Do navy nurses just supervise corpsmen?

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    my name is candice and i'm a junior nursing student at texas tech university. i am in the process of applying for the navy nurse candidate program and can't wait to graduate and enter the navy. i have heard from some people that all the nurses do is boss around the corpsmen and don't do nursing duties. i know that corspmen are used a lot, but will i still be able to apply my nursing skills one on one with patients?

    also, i am wanting to go into perioperative nursing and a commander informed me that the navy is in shortage of or nurses. is there anyone that can tell me about any experiences in the or teams with the navy?

    thanks!!! :roll
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    As a Navy nurse that works in a busy ER, my primary job is to take care of patients, along with that come other responsabilities such as training, guiding and working with corpsmen. There are some nurses that do abuse their "officer status" and all they do is order corpsmen around. This can sometimes create friction and resentment on the part of the corpsmen, and rightly so....Speaking for my own experience, I have nothing but good things to say about corpsmen and I have a great working relationship with them.

    The first four years as a Navy nurse you will be primarily doing direct patient care. As you advance in rank, say by the fifth year or so, you will be probably in charge of a unit and you will find yourself doing less patient care and more administrative tasks; unless you're in a specialized field such as anesthesia, OR, etc.

    In order to become an OR nurse you must petition for OR school, which you will not get as a brand new Ensign. You should be able to apply for school by your 2nd year. As a new nurse you will go through a 4 month internship program, where you get to rotate and work in different areas of the hospital. After the 4 initial months you will probably end up in a Med-surg floor, the assignment will also depend on the needs of a specific unit, but most often than not, new nurses go to the floor and then after a year, you may petition to transfer to a different unit. Don't let this discourage you from joining the Navy, so far it's been a great experience, there are many great opportunities that you can obtain here, like any job it has its ups and downs, but knowing the I'm actually providing a service to my country makes it all worthwhile.
    take care and good luck on your decision
    krick2aliza likes this.
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    Thank you so much for the information! That is very helpful and it gives me an idea of what to expect once I'm in. I've heard that corpsmen are really great and everyone gets along with them. I did have a conversation with one at MEPS though and he just said that since I'm going to be a nurse that I'm going to "make the corspmen lives hell" and started talking down to me and to remember the conversation. It dissapointed me, because I do not want to be one to get power hungry and one of the reasons I'm looking into the navy is because I felt like the health care team maybe worked together closer. I'm sure this particular person just had a bad experience with a nurse.
    Thank you again
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    In Tn, there is a bill being introduced for a person who has served in the ared forces as medical specialist advanced, medical service tech, or advanced hospital corpsman tech to be licensed as a registered nurse without course study, a diploma or degree from an approved school of nursing. This truely distresses me, but being in the service, what do you think about this. Would you want a person with this training to be responsible for the care of your family?
    I figure you will know a lot more about these positions and what they do.
    Thanks for your service
    Cynthia
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    Quote from crich
    In Tn, there is a bill being introduced for a person who has served in the ared forces as medical specialist advanced, medical service tech, or advanced hospital corpsman tech to be licensed as a registered nurse without course study, a diploma or degree from an approved school of nursing. This truely distresses me, but being in the service, what do you think about this. Would you want a person with this training to be responsible for the care of your family?
    I figure you will know a lot more about these positions and what they do.
    Thanks for your service
    Cynthia
    I am against it. They did not function as RNs in the military, they should not function as RNs in the civilian world without getting the education just like everyone else. Allowing them to sit for LPN boards, I can see - the function/experience is probably similar. This is just from information that my prior-military friends have given me. From what they have told me about their experience and training, in no way are they qualified to function as RNs without additional education or training.
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    Quote from RN4NICU
    I am against it. They did not function as RNs in the military, they should not function as RNs in the civilian world without getting the education just like everyone else. Allowing them to sit for LPN boards, I can see - the function/experience is probably similar. This is just from information that my prior-military friends have given me. From what they have told me about their experience and training, in no way are they qualified to function as RNs without additional education or training.
    I agree.. as an ex (Air Force) corpsman myself, I would say I have performed duties well above and beyond those of many a civilian LPN... HOWEVER.... I see these now more as learned tasks, and that I did not have the academic fundamentals which helped me understand the whys and wherefores of these tasks.. nor the many complications that could arise. Was I skilled at the duties I performed? Absolutely ! Did I love what I did on a daily basis ? You bet ! So while my "nursing tasks" were waaaaaaaaaay beyond those of an LPN, the academic portion would have been equivalent.

