Military Nursing Questions Answered - page 4

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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    Hello navyman7,
    I am currently in the process of filling out the NCP application with a medical recruiter from San Diego. I was wondering what kind of advice you would have for someone looking into Navy nursing with a significant other who is also looking into joining through NCP as well. If all goes well and we get selected for NCP, does the Navy try to keep you on the same unit or at least the same medical center when doing assignments? We both have similar goals with Navy nursing, but our main concern is being stationed away from each other. My medical recruiter said they would "try" to accommodate this but according to these threads, recruiters can't always be trusted. Would it be better if we got married first?

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    miguelli1989: If you are both from San Diego there is a good chance that you will both be stationed at San Diego, it's cheaper for the Navy to keep you in SD versus paying for you both to go to Bethesda or Norfolk. With that said, anything can happen. If you are not married the detailers won't do much for you two. They will say they will put you together but in the end the Navy's needs come first. As for working in the same unit, it's very unlikely that you will work together. They won't let something like favoritism happen, so you won't work together. If you do get married then the detailers will work to get you two in the same city or area, but they don't have to put you at the same hospital. You may get the hospital in SD and the other may get sent to camp pendelton. This way techinically you guys are in the same area in case one of you deploys. Sorry this isn't better news, I just have never seen the Navy be kind to dual military families.
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    Thank you for the information as it is really helpful. We are both a year and a half from graduating, and are both hoping to get accepted into the NCP program. Hypothetically speaking, if we both get accepted and have to sign the final documents, is that the only chance for us to let the NAVY know we might be married by the time graduation comes? In other words, if we get married from the time between signing and actually getting our assignments, can we still get that accommodation of getting stationed together? I don't even know if that makes any sense haha.
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    miguelli: you will not be able to get the co-located assignment if you have already accepted orders. Once you negotiate you are pretty much stuck. I have NEVER heard of anyone getting out of an assignment once it has been made. The circumstances must be pretty bad for them to let you change orders at the last moment, really bad. In additon you need to be legally married or they won't do anything for you, being engaged doesn't do anything. I am not sure how they will work with you two otherwise. Detailers in my experience are very hard to work with. Do everything you can before you speak to the detailer to get your house in order otherwise you may be out of luck. Sorry again for the grim news.
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    Thank you again... After all of this information, I don't think the NCP is in my best interest due to the time frame of the commitment and working with the detailers before actually getting married. I do however still want to do Navy Nursing. The benefits, extensive training, and personal growth opportunities are just too good to turn away, not to mention, serving my country. Are there any programs for students about a year from graduating with a BSN as a Navy Nurse reserve? From my understanding it seems as if it is only open for individuals who already have their license or who are currently practicing RNs.
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    BTW is it possible for me to get your email for more personal questions that might not do so well over a public forum? =)
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    navyman7 - thanks for all your insight. Is there anything that you wished you had known prior to joining the Navy? And what is the biggest different you see between friends in civilian nursing roles and Navy nursing?
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    Hello navyman7,

    I'm currently in the NCP program and set to graduate in May. I've been told not to contact my recruiter until mid-March regarding my orders. I've been getting a lot of questions from family about what my schedule is going to be like after graduation. I graduate on May 12 and want to take the NCLEX as soon as possible. We are given a 30-45 day window to study for and take the NCLEX. Once I pass the NCLEX, I'm guessing there will be a window between that and going to ODS. During this time period, is this when we will be coordinating living arrangements, etc? Sorry for being vague, it just seems very cloudy what happens after graduation and NCLEX.

    Thanks for your time.
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    GuelnRN: I don't know much about the reserves, however I have heard that the reserves usually only take practicing RN's with experience. As for the NCP I agree with you, It sounds great in the begining but by the time papers are signed and you start getting paid you lose out on a bunch of money. I tried the NCP but it didn't work out. I came in as a direct accession. I was much happier about that process, plus the signing bonus was larger than what my friend had earned in the NCP. In addition to the money, you can choose how your time commitment. 3-5 years. Hope this helps. I will attempt to send you a message with my email. if i get spammed then it's over.
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    Oaktown2: Where to start? Here is a list of some of the things that have been a thorn in my side: All the excesses that occur drive me and many of us crazy. No freedom to choose schedules, EXCESSIVE paperwork to do anything like take vacations, classes, overtime without any kind of compensation. Working hours that my civilian counterparts don't have to. Deploying is rough, and little to no support from the home command. Getting screwed every year by congress with low pay. NO choice of where to work in the hospital.
    With all that said, I love where I work. I love the people I care for. I love getting to serve my country and serving those who have served. I kind of wish I was a civilian working in the exact same place as I do now, I just never knew such positions existed before I started with the navy.
    In regards to navy vs civilian nursing. I have worked in both fields. I love the patient population in the Navy. In a civilian hospital you take care of everyone. You get all kinds of people. In the Navy you're all of a similar mindset. I also never felt appreciated in the civilian hospital or felt like I was making a difference. I don't get much thanks now, but neither do those who I care for. In addition to that, as a civilian you get paid more, get to choose your schedule (relatively speaking). There is far less bureaucracy in the civilian world too. Hope this helps a little.
    Last edit by navyman7 on Feb 23, '12

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