Staying competitive for Navy Nurse Corps recruitment. - page 2
Hello, I have been wrestling with the idea of Navy nursing since I graduated last June (2011); I used the following summer months to study and sit for NCLEX. Unknown to me I dropped the ball with the application process because,... Read More
- 4Jun 6, '12 by CynRN11utamaverick
I actually am not prior enlisted. I also was a (relatively) new grad and came in as an Ensign. I am probably a little older than the average new nurse coming in, so this is my second career. I have extensive experience in management and had owned my own business before going back to to school for nursing, so I seemed to relate very well to the ideas the Navy lays out, in theory anyway, of how junior officers and senor enlisted work together.
You will hear a lot of how the senior enlisted are the backbone of the Navy. They are the people who have worked their way up through the ranks and have usually a minimum of 10 or so years before they can be eligible to sit for the test to become a Chief, or E7 and 16 years for Senior Chief. They have a tremendous amount of knowledge in the area they are trained in and have taken on the additional responsibilities of leading the enlisted ranks under them. So they do function on a much higher level than a civilian counterpart in that respect, but as with anything, you can have good Chiefs and not so good Chiefs who are just wanting for their 20 years. Again, working in a hospital is quite different than working out in the fleet. There are probably prior enlisted on this site that can give more input as to how a successful working relationship is built between the Divo (division officer) and the Chief or Senior Chief. I can tell you, though, that as an officer you are always watched, not just by your chain of command, but also by the enlisted. I had a Seaman Recruit just yesterday comment on the fact that he was impressed seeing an officer who kept her boots shined to come in for a work day, not just for inspections. You are the standard that the enlisted see, and believe me, there are Chiefs who love to catch new Ensigns not squared away!
So as a junior officer, you have several things you are working on. Once you get to your duty station, refining your clinical skills now becomes a priority. That is the basis for how you can steer your career as a nurse in the Navy. As you are placed in a section within the hospital, you will work a lot with corpsmen, and many times also medics from the Army, as the integration of the military gears up. Delegation works the same as civilian hospitals. They have a scope of practice they can work within, and it can range from some of them who work more administratively to corpsmen who function almost at a PA level. Your level of responsibility is what you make it, but always be aware you don't want to be that nurse who cant say no and ends up getting nothing done because they take on too much in their eagerness to make a good impression.
These are just my observations and how I am choosing to have a working relationship with a wide range of people. I take my commitment to the Navy very seriously, from making sure my uniform and hair are squared away before I leave in the morning, to being within regs for weight and the passing the physical fitness tests. If the sailors and marines under me have to, there is no excuse for me not to. The scope of leadership you take on is dependent on your maturity level and what you feel you can realistically accomplish while getting your clinical experience, as well as what your chain of command sees in you. Again, I am sure there are those with more naval experience than myself who could give real and practical advice on leadership roles.