new Army Nurse going Landstuhl, Germany

  1. 0 Hello. I'm new to this but I just wanted to get some get some more information. I am a nursing student (RN-BSN) and Army ROTC cadet on my last semester of nursing school and Army ROTC. In May, I will be graduating as a nurse and commissioning as a 2nd LT in the Army. Anyways, I just found out that I got my first choice for my First Duty Station and it's Landstuhl, Germany. Of course, when I found out, I completely freaked out and it's probably the best early Christmas gift ever!

    I don't know anyone who has been to Germany as an Army nurse and was wondering how the area was and if you liked living there. So far, I've read only good things. Are there things to do around city? Is there a beach or something? How's the weather? Is it a big city? congested? Also, how was working in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center? I know there will be a lot of injured soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan so maybe a lot of critical care cases. Was it stressful? big? Did you feel lost? Did people help you? Are the native people there friendly? do they speak English? Do I have to learn how to speak German or is English good enough? Is housing easily available and is it affordable? How about the cost of living there? I know the Euro is more than the American dollar. Will I have enough time to travel through Europe while working as an Army nurse? How about a car? Do I need to buy a car? a little off topic, but are Mercedes or BMW's cheaper there? Is there anything else that I should know? Anything that I need to steer clear of?

    I know these are a lot of questions but I've never been too far from home and on my own, plus living and starting out a whole new life in a foreign country (I'm single, so no family or friends in a big, foreign place! <scary> lol.). Just really want to know any information that you have or any of your own personal experience living there. I kind of need to prepare myself for this whole new life and adventure before it happens. Thanks!
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  3. Visit  Pink-Rated profile page

    About Pink-Rated

    From 'NJ'; 27 Years Old; Joined Dec '08; Posts: 19; Likes: 2.

    98 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  SPUDRN profile page
    1
    I'm thinking of joining AF and Landstuhl would be a top pic for me as well. I didn't realize that both Army and AF serve there! I can't wait to hear some more info!! Congrats on getting your first choice. Maybe I need to think a little more about Army...
    lifeafter40 likes this.
  5. Visit  Elvish profile page
    0
    A college friend of mine grew up in Landstuhl (her dad was career Army) and she loved it. She considered Germany 'home.' She grew up learning English and German, as she went to school there. On base, you will get by fine with English, and you will find that most Europeans speak English along with three or four other languages. Still, it's not a bad idea if you are going to be going off base to learn a few basic phrases. That goes for anyone, not just military.

    I am glad you got your first choice. I'm gonna move your post to the military forum in hopes of more answers!
  6. Visit  Gennaver profile page
    0
    Hello,

    You are the first new graduate new nurse, new Army officer that I've heard of that got an overseas assignment right out of school. Congratulations. I commissioned in along two ROTC nurses who did an internship in Germany and from what I heard they loved it.

    Sorry that I have no information for you, can you ask someone through your ROTC if they can connect you with nurses already there for communication, advice or help?

    Have you received your welcome packet from your sponsor yet? Likely that will be either prior to or right after OBLC...however, depending on where you go, sometimes people's sponsors are not even informed that they are sponsoring someone until the person is already going strong!

    Good luck
    Gen
  7. Visit  lifeafter40 profile page
    0
    Congratulations on your assignment! I spent the first three years of my enlistment at Wiesbaden, Germany, and i loved it there. I do not know specifics about your location, but just keep in mind that the whole country of Germany is about the size of an average State here, so traveling to neighboring countries is quick and easy...take advantage of it while you are there! I only picked up a smattering of German phrases while I was there, as most locals speak english (even if they do not always want you to know it) But I have to say that NOT learning more of the language was my only regret of my time spent in Germany, so please don't miss out on that opportunity as well.

    I was 20 yrs old when I got there, alone, and it was a little scary at first, but you will be well taken care of by your sponsor and /or Unit. Just take a deep breath, and enjoy your Holidays, you will have nothing to worry about .

    It has been almost 20 years since I left Wiesbaden, but there were always plenty of cars for sale (from other soldiers leaving country) and yes, BMWs were a little less expensive there, but I believe you have to pay for the shipping back to the States and pay any associated import taxes on vehicles you purchase outside the AAFES system (at least it worked that way back then).

