Military nursing.. Need advice/info!!
- 0Jul 15, '12 by kayteeRNBSNHi!
So I am a new grad and have just recently got a job in an acute/long term rehab facility. I really want/need to work in a hospital. I need that atmosphere and experience. I have my father who is a vet from the army and has suggested to me that I check out the air force and the navy for nursing. So I have called both and in the air force they said that I would def be deployed somewhere during my term, and the navy said it was optional. I have no idea what to do .. I mean I have also looked into moving to other states that hopefully have a better job market than here in MA. Please someone give me some advice!! Thank you so much!
- 1Jul 15, '12 by Lady "T" RN BSNHi! I live in Southern CA. I'm an RN and a Navy Nurse Corp Officer. If you've never been in the military yourself then it is definitely a culture shock. You would need to apply/interview/ and have all of your information/docs. sent to a board for them to decide if you would be a good fit as a Navy Nurse. Mobilizationi s not necessarily "optional" I don't know who would tell you such. Recruiters are all about quotas, so be aware of what they tell you. There is such a thing called "voluntary" mobilization. However if you are in the Medical/Nurse Corps you are bound to go at one point or another. We have over 5 members in our DET who are getting mobilized to Kandahar after the new year! It's my personal opinion when it comes to Nursing you would either want to go Navy or Army, that is where you get the majority of your medical staff and experience. I would locate a good recruiter in your area who specifically recruits Nurses for the Nurse Corp. Do you have your BSN? I have a great DET and enjoy doing my time in the reserves. It can be frustrating at times, but that's the good ol' military for you. Good Luck with your endeavors!
- 0Jul 19, '12 by Meriwhen, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorQuote from kayteeRNBSNKeep in mind that the recruiters want you in...they're not going to outright lie to you, but they may not be entirely upfront about what your chances really are.So I have called both and in the air force they said that I would def be deployed somewhere during my term, and the navy said it was optional.
As someone who is both married to a servicemember and is friends with a few Navy nurses (as well as entertained the thought of going Navy myself), I can assure you that you DO have a good chance of being deployed should you go Navy. One of my friends, her first job right out of OCS (officer school) was...you guessed it: 6 months individual augmentee (no family allowed) tour in Iraq. My better half served a year overseas and yes, there were plenty of Navy and Army nurses along from the 12-month ride.
Neither of those were "optional," BTW. Other nurses I knew had to relocate from to coast to coast fairly frequently...again, not always an "optional" choice.
Mind you, you could luck out and end up with a three year tour in one place, but there's no guarantees. Chances are good but not 100%. Also, there's no guarantee that you will end up at the Naval base/installation you want: you will put in your preferences and while the detailer will do his or her best to accommodate them...ultimately you go where they need you to go, whether here or overseas. Hawai'i and the entire West Coast are very popular choices, but not everyone can be sent there. However, if you do want to see the world, tell the recruiter that you'd be willing to go overseas and you most likely would get it since not many others want to go.
The military has a lot of great options, but keep all this in mind before you jump.
There's several military nurses around here that could fill you in better than I can.
Best of luck whatever you decide!
- 0Jul 24, '12 by rndiver82Yeah, about that "optional" deployment (a funny statement by the way ): If all deployments were "optional" I don't think many would ever go. I am going into the AF (I go to COT in August) and I am willing to bet that I will be deployed at LEAST once because I am an ER nurse. But that comes with the territory. If you don't want to even go through that, active duty may not be for you. You may want to look into civilian nursing if that is going to be an issue. It also depends on your specialty. OR/ER/ICU nurses, while in demand, tend to get deployed more often than other specialties.
I would see about trying to go talk with a nurse at a local military base if at all possible and really TALK with them about what nursing in the military is like. All branches are different, each with their own perks. So if you don't like something about one, there are others to choose from.
- 1Jul 26, '12 by midinphxI would simply add that commissioning in the military should not be considered just because you can't find a job. This is not just a job; it is a lifestyle and and career choice. Many people don't realize how hard it is just to get the opportunity and the privilege to be accepted as a military nurse. All branches are very selective and it will take months of dedication and patience to even be accepted. If you just want a job, the military is not the best answer.
- 0Jul 26, '12 by just_causeOP military is very competitive in recruiting of RN's right now. Retention is high, supported by recent years of over recruiting based on recent history of what was a higher turnover... they already have baseline streams of RN's from ROTC and have a lot of applicants. Take some time to browse around here as there are a lot of people doing years of prep and very familiar with the military. Also your recruiter cannot 'def' state you would deploy.. there is not guarantee to deploy in fact many people would love to deploy as an RN but opportunities are not readily available. Like previous poster stated you should take it more seriously then a standard job as it impacts your life and your families life far more and to be successful requires a deeper understanding and commitment to the military lifestyle.