Navy Nurse Hopeful. Please Help with info!

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    Here's my clear and concise background. I graduated with my BSN in December 2010. I work in the MICU that has 10 beds, but the total number of ICU beds in the hospital I work for is 30. I am 23 and have no medical or criminal problems. I don't have my CCRN because I haven't met the experience requirement yet.

    I have been working on my packet with my medical recruiter since late 2008. We had everything completed and turned in by October 2010. I was not chosen in December 2010.

    My medical recruiter contacted me in January 2011 to tell me a few details about the application process this past year when I applied. I'm not sure how much of this is true, but this is what he told me. He said that the Navy only took in 75 nurses this time around and there were several more nursing applicants than in the past. Once again, I was not one of them. I'm not really surprised because I didn't even have my license by that time. Anyways, he went on to say that the next time I could apply would be in June. However, he promised me that when he met with the Navy Nursing Program Director in February, he would ask questions about what to expect for the upcoming fiscal year.

    So he meets with the Program Director and asks specific questions about nursing, and there is hardly any good news. However, he was able to get some information about nurses that are currently working in critical care, like I am. What he was told was that if you are a critical care nurse trying to get into the Navy as a critical care nurse, then your application process is a little bit different. He was told that critical care nurses, with at least two months of experience, have their applications reviewed monthly, unlike the other nurse applications which seem to be reviewed either bi-annually or annually. Since I work in the ICU right now, this was good news to me.

    However, my situation seems to be a lot like other people's situations on here. Since that February 2011 conversation with my medical recruiter, I haven't received a phone call or e-mail from him. I have been the one that has had to be pro-active and contact him. Another one of the things that I think is starting to be echoed around all of these forums whether it's on Facebook or Allnurses.com is the Navy's new-found selectiveness and it worries me. I mean 2 years ago the recruiters were trying with all of their might to get people, now they seem to be indifferent at best. What is also discouraging is that in November-December, I could have sworn that the Navy was going to take me. There was not a doubt in my mind. Little did I know about the road that would lay ahead. This experience has left me with these questions:

    1.) Can someone verify that the minimum requirement for an ICU nurse to be in the Navy is 2 months?

    2.) Can someone verify that ICU nurses have a "rolling" monthly application process in the Navy?

    3.) If there is someone that is familiar with the application review process, such as someone on the board that determines who is accepted, would you mind divulging some of the details about the type of person that the Navy is looking for?

    Any reply to the post would probably be helpful. However what would be ideal for me, and for the people that don't post on here but stay current on the forums like I used to, would be for someone close to the application process to spill the beans on what is going on. If you are a Medical Recruiter, just say so and give us some details. I'm not the only person out here with these questions so I can promise you that your informations won't fall on deaf ears.

    Lastly, I have noticed that some people are confused as to what qualifications are important in order for the navy to accept you. I won't be too specific about my own details, but I can tell you that my GPA was higher than 3.5, I had a full-time job the entire time I was in nursing school, and I was active in several student activities as well as the Vice President of my school's Student Nurse Association . . . . . . . . and I wasn't accepted. But I guess what did count against me was the fact that I didn't have my license just yet. I'll give you guys some update on my situation as time goes on.

    P.S.If you're in nursing school right now, DO NOT GET C's! C no longer equals RN. I graduated top-2 in my class and found a job in the ICU immediately. However, I know several people in my class that don't have a job yet and it's four months out from graduation.
    Oldlove likes this.
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  3. 16 Comments so far...

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    I was just wondering if you ever received any further answers to your questions?? I am an ER nurse with 3.5 years of experience in a Level 1 trauma center. I'm currently in the application process. Passed the physical, just waiting for my recruiter to give me the next step. My recruiter is absolutely dreadful. Anytime I call him with questions he acts like he has the worst job ever and I must be the most annoying person in the world. Really I just want to get started on my packet so I can turn it in quickly. I have all my recs and copies of all my documents ready for him. I had been planning to go Air Force and that didn't work out so I'm just trying to figure out how the Navy process works and when the deadlines for boards are. I've been considering calling up a recruiter in a different region just to get the answers to my questions, but I figure I'll just try my hand at these message boards first! Thanks and good luck to all!
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    Hi Purple Demon, like you I was a non-select during the winter months of 2010 due to quota being met for 2011. I'm an ER Nurse with 3 years experience. I'm a prior Hospital Corpsman, used my GI Bill for school. Class speaker, valedictorian, etc. I've done what's asked of me and more. I'm also the Charge nurse in the ER I work in. I have TNCC, ACLS, BLS, PALS save for my CEN.

