Navy Nurse Questions - page 9

I'm sure this question has been asked more than once, so please bear with me. I've been sifting through all the information I can find, but I still don't quite understand... I've just started... Read More

  1. by   Dental Hygienist
    I've read all 7 pages of posts on this thread and I want to thank EVERYBODY for all of their insight, good and bad. I am considering joining the military in some capacity, whether it's navy, army, air force or reserves I have no idea. THese posts have been very helpful, but I have a few questions of my own:

    1) Is it possible to join the military and get benefits/stipend while in an ADN program, or do they want you to have your RN license first? Would you basically be just like any other "soldier" until you got your RN?

    2) Can you join with your ADN and then work towards your BSN on the government's dime? If so, what kind of rank would start with just a ADN and no "paid" experience?

    3) Do you have to have your BSN to enlist as an officer? What rank would you generally enter at as a BSN with 1 year Med/Surg experience?

    4) Would you get pretty much the same benefits and pay as any other enlisted person with the same rank and time of service who is not a nurse?

    5) in general what are those benefits? I've heard mentioned 30 days paid leave is a standard benefit...can you take that all at once, can you split it up into a week here and a week there? Medical/Dental is covered for the enlisted, but what about family, is there 100% medical/dental coverage for spouses & kids? Retirement? How long do you have to serve to qualify for the "good stuff"

    6) What is typical pay like? For example, a newly enlisted nurse with a BSN and 1 year med/surg experience? What kind of ballpark salary are we talking about?

    7) What are typical signing bonuses or tuition repayment programs like? I've seen a local ad for the airforce offering $25,000 signing bonuses to BSN prepared nurses who enlist, are there similar things in each branch of the military? Would this be instead of tuition reimbursement or in addition to it? If you qualify for these benefits like signing bonus or tuition reimbursement are you still eligible for the GI bill or the DUINS program?

    Thanks in advance for ANY info you could give me...I know I should talk to a recruiter for the specifics of what I could get....but I just want to be prepared when I go in there. :wink2:
  2. by   TellyTelz
    this thread is EXTREMELY informative!

    I'm in the process now of gatherin my paperwork for the NCP, but I feel like my recruiter should be more helpful since some of these questions are not exactly straight forward. Besides the paperwork, I did have other concerns and was hoping you all could help...

    after goin to one of the big 3, how long do you stay there? i read that you move around about every 3 years...is that true? If so, is that mandatory, or can you just stay where you are (except deployments, which i know are mandatory)

    do boyfriends have priviledges? i know husbands do... but i was just wondering what perks, if any, boyfriends had when it comes to moving around and employment. i'm sure mine doesn't want to sit at home. he'll have a degree in Business pretty soon and already has a good job with a company he's been with over a year now. they have offices around the country he can transfer to incase i move around and stuff, but what if they're no openings at his job wherever i'm stationed? does the navy offer jobs since he does have a degree? sorry if that's a dumb question but it's a concern of ours.

    also, i start school the first week of july and i'm worried that i won't receive my first montly stipend (and 1st half of my sign on bonus) in time...how long does it generally take for funds to be dispursed?

    thank u all in advance for your responses!
  3. by   DanznRN
    At7-

    As is common for me, I'll use you post to make sure I answer your questions:

    Quote from At7itudeGyal

    after goin to one of the big 3, how long do you stay there? i read that you move around about every 3 years...is that true? If so, is that mandatory, or can you just stay where you are (except deployments, which i know are mandatory)
    Yes, this is true you will move every 3 years or so, give or a take a month here and there. Unfortunately, you can not "homestead" in one place for an extended period of time. However, if you sign a 4 year contract and you do 3 years in one spot you can normally extend for the last year and stay where you are. Keep in mind that will happen if you plan on getting out after the 4 years and the detailer will normally expect you to submit your "get out;' papers before they agree to your extension.