    I agree.. by all means, they should be able to transfer automatically to civilian LPN, then get the academics... the pharmacology and everything else they need to bridge to RN.


    Cookie.. I do remember the nurses doing a lot of the paperwork, and a lot of telling us corpsmen what to do.. and when. While they were the ones that decided WHAT needed to be done for which patients... most of this was then accomplished by the corpsmen.. whose training IS quite extensive and ongoing... and the means by which to achieve rank. so it is an incentive, as well.

    That is not to say that the nurses couldn't have jumped in there and done this themselves.. it was merely a matter of time and preference. They did have a full plate of their own with all the administrative work and charting,etc... and they were confident in our abilities. While they supervised, they were never intrusive or "obvious" about it.. unless we asked for instruction, guidance, or further teaching on a specific problem or procedure.
    And, there were always those things we could NOT do.. (not too many things actually), but yes.. there were some. The nurses were usually pretty good at taking us along and teaching us things.. all of this was valuable to me.

    From your post, I can see that you will make one great nurse and coworker.. you should have no problem bonding with and supervising your corpsmen.. and being a great mentor as well.

    This proud Navy Mom of a Navy sailor/son wishes you the very best in your endeavors ! Wooooooot !
    Last edit by jnette on Apr 8, '05
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    Hi, I am a new Navy RN - I went throught the NCP program and I am at Portsmouth Naval in Virginia. I have been working as an RN since last April. Yes, you do get a rotation throughtout the hospital in the major areas - I think most big hospitals have whet is called the nurse intern program - mine was 10 weeks. We went to med/surg, ortho, peds and postpartum - some of my fellow peers went to the surgical, oncology units. We were supposed to have a 12 week orientation - but the units wanted us ASAP. Well, most of my fellow 6 nurses went to ortho, L&D, surgical, PCU, ED and I am in Psych. Most units work 12 hour day/night shifts - my unit works 8's. There is a lot to learn about being a new nurse and a new officer and your time may be spent learing on the ropes (as far as what your role is with the corpsmen). The corpsmen do a lot, but we also do a lot also. Many times the corpsmen are overworked and if you volunteer to do the little things and help them out in anyway you can they will bend over backwards for you. I am spoiled because most of my corps staff are specialized in psych and are mostly career navy. Yes, you will get some who do not pull their weight and it may be difficult to get things solved the "correct" way because even though you may be in charge (I was after 2 weeks on my unit - in charge of 3 units with at least 30 patients and 1 other nurse with 3 corps staff on each unit - on the night shift) there is a "correct" way to go about fixing things - the corps staff are not directly under you and you have to first let them fix the problem then you have to go to the senior of the shift then the senior of the unit and on and on - you get it. I have put in my request to transfer to another unit - I want more. One major problem with the military hospital is the civilian contractors. They think they own the hospital and we work around them. That means if you have civilians on your unit and they call in sick or do not show up - we take their place. No matter if it is your day off - you may get a comp day - IF that is possible. Some civilians never call in sick and are great to work with and some are not. For OR you have to have at least one year on the medical unit - the school is in Pensacola. But all in all I think that this is the best chioce for many new RN's. You have the opportunity to ask for a new unit every year, you have the option to move to a new duty station every couple of years and all of the benefits are great. And you will never reach the pay ceiling - you will get a pay increase if the president allows and cost of living increases. I think it is the best deal. I hope this has helped!
    krick2aliza likes this.
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    Thanks for the replys regarding the new legislation in TN. I may send some of these replies to our congressmen. Excuse my ignorance, but what does ncp stand for.
    crich
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    nurse candidate program
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    I have met many types of Nurse Corps Officers as a Corpsman in my almost 9 yrs. Here are a few:
    1. Prior Service- Laid Back and Approachable but driven to train all the time
    2. Prior Service- Uptight and Distant and driven to work you all the time and will keep you even after turnover because he/she forgot about you and never secured you.
    3. Newbie RN- Asks a lot of questions early on, especially "What time do we eat Roland?" "What is 1300?", then next thing is bossing you around once their orientation is done.
    4. Newbie RN- Quiet as a mouse, then once orientation is done, is bossing your around still not having a clue what happens in your unit.

    There are some hardnosed supposed 'old school' types who will make new RN's treat HM's like slave labor and forbid any 'small talk' during work hours.

    You will always get a mixed bag wherever you go.

    If the HM staff can work together, they can overcome any Nurse Corps officer's wrath!


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