Navy Officer Nurse Corp - page 2
This type of career is a interest to me but I do have a few questions. What exactly is the description of a Officer? What role in the navy or any branch does the officer Nurse corp fit? What is a... Read More
Aug 17, '08Thank you to LTJG PM and LT Dan for answering so many questions on these threads. I have come to these forums the past few months as I have put together my packet for the Navy. I've been a nurse in civilian world for 3 years and decided to join the Navy Nurse Corps. Just found out on Friday that my packet was accepted by the board. Am waiting for more information, such as my ODS dates, and first duty station. I will be commissioned October 1st as an ENS. I will try to add more info as I get it, and try to answer questions once I'm in. But I just wanted to thank you both, since you've given me much information and helped me mentally prepare for what's coming ahead.
Aug 17, '08I have a quick question. If you work 3 days one week and 4 days the next, are you really off on your off days? I'm just getting nervous because it'll just be me and the kids for a year until my husband can transfer to Virginia, so i'm worried about who will watch the kids if I have to go to work suddenly. Oh well...I chose this life!
Aug 18, '08Ok Ladies and Gents....let me answer some questions since my last post....
Lots of new grads get assigned to mental health and peds....I started out in peds. I hated every minute of it...but peds isn't my thing. It helped made me a well rouned nurse. Now that I work in the ER, I'm the go to person for peds IV's and peds questions by other nurses. I enjoyed the population in peds; it was more the people and personailty stuff that made my job so unpleasent at that time. But you have that every where you work. ER is my passion!
Anyhow...you will deal with mental health pt's no matter what area you work in. I see them every day in the ER...I had two compative pts at one time last weekend...both in 4 point restraints.
Mental Illness is very common in the military community, espically with all the PTSD right now. PTSD has a speical place in my heart given my experience at the VA and my little bro suffers from it. But I can't handle mental health everyday all day...nothing but that.
I enjoy a good MI...a good code...etc. So god bless you if you have an interest in mental health nursing. We have a big place for you in the Navy. Come on over!
As far as days off, many areas you work in will have avaiable days that you are on call. Those, of course depending on your area, are like 1 ever 2 wks or so. You aren't always called in but it just depends on staffing.
Keep the questions coming. I didn't have anyone to ask this kind of stuff when I joined so I went in blind.
Good luck everyone!
Aug 19, '08Jordaa-
Glad to hear everything is working out. Once you find out where you are headed, let us know, always good to have friends where you are headed.
Like it was said above you may or may not have on-call days that you have to plan for. In my ED we do not have an on-call schedule at this point, we're able to make ends meet without out one. Staffing in the Navy has its ups and downs depending on the time of year, so it can happen sometimes. I hear you on the child care deal. Best bet is to work on finding a good and flexible (keyword) sitter when you get to your duty station. Like we talked in the past, you can work on that now so you have stuff lined up before you get there. Good luck, just in Norfolk to drop the Mrs. of for her current deployment.
Aug 19, '08LCDR Dan, thank you for your advice. I found a nanny, but now I'm just worried my schedule will be too much for her since it's just me and the kids. She already gave me a list of dr appts or vacation days she wants...so I guess I better start looking for a back-up. This is just all coming down at once and with me leaving for ODS in a few weeks, I'm wondering if this is the right decision and if I should have listened to you on the phone! haha. Oh well...I'm sure it'll be rough at first, but i'll make it work.
Have a good time in Norfolk and I wish your wife well on her deployment. Too bad her deployment didn't happen in Oct, I could have stopped by! Will she be returning to Norfolk too? Not sure how that all works.
Aug 20, '08Kim-
Thanks for the thoughts and yes, it will get better. Daunting at first, but better in the end. As for Norfolk, yep she pulls in first part of December, so we'll be around then.