    do boyfriends have priviledges? i know husbands do... but i was just wondering what perks, if any, boyfriends had when it comes to moving around and employment. i'm sure mine doesn't want to sit at home. he'll have a degree in Business pretty soon and already has a good job with a company he's been with over a year now. they have offices around the country he can transfer to incase i move around and stuff, but what if they're no openings at his job wherever i'm stationed? does the navy offer jobs since he does have a degree? sorry if that's a dumb question but it's a concern of ours.
    In a word No. The Navy has no concerns for boyfriends/ girlfriends. In their eyes without you being married there are no permanent bonds, such as a marriage license, that holds you 2 together. therefore they have no provisions to invest money in a non-permanent relationship. I know it sounds harsh, but that's the truth. Actually, when we told my wife's Dad we were moving to California, he asked if we were going to get married first. At the time we hadn't thought about it cause we were just dating, we were young too 21 and 23. We decided to get married and it was the best decision ever. I'm not advocating it unless you want to, we had planned to get married, but after we got to California. Anyway, he will have no privileges and the Navy won't have any concern for him. Even if you do get married the privileges for spouses in general can be limited depending on what you are looking for.

    also, i start school the first week of july and i'm worried that i won't receive my first montly stipend (and 1st half of my sign on bonus) in time...how long does it generally take for funds to be dispursed?
    Good question. I would have your recruiter check with the PSD that your paperwork is going through and they should be able to give you an exact date on your pay date. Expect it to be around the 15th or 30th of the month, that's when we get paid.

    thank u all in advance for your responses!
    I hope this helps, may not be what you wanted to hear though, sorry, just the truth. Anyway, let me know if I can be more help.

    LCDR Dan
  4. by   lmacks4
    Good morning everyone! Happy Mothers Day to all the moms!!!
    I'm going to visit my recuiter this week for the 1st time and I was wondering what to expect?
  5. by   Itshamrtym
    Good morning and happy mother's day to you too..!!!!!! Good luck with the recruiters...!!!!!!! Have a good one.!!!
  6. by   DanznRN
    Imacks4-

    I see you're in Philly. If you want to tour Bethesda, just let me know, be happy to show you around.

    LCDR Dan
  7. by   lmacks4
    LCDR Dan-
    Thanks for the offer! I may take you up on it!!! I met with my recruiter today and he said that I could plan to visit to see how Navy nursing works at Bethesda and even another trip in July to a different base. I'm a little upset that I can't to the Nursing school program because I'm in a part time (second degree) program but I'll just start my packet now and hopefully find out by the time I graduate. How do the tours of the bases work?
    Thanks !!!
  8. by   DanznRN
    Imacks4-

    It all depends, if you are bringing the recruiter, they will set it up. If you come by yourself, I can meet you at the gate, get you on base, and then you and I will discuss what we do. It would really be up to you. I'm offering because I can discuss the goods and bads of the Navy as well as give you the inside look. It's up to you. I get deployed this summer for 2 weeks, so just let me know.

    LCDR Dan
  9. by   lmacks4
    LCDR Dan-
    I would love to! Thank you so much for the invite...I'm currently on break from school, so I could pretty much come down whenever....I really want to see how Navy Nursing works before I make that final decision. I think being able to see the good with the difficult aspects will really help. Let me know when would be a good time for you, thank you so much for this opportunity!!!!!
  10. by   DanznRN
    Did you want to do it soon or while on summer break? Let me know, I have a 2-week deployment coming in June, so just need to work around that.

    LCDR Dan
  11. by   lmacks4
    Sent you a PM, I felt bad taken over the thread....
  12. by   camelbak69
    hello everyone,

    i am new to this forum and very new to [font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif][font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]nursing. in september, i will begin a two year adn program in washington state. i have a ba in english lit and am interested in possibly pursuing a career in the navy or air force as a nurse. my long term goal is to become an np or crna and i want to know if these sub-specialties are valued in the armed services?

    also, i have read that i must have a bsn to be commissioned a nurse in the military. is this a hard and fast rule or do they allow exceptions for those of us with a bachelor's degree that is not healthcare related? would i be better served to do a one year [font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif][font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]rn [font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]to [font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]bsn program and then join or do an rn to msn program and join?

    my biggest concern is that i will be 40 by the time i take the nclex and i've gotten different information on whether or not i will have hit the age ceiling for active duty entrance. plus, if i need to have my bsn or msn degree to join, will the military "repay" the cost of that degree?

    a few final questions---how difficult is officer candidate training (5 week [font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif][font=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]course) in terms of physical demands and once active duty, do you have to live on base or can you live somewhat nearby in your own house? also, what are promotional opportunities like in the services--frequency, difficulty, ceiling for someone in nursing?

    my wife is dental hygienist and does the military ever hire civilian rdhs for base work?

    thanks for any information you can provide!

    doug
  13. by   Blessed2BeMommy
    First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in this thread. It has been extremely informative and has definitely let me know that I'm making a sane and rational decision.

