somewhere that is beneficial for both our professions... I'm praying and hoping for that anyways!
  13. 0
    My husband I moved from Germany last December and it is truly a beautiful country. I really miss it. We lived in Stuttgart and there seemed to be a number of dependent spouses who were nurses or some type of medical assistant.

    A lot of bases have closed but there a two major hospitals there: Landstuhl and Heidelberg.

    I don't think you will have a problem finding a job since a lot of the community is very transient and remember too that a lot of active duty personnel have been deployed which free up spots for civilians.

    Do a preliminary job search at http://www.usajobs.opm.gov and http://cpol.army.mil


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