I have been a Navy nurse for 9 years and I'll give you my opinion as I answer your questions.
My question is for Navy nurses out there, how would you rate your job satisfaction?
It all depends on the day.
Are you glad you became a Navy nurse?
Wouldn't change a thing.
What would you say are the major pros or cons?
Pro: get paid better than most civ staff nurses. Guaranteed raises every year. You remember the benefits. Paidd for certs.
Cons: getting deployed if you have a family.
What is the latest word on Iraq tours (how often, how long)?
In a 3 year tour at a stateside command, expect to go at least once maybe twice for 6 months at a time, subject to change without notice.
I know about all the monetary benefits, retirement etc. but want I want to know is- do Navy nurses like their jobs?
That's a pretty broad question, I'll elaborate below.
If you could do it all over again would you go Navy or stay civilian?
Actually, I have done both. I was a Navy nurse for 5+ years, wanted to see what civ life was like, spent 11 months as a civilian before coming back to active duty, make your own conclusion.
Alright, so I addressed some of your questions above, but I'll shed somemore light now. You asked if Navy nurses were happy, you will find all type of satisfaction levels in the Navy Nurse Corps, same for civ land. You can't generalize it like that. For me, I'm in the Navy as a nurse to ensure that when my kids get to be my age they don't have to worry about some of the stuff kids in other countries do. Is every day the best, no, but it wasn't in the civilian world either. What I will tell you, is that my opinion as a nurse is valued more in the Navy. When I make a suggestion to a doc or help guide patient care in the Navy, I get listened to. In the civilian world, they are just worried about how much money they can squeeze out of your patient and don't want to hear about what barrier you have to prevent them from doing it even if it's in the patient's better interest, don't have to worry about the monetary gain of the doc here. In the Navy you have more opportunity to continue your education and at little or no expense to you. I'm being sent to grad school by the Navy, my first semester bill is $11,500 not including books. Not only do I not have to pay that, but I still receive my regular pay and benefits while in school, talk about AWESOME!!!
I wouldn't trade my experiences in the Navy for the world. Currently, I am finishing my 3 year tour in Italy. While here I have seen Ireland, England, Spain, France (bought a condo there), all of Italy and did it for next to nothing because I am so close to these areas. I've got about 10 more to go and then I retire at the age of 45, who in the civilian world can do that? If you know someone who has done it, let me know. I hope this helps, if you have other specific questions, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.