Military Spouse RN

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    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 for AIT for his new MOS- which will take another 6 months. We should then get orders to our next base at some point during that time. At some point after he gets back from deployment, I will be ready to take my NCLEX exam. So I have a few questions:

    - Where do military spouse RNs work?
    - How difficult is it to get these jobs?
    - Knowing I will be moving at least 3-4 times (all different states) within a year, what should I be doing as far as my license? Should I not even bother with working?
    - There always will be the possibility that we will be going to Korea or Germany, does anyone know what possibilities I would have there?
    - Also, I'd like to know if it would be better if I should just stay in our home state until the chaos is done and over with just to have a stable income and actually be able to save money? (We currently are in a long distance marriage while I am in school, so this would be our last resort because we look so forward to the day we can actually wake up to one another and welcome the other home. But, I think we would do it if it was necessary)
    - Do you think the Arizona BON would allow me to have a temporary license for the duration of his training if I find a nursing job?

    I'm a planner and I like to be able to know my options far in advance so I can be as prepared as possible (and we all know that planning is almost impossible with the military, lol!)

    Thank you so much in advance!! - Tor
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    Hello! As a fellow milspouse RN, I will answer these questions the best I can:

    Milspouse RNs can work wherever. Some work at the military hospital on post; others will work at on post clinics or off post at a hospital. Where I am stationed, it seems like the nearby Army hospital only took experienced RNs (with at least 2 years of experience) so I had to look for a job off post. I graduated in December 2010 with my BSN from a nursing program in Ohio. I kept working as a nurse tech until April because I knew in May I would be relocating with my husband to his duty station in Texas. I was so worried about finding a job because while I was still living in Ohio, I sent in a lot of job applications but didn't have any luck. Once I actually lived in Texas and started applying, I had more luck. I found a job within 2 weeks of living there. The hospitals off post (at least around here) are used to having nurses who are military spouses or who are in the military themselves, therefore people come and go. They were very accepting to the fact that I was a military spouse and although I didn't mention it, they knew I wouldn't be with the hospital for years. Military hospitals are the same way; they are used to employees coming and going because of deployments, orders to PCS, etc.

    If you are looking for a job on post, whether it be in a military hospital, clinic or at the VA, check out usajobs.gov for vacancies. You will also be eligible for military spouse preference when applying for these jobs, as long as you meet the other requirements, too. You can also talk to people on post at centers in regards to finding a job. I plan on doing this for when I move because I know I will be PCSing with my husband to Missouri (or as we call it, to "Fort Lost-in-the-Woods, Misery") and my hospital choices in the area will be VERY limited. According to my husband, I could talk to these people about my qualifications and I could tell them I would be moving to Missouri in x amount of years so by then I would hopefully have a job. He said they would HAVE to find me a job. Talk to your hubby about this!

    In regards to your license, I was actually speaking to my PCP at an appointment one day, who is affiliated with the hospital on post but provides care at the clinics on and off post. She is a nurse practitioner. She was telling me about the benefits of having a DOD nursing job. When talking about the license, she said with a DOD job they will accept any state license. For example, say I work in a military hospital/clinic with a TX nursing license, then I PCS to D.C. and work at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, they should honor my TX nursing license.

    If you are going to an OCONUS location, you could work at the on post hospital/clinic(s). I currently work with a few RNs who were stationed in Germany and they said they were able to find work, but those jobs were hard to come by. If you are already in the DOD system it might be easier for you to find a job should you PCS overseas but again, you aren't guaranteed a job. Remember those people you could talk to on post? This would be a great question to ask them. In fact, all of these questions would be great questions to ask them (sorry I am totally blanking on what these centers are called!)
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    Oh and to work off post in an OCONUS location, you need to be fluent in that country's language.
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    My experience has been that no base will give you the time of day until you have some experience as an RN under your belt. Honestly don't recall if it was 1 or 2 years they required at Ft. Campbell
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    So because I know I will be able to get a job here because I have connections in Michigan (our home state). Do you suggest that I at least work there for a year before moving with hubby? Or just go to Arizona, see what's available. Try to at least get a job either as an LPN or RN (I will have both licenses) if I can't, I should try to at least work in the health care field until our time is up there Or if we are fortunate to find out our next base during his AIT, should I go to that next base before he does to try to find a job? Lol, lots of options... I should just reevaluate when the time comes, but I would really like to hear what you ladies have to suggest since you all know about the mil lifestyle. For those who have had to get their current state to accept their old license. Do you keep all licenses updated from the states you had to do this? Or are we only allowed just 1 license total? I'm not really sure how this all works lol. Thanks for everyone's input, I really do appreciate it!!! I feel much more prepared already!
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    I definitely remember feeling everything that you're speaking about now. I graduated with my ADN in May of 2010, married my active duty Army husband in June, and PCSed as a new grad RN to Hawaii in July. I had to get my Michigan RN license started before we left, and then immediately applied for a HI license when we arrived. Jobs here are really hard to come by for new grads. The VA and DoD wouldn't even consider me without experience or a BSN. I ended working in a family medicine clinic off post for a year then ended up in a state position out of sheer luck. I understand your concern with moving around during his schooling and trying to find work. I think if I were in you position, I would find a job as soon as you can after graduation, continue to work while he is AIT, then start applying for jobs in Arizona once you have a little experience. I completed my BSN while he was deployed this past year and it already seems that it's opening me up for a lot more job offers.

