Military Nursing Questions Answered - page 3

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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    I appreciate this Q&A forum and need anyone to post a reply and help me out. I left this post in a different thread so here it is again.

    I have been reading posts related to the Navy Nurse Corps. For this last few days, I have been gathering info on how to get in by DA. It's tough I know and I wish it wasn't so. I've contacted the Medical Program Officer in my area- so far we are playing phone tag but I'm sure we will be able to have a conversation this upcoming week. I am a Public Health Nurse with a focus on Psych/Mental Health. There is nothing I want more than becoming a PMHNP/FNP (I plan to obtain a post-cert after I find out what the Navy's needs are) and serving those who served. My hubs recently separated from the Navy after nearly a decade and has given me the ok to go for my dream of being a Navy Nurse. What a guy...

    About Me:
    1. 34 soon-to-be 35 y/o female
    2. Graduated in May 2008 with a 3.3 (not a strong GPA but I got into a great school with a special needs kid in a city I didn't know much about. My husband was gone that whole time so I'm happy with what I've accomplished.
    3. Won a spot in the VA Nursing Academy in VA SD Medical Center.
    4. 2 Awards given by my employer.
    5. I'm a go-getter and has been so fortunate to never have to go the Plan B route. I get it done.
    6. Public Health Nurse: Tons of mental health, admin, quality assurance type of experience.
    7. I have realistic expectations. I come from a military family as did my hubs. I am all about this.

    Any thoughts or advice? How about #6? Is this a done deal because I am not a hospital nurse? If they need me on the floor, I'll take it but wondering if I should say that as to not sound so Navy-desperate; without sound goals. Did I mention I want this so bad? Haha. I need a pick-me-up. I am not the type to get nervous and not give up but I am getting pretty antsy. I don't know what to think.

    Thanks all in advance!

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    After reading and following posts on this forum, I don't know that I could say with any certainty what the Navy is looking for in candidates at this time. I have seen all over the place, though, that Psych nursing are in demand. I've posted in a different thread, but I am 41, a new grad (May 2011) that was accepted as DA (general nurse), but I started the application process a full two years ago. I have 6 months experience in the OR as a circulator, and would like to stay in the OR, but I took any designation they were willing to give me I also had to go through the waiver process, after getting the "letter" that I was medically disqualified, so I certainly understand your nervousness in the process. As I've said before, I came to believe the process was what actually tested my mental toughness, because I also felt I wanted this so bad. There were times when I thought I was going to unravel because of the uncertainty...but as a professor told me one time, we all have uncertainty that follows us around, but we don't have to invite it to pull up a chair for dinner!

    Take heart and don't get discouraged! And hopefully you have a good recruiter to guide you though everything. My was awesome and a tremendous help when I felt like throwing in the towel.
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    Thanks for addressing OR nursing. Since that is my interest, I will bring it up once I get to my duty station.
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    I won't get discouraged CynRN11 and congratulations! As long as the positive outcomes continue, I will plug and chug with my recruiter.
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    Babe 48076: Work at a Naval Hospital is similar to non-county civilian hospitals. What I mean is; the patient population isnít like that out in town. We donít get the frequent drug abusers, gunshot victims, stabbings, crazy traumaís that you see on TV. We see a lot of retired military personnel, since most of the active duty people are fairly healthy. Obviously we get those wounded soldiers from the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, etc. On the west coast we donít see many of them, despite our desire to care for them.
    As for the shifts, we do shift work. I work in the ICU, and I typically work 13.5 hours/shift, there is no overtime. My civilian coworkers get overtime though. We also rotate days/nights every 6 weeks. Everyplace will schedule things a little differently. I get to wear scrubs, but others in the hospitals wear Navy uniforms (khakis or NWUís). Deploying is a whole other topic. See my next comment. Hope this helps; it probably spurred more questions though. I will do my best to answer all.
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    Witchbaby: I am sorry I donít know anything about the Navy Reserves. I should know more but I donít. Clinical experience ALWAYS helps though.
    You do have to be in decent shape, however there are many in the Navy that do not fall within the prescribed standards. To join the Navy you WILL have to be within certain weight standards. Since I am not a recruiter I canít tell you exactly what they are, especially for a female. If you follow the link below, it will take you to a site that describes what the Navyís PT test (PRT) and weight standards are. They vary by age. You wonít have to meet these upon commissioning but you will need to meet them before the end of Officer Development School (ODS) which is about 5 weeks long. Not much time to get in shape if youíre out of shape.
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    This was very helpful. Thank you very much.
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    Deployment Questions Answered, in part: Deploying depends on many things. I would say that the number 1 thing that determines who deploys is where you work. You WILL deploy if you work in the ICU. If you work in the ER, you MAY deploy. If you work anywhere else, it just depends. I work in the ICU and I deployed after 1 Ĺ years there.
    There are different places where nurses deploy to. Some of them include: Iraq, Afghanistan in various roles. You could also deploy on a carrier, or on a FST (fleet surgical team) on a big deck (amphibious ship), or even on a small buoy like a destroyer or cruiser. Then there is the USNS Mercy of course. This last ship is where many non critical care nurses may get a taste of a deployment.
    Where you deploy to also depends on how long you have been in, and how much experience you may have in a certain area. For example, a nurse at their first duty station is not going to deploy on a carrier or on a FST, but you may deploy to the Middle East somewhere. Hope this helps a little.
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    hello and thank you in advance, i have several questions:
    1. what is the process and how difficult is it for the navyto send you to school to get your masters? i am very interested in anesthesia.
    2. how long are deployments in average?
    3. if they send me to school will it be full time or will ihave to work part time?
    i know if i go back the navy i will serve my 20 years but ijust wanted to know if this is possible, i mean to have they navy pay for mymasters. how difficult is it make rank? as an officer do you have to take testsor just by time being in the navy? if i go in with my masters already what rankwill they start me in?


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    1) The process is competitive at times. The application process in much more involved than in the civilian world. You have to work in critical care 1st. You have to have the approval of your boss, their boss, and the SNE of the hospital. You can't apply right away. Typically you have to wait about 3-4 yrs first. You have to align when you will go to school with the time when you should be transferring to a new duty station.
    2) Deployments vary in length depending on where you go. Typically they range from 7-9 months. As a CRNA in the Navy you WILL deploy a lot. About every other year, but this can vary but not too much.
    3) If you decide to persue DUINS with the Navy it is full time, you can still promote while in school and get paid full time. Your job is to go to school full time and pass. You do have to wear your uniform while attending school. As for promotions and rank: without any nursing experience you will start as an Ensign (0-1), you will make LTJG (0-2) after 2 years, and LT(0-3) 2 years after that. These are almost guaranteed unless you do something outrageous or kill someone. After LT, promotions are merit & time based. Typically to make LCDR (0-4) you need a masters but some slip by that don't have it. I am not sure what rank someone will come in with masters, a recruiter will have to tell you that. Hope this helps a little.

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