    Good luck to you, and enjoy your new life/career!
    LA40
  8. Visit  armyicurn profile page
    0
    LRMC (Landstuhl for short) is an unique animal. You will love it but you will learn to hate it. I work in the ICU, but that is a different animal when compared to the rest of the hospital.

    Enjoy your time off. As a new nurse, the army tends to make the new RN's pay their debt. This is something I hate, because I have no tolerance for the BS and the stupidity. If you're looking for a beach, go to Spain, but be prepared to spend some money since the exchange rate sucks big time. The town is avg size and is ok. I prefer the southern part of Germany, but your rank is the limiting factor for those jobs.

    Get a GPS with European maps and pack that sucker with you on your way here. Once you get OBC or whatever they call it now, then you can start studying for the driver's test. It is not hard if you study the material. As soon as you can get a hold of who your sponsor will be, use them to the fullest. He/she will help you get settled and should tell you what to avoid.

    What part of the states are you from? If you ever been to Seatle, WA, the weather here has been like the PNW for several days. The summers are nice but short.

    Hope this helps. PM if you have more ?s

    Robert
    Last edit by armyicurn on Dec 22, '08
  9. Visit  armyicurn profile page
    0
    Quote from Gennaver
    Hello,

    You are the first new graduate new nurse, new Army officer that I've heard of that got an overseas assignment right out of school. Congratulations. I commissioned in along two ROTC nurses who did an internship in Germany and from what I heard they loved it.

    Sorry that I have no information for you, can you ask someone through your ROTC if they can connect you with nurses already there for communication, advice or help?

    Have you received your welcome packet from your sponsor yet? Likely that will be either prior to or right after OBLC...however, depending on where you go, sometimes people's sponsors are not even informed that they are sponsoring someone until the person is already going strong!

    Good luck
    Gen

    The army allocates most of the new RNs stateside, but a handful go overseas like Germany, Korea and Hawaii.
  10. Visit  armyicurn profile page
    0
    Quote from SPUDRN
    I'm thinking of joining AF and Landstuhl would be a top pic for me as well. I didn't realize that both Army and AF serve there! I can't wait to hear some more info!! Congrats on getting your first choice. Maybe I need to think a little more about Army...

    LRMC is triservice (Army-who owns LRMC, AF and Navy backfill from their reserve side). We also have some Marine counterparts but these service members work on a different role here.

    The hardest part of the whole triservice thing is that you have to teach other services the army way since LRMC is army owned and this does not go well with other services. Then the whole nightmare reverses when you have to fly pts to CONUS in an AF craft and then you have to follow their rules and this does not go well neither...
  11. Visit  lionstudent profile page
    0
    Quote from armyicurn
    LRMC is triservice (Army-who owns LRMC, AF and Navy backfill from their reserve side). We also have some Marine counterparts but these service members work on a different role here.

    The hardest part of the whole triservice thing is that you have to teach other services the army way since LRMC is army owned and this does not go well with other services. Then the whole nightmare reverses when you have to fly pts to CONUS in an AF craft and then you have to follow their rules and this does not go well neither...
    Armyicurn,
    I am a senior nursing student and considering the Army (I'm prior service) for ICU experience...Can u give me a little insight on the pace of the Critical Care Course after completion of 1 to 1.5 yr of Med/Surg?...Also, what's a normal ICU shift like @ LMRC, and are there opportunities for working PRN's @ area hospitals once you return stateside? Any info would extremely helpful!
  12. Visit  mwboswell profile page
    0
    Congrats on teh assignemnt!

    I'm not active duty, but I was a military brat and we lived on Landstuhl from 1983-1985.
    Obviously my time frame reference is a bit off, but I can comment on some of the things that will NEVER change in that area...

    1) The local Germans speak pretty much as good as English as you do! So no major problems with that
    2) There is such a HUGE concenttration of Americans there that you are never far from running into an American to help you out
    3) Their Train system is AWESOME for travelling the country to see and do things (and refer back to point #1 if you have problems riding the train!!!!)
    4) Taxis as well, great way to get around, they too (cab drivers) speak great English
    5) LOTS TO DO!!! Castles, festivals, etc.
    6) I'll tell you what NOT TO DO - don't go over there and DRINK your tour away!!! I met far too many Army GI's (NCO'S) who did nothing but hang in the barracks all weekend and drink, drink, drink and lost out on way too many opportunities to experience something they might never get again.

