Just got off active duty Army, veterans chime in !

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    hey fellow nurses/veterans, i am new to this forum and would like to say hello hello

    a little about myself

    i just got off active duty army 3 months ago->>> so happy to be free again !!!

    - i was a 15 Tango ( black hawk helicopter mechanic/crew chief ) aviation was great but ive always had my eye on the medical field, was always jealous of the army medics on base, they all seemed to love their job from what they were telling me

    I am starting a LVN program next week in which i am using the post 9/11 gi bill to fund ( great benefit )

    i have some questions maybe some of you older folks can answer

    - does veteran affairs hire LVNs ?
    - what was your branch of service ? MOS ? and how did you like the switch to nursing
    - hows is LVN school compared to AIT ? i remember running on 3 hours of sleep all the time with a test coming up horrible
    - how has your experience in this field been ?

    i would imagine their are lots of army medics and navy corpsman that have continued into this field

    any advice from you older more experienced folks is much appreciated ! thank you for your service my friend.


    i am also 23 y/o and am looking into flight/ICU in the future
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    1) Yes, the VA hires LPNs... That being said the VA system is somewhat difficult to get into, so much so that I stopped bothering (both as an LPN and RN). Go to usajobs.gov to look up VA jobs in your area
    2) Army, 91C then 91WM6 (LPN) (ETS'd in 2006)
    3) Couldn't tell you, my LPN course was AIT
    4) I got my LPN because I didn't know what I wanted and my recruiter made it sound pretty cool, but it turns out that I really enjoy the this work. After being an LPN for 8 years I went back to school for my BSN because there is such a narrow difference between the two licenses but a significant pay increase. Now I am working on my MSN as a FNP. I would SERIOUSLY consider skipping the LPN and going right for your BSN, especially if you want to do flight nursing or the ICU...
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  5. 1
    Quote from harrison89
    hey fellow nurses/veterans, i am new to this forum and would like to say hello hello

    a little about myself

    i just got off active duty army 3 months ago->>> so happy to be free again !!!

    - i was a 15 Tango ( black hawk helicopter mechanic/crew chief ) aviation was great but ive always had my eye on the medical field, was always jealous of the army medics on base, they all seemed to love their job from what they were telling me

    I am starting a LVN program next week in which i am using the post 9/11 gi bill to fund ( great benefit )

    i have some questions maybe some of you older folks can answer

    - does veteran affairs hire LVNs ?
    - what was your branch of service ? MOS ? and how did you like the switch to nursing
    - hows is LVN school compared to AIT ? i remember running on 3 hours of sleep all the time with a test coming up horrible
    - how has your experience in this field been ?

    i would imagine their are lots of army medics and navy corpsman that have continued into this field

    any advice from you older more experienced folks is much appreciated ! thank you for your service my friend.


    i am also 23 y/o and am looking into flight/ICU in the future
    *** Yes former army medic here. Yes VA hires LPNs but only for the very boring jobs in rehab and clinics. get your RN ASAP. VA is easy (but not fast) to get into for vets if you are willing to go where the job is.
    Nursing has been a great career for me! Of course the abiliety to become an RN in only 9 months was a HUGE incentive for me. (army medics can challenge LPN in some sates then do 9 months LPN to RN)
    Now I make well into the six figures (regular RN), have a fun job and gets of tons of respect and automomy. You are right to be thinking critical care. ICU is THE path to all the best jobs in nursing.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
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    First off, congrats on your great escape back to the world if civilians!

    I am a 66H, a med-surg nurse on AD. I used to work closely with the LPN students at Walter Reed-Bethesda when they cycled through our ward, and I learned a lot from them about life as an enlistee in an Army school.

    The VA system as well as the GS system hires LPNs. I worked with both agency/contract and GS LPNs back at Walter Reed on my oncology floor, but as PFMB-RN said, you have to be willing to go where the job is, be it a GS or VA job.

    Keep in mind that school on the outside is nothing like Army AIT. You are actually given a chance to sleep, see your friends/family and maintain your own life. You might hear your fellow students whining about professors "monopolizing" their time, but it is nothing like have a DS or Army school instructor standing over you 24/7. I think you'll find it's a lot easier than what you experienced while you were in the service, especially if you are self-motivated and driven to accomplish your goals.

    For the record, I agree: go get your BSN! Best of luck to you!
    Last edit by SoldierNurse22 on Aug 7, '13
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    Greetings! The VA does hire LVNs but you need experience to get in. No new grads. School is nothing like AIT. you are on a regular schedule. I managed to get 8 hrs of sleep every school night and managed to graduate with honors. You get what you put into it. Only you know how you study and what you need sleep wise. Make sure your school is accredited and that your classes are transferable since you'd need to be an RN to be a flight nurse. I was a 74D NCO with a L5 ASI. CBRN Recon. My last assignment was a BN Operations NCO/ BN CBRN NCO for over 500. You'll find that school might be a breeze as far as setting your priorities and being on time with home work and for clinicals. It's just that military mentality we have that sometimes gives us an upper hand. I wish you all the best in your studies and career. I highly recommend the Soldiers Project if you are having trouble adjusting to civilian life and nursing school. Free counseling never hurts. I used it to help with my adjustment of over 8 years of service. Kind of hard to go from running a 500 person BN to dealing with a class of 30 civilians.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from SoldierNurse22
    First off, congrats on your great escape back to the world if civilians!

