New to Navy, ODS, Portsmouth-need any help? - page 7

by Sw88tpea 59,993 Views | 280 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


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    Everyone's orders says that there are ten days of allotted leave. But that means that if you want to use leave, you are allowed to. However you will be using earned leave that you have not even earned yet.

    If you are flying you get one travel day no matter where you fly to (in the US) so you will need to check-in on Saturday.

    I drove from Rhode Island to Virginia and was given two travel days (Friday and Saturday) so check-in was Sunday even though my NLT day was Monday. I checked in on Monday and was charged a day of leave.

    My friend who drove from Rhode Island to California was given 9 days I think.

    Remember that the Friday of graduation counts as a travel day.
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    I will be going to ODS in August. How did you get approved for the star card prior to going? Thanks!
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    I got a star card at the NEX when I arrived at ODS. They give you a 'temporary card' to use at ODS and then when you make your first big purchase you get 10% off which for me was $260. Then mail you the real card later.
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    hi sw88tpea,

    i am doing ods in sept and reporting to portsmouth in october. i am a new graduate so i would expect not to get in the ed or icu, but i am hoping within 1-2 years i can get into an icu. i've worked in a big city hospital on a step-down telemetry floor as a tech working primarily with oncology patients with heart conditions, some gi, some pulmonary, surgical and psych. would it be of benefit to tell someone that? it's been a great learning experience, but i am excited to see what navy medicine is all about!

    i went down twice to portsmouth since i received my orders to nmcp. the area seems nice, but a whole lot different than what i am used to in philadelphia. i noticed traffic sucks on the downtown tunnel so i am getting the hint that i should live in portsmouth at least for the 1st year so i am not late for work. i am thinking about getting an apartment at the myrtles. i would really like a roommate since i am new to the area and to bank a little extra on the bah, but i absolutely don't know anyone! my recruiter said it is a good possibility of meeting someone in ods, but i don't know if i should rely on that. do you have any recommendations?

    also, do you like the hospital? do you have any recommendations on how to be successful? what is the 3-month internship like?

    i also have a lot of my uniforms from rotc that i participated in my sophomore year of college (summer white, khakis, service dress blues, pt gear, white and black oxfords) <--should i bring them to ods?
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    Just got my orders today for Sept ODS and reporting to Portsmouth afterwards as well! navyRN1790 you are no longer alone!
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    Hi NavyRN1790,

    I cannot say that your tech experience can influence much but why not give it a try. Hand your boss your resume, introduce yourself, your boss will want to know what you have to offer! I have yet to see a new grad head into ICU but I have seen people transfer there after their first 12-18mo assignment. If you verbalize where you want to go and work at it, people will want to help you get there!

    I chose not to live in Portsmouth. There are some areas that are OK and there are some areas that are 'ghetto.' I'm happy to elaborate with a PM. I chose to live in Norfolk and got lucky with a house in Ghent and a roommate (that I met at ODS). I love the area with students, intellectuals, near restaurants and being near downtown Norfolk. I can't imagine living anywhere else. I know several nurses that live at myrtles but it seems that they are a little more 'stuck in Portsmouth' on Saturday nights which, is not where I choose to go.

    I was successful in finding a roommate at ODS. I can also help you out in the even there is someone in the previous or post ODS class that may be up for it. I may be able to connect the two of you. It's nice to have a place before you go to ODS but I didn't and managed just fine. The Navy will pay for 10 hotel days upon arrival and then you will receive BAH too. Also-my roomie and I are considering renting our spare room to newcomers for $100-200/wk. It's nice to have a full kitchen and laundry upon arrival-and to know people.

    I do not hit traffic with the nursing shifts 7 to 7. When I work day shift, you're traveling before and after the traffic. I do hit some when I work nights headed from Portsmouth to Norfolk but it still takes me less than 10 min to get through the tunnel. I would not worry about traffic.

    Bring your uniforms! You might not have to purchase more. Just inform your class team (leaders) and they will look them over for you to let you know if they are within regs. Save some money! The prior-enlisted in my ODS class did the same thing.

    We can talk more about being successful at the hospital when you get here. No need to worry now. I look forward to meeting you! Feel free to send me more questions and I can get you my contact info too! Go Navy!
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    Hi CarolinaKate88! Congrats on your orders! Can't wait to meet you too! Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have! Go Navy!
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    carolinakate88: yes!!! it's such a relief to know I am not going to Portsmouth alone! I went to visit twice and it seems like an awesome facility! Where did you go to nursing school? Did you do the NCP?
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    Sw88tpea thank you for getting back to me!!

    Yeah to be quite honest there weren't many living options besides the Myrtles and Harbor Towers and 1 bedrooms were expensive $999- $1150 (including most utilities). Ensigns are given $1266 BAH in the Norfolk/Portsmouth area and that would pretty much be breaking even. It would be nice to bank a couple extra bucks a month especially with my school loan, car payments, etc. . Plus I think it is good to have a roommate/s when you're moving to a new place especially if you're young and single. There also doesn't seem much to do in Portsmouth besides eat at the 4 restaurants and that could soon get old. I went to school and lived in Philadelphia so I am quite use to having many options on entertainment and a nightlife. I went to the Ghent area and really liked it. It reminds me of a northeast town. That is a relief to hear traffic isn't horrible.

    That's nice the Navy pays for you to live in a Hotel for 10 days and you're not pressured to find housing prior to arrival. My only concern is what do I do with my household goods? I'll have bedroom furniture, a coffee table, end table, tv, clothes, etc. Is it put in storage in Portsmouth if you don't have housing yet? Should I have everything sent down before ODS? I live in NJ (approx 6 hours from Portsmouth) so would they just take my stuff down during my 10 days of leave i receive from R.I. to Portsmouth. I was planning on stopping back in New Jersey for a day or so before heading down to Portsmouth anyway if it was allowed.

    Yes! That is very thoughtful to offer me a temporary place. I'll definitely keep that in mind. That would be sweet if you could find someone from previous or post ODS dates that would be up for it, but if not I understand! It's probably hard to convince someone to live with a person they never met lol. I am very easy going person with a work hard/play hard attitude. I'd like to say I get along with everyone. Career-oriented and organized (most of the time). I enjoy the outdoor life and beach. I like to run long-distance and swim. I enjoy live music. Pretty much love trying new things and meeting new people. Hopefully I will get lucky like you and meet someone in ODS!

    Besides what is on the list to bring to ODS is there anything you would recommend bringing that is a must-have? I took naval leadership classes when I did NROTC for a year and I would think you need more than a 6X9 notebook. Should I bring a sleeping bag and a pillow because that was not listed.

    Sorry for all the questions. I just want to make sure that I am squared away and informed before leaving for ODS. I look forward to meeting you and I thank you again for reaching out to me. Have a great day!
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    Good deal, navyRN1790! I went to the University of South Carolina (and I didn't do the NCP). I wasn't sure until the summer before my senior year of school (June 2010) that I wanted to pursue the Navy, so I've actually been working the last year while waiting on orders. I'm stoked to finally be a part of something bigger than myself, and carry on my parents' legacy. I've only been to the Norfolk area once, and we spent the entire day driving around because we were lost- I'm looking forward to getting to know the area and am taking this whole adventure one day at a time. Can't wait to meet you in Newport!

    Sw88tpea, I have a question in regards to RN licensing- does the Navy just take that over once you start working? Mine is due to expire at the end of this year and I have some hours of continuing education logged, but I have not reached my goal. I wasn't sure if this was something I needed to get squared away, or if licensing in the military operated differently.
    Sw88tpea likes this.


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