Sep 20, '08I commisison in 01 Oct 2008 and report to ODS the week of the 15th. I've been a RN for 1 year and worked at a bush clinic in Alaska (the only clinic in an area the sixe of Ohio). There I experienced a lot of autonomy to practice and make decisions. Example: At night, the nurse is there alone, except for a security/maintenance/housekeeper... so if a MI or MVA comes stumbling to the door...I'm it until I can call for back up. So there was a lot of standing orders and a lot of critical thinking and intervention...(should I apply a C-collar? Do they need to be immoblized? Start an IV right away or wait for the Doc?) How does this compare to Navy nursing?
Also...My recruiter said that by taking the CEN (certified Emergency Nurse) exam that I will have a better chance of getting into the ED. I have no allusions to the fact that I will most likely be on a Med-Surg floor for a while, but (depending on the facility) how likely will I be able to transfer to an ED? ( I am certified already in BLS, ACLS, PALS, TNCC and will take the CEN in OCT).
This forum has been very helpful to me as I have been preparing for my commissioning.
Sep 20, '08Southern, can you provide me an example of how 'quickly' the paperwork / process can go from start to finish/commissioning?
Sep 20, '08Just_Cause-
Well...I started the process in Feb. 2008. The reason I had to wait so long was because: 1) My other job contract didn't end until July...2) because the Navy only accepts a certain number of commissioned officers for each fiscal year. The 2008 fiscal year was full when I applied. The Navy's new fiscal year begins in Oct. So I believe I'm in the 1st commission class for the 2009 fiscal year.
I recommend beginning the process ASAP...you can always decide later to not join up...you're not in until you swear in...even after all the paper work. The security clearance takes the most time...6 weeks if I remember correctly.
The paperwork for me, went smoothly...I know that it seemed like I filled out the same form about 6 times, but my processor and recruiter were on the ball with me because they knew I was serious about commisisoning.
Also if you have a health issue it takes more time as well to get you cleared for that. BE HONEST WAY UP FRONT so you can start the process...No surprises is better than not saying anything and then finding out you're set back a couple weeks waiting for clearance. Example: I had tendonitis in both knees due to a sports injury in high school and had to see a physical therapist for a while...You have to have ALL your medical records from any hospitalizations or doctors and have them sent to OOS (not sure what that stands for) to have them pre-approved so you can go to MEPS (military entrance processing something?)...it's like a pre-approval just to go to the physical. Usually that process dosen't take that long - depending on how good you processor is. (It takes longer to actually get the med. recs from the Dr. Officer or hospital so put in your request early and keep nagging until you get the records)
Another thing to get started on ASAP is your Reference letters. This was my biggest problem. You'll need 3. Two character references and 1 employee reference. My character references were excited to write the letter, but a little slow in getting in sent. That held up my process for about 2 weeks. But not that big of a deal considering I wouldn't be commisisoning until Oct.
Then there is the MEPS physical and entrance interviews you need to set up with: 1) a Commanding Officer and 2.) A Nurse Officer.
This is based on their availibility...but usually dosen't take that long. I didn't take my MEPS until the end of June and I did my MEPS physical and interviews on the same day.
Since June, I have simply been waiting for my Commissioning date. Overall it took about 5 months to complete the whole process. I didn't actually get THE PHONE CALL that my applicaiton was accepted until 17 AUG though.
I hope this helps...I'll be glad to answer further questions if you have any.
Oct 12, '08Just for you all to know, Southern Belle and I are commissioning around the same time and headed to ODS together. We will try to update you all after ODS about what goes on. Things are a little dicey right now with commissioning documents, and I am hoping to be commissioned by Friday and leaving Saturday for ODS. Will keep you all updated on how things go! Please ask more questions, as we have both recently been through all the paperwork and transition and all.
Oct 13, '08After your packet is submitted how long did it take for you to hear back a reply? Thanks jordaa and SouthernBelle25RN keep us updated on how ODS is going?
Oct 13, '08It all depends on when the board is meeting. When I originally submitted my packet there was supposed to be a board meeting the next week, which got postponed for 2 weeks. Once the board met, I got a phone call from my recruiter about 2 days later, although I was told it usually takes about a week for them to officially "select" you. The biggest thing is just getting the packet together. It's a pretty intensive process. Mine took as long as SouthernBelles' did, since I also started working on everything in February.