    7) Overall, with you having some freedom to travel around a bit you should have a good tour; take advantage of your "down time" to de-stress from the hassles of work life!

    As far as the hospital I can only remember being in the ER at LARMC one time when I choked on a piece of steak - it took My dad, the MD, and 3 orderlies to hold me down while they pushed it through with an endoscope, ahem, PLUS 10 of IV valium.

    Enjoy your tour!!!
    -MB
  13. Visit  armyicurn profile page
    1
    Quote from lionstudent
    Armyicurn,
    I am a senior nursing student and considering the Army (I'm prior service) for ICU experience...Can u give me a little insight on the pace of the Critical Care Course after completion of 1 to 1.5 yr of Med/Surg?...Also, what's a normal ICU shift like @ LMRC, and are there opportunities for working PRN's @ area hospitals once you return stateside? Any info would extremely helpful!

    What is your ultimate goal? CRNA? The Critical Care Course is what you make out of it. Where do you want to go for it? BAMC, Walter Reed or Madigan? You must do ECCO online for phase one and this will start to paint the picture about ICU stuff. I will recomend you try to float or just drop by and talk to the Head Nurse in the ICU if they can allow you to shadow and RN during their shift to get and idea of what is like.

    Depending on where you decide to go for the course, it can be a pleasant experience or it can be pure hell. Every course director is different and some of them take the course in a way that they can make it tough for you or they can make it harder than nursing school. Do you like care plans? You will have to give two oral reports. The first one is on one system that is failing on your patient and the other one is on 3 systems that are failing on another pt. The oral exam can last from 1.5 to 3 hrs depending on how you come accross to the director. If you make it, then the army will give you your identifier as a critical care nurse.

    Shifts in the ICU are 12 hours minimum. I say minimum because some places are not fully staffed and you must depend on some agency nurse (stateside only) to come in. They can be late or can be early. My shifts are by far the best I have ever had in the army. I work 12 hrs on days and I work a set schedule which allows me to plan what I want to do on my days off. Every other weekend I am off. Basically I work only 15 days a month. Keep in mind that this is only here at LRMC. We are fully staffed with 11-13 RNs plus a charge RN. We do get slammed when we get pts from the sandbox. One day we can have all 12 beds empty and in a matter of hours we can have 18 patients taking every available bag of IV fluids and gtts. Burns, trauma, neuro, cardiac, MORF, organ donation, ARDS. You name it.

    You can do PRN up to 16 hrs besides your own duty with the army. They track this closely and you must get the paperwork filled out prior to working outside the military arena.

    Good luck.
    Last edit by armyicurn on Dec 23, '08
    lionstudent likes this.
  14. Visit  MikePLSDCA profile page
    0
    Congrats on getting Landstuhl! I'm in AROTC as well but I don't graduate till next December (doing LDAC and NSTP this next summer). I'm hoping to get Landstuhl as my first duty station, but from what I've heard it's pretty difficult to get! I'm not gonna lie and say that I'm not a little bit jealous ha ha. Someone from my college who graduated in August got Landstuhl as well--she's doing the Goldbar thing for a few months beforehand.

    All I've heard are positive things so far from a few people that were stationed there. Good luck!

    -Mike
  15. Visit  Pink-Rated profile page
    0
    hey Mike. Good luck with LDAC and NSTP. I did mine last summer and well...hope it doesn't rain in LDAC. But I loved the people in my squad and you'll get to really know them well. Where are you going for NSTP? I went to Fort Bragg, NC and had a blast there. It wasn't the best place around but the other cadets were pretty cool and we had an awesome time. And WAMC was great. All the nurses there were sweet and you learn so much! Try and take every opportunity to do something that you want b/c you're so limited in nursing school. But don't lose hope on Landstuhl! I think the Army really tries to give you your top choice! Good luck!!


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