Staff is different for each floor and each hospital. I can only speak from my experiences. But on my floor we have civilian RNs, military RNs, corpsman (in the navy we call our enlisted members corpsman not medics), LVNs (same as an LPN), then we have our clinical educator who is a PNP, we have our DIVO (nurse manager), and we have our department head (who is an RN with a masters degree, retired navy nurse). Also, we have a string of Doctors on our floor. I am a staff nurse! When I say teaching, I mean that I precept other nurses and corpsmen. I will teach them about skills, meds, disease process, etc. while I'm doing pt care. When I'm precepting I will have my preceptee shadowing me (just like you do in nursing school). I'm not per say management, but I am a leader. As an officer you are always a leader no matter what your job title or position.
The difference between being deployed and being overseas is this:
When you are deployed it is for a short amt of time, 6 months to 1 yr. Than you come back to your permanent duty station and resume you 'regular' job. When you are overseas, that is your permanent change of station (PCS). That's your home, that's where you live for those 3 yrs. FYI...all our orders for PCS are for 3 yrs at a time...this is called a tour.
As far as advancement goes, you "automaticlly" get promoted from O1 to O2 after 2yrs in rank. (that is if you don't do something crazy like kill someone, or have major discipline infraction). Also, its pretty much "automactic" that you go from O2 to O3 after 2 yrs in rank of O2. Once you get to the O3 mark its a little harder to advance, but as long as you are doing a good job and have good fit reps than you'll advance. But that's a whole other explantion..which LCDR Dan would be better at explaining.
I've always wanted to be a military nurse since I was in high school. I have a strong military history in my family. I too am from TN...East TN...so the opportunity to travel was also appealing. I never like the feeling of being "stuck" in any one place; and that's how I felt when I lived back in TN. My lil' brother is a Marine, so ever since I seen him graduate from boot camp (while I was in nursing school) I was fascinated with the Marines. So that's why I wanted to join the Navy b/c we are the medical for the Marines and I wanted to be near my lil'bro. Also, the ability of being able to live on the water was a nice appeal for me (most navy bases are near water
). Also, the leadership opportunites that you get while being navy nurse was another aspect that drew me to military nursing. The navy also provides excellent educational benefits to nurses. (look up the DUINS program) The retirement and healthcare is awesome too! Healthcare for myself and my family for life...show me were to sign!
LCDR Dan extended you a great offer to show you around Bethesda. That way you get a look on how a military hospital is ran. I didn't get the luxury of a tour before I joined. But I have yet to regret joining the Navy; I can't see myself being a nurse in any other setting.
Also, you had mentioned before that you didn't want to be stationed in San Diego. Can I ask why? The weather is great here! No humidity! I don't miss that TN humidity at all! Some times I miss the green moutains...but not the smoothering humidity!