Latest Comments by GeorgiaBoy61

GeorgiaBoy61 3,176 Views

Joined: Feb 8, '06; Posts: 55 (18% Liked) ; Likes: 15

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    MissIt, thank you for your reply, and sorry for the delay in responding. Your suggestions seem to be good ones. Volunteering is a possibility, I would also work as a CNA/PCT for a time before transitioning into full-fledged nursing. As far as contacting those with whom I attended school, I have not maintained my network well at all. Dumb move, but there it is. Maybe I can come up with a couple of names. I like your suggestion regarding making direct contact with nurse-managers before making a decision about a refresher. After all, the schools themselves have every incentive to get you to take a refresher.

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    SFC Jimenez:

    At one time not long ago, the ANC was accepting overage applicants as old as fifty (this was perhaps 3 years ago), due to an on-going shortage of RNs. Do you know if this is still the case? I am 49, NPS, and want to know if this is still an option for me. I am a med-surg RN/BSN. I'd consider either active or reserve.

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    lindarn likes this.

    [quote=Spidey's mom;1260139]Oh my gosh, we'd hire you now. I live in a rural area in Northern California though -

    Steph, thanks for your reply. I am another forum user in the somewhat the same situation as "Spidey's Mom," hope you don't mind my jumping in on your thread. I've been away from nursing for five years also, my last job was in med-surg. I wish I could move to your locale and take part in your "grow your own" philosophy; that is exactly the kind of attitude I'm after - finding an institution that will put some time and effort into developing my career, even as I do my best for them. I've been neglectful of my contacts in the field, which have grown cold - and sort of unsure of how to proceed at getting things started back up again. I took and passed a refresher course in 2007, but couldn't return to the field then, due to a series of medical emergencies with a couple of relatives. My license is valid in my home state. Everything is good to go now, though, and I am ready to jump back into the field. I am willing to work as a PCT or aide, if necessary, as a transition back into full-fledged bedside nursing care. If it is germane, I am an athletic man, by the way, and always got called for helping move/reposition heavy patients.

    Thanks for your advice and input, both are appreciated!

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    Hello all:

    I am an RN/BSN and former EMT exploring returning to nursing after being out of the field for 5 years, in part to complete some education in an unrelated field, and for some other reasons as well. My license is valid in my home state. I had planned to return to healthcare in 2007, and at that time completed a refresher course - but a couple of relatives had health emergencies that precluded returning then. Everything is shipshape now, and I want to get back into the field. My last job was in med-surg at a major regional medical center. Strong science background with masters in biology.

    I am looking to e-mail or talk in person with an experienced nurse, concerning my career options. Since I've been away from bedside care for some time now, I have considered working as a PCT for a while before going directly back to full-fledged nursing. Have also considered taking a new refresher, or perhaps recertification as an EMT. if that would help my prospects, or simply doing alot of self-study to prepare myself. Ultimately, want to get some advanced certifications so I have more career options. Not entirely sure of what specialization I want to pursue yet, but that will become more clear once I know my options. I know I want out of med-surg as soon as possible, but realize that I may have to pay some dues in it before being able to do something different.

    I am somewhat unsure of how to proceed. Should I approach nurse managers at institutions where I want to work, educational institutions, or what? I am somewhat hesitant to approach my alma mater, because they will probably try to get me into their graduate program, and I am not looking to do that just yet.

    Thanks for whatever advice you can offer...

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    Quote from TrinaRoschelle
    Does anyone know who has a better prgram?
    All of the services have excellent preparation for enlisted medical personnel, but the branches differ in how they employ their people, depending on the missions being carried out. I've known quite a few former navy corpsmen, and they are always very well-trained and sharp. Because a corpsman may be the sole medical provider in some situations, i.e., some ships at sea or as a Fleet Marine Force HM with the grunts, the navy trains them to a very high standard. Medical Corpsmen have a distinguished history, and great espirit d'corps if that sort of thing is important to you. AF medics, such as pararescueman, are justly renowned as superb medics. I can't comment on the "typical" enlisted airmen's medic training. One of my relatives is a retired USAF NCO (not a medic), and he speaks well of his time in that service. Do your homework, ask around, and remember that the recruiters will not always present the "bad" of their services, along with the good. The good ones will, so if you aren't getting the answers you want, don't give up... keep digging. Military bulletin boards such as may also be of help for general questions and concerns about the military. They have threads devoted to each of the branches as well as to medics. Best of luck with your decision.

