Military Nursing Questions Answered - page 16

by navyman7 62,119 Views | 204 Comments

Hello. I have seen many questions posted about the recruiting, the military, and future military experiences, I wanted to start a Q & A forum where you can ask questions related to the military from someone who is in the... Read More


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    Sorry to be a downer in the last post. I was trying not to be but the list above is just a sample from what I hear people talk/complain about. Thanks for mentioning L&D and the NWU scrub tops. From what I have seen, not many sport the scrub top as it isn't as comfy as true scrubs. The plus side is is that it isn't long sleeve.
    About the insubordination thing. It's tricky. If you work at the big 3, then you are going to be working around interns/residents who aren't as knowledgable as a fellow/attending. Now you can question them about orders and things, but it's a fine line. You don't want to be disrespectful but you do need to use critical thinking/good judgement and do what's best for the patient. Sometimes you do HAVE to do what the MD says because you risk being insubordinate. When you get in those situations then you have to turn to your charge nurse and division officer/dept head. It can be challenging at times. Especially at night when you don't have the support staff there to back you up. This also goes for the senior nursing staff too. Again they haven't necessarily been at the bedside in a long time and may make policy/procedures based on what they think is right. And you can't really question them about it or they can make your life miserable.

    If others have some pros/cons that they want to add, please list them. I am trying to present all the good/bad the military offers. I know that sometimes recruiters paint a one sided pretty picture and many people are disappointed after they join because they didn't have all the facts from the begining.
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    Quote from staugnurse
    As a navy nurse is it possible to work prn as a civilian? I realize Navy commitments would come first.
    As a new grad our DNS told us get a year or exp on the floor then we can moonlight.

    Quote from PCroizier
    Nevermind! I re-read to see you are getting scrub tops...I was imagining a transmissions nightmare since they appear to be a little loose.
    If your sleeves are not rolled up there are buttons at the end to have the sleeve fit your wrist better.

    If anyone has any other questions let me know I am down at NAS Pensacola.
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    Just speaking from being the husband of a civilian nurse, alot of the cons, are general cons you deal with even in the civilian sector. Sick call is just a military thing as milingering can be detrimental to a unit. As an earlier poster said, they only used a sick day because of the hurricane, that is what they do not want happening, which is why they make you go to sick call if sick, it does kinad suck though. But honestly most of those cons are cons int he civilian life, except the deployment and moving, but that isnt a surprise to anyone joining the military I hope.
    Dassit82 likes this.
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    NurseSpouse: Thanks for your input, but I would disagree regarding the Cons. I have worked in the civilian sector and know that many of the cons are not also found in civilian life.

    Some examples of only being found in the military are:

    -Working long hours with out any kind of compensation, payback, or overtime. Working call without any kind of compensation or consideration to the hours you've just worked. (in civilian life you get compensated when you take call or have to work longer hours than scheduled. You also get shift differentials for the varying hours you work. Not so in the Navy)

    -Endless hours/days of pointless training that has no bearing on your job, again on your days off most of the time (General Military Training-GMT's, NKO "training", Deplolyment Training, etc). (again in the civilian world you would be paid for having to attend training)

    -Sometimes no say as to where you work. (when you are hired in the civilian world, you know exactly where you are going to work. They don't surprise you one day saying you are now going to work in L&D or on the MedSurg floor.)

    -Deployments (enough said)

    -Moving every few years, very few exceptions to this. Sometimes to underdesirable locations. (will definitely not happen in the civilian world either)

    -Very difficult taking vacation (I will agree it can be hard in the civilian world.)

    -Having to work under nurses in supervisory positions who haven't worked at the bedside in years. Also having to do what they say despite their inexperience in a certain area. (I know this happens in the civilian world too, but at least you can work with HR/Unions if someone isn't safe or if they are clueless. Not the case in the military, you do what they say or its insubordination.)

    -The more experieced you become and more senior in rank you become the farther away from the bedside that you become, very little exceptions to this. (This also wouldn't happen in the civilian world without you agreeing to this.)

    -Working in your uniform at the bedside, not all work in their uniforms but many do (the exceptions are; ED, OR, ICU, L&D) (Doesn't happen it the civilian world.)

    -The military health care system (for you). Having to go to appointments in uniform. Having to go to the hospital sickcall if you are sick. Can't just call in and say that you are sick. (again, not in the civilian world)

    -Can be hard on families, family relationships. (Any job can be hard, I will agree)

    -Opportunity for more school with a variable payback length and possible increase in deployments.
    (not applicable in the civilian world)

    With that said, I love the Navy and getting to serve our country. I am trying to present all the facts for those looking to join. I am not trying to sway anyone in a specific way. As my original post implied, I joined under wrong information that was hard to get used to and want others to have all the facts out there. Thank you all for your input and experiences.
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    navyman7,

    Thanks for all of your very candid information throughout this post! You are a wealth of experience and knowledge, again, thanks. Before I ask any questions, I will give you some quick background info: AD AF for 5 years, AF Reserves for 5 years as a medic and recently separated from the AF completely. BSN for 1.5 yrs as ICU (trauma/neuro) nurse, working on CCRN.

    With all of that time given to federal service, I am contemplating rejoining AD through either the AF (which I know) or the Navy. Do you, knowing what you know now, think it is worth putting up with all of the cons that you mentioned, which I might add are very accurate, for the pro's? Retirement, benefits, decent salary if you don't count the BS that you MUST put up with, opportunity for educational advancements i.e. NP, CRNA, decent pay check when you "retire?"
    Thoughts?
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    Austeremed:
    Honestly you need to ask yourself if you can deal with everything that you left. Is it worth putting up with all that for 10 more years? Don't forget that you can work at the VA and apply your time in the military towards retirement there. It also depends on what your goals are, like NP/CRNA etc. Do you want to pay for that yourself or let the military do it knowing what that means, more deployments etc. FYI, the Navy's deployments are approx. 8 months long. I have no idea how long the AF deployments are.
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    Navyman7,
    It's a hard decision. The more I think about it, the more I dread the endless hours of CBTs, and training of which most of it is military and not medically oriented. At the same time, the benefits for school are outstanding (yes grad school, CRNA is up my alley). The AF's deployments have been extended from a lengthy four months to six (I know, the least of the Armed Forces!). What I need is a crystal ball....
    Thanks for your experience and good luck on the apps that you have out there for CRNA school, I am sure you will get scooped up quickly!
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    Hello everyone!

    I am a new BSN grad (fall '12) with a strong desire to join the military as an Air Force Nurse. I haven't taken the NCLEX yet but as soon as I pass the licensure exam I would like to be commissioned. I am aware that the military is downsizing, and my fear is that they will not have a need for me (especially a new grad). Can someone please tell me what are my chances of being accepted into the Air Force as a new grad? I have a 3.3 gpa with seven months worth of nurse tech experience at a local hospital in Louisiana. Also, I have not contacted any recruiters as of now but I plan on scheduling a meeting with them in the beginning of January. What would be some good questions to ask the recruiters to ensure that I obtain the most info as possible. Thank you in advance!!
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    I will graduate with my ADN in just a few months and I have already been accepted into an MSN program to start immediately after graduation. Will I still be considered if I am enrolled in a higher degree program?
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    Simmaplease: I am sorry to say that I can't help you with that question. You will definitely need to speak to a recruiter. So many variables with you; masters degree issue (depending on the degree type), experience issue, pay and rank, where to work etc. Just weigh your options carefully. Good luck.


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