    Try not to stress and enjoy the ride Good luck!
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    Quote from tortor09
    So because I know I will be able to get a job here because I have connections in Michigan (our home state). Do you suggest that I at least work there for a year before moving with hubby? Or just go to Arizona, see what's available. Try to at least get a job either as an LPN or RN (I will have both licenses) if I can't, I should try to at least work in the health care field until our time is up there Or if we are fortunate to find out our next base during his AIT, should I go to that next base before he does to try to find a job? Lol, lots of options... I should just reevaluate when the time comes, but I would really like to hear what you ladies have to suggest since you all know about the mil lifestyle. For those who have had to get their current state to accept their old license. Do you keep all licenses updated from the states you had to do this? Or are we only allowed just 1 license total? I'm not really sure how this all works lol. Thanks for everyone's input, I really do appreciate it!!! I feel much more prepared already!
    You know what is best for you. I really lucked out I think when I moved to TX by finding a full-time nursing job within 2 weeks of living here. If I were in your position, I would try to work for a year to get some experience. With the way the job market is nowadays (especially for new grads) you just never know. If I was going to be in Ohio for another year I probably would have stayed, but I got my license in March of 2011 and was moving two months later. I also opted out of an Ohio license and got my license in Texas because I knew I was moving. My nurse tech experience actually counted as some experience.

    Having nursing experience will help you in the future if you're stuck in a place that has limited employment options...since most military hospitals require you to have 1-2 years of experience already.

    You can have as many state licenses as you wish, but you have to maintain them according to each state's BON requirements, respectfully. It can be very expensive. I only have licensure in one state. I'm unsure if I will maintain my TX licensure once I PCS with my husband to our next duty station.
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    I was asking the same question on a FB support page. One of the posters said that if I show my military ID, show that I have proof of licensure in at least 1 state that's also up to date, they will waive the requirement of having that specific state's license.

    This sounds too good to be true. But she claims it worked for her... did it work for anyone else?

    I have experience as a PT direct care worker for 1 year and 1 year of being a FT personal assistant to a quadriplegic student while he was at college. Does the experience need to be "licensed" experience? I'll be eligible to be an LPN next spring so I can already find a PRN or PT job while I am in my final stretch of school.
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    Quote from tortor09
    I was asking the same question on a FB support page. One of the posters said that if I show my military ID, show that I have proof of licensure in at least 1 state that's also up to date, they will waive the requirement of having that specific state's license.

    This sounds too good to be true. But she claims it worked for her... did it work for anyone else?

    I have experience as a PT direct care worker for 1 year and 1 year of being a FT personal assistant to a quadriplegic student while he was at college. Does the experience need to be "licensed" experience? I'll be eligible to be an LPN next spring so I can already find a PRN or PT job while I am in my final stretch of school.
    According to the vacancies at the Army hospital in my area, they are asking for 1-2 years of RN/LPN experience. I'm assuming it's similar at other places, too.
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    Quote from tortor09
    I was asking the same question on a FB support page. One of the posters said that if I show my military ID, show that I have proof of licensure in at least 1 state that's also up to date, they will waive the requirement of having that specific state's license.

    This sounds too good to be true. But she claims it worked for her... did it work for anyone else?
    If you are speaking about a nursing license this it true, you only need to have an active license from any state. This is for any Federal agency (DOD,DOJ, VA, etc.)

    Also, most facilities are also requiring 1-2 years of experience as a RN to be eligible for employment.


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