Well I finally did it. I contacted a recruiter and I am in the process of completing my packet (which is a quite a process) for the Army Reserves. I currently have my ASN and graduate in December with my BSN, which is when I can fully complete the packet. I am however a little hesitant to tell my managers about it. I'm not sure how they will react about this or my co-workers? I realize that this is something I want to do for myself, my family, and my country. Any experiences or suggestions about this or anything regarding this process I will highly appreciate.
Jun 11, '12
I think your managers and co-workers will respect you for joining the reserves; I do beleive that most employers are required to work around the schedules of those in the reserves. Good luck to you!
Jun 12, '12
Thanks for the comments. I also thought of another question, concerning when the nursing board meets and my application. Since I see that they meet in November and I graduate in December how does this work? I know I will have all of the rest of my packet complete, I just need that last thing - my BSN degree. It sounds like my recruiter is going to have everything else ready and then just put my degree in when I obtain it? If so, can my packet go to the board like this? If not, will I have to wait until next year?? I hope not...
Jun 12, '12
I would imagine your contract would be contingent on your graduation. Let them worry about that.
Google USERRA and read up on your rights so when you tell your boss you will know how it will impact them. My first boss was clueless and made some stupid comments. I have since quit but my new boss was (and is) great about it. I wouldn't tell your employer until it is a done deal though. If it falls through you might create a lot of needless drama. In short they have to give you any time off the Reserve needs, can't fire you, must give you an equivalent position when you return, and must keep you on track for promotions and pay increases. You are very well protected. I am in my first deployment with the Air Guard and the whole process has been great. Difficult, taxing, and challenging, but great. I'm now taking wounded warriors home, the best mission in the Air Force. Anyone who doesn't support you can go spit, in my opinion. Make sure to ask your recruiter to be specific about schools
you need to attend and how long they are. I was in and out of schools for 9 months before deploying. Thanks for serving, good luck!
Jun 12, '12
Thanks for all the info and advice. Unfortunately, for my packet, I need my direct supervisors to do evaluations on me so I need to tell them in order to do so (which is within 6 months of submitting the packet). So that's what makes me a little more hesitant but your words are encouraging. Plus like I said I'm hoping I can get into a slot this upcoming year, the sooner the better!
Jun 13, '12
first off, congrats on graduating! december will be here before you know it :]
I comissioned into the reserves this past january, so hopefully i can provide some sort of useful input. And yes, the application process is horrible! and don't expect things to change once youre in either.. the amount of paperwork, ontop of paperwork, they make you do is UNREAL! lol
I had been at my current job only about a month when i had to ask my managers about writing me recommendations and doing evaluations. thankfully i received a lot of support from everyone. My advice on this... be upfront as soon as possible, be honest about the possibility for absences in the future that way they don't feel as though you are springing this on them last minute. Regardless, hopefully they are supportive of what you're doing to ultimately advance yourself and your service to your country. besides, whether they like it or not they are required by law to accomodate you military obligations lol.
As far as how the process works because of you not having your bsn yet.. i have no idea. My thought would be that your packet can be completed, with the exception of your degree and final transcripts, and then those things can be added once you obtain them. I'm also not sure how it works with experience, currently the reserves requires 6 months... not sure if those 6 months HAVE to be with your bsn or not.
And i could be all wrong here, but i do believe the reserves board may meet more than just once in november like active duty board does. A new Cpt in my unit boarded her packet in january.. so you may still be able to apply once you actually graduate with your bsn
Last edit by sa[RN]ah on Jun 13, '12
: Reason: addition
Jun 14, '12
Thanks again for all the great information. I agree and I will be upfront with them. Hopefully I will be able to get a better time frame of when I will be able to go to the board and be commissioned (hopefully)! I do have five years experience previously to getting my BSN, so I hope that this past experience does count. I guess I'm asking all these questions because I'm excited, impatient, and just want to be sure I have everything in place. Thanks again to everyone for the great information so far!
Jun 18, '12
I have read different posts concerning the Army Nursing Board and how often it meets. It seems like it used to be monthly but now is much less frequent? How often do they meet usually? I'm just curious because of my packet probably being submitted in December. Thanks again for the information.
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