Hi everyone. I'm Kimberly, a 20 yr military veteran in the Air Force Police. Looking to start a different and more fulfilling chapter in my life. I'm so excited to start my fast track LVN Nursing School in May of this year. 12 months to becoming a LVN graduate and then on to state boards. I'm not scared, worried or have my head in the clouds. I know what I'm getting into and I'm looking forward to the challenge. Someone please give me a heads up if you can as to what salary range I can expect to receive as a new LVN graduate in the state of California and where I would do best to apply upon graduation. I know I have to put in my time and get seasoned before I can expect to earn really good money but where is the best place to start to get first hand experience that will benefit me and my patients in the long run? Thank You.
Feb 5, '13
Welcome to Allnurses.com!
With your military background, I urge you to pursue job opportunities with the VA health system. Since you are a military veteran, you will be given preference in the hiring process.
The new grad LVN job market in southern California has been dismal for the past four to five years with no signs of improving in the near future, which is why I suggested the VA. Personally, I would accept any LVN job offer that you happen to receive. Good luck to you!
Feb 5, '13
Thank you very much for the advice. I hadn't thought of the VA but will check into it.
Feb 5, '13
I'd second THECOMMUTER'S advice.
Go VA or the military medical commands. Do you know of anyone in the hospital?
It matters...way more than in civilian world.
I had a slot pretty much promised to me at the VA. One of my Lts was a nurse out there. I didn't take him up on it because I've just had my fill of military life, I guess. I was in for 10 years. I just don't want to be bothered with 'the military' at this point. LOL
I went to the VA last year. Just networking and whatnot. I was still in school.
No appointment (used to be that you could just walk in and apply). The guy at the front desk was very helpful. Told me that I had to apply online. Offered to have me meet the nursing director (and when she didn't have the time) let me call to the back and speak with her. She was very pleasant.
He was so helpful, in fact, that it put some of the civilians off.
One lady strolls up to the desk, "Are you sure that you don't have positions open?"
He told her that he didn't - because there weren't any available. I wasn't even out of nursing school, if you remember. He was just helping me out.
That's how it works.
I guess they didn't 'get it'.
Even if he were bending over backwards for me. I'm prior svc. Of course, I'd have priority.
The military takes care of it's own. It's just an extension of what's done on 'active'.
The air force actually likes to train it's people. Doesn't matter if you want to stay in or not.
As an xray tech? All I had to do was express that I wanted to do CT. 2 days later? I was shadowing the CT techs. They'll send you to mammo school...U/S school...whatever.
It's the same with nursing...really.
That's why the medics (Army medics, especially) tend to be so experienced. I did a brief stint in the Nat'l Guard? No offense to the AF. I'm prior svc AF, myself.
But...the army? Now, those are some medics!!! The 'whiskeys', I know, have to learn how to do sticks in the dark. They aren't practicing on mannequins, either.
I'm actually surprised that more nursing schools don't do their clinicals at military hospitals. It's not like the extra help won't be welcomed. The students will see a lot (I used to work at Lackland and BAMC.) Military medics won't cold-shoulder the civilian students (the way civilian nurses OFTEN do). You can get in there and probably start all the IVs and foley's you like...and if you happen to luck out and end up on a training base? It's basic-trainees galore.
You'll get plenty of target practice. LOL
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