    I had two recruiters. The first one was dreadful, he was an MMC (machinist mate, Chief), I had to pull teeth just to get a word out of him...and the things he would say once he got around to answering my questions were things I already found out by googling 'key words'. I'm sure you've done the same :[ This second one though, she's awesome (but maybe bc the bar was set so low?) either way, I'm impressed with her. She knows her stuff and truly wants to see me in khakis. I'm not sure what region your in, but if you're in Washington State area I'll give you her contact info.

    As far as selection boards, all I was told was that 'they meet every week'. I'm not sure what that means even and when I asked for clarification, there wasn't any. For experience, my LTJG told me that 6 months would look solid for ER/ICU experience. With all that said, I'm beside myself. I started this process September 2009...it's gonna be Sept. 2011. I can still remember the countless and heartbreaking paperwork I had to redo, rescan, refax, etc. But it's come down to this and quite frankly I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not picked up.

    My recruiter did something special for me for when they see my kit at the selection board. She put me in like this and I hope this helps you. 1. Critical Care active duty 2. ER RN active duty 3. Critical Care Reserves 4. ER RN Reserves. I told my current recruiter and her superiors "whatever it took" to get me in the uniform again.

    Lastly from what I know, the board met in the first week of August. I had my kit reviewed over and over again and as far as I can tell it was "tight" and ready for delivery. Again, I don't feel so hot and I'm ready for the next step if they don't take me this time around. But I feel pretty proud to make it this far, but unfortunately, sometimes the best man doesn't always win. I'll let you know if something new arises or if I find a tip that can help you.
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    So was the board in August the first one for FY 2012?? I asked my recruiter about deadlines for FY 2012 and he said after October 1 because that was the next FY. So apparently boards are meeting before Oct 1. Again, my recruiter is dreadful.
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    ER Mags, yeah I'm sorry to tell you the board for FY12 was in August 2011. I was surprised too to find out it was way early.
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    I'm sure there will be more then one selection boards for 2012, but I know chances of being selected decrease with every passing one. My recruiter mentioned something about boards being every 2 weeks. But when I attempted to get him to elaborate he acted like I was the dumbest person alive so I just dropped it. He basically seemed to say that there were plenty of spots as the FY just started accepting applicants so we were ok on time. Since you know more then me having prior experience, do they normally take a lot of qualified ER nurses? Critical care and med surg seem to dominate selection boards in Navy and Air Force from what I've gathered.
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    Mags,
    To be honest, I don't know. Which is really frustrating because when I was active duty and talking to all my current active duty friends and nurses. Emergency Nurses DEPLOY. They say, "You can almost guarantee it" but when it comes down to it, they (recruiting) prefer ICU nurses and Psych. Still boggles my mind though, even in the Military ER nurses are the red-headed step children, like in hospitals.

    But all in all, I'm in the dark like you and purple.... :[
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    Honestly as far as the review process goes I'm unsure but with my experience (8 years in critical care) and my CCRN, they snatched me right up, pretty much submitted me and approved me as soon as I submitted my packet (i had to lose some weight so this delayed things a month or 2 on my end). I would think its people like me knocking some of the more inexperienced nurses out of contention. I would think you'd have to have more than 2 months of ICU experience for them to consider you critical care but who knows. Keep bugging them, and above all else make sure you write a strong and compelling motivational statement. My recruiter told me the board loved mine. (I'm receiving my commissioning in sept then officer school in oct)
    Last edit by NewNavyRN on Aug 17, '11
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    Well I've been final selected now, but I won't be commissioned until October. What's funny about when I made that post is that my recruiter called me that day and we've remained in touch ever since. He actually is a good recruiter and when I call him and talk to him, he tells me everything he can about MY situation, so I can't even be upset at this point. With that said the Navy process is you put in your packet which includes your MEPS physical, recs, and transcripts. Then you just wait and hope for the best.
    With your situation, I don't know how it's going to workout because the Navy is coming out and saying that they want Critical care nurses, psych nurses/NPs, and perioperative nurses. I think that's why we (critical care nurses) were chosen so quickly once our paperwork was put in. For the ER, I don't really know what could happen, but a CEN would help.
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    Congrats! Did you find out this morning on you final selection? Glad you got what you wanted :]

    I'm not that hopeful in regard to my selection, but you never know I guess. Keep us posted on when you finally get to sign your comdocs.


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