Questions for new Navy nurses - page 2

Hello all, I've been lurking here for some time and I've noticed a recent upsurge in Navy topics. With that, I thought I might jump in and get some questions answered. First, a little about... Read More

  1. by   warmrain
    Hi, I hope you don't if I jump in with a question!?! I spoke to a health care recruiter and was told that there are no contractual guarantees for anything when you sign up. Is this everyone else's experience? Thanks for any replies!
    Marcie
  2. by   DanznRN
    Marcie-

    ABSOLUTELY, the Navy (and military I'm sure) does not guarantee anything, except that you get paid every 2 weeks, which is nice. Aside from that, good luck because in the military everything changes all the time. Sometimes you can get things put in writing in your contract, but that still doesn't mean anything. Remember who you are dealing with when it comes to the military, the government. And the needs of the military/ government will always come first.

    LCDR Dan
  3. by   warmrain
    LCDR Dan,
    Thanks for the reply. I thought it might be true but wanted to make sure.
    Marcie
  4. by   MCHnurse
    I, too, appreciate your comments to Marcie. Her question actually made me think about another thread that I've seen here re: the reduced number of OB nurses being used in the Navy.

    Strangely enough, when I went to interview in Portsmouth the two nurses I interviewed with (one was the DON and one was a CNS--sorry can't remember ranks) were practically doing back-flips over my being an OB nurse. They kept talking about how desperate the Navy is for OB nurses. This, of course, completely contradicts what I'm hearing from you all. I'm now a little nervous that I've been lied to by the nurses that I interviewed with. I understand that recruiters paint a beautiful picture for you and I don't see that as a lie. But to hear that the Navy is downsizing OB makes me worry that I'm being duped.

    I liked how you put it LCDR Dan. Clearly the active duty members of the military are not the only people in need of medical care! I liked the idea of OB in the Navy because I thought I might be able to fill a hole for women who were giving birth while their significant other was away. I also really like that the Navy continues to use midwives, something that is not commonly practiced in civilian nursing. Needless to say, I understand that OB is not a big need overseas, however women continue to have babies nonetheless.

    I suppose that now I'm a little skeptical about what those two nurses told me during my interview. I was also told (by my recruiter) that upon my graduation (and before commissioning) that I would be called and offered a position at a certain base and in a certain specialty (something that I don't think happens with those in the NCP because you already have a debt to pay so you don't get a choice). In general, I was told that if the offer did not include the base and specialty I want, that I could walk away and say "no thanks".

    The waters just got a little muddy for me....

    Jennifer
  5. by   Gennaver
    Quote from MCHnurse
    I, too, appreciate your comments to Marcie. Her question actually made me think about another thread that I've seen here re: the reduced number of OB nurses being used in the Navy.

    Strangely enough, when I went to interview in Portsmouth the two nurses I interviewed with (one was the DON and one was a CNS--sorry can't remember ranks) were practically doing back-flips over my being an OB nurse. They kept talking about how desperate the Navy is for OB nurses. This, of course, completely contradicts what I'm hearing from you all. I'm now a little nervous that I've been lied to by the nurses that I interviewed with.
    -The waters just got a little muddy for me....

    Jennifer
    Hi Jennifer,

    If I am not mistaken from what I've read here then the Navy is eliminating Navy OB and will need to hire civilian OB nurses. So, if that is true then yes indeed they were honest with you.

    Maybe read back that thread where the poster said the Navy was cutting back its own OB to see if you read the same thing.

    Hoping to clear the waters,
    Gen
  6. by   MCHnurse
    Hi Gen,

    I think I may need to clarify my comment as it was a little confusing. The nurses on this board are saying "the Navy is getting rid of Navy OB nurses." However the nurses I interviewed with at the Naval hospital said that the Navy is desperate for OB nurses that are in the Navy---not civilian OB nurses. This then says to me that what they told me in my interview seriously conflicts from what is being said here on the board.

    Does that make more sense?

    Thanks for your input and for helping me clarify!
    Jennifer
  7. by   DanznRN
    GEN/ MCH-

    O.K. What you read in the other thread did mention doing away with L/D. You were not lied to, the Navy does still need L/D at present, my wife's floor is short 20 military nurses currently, trust me your needed. There is a lot of rumor and talk about eliminating this and cutting back that, it happens all the time. However, what my experience is, is that the Navy is looking to cut back in certain areas that are not as useful in an operational arena. I think of it logically, we don't deal with kids in an operational platform, therefore, to me, NICU, PICU, PEDs could possibly be phased out for civilain replacements. As for L/D, there are plenty of active duty women in the service, my wife is one of them. Irrelevant of what the Navy (military) wants, there are a "few" of them that will have babies, along with dependent family members. The Navy (military) is very quircky about taking care of it's own, if an active duty is having a baby, the Navy prefers to have active duty care for them, where/ when possible. So do I see L/D going completely away, no, because we still have an active duty need for them, maybve not operational per se. To further that, with the new interest in doing humanitarian missions, these type of specialties are going to be needed from time to time. So phased out completely, doubt it, put on the back burner in favor of more operational training, possibly. The bottom line is, you come into the military with an open mind, it's must. If you are coming to the military thinking you are going to work in L/D in a bunch of stateside hospitals for 20 years and retire, don't count on it. Learn the phrase "well-rounded nurse (-ing)." The admiral of the Nurse Corps wants nurses that can everything well and do one the excellent. We are told "we are all Med-Surg nurses, that get to specialize in one area." I for one am not a Med-Surg nurse, but I get where she is coming from, if I get called to do something in the field, I got to do it, there's no "not my job" in the field. I hope this helps puts some fears to rest, if you need/ want more, I'm here.

