Military Spouse RN - page 3

by tortor09 8,916 Views | 25 Comments

Hello all, hubby is in the Army. I am finishing up school to be an RN. He is supposed to deploy next year, when he gets back... He will be at the base he is currently at now for approximately 6 months, then being sent to Arizona... Read More


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    Hello there! I just wanted to follow up with the discussion. I'm a military spouse and will be finishing up nursing school in August 2013. My husband is a USAF Lt Col and there is a chance we could be overseas-Germany. My previous exprience is diverse: EMT-B in Virginia, Phlebotomist in Virginia for Sentara, CNA and MA IN Virginia for Sentara and PHarmacy Technician for In patient VA Hospital in Omaha, NE, where I'm currently attending nursing school. (5-6 years total)This is also my second bachelors, my first is in communication.I loved working for the VA and would like to return(crossing fingers hiring freeze lifts soon.)Is there anything I could be doing now? Or should I expect to not be doing nursing for the time were there? Maybe I can use my other exprience? Finally, we start preceptorships in May, I wonder if there is a particular preceptorship that would be more advantageous in anticipation for overseas? Any advice is greatly apperciated!
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    Tortor,

    I finished taking courses at Liberty back in May, but just recieved my BSN in September since I waited to take the Microbiology CLEP test. It feels so good to be done and it couldn't have come at a better time. My husband is being medically discharged from the Army, so I'll be going up for selection as an AF nurse in March. I'm anxious to see what could happen when the roles are reversed.... hahah

    Let me know if you need any other help about LU. I may even have some books if you need them!
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    Hi Redo!
    I can't say there would be a specific preceptorship that would be more helpful than others. From my experience, VA RN jobs are near impossible to come by without those 1-2 years of RN experience. But your previous VA experience might be helpful to keep that door open. My suggestion is to get as much RN experience as possible prior to the move. If this is not feasible, make sure to volunteer in a facility while looking for jobs to keep your skills fresh. This was something suggested to me by peers after looking for 6 months before landing my first RN job. Many employers seem leary of hiring new nurses that are a year post graduation without any experience. Even in my young age, it's amazing how fast things can fade! Good luck in school and with the move! Germany sounds like a dream
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    Well, I heard that you can work in VA hospitals and at US Government facilities overseas using your RN license. They will completely bypass it. Like what JillyRN said... get your experience! That's definitely the most important thing! I would definitely try to get into a VA hospital especially since you've already had experience there

    Also if you wanted to work off base in Germany, I'm not sure how it works... but I heard that it can be done.

    JillyRN: That sounds great! Did you like it there? I know this upcoming summer I'm going to do some serious research about what online RN-BSN program I'm going to get into. I love those military spouse discounted tuition rates... I might as well take advantage of it to save money.
    Last edit by tortor09 on Jan 26, '13 : Reason: Adding more info.
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    I am a RN with a military spouse that just started a three-year tour here in Germany. I will go ahead and say that it is VERY difficult to find jobs overseas for any spouse in any field. It's not impossible, but it's very difficult - much more so if you're going to be coming overseas as a new grad. The region we are stationed in only has a clinic vs. a main hospital, and some nurses waited up to two years to secure employment at the clinic. I came here with a six-year background in maternal/child health (and a BSN) and was very lucky to be offered employment with the Army's New Parent Support Program within three months of arriving. But I knew before coming here how difficult finding employment was going to be, so I planned for it by scoping out the job scene, making contacts the best that I could, gaining additional certifications (mainly in lactation) that would give me an edge, and having a plan B (waiting for a clinic job and having an online grad school in mind to apply for).

    The advice I always give new grads is to look outside of the box for ways to get into your area of passion. I wanted nothing more than to do L&D after graduation (jobs were plentiful back then, but L&D was still a much sought-after and competitive unit), but instead of trying the standard "get a job as a tech on postpartum," I worked on a liver/kidney transplant floor where I became very proficient at lab draws and foley catheter insertions. Also, when it came time to pick senior preceptorships, I chose one of the only OR spots....very helpful to go into my L&D interview with some experience being in the OR on my resume (for C/S circulating). In a competitive market, it's helpful to have unconventional (but very relevant) experience to stand out among the sometimes thousands of applicants.

    I second the above post on making sure that you are doing something while you are job searching. Volunteering is good, but I would also look into additional education. If you don't have a BSN, enroll in a program. I know a lot of new grads spend money to obtain certifications such as ACLS, PALS, etc., but personally, I highly recommend spending those dollars to attend conferences/workshops geared toward your interest(s) instead. Conferences are a great way to network and to learn the latest EBP in the specialty.

    Best of luck to you all. And thank you for your service to the country as military spouses! =)
    Cauliflower and Pixie.RN like this.
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    Tortor: I really liked the program. I loved the 8 week classes and it was great not having any out of pocket expenses when it comes to books and fees. The other schools I looked at based on cost and degree requirements that are conducive to distance learning were University of Wyoming, UT Arlington, and Oakland University. I can't remember if they offered a military discount, but the costs were reasonable. Good luck!


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