    I've kind of chuckled over some of the comments about how hard the med/surg floor is or how pay isn't commensurate, etc., etc. I work at a major inner city county hospital on the pediatric floor. It's a really tough gig and we run our arses off all night. (Yup, I'm a night shifter.) In addition, although the pay is pretty good, there are no guarantees for anything. For example, we're supposed to get 3 weeks paid time off every year. Well, that's all fine and well, but if you get cancelled for a shift and want your paycheck not to lose an entire shift's worth of pay, you have to use your PTO. In addition, as a night shifter, by using PTO I'm getting paid straight time, not shift differential, so it's a $3/hour pay cut. This summer has already been tough and I am already out of PTO. That means the next time I get cancelled (and I will get cancelled if census doesn't go up) I'm out an entire shift's pay. As I am the sole breadwinner for an 8 person family (yup, my husband is a SAHD and we have six beautiful children) this is a pretty horrifying turn of events. In fact, I have a job interview this afternoon to pick up extra hours opening cases for a pediatric home health agency.

    I finish my RN to BSN program next summer. I'm already studying for my GRE. Does anyone know if for the DUINS program I need to take any of the specialty GRE exams? Would any of them be helpful in distinguishing myself from "the crowd" so to speak, even if not required? Also, do I need to take the ASVAB again (yup, at 18 I almost went enlisted in the Army. I have no clue what I was thinking! Much better to go in at 36 as a nurse and an officer in the Navy!!)... When I took it at 18 I got a perfect score in all areas... will they still use that information or will the two intervening decades (I feel so old! LOL) require me to prove myself again??

    Oh, and here's a really big question... what about medical waivers? I have hypothyroidism and ADHD (yes, I am living proof that God has a sense of humor! :chuckle). I take Armour thyroid and Adderall. I've been on them for years and have no issues in terms of it affecting my job performance or my health. In fact, I graduated from an accelerated ADN program while working full time plus and caring for a then-disabled husband (thank heavens for some wonderful surgeons who put him back together) and six kids... and had the third highest GPA in the class and was awarded the Nursing Chair of Excellence Award, which is the highest award my school handed out. I want to make sure that my medications don't become a sticking point. (They were a no-go for the Army 18 years ago as an enlisted soldier. Obviously, being an officer in the Navy will be different, but I don't want to get my hopes up if I don't have a shot at this.)

    I would very much like to be stationed at Bethesda for my first rotation. I will have over a year of Peds experience at the time I graduate with my BSN and that will include being cross trained in PICU/NICU and Peds ED. I will also come in with BLS/PALS/NRP/ACLS and my certifications in both pediatrics and Peds ED. I have prior experience as a tech in SICU, CVICU, L&D, postpartum and newborn nursery. I'm also a certified breastfeeding counselor. A major goal for my family would be to be stationed in Italy for any length of time... my husband is Sicilian and very much wants to have the children experience what Italy has to offer. Also, I have family in Poland and friends throughout Europe and it would be very nice to be able to visit them on my time off.

    I agree with what was said previously... if you have never been outside of the United States it is hard to understand why anyone would be so passionate about the amazing country we live in. I've traveled a great deal... I even got to go through Checkpoint Charlie as a child before they tore down the Berlin Wall. (Not a military brat, but my mother's family is Polish Gypsy and it shows... she can't handle not traveling, and I reaped the benefits of that!) I got to visit East Germany (at the time), Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia (at the time) during the time that Communism still had a stronghold over the area. I got to go to southern Poland and meet my cousins (the non gypsy side of the family) who still live in the little farmhouse my great grandmother was born in.

    I'm very proud to be a U.S. citizen and would love the opportunity to serve my country in this way. In addition, I see it as a chance to better provide for my family (sorry, but by the time you add BAH to the salary, even an O1 makes more than I do, plus a guaranteed salary), serve my country, and with the humanitarian emphasis of the Navy Nursing Corp, serve the world. I don't have any rose-colored glasses here... but after 7 years experience in civilian hospitals I can tell you, it's not sunshine and roses over here, either!

    I put in a request on the Navy website to be contacted by a recruiter. Thanks again for all the info here and Dan, I particularly hope you're not on deployment right now and I get to hear from you!

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