New to Navy, ODS, Portsmouth-need any help? - page 17

by Sw88tpea 61,731 Views | 288 Comments

Hi there, I've been a nurse since 2010 and graduated from University of Portland, Oregon. I worked in mental health and with the red cross for a year before applying for the Navy. 13 mos later I found myself at Officer... Read More


  1. 2
    Holy cow I cannot believe how glad I am to have found this. I just got accepted into the NCP program but due to some kind of something or other (my recruiter was vague) I won't be "signing" until May. So I will officially be in the NCP program from May of 2013 to December of 2013 when I graduate. I cannot believe how hard it is to find answers on the NCP program! My recruiter lives 12 hours away from me and I am his maiden voyage so to speak... so I have many unanswered questions Anyway, I'm sure these questions have been answered, but I'll put them out there again.

    1.) So I'm gathering that you do know your 1st duty station prior to leaving for ODS? That is a huge weight off of my shoulders. I didn't know if it was like when my husband went enlisted in the AF and we didn't know where we were going to end up until a few weeks before he was done with tech school. So am I understanding that correctly?

    2.) What is your dream sheet like? Are you putting the big 3 (VA, Bethesda and SanD) in order on that, or are you supposed to be putting anything and everything on there?

    3.) I have a husband and 2 kids. Between VA and Bethesda, which is more family friendly (schools and such)

    I don't think any of these questions were the ones I actually needed to ask, but once I get over my excitement of finding people who will answer questions, I'm sure I'll remember the good ones
    PineappleCrush and Sw88tpea like this.
  2. 1
    Hi slc1984, Congrats!

    1. Yes you know your first duty station before you go and you should receive your orders with that information when you sign, if not then certainly before you go.

    2. Yes, I put the big three. If there is another place you wouldn't mind living then you could put it on there and see what happens-it would probably be a discussion.

    3. I don't know about schools but I do know families that are at both. Bethesda is a big city/near the big city and Norfolk is more of a beach town (300K population). I'm more of a city girl and when I visit Bethesda I wish I was there. It's hard though because Bethesda is a joint hospital-so you work with Army, Air Force etc. But it's certainly the top of line as far as military treatment facilities on the east coast. There's pros and cons to both. I can go more into it if you want.
    slc1984 likes this.
  3. 2
    Hi slc1984,

    Congrats!

    If you are NCP, then you pretty much have to list the big 3 as your preferences. They also tell you if you are at school on one coast then they won't send you to the other. (At least those are the instructions that went out to summer/fall grads.) However, the reality is the needs of the Navy come first, so you may be sent to a smaller hospital and you may have an opportunity to go to the opposite coast. But you won't know anything until you talk with the detailer which is probably about 2-3 months out from graduation.
    slc1984 and Sw88tpea like this.
  4. 0
    Thanks so much!
    My next question is about ODS. Does it only start a few times a year or is there quite a few start dates. I will be taking my NCLEX in January of 14 and wasn't sure if ODS has start dates right after that or if I will more than likely be waiting awhile before going. I've seen conflicting information on this.

    I live in South Dakota and have been to San Diego and love it, but would rather be east coast. I have never been over there at all though. Are there definite places I want to stay away from when looking for a house at either location? This is a pretty far off question I know, but I figure we better start preparing.

    Also, I just have to ask... how long were you/have you been at the station you started at? Like I said, my husband was AF and we were in Phoenix for the entire 6 years (and I know people who have been there much longer, but mostly by choice). I have a feeling the Navy may be more mobile than this but wasn't sure
  5. 0
    slc1984,

    ODS runs year long, every 5 weeks. So far I have heard no changes to this. You would probably be attending the February tour that starts in the beginning of the month.

    I think your chances of going to the east coast should be good. Things tend to run with the fiscal year (starts in October) so I would imagine that people coming in towards the end of the fiscal year have less say in the matter.

    Once you know which station you are going to, there are plenty of folks to help you determine the good and bad areas of town.

    Nursing orders in the Navy tend to be three years for CONUS and 18-24months for OCONUS. At my command, they do not often extend orders for another three and will encourage you to move. If in the DC area, you could request Ft. Belvoir Army base for example, so you wouldn't end up going far. Also, second stations can be Marine bases: Quantico, Camp Lejune, Cherry Pointe, etc. It's one of those things where you can always ask-the worst they will say is no. Also by that time, commands will have new director's of nursing that may decide to do things differently.

