I've been a nurse for 3 years, first year and a half was in MICU and then I transferred to my hospital's float pool for financial incentives. But now I am leaning towards the military to progress my career.
I am still taking care of critically ill patients and have to maintain my ACLS and TNCC, does anyone know if the military will consider my float pool as critical care experience as well, since I am always floating to the ER and ICU, or do I have to be working as an ICU staff to consider that experience? I would greatly appreciate the information, this will help me start my lengthy application process, going for either Army or Air Force - any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
May 1, '12
Sure, you would have a chance in your interview to explain your patient experience. Just make sure your resume reflects what you do.
May 2, '12
Thank you for the reply, I appreciate it. Are you in the service?
May 3, '12
Before the interview see if you can get documentation for how many hours you worked in a critical care area from your HR.
May 4, '12
Thanks.. yes I was wondering about that, I will look into it. Jeck I've seen a few of your posts and all of them have been informative. Are you still serving? If so do you have any pointers on how to get the best chance of getting in? Shoudl I get my CCRN or just wait until I am in the military?
May 6, '12
I am still in. Getting your CCRN would be a plus, anything which can give you a heads up on others will help. Right now it is very compative to join. Community service also looks good on your application since it makes you more rounded.
May 7, '12
I will try to work on that. Yes you're right, I spoke with a recruiter and I would have to wait till next year.
How long have you been in for? And how is family life like in the Army as a military nurse? Do you recommend living on base or off base for someone with two kids? Sorry for the boatload of questions.. I am very eager about serving and have been planning on pursuing this for a while, but I am the type that likes to know as much as possible before making a big move. I really appreciate your input and thanks again!
May 7, '12
All total I have been in 24 years between, active & reserves; Navy & Army; enlisted & officer. Depending on where you are stationed would depend if you are better off living on or off base. Most officers live off base since there is limited officer housing and the BAH covers most decent housing in the area. Since you have 2 kids looking at the schools for them should be the decieding facator where to live. My family life is not bad in the military, at times I have more time then when I was in the reserves and others much less.
May 10, '12
I see.. thank you for all the years of service for our country! It's awesome to talk to someone with your amount of experience. I hope you don't mind all the questions, let me know if I am throwing out too many! I've always wanted to do military but my parents held me back and convinced me to finish nursing school. Now that I've been a nurse for 3+ years, my wife has been very accepting/ and open to the idea. I am trying to get everything together and hopefully by next year attempt to get in.
How do you compare life as an officer for the Navy vs. Army? Are nursing ratios similiar to civilian i.e. ICU 2:1, ED 4:1, Tele 5:1, MS 6:1? Or is military nursing more paperwork less bedside as you advance in rank?
May 10, '12
I work in the OR since I came on active duty so hard to say about the ratio. But what I have seen is that RN's in the Army where I am stationed have a more managable patient load then the private sector. Also, there is no call offs for the civilian RNs so when the cenus is low your patient ratio is even better. The Navy treats its officers better then the Army but my time with the Navy was in the enlisted ranks. It is true that the higher in rank you get the less bedside care you give which is a problem in the service. Most have 10-20 years experience as a RN but only have 5 years of bedside nursing. This limited amount of experience does make it diffucult at times for the younger nurses who look to them for answers. In the Army you will make rank a little faster but that should not be the only factor on what service you choose.
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