    I am a 66H, a med-surg nurse on AD. I used to work closely with the LPN students at Walter Reed-Bethesda when they cycled through our ward, and I learned a lot from them about life as an enlistee in an Army school.

    The VA system as well as the GS system hires LPNs. I worked with both agency/contract and GS LPNs back at Walter Reed on my oncology floor, but as PFMB-RN said, you have to be willing to go where the job is, be it a GS or VA job.

    Keep in mind that school on the outside is nothing like Army AIT. You are actually given a chance to sleep, see your friends/family and maintain your own life. You might hear your fellow students whining about professors "monopolizing" their time, but it is nothing like have a DS or Army school instructor standing over you 24/7. I think you'll find it's a lot easier than what you experienced while you were in the service, especially if you are self-motivated and driven to accomplish your goals.

    For the record, I agree: go get your BSN! Best of luck to you!
    *** In my experience vets, in particular army and marine vets, excel in civilian school. Be prepared for some resentment that your school is "free". As if all the times I put my butt on the line, and all the nights I spent (trying) to sleep in the rain, mud, blood, and filth, getting up well before dawn for stand to, watching my friends get killed and injured, etc, etc was "free" time.
    Also nursing instructors HATE any sharing of real world experiences. I advise the OP to keep his head down in the La La Land that is nursing school.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  9. 1
    In my experience vets, in particular army and marine vets, excel in civilian school.
    No argument there. I think the OP is well-suited for school based on the level of motivation that he shows and past experience with the military alone.

    Be prepared for some resentment that your school is "free". As if all the times I put my butt on the line, and all the nights I spent (trying) to sleep in the rain, mud, blood, and filth, getting up well before dawn for stand to, watching my friends get killed and injured, etc, etc was "free" time.
    Sad but true--a very common overesight/misconception on the part of the public.

    Also nursing instructors HATE any sharing of real world experiences. I advise the OP to keep his head down in the La La Land that is nursing school.
    Asbolutely. Veterans and active duty folks often encounter resistance, especially because they come in with experience and knowledge that often challenges/exceeds the experience of the instructors. Talk to your classmates if they're interested, but keep your interaction regarding your history with your professors to a minimum.
    PMFB-RN likes this.
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    Just don't go on about.. "When I was deployed.......".. Most nursing instructors are burnt out housewives who have infrequently never left the US.. Cancun being the exception..... If you've done 11B, 98W, or 18D... just.. keep it to yourself... Smile and nod... Just smile and nod.
    PMFB-RN likes this.
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    Welcome brother,

    I retired from the service, I work as an LPN in the ER at the VA. I was told many things, that it's a slow process to get on at the VA, I was offered a job without applying within 1 day of my interview (I happened to call on interview day). I was told that the VA doesn't hire LPN's for the ER, so I took a job as an ER tech and then they converted my job over to LPN. If you have a goal, and a strong desire, you will have no problem as a male in nursing, lots of male nurses at the VA.

    I'll go with everyone else, IF you can get accepted into a BSN program, do that and skip LPN....however.....the VA has a program that allows CNA & LPN to go to school fulltime without working to get your RN & they pay for school, pay for your books, buy you a computer AND pay your fulltime salary while you are doing it. How do I know? That's what I'm doing right now, I graduate in 3 1/2 months with my BSN and I haven't worked in close to a year.

    Good luck with school, use your GI Bill to it's fullest while you are young, I went to LPN school in my 40's, I'll turn 47 when I graduate with my BSN. And you could try to get on as a CNA right now at the VA, the starting pay for CNA is $15 hr where I'm at.

    Tony
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    It's truly a small world sometimes! I was a 15U in the Army (Chinook mechanic) and ETS'd in 2006. After stumbling around for a few years I finally got my head on straight and I'm currently working through my 3rd semester of an ADN program while working in a hospital as a CNA. I'm quite a ways from the nearest VA hospital so I'm not real familiar with that but I will say that civilian employers absolutely LOVE us vets, especially if you're a nurse. We tend to not shy away from the dirtiest jobs, usually have better initiative than civilians, we're punctual almost to a fault, and we've had professionalism drilled into us for so long we don't know any other way to be. Just putting a bug in your ear that the civilian sector has PLENTY of jobs for nurses that are vets until you can get that dream job.

    As far as comparing to AIT, I would say that it depends on you and how complicated your life is now before school. Being older and having a family of my own now, I sometimes have trouble balancing work/school/family/life's curves but compared to dodging bullets, mortars, and RPGs I would say that I'm living the good life Just roll with the punches and you'll do fine.

    Overall, I have had great experiences during my time as a CNA and even in clinicals. I would compare it to the humanitarian missions I was apart of in the military but it holds a bit more meaning for me that I'm helping people of my own community. Good luck to you with school and in case no one else has told you, welcome home!


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