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    "From RN to PA in the Military" I am a civilian RN interested in attending PA school in the near future (if all goes according to plan). I looked into joining the military as a nurse (after trying to get in as a corpsman or medic, but failing due to being a year over the age cutoff), with the intent of applying for IPAP once in uniform. I decided to remain a civilian and go to PA school on that basis. Why? Several reasons: First, rightly or wrongly, the services do not afford nurses the same set of opportunities as enlisted medics and corpsmen get. The Inter-Service Physician Assistant Program is extremely competitive, and the military will not allow one to apply as a civilian who will join the military contingent upon acceptance. If you join the army (for example) as an RN, apply to IPAP, and don't get in, you are still on the hook for your nursing service obligation. The second factor is that the nursing services want to retain personnel, and discourage nurses from attending PA school in favor of advanced practice nursing. That's the USAF practice, my sources told me. Finally, the navy (at the time I looked into this) categorically did not allow nurses to apply to IPAP. They send only corpsmen. So, my advice is to weigh your goals carefully. If your aim is to be a PA, gear your efforts towards that. If your goal is to be an RN, then orient your path that way. Switching branches from nursing to medical service corps, as you would be, isn't a sure thing. You don't have control over your destiny.

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    Quote from lucy18
    Thank you for responding. My recruiter says I don't qualify for the GI Bill since I already have an advanced degree. I planned on transferring it to my son.

    I knew I wasn't getting anything for signing on, but I was under the impression there was prorated retirement. My main motivation was to care for the soldiers, however the unit I would drill at does not do patient care. It is 2 hours away and I would need to stay in a nearby hotel. I would also have to keep my perdiem job in the Emergency Room which I planned on quitting once I commissioned. Since the unit does not do patient care I must ensure a certain amount of hours in the civilian hospital. My full time job is as an educator now so I must keep per diem status.

    I am very disappointed. It is becoming a hardship for me to join. I would be taking on a third job and would be accruing more cost between hotel, driving, uniforms and I wouldn't even be able to do any nursing care. There are no other bases that are commuting distance.

    Any ideas if active duty would offer anything different for an older commission?
    Lucy, I too am older than 40 and have investigated military service. I am now an RN, but want to become a PA. The navy commander and MD to whom I spoke said that there are some modest retirement benefits for ten years of service, so that's the route I'm taking when I get my PA-C. Another avenue to consider: I know a former USN corpsman-turned-PA who went into the USPS, which allowed her to keep her commission and accumulated years toward retirement. Don't know if their retirement ages are different from the military, but maybe they are - so look into it.

    Far as the hoops the service is making you jump through, go in with your eyes open. Right or wrong, the military is quite biased against people over 40 if they are NPS (non-prior service) or not already in uniform. The system just isn't set up to "handle" middle-aged people who are new to the military. Military personnel policies haven't always kept up with the times, and are - in some ways - products of a by-gone age.

    Not trying to rain on anyone's parade here, but my advice is to plan for the future and set aside some money on your own. Given the fiscal situation and budgetary realities of the nation, there is no guarantee that the pensions promised to military personnel will be there in 15-20 years, or that if they remain, they will not be reduced.

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    Quote from puggerrn
    I am 46 years old and am thinking about going into the reserves. I currently work as a civilian in a military hospital. I have a ASN degree, and have been nursing for over 20 years. My questions are, can I join the reserves at this age with my ASN? Which Branch would take me at this age or would it benefit me to go back to school to get my BSN before trying to go into the reserves? I would be closer to 48 by then. Who should I contact about the reserves?

    I think you have until age 48 to join as a healthcare professional. Pretty sure the army and national guard take associate-degree nurses, so I'd call them first. Be aware that the normal age cutoffs are often waived for highly-qualified medical personnel. I've heard of doctors getting into the service as late as age 65. You'll need a waiver, but if the need is there and you are qualified, you can still get in I am 49, and just got hit up by the USAF to join their NC. All other things being equal, they prefer younger people, but that is balanced against the chronic shortages of qualified healthcare personnel the military always faces. Lastly, because things are tough on the civilian side right now, demand for military slots may be tougher than usual. Best of luck to you...