    Depending on how long you plan on staying in, there are boxes you need to check as far as being at a large treatment facility and a medium one.

    Hope it helps.
  6. 0
    thanks for starting this tread; it has been more helpful than speaking to a recruiter or getting information from random google searches. a little information about me: i am early in the application process, just finished my packet(have not submitted it yet), and finished my online security clearance. i have 5 years experience with my BSN, working in a MICU; almost 3 years of running charge. i was hoping that i could get a little help with a few questions from people who have gone through everything.
    1. when it comes to your first duty station, are you given three options, or are you able to make a "wish list" and hopefully you can choose from that?

    2. at what point exactly do you know for sure where you are going? i own a home here in baltimore, and selling it is going to be a pain.

    3. what type of things are able to be directly negotiated in your contract? (ie; rank, location, bonus etc.)

    4. i was told by my recruiter that i would go in as an o-2 with my work experience. he told me that the 2 years civilian is 1 year active, but it isn't set in stone. does that mean i could possibly negotiate up to an o-3?

    5. im hoping that with my icu experience that i would be staying in the icu?

    6. has anyone heard of anyone going overseas for a first duty station?

    thanks for any help given.
  7. 0
    Hi vinstafa,

    1. You can give three 'preferences' and it will be part of your application package.

    2. I would say receiving orders means you are going, not just the letter. Orders means there is a spot for you, they have accepted you contract, etc. The day after I received my orders I swore in and left for ODS 30 days later. Granted, arriving at ODS is the definitive.

    3. Rank is not really 'negotiated' but it can be adjusted with a history of full time employment as an RN, BSN. Generally, for every 2 years in civilian they will give you one year towards your 'date of rank.'

    4. 'Negotiating' rank is not really done, as I said it can be adjusted with solid records and history of your employment. Your 5 years of civilivan experience could get you '2.5 years' on your rank in the Navy which puts you at O-2 (with only 18 months left to get O-3).

    5. No matter what your recruiter tells you, by the time you arrive to your duty station, if they have a shortage somewhere you will be placed there. If you are placed somewhere that is not your preference, things can change in as little as 6 mos and you can be moved to the ICU-I've seen it. It is important when filling out your paperwork that you make sure you are given a subspecialty code of 1960S if you can. This designates you as critical care with significant experience (2+ years) (1900 is for your generalized nurse). With this, it would make sense for your command to use your skills. Know that the command may not decide where you are going until after you are there. This gives you time to shake hands, introduce yourself, and be your own advocate.

    6. Some of my friends from ODS went overseas for their first duty station. If this is your wish, I would put 'overseas' as your first preference. Know that nurses in Europe (Rota, Naples, Sigonella) work on a single multi-service ward with limited critical care and often end up doing L&D. Guam and Okinawa are Level 1 tramas I think, Guam is also the civilian hospital (which means real sick people, not just military). So you could put Okinawa/Guam.

    Good questions. Keep me posted.
  8. 0
    Thanks for all the information. I went over my paperwork, and on my scroll, it did have my subspecialty listed as 1960-Critical Care. Is there a difference between the 1960 on my form, and the 1960S you posted about?
  9. 0
    Your paperwork should list 1960 with the number of years. 1960E is Beginner, <2 years. 1960S means significant experience which should be >2 years. You are always given a letter with the code but that part won't change much in your career for now. You can remedy it when after you arrive at your duty station.
  10. 0
    Hello,
    I am a new graduate nurse and am in the process of sending my application for selection to Navy Nurse Corps. I had a couple of questions i was hoping you could answer.
    1. How are you enjoying being a Navy Nurse?
    2. My recruiter told me the chances of me being deployed to Iraq or Afganistan is slim and hes been trying for years to be deployed but has not been selected. Is it true that chances of being deployed is slim?
    3. My recruiter also told me each tour was 3 years and that I would be at each duty station for 3 years. Is this true?
    4. Completely unrelated to the Navy, but how did you become a RN volunteer of the Red Cross?
    Look forward to hearing from you!


Top