Pattyipp is at ODS right now so she probably doesn't have access to a computer. I'm new to the Navy. I came in February and am now stationed at Portsmouth, Virginia. I applied for the Navy right after graduation and got in a year and a half later. I was a 'direct accession.' I joined because I value our armed forces and believe serving is important. I wanted to be part of something bigger. I have not been let down. I am proud to serve and wear the uniform
. I graciously accept thanks from civilians who thank me when they see I'm in uniform. Training was fun and stereotypical but it's far behind me now. I'm working on the Progressive Care Unit (Cardiac). The nurses are half civilian half military. There are lots of corpsmen. It's a teaching hospital so a lot of people are new and there is a lot of teaching going on. You work shift work just like in civilian, 3-4 12 hour shifts per week-to make 80-84 hours in a pay period. My boss has been accommodating in the schedule and lets me leave work (when orienting) to take classes-ACLS, EKG, TNCC. I wear NWUs and combat boots every day and don't mind it (more acute units wear scrubs
). I like wearing the same uniform as those sailors on a ship or in Afghanistan.
Even in my short 80 day career I feel like the Navy has been good to me. I moved 3000 miles just to see different things. I love living on the coast and look forward to hopefully taking an overseas assignment for my next tour: Japan, Guam, Spain. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. My two years of civilian nurses before I came in have really made me appreciate Navy medicine. Everyone is fully funded, there is less concern about affording that procedure, that imaging etc. There is always policy in any business you work with but I'm glad I don't have to defend my patient's care as much. I'm really enjoying it. I do realize that if I stay in I won't be near my family as they live in Oregon and there is no base there. So that is something I have to think about. I also have to realize that nurses from Portsmouth are often deployed to GITMO which, I would look forward to. It's usually just for 6 mo and sounds like just another adventure. I did not have expectations when I came in and have been open and flexible. This attitude has helped in my satisfaction with my decision. Best of luck!