    Concerning getting your BSN, you are still eligiible for IPAP, the inter-service physician assistant program, if that interests you. Have you considered that route instead of your BSN? You can't apply unless you are in uniform already, and entrance is competitive, but if selected, you get paid a salary and a full ride two-year PA program in return for 3 years active service afterwards. PAs make more money than RNs since they are mid-level practitioners, and some folks prefer that route. APNs are also heavily utilized by the army and other services, but cannot speak to what programs exist to supply that training... I'd be pretty surprised if they weren't some.

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    Quote from hcfairy
    I was looking at all the posts and it did not show anything other than an RN degree for joining the military. I just recently failed my RN program by five points and now have to start over. I am an LVN now. I want to get my RN degree and have now been considering the military. My circumstances are what hindered my success in the program I was in. I eventually want to become a nurse practitioner. My younger brother was swarn into the marines and I am now considering. I think it is a good fit being that I am a personal trainer and very fit and love the discipline. Since I know nothing about the military does anyone know of what my options are to earn my degree. Any info is better than none. I am all ears Thanks in advance.
    The army makes extensive use of LVNs/LPNs, but they are enlisted soldiers and not officers. Once you get at least an RN, you can become an officer. If you fall within the age cutoffs, consider being a navy corpsman or army (or air force) medic. Being from a navy family myself, I am partial to corpsmen. They are extremely well-trained, and have tremendous espirit d'corps and a very prooud history. I wanted to be one myself, but was a year over upper age limit, and couldn't get in that way. Corpsmen can also serve in the "blue water" navy or on the "green side" (navy medicine attached to the USMC). Lots of options there, depending on your interests. After service as an enlisted medic, you can always apply to be a "mustang" later (i.e., an EM who becomes an officer).
    The army route is good, too. Army medics are trained to the standard of LPN and EMT, and the military scope of practice for nurses is greater than in the civilian world. Don't know anything about medicine in the AF or USCG, but am sure they have their strong points also. Inter-operability is important, the med services of all branches cooperate with one another these days to deliver the best care possible.

    All the services need good healthcare providers, so you have some options. Prove yourself in uniform, and you will probably be able to get that NP or a physician assistant's license on their dime. Investigate a program called IPAP, which is the inter-service physician assistant program. I'm sure there is an equivalent for advanced practice nurses, too. Just study and work hard, and things will happen for you.

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    Quote from icejog
    If I choose to join the reserves as an operating room RN, which military branch is LEAST likely to force me to go active?
    Icejog, I second the comments above - if you aren't gung-ho about deployments and serving, why be in uniform at all? The military does not need half-hearted people in the ranks these days; it is too-demanding and there is too much at stake. So, all I am saying is - be sure of yourself, and before doing this, make sure you won't let down your fellow service members down, yourself or the country.

    I have been told by army PAs, nurses and medics that their op tempo is much higher than that of the USAF or USN, but also know people who have deployed out of those services also. How often you deploy, if at all, depends greatly on your skills and experience, the needs of the service, operational requirements, and much else.
    As other posters have noted, it is best to assume up front that you will be going sooner or later. OR nurses who know their stuff are in-demand people.

    I've heard good things about life in the USAF from many docs, nurses, and other non-med personnel, but then again, that's because my family is an AF and navy family and lives in an AF-dominated town.

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    IcanHealYou likes this.

    "I have a couple questions about joining the army reserves as an RN with BSN. Is it true that I will be able to go to combat training? So then if I get deployed I'd become a soldier not a nurse? I know full time army nurses are commissioned as nurses and will only be a nurse and never see combat. I've been reading some forums and it doesn't seem the same for reserve nursing."

    Nurses, like all direct-commissioned officers, are specialists and not officers-of-the-line. They are commissioned specifically for their healthcare skills, and not to serve as combatants. DCOs are thus not assigned to the same billets (jobs) as line personnel. Nor will you attend basic or AIT or officer basic as a combat soldier would. Enlisted medics or navy corpsmen are often in the line of fire, but as a nurse, you won't be patrolling with the grunts. However, medical professionals/soldiers do receive some small arms training and are expected to understand the basics of operational security in case their facility comes under attack. as healthcare providers, our duty is to protect our patients. I know an army major and nurse who deployed as part of a forward surgical team, to Afghanistan, and he and his team were mortared and came under small-arms fire occasionally. The further forward you are, the greater the odds of being in direct harm's way. In the rear, no so much if at all. In short, you are a soldier, yes, but primarily an RN. That's your role. If you want to be 'downrange," and in battle, join as a corpsman or medic.