    LCDR Dan
  8. by   MCHnurse
    LCDR Dan,

    Thanks for setting the record straight! I suppose my misunderstanding of your posts caused me a little unnecessary anxiety. I am so scared by people's comments about "lies" that they were told, that I seek to confirm everything I'm told, just to be sure that I'm getting the right information. It is becoming increasingly clear that the "lies" people speak of are either misinterpretations on the indivuduals part, or perhaps they did a little glamorization of what they were told. So far, thanks to your clarification, all the information I have received has proven to be true.

    I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying about being well-rounded. As a very green nurse, I am in need of all the experience I can get. While med-surg is perhaps my least favorite area, I think every nurse needs a variety of experiences so they can deal with every situation that presents. That goes double for working in the field. In fact, the whole reason I want to join the Navy is to be forced outside my comfort zone!

    One thing that I've been meaning to ask about are the "extra" duties of officers that I keep hearing about. Several people have told me that outside nursing duties on scheduled shifts, there are additional duties that need to be performed. Can you confirm this and explain what some of those duties are?

    Once again, thanks for your insight!
    Jennifer
  9. by   DanznRN
    Jenn-

    Sure, no problem. What people are talking about is the duties of a Naval Officer. In the Navy (military in general) you serve 2 purposes, ine as the nurse, two as the officer and that has some responsibility. Like with anything else, those responsibilities grow with time. Some examples of new nurses duties, would be like Scheduling officer or Moral/ Welfare officer or something along those lines. As you go along, they get a bit more demanding, I was the Education and Training officer for my unit, about 30 people when I was in Italy. My job was to ensure everyone had all their education adn trainng, both military and medical completed and according to JCAHO standards. There was another I did where I was the base-wide safety liason for the hospital. When there were safety presentations that were base-wide I ensured the information was accurate and sometimes was a guest speaker. These are the things you do to meet the officer requirement of being in the Navy. Sometimes you are assigned, sometimes you get to choose, I normally went to my DivO with what I wanted, proactive and all that. Don't stress too much about these, I normally made time to do them before or after a shift, keep in mind these are not "always" kinds of things. These are things that need attention over time and you usually have time to complete them within reason, usually a report per month at a staff meeting, that's what I had to do most recently. I also had an enlisted sailor who helped me and I mentored them as to why we were doing what we were doing. Lastly, most importanly to me, is you are always a teacher to the junior staff. Even though you may be "green" asd you put it, you know more than what some of the corpsmen doing coming out of their school and they are hungry to learn. To me it's one of the most satisfying things we do in the Navy, keeping in mind what you teach a corpsmen today they may use in the field tomorrow. Let me knw if you need more.

    LCDR Dan
  10. by   MCHnurse
    LCDR Dan,

    Once again, thank you. Since you seem to be the man with all the right answers, I'm just going to keep asking questions until I bottom out.

    What kind of activities/training is done to comply with core nursing competencies (i.e. body mechanics, Accuchecks, fecal occult, etc.)? In other words, do you have yearly check-offs like in civilian nursing? Also, regarding CEUs, does any of the training you receive in the Navy transfer into CEU requirements toward RN license renewal? What about transferring--can you keep your license in your home state?

    Jennifer
  11. by   navynurse06
    I know I'm not LCDR Dan, but I thougth I could add my 2 cents for what its worth!
    In the peds department @NMSCD we have a yearly skills-a-thon that we have to be checked off on all of ours skills (items that have been listed above).
    Also, many of the classes I've taken since I've been at my command are good for CEU. I've taken such classes as: PALS, Newborn care course, Ped Care course, etc. So you go through a lot of classes (esp at the big three) when you 1st come in that helps take care of your CEU for that 1st 2 yrs.
    Furthermore, you can keep you license in your home state. As long as you have an active license you can work any where for the Federal Governement; it doesn't have to the be state you work in. For example, I have my TN license b/c that's my home state but I'm stationed in CA. You just have to keep your license current/active.
    ENS PM
  12. by   MCHnurse
    ENS PM,

    Glad to have your response...even if you aren't LCDR Dan!

    Are all the classes you take in lieu of working a shift, or do you maintain your schedule in addition to your training days? The unit I just left required a lot of extra time in addition to my regular shifts (only good thing about that was the overtime). With all the classes, my regular shifts, and maintaining a full-time school schedule with clinical time, I got burnt out real quick.

    Thanks!
    Jennifer
  13. by   navynurse06
    Classes are your shifts for that day or two, or however long the class is for.
    For example, I had a med surg course that was a wk long that I had to take when I was in the intern program. (M-F 0730-1600) That's all I did that wk. Also, when I took my PALS course it was two days. That was my shift for those two days; then I had like one other day or two I worked that wk. Does that make sense?


    ENS PM

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