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    Quote from wtbcrna
    A combined DOD medical force has been the talk well before my time in the military. About 1-2yrs ago the all the branches voted on combining their medical forces (which would have saved billions of dollars). Unfortunately, the AF decided that they didn't think their pilots would get the appropriate medical treatment if they joined with their other two sister services.

    Your argument doesn't really make since either. Each service would be allocated X amount of medical personel to cover their mission. I work in a joint environment right now, and it isn't like I give some special anesthetic, because I am AF vs Army or Navy. What you gain by joining the medical services is a more even distrubituion of resources, centralized command and control, consistent deployment times for all services, unity of policies/forms/supplies etc., and not to mention the savings of billions of dollars. To make the whole thing work all medical officers would have to put under DOD centralized control with local supervision/control at your assigned base.

    I am a civilian, but know a few things about military culture, and my question is this: Given all the economies obtained by joint medical care under the DOD, is it worth what will be lost in terms of espirit d'corps, service identity, tradition, and identity?

    Many healthcare providers join the military medical community specifically because they are not only doctors or nurses (or whatever), but soldiers, sailors, or airmen also. I'd argue that - if anything - the services should move to make the medical community more and not less, like the rest of the military. That is, all medical personnel should be trained to the same standard as their line military peers in the enlisted or officer ranks, in tactics, arms, PT, etc. Enlisted medics and corpsmen already receive such training, why not their officer counterparts? The Marines, who have no medical services themselves, have it right in one respect: every Marine is a rifleman. That is, every member of the USMC is trained first as a infantryman, then in whatever his/her MOS is. The Army, navy and AF don't do that with medical officers, who are regarded as specialists capable of doing only one thing, medical care. My view is that either you are a soldier (or sailor or airman) or you are not; there is no "in-between." So, I don't see how walling off medical personnel under the DOD strengthens their ties to the line military. Traditions are vital to sustaining members of the different services and their branches, so I'd move carefully before changing them.

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    lindarn likes this.

    Quote from gwenith
    Hi Grace!! I am working with a couple of New Mexicans at the moment (and one Californian - the American invasion has begun) They can't get over some of our expressions like "Ta" for thank-you and "Boxing Day". Though with that lot I am not too sure who is pulling whose leg:chuckle

    Thanks for the laugh, you caught another Yank sneaking around! The bet here is now that the Obama has been elected President in the States, you'll be seeing more than a few more Americans with nursing licenses at your door. Thought of it myself, frankly... Oooppps, guess I shouldn't be getting political on this board.

    Don't worry about your sayings and lingo being incomprehensible to American ears, I imagine lots of ours do the same to folks who come here, though Hollywood "exports" our slang pretty well, or at least the California version of it.

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    Try "Pharmacology Make Insanely Easy" Loretta Mannning and Sylvia Rayfield, ICAN Publishing, Bossier City, LA2002

    I'm sure there is an updated edition available online at Amazon, or at the publisher wesbite. I got mine at a Borders.

    The books have tons of pnemonic devices, and other ways of remembering drug classes, names, functions and side-effects.

    I am thinking of trying the military myself; are you a flight nurse? I ask because you said 'sqaudron' in your comment.

    All the best -


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    lindarn likes this.


    You have run up against a reality in the field, that there is an increasingly high wall between acute care and other types of nursing. May states are considering adding re-education requirements to their NP Acts, before inactive nurses can return to the acute care environment. This trend is driven by the fear of lawsuits, on one hand, but also by the academic establishment in nursing that sees a chance to make a buck. OJT is fine, some of the time anyway, but nurse educators won't vote against their pocketbooks.

    I got my RN in 2004, worked briefly as a med-surg nurse, but had to leave the field d/t medical reasons, a hiatus that became 3 years. I took a refresher course, because I could not get employers to take me seriously otherwise. That's the sad reality we face.

    My view is that we cannot solve the nursing shortage if we continue to erect so many obstacles in the way of those trying to enter the profession. They'll go where the pay is better and the conditions less onerous.