Army Nursing and Other Articles

Pixie.RN, BSN, RN, EMT-P (56,061 Views) Senior Moderator

Joined Aug 8, '05. Posts: 13,162 (33% Liked) Likes: 7,828

Being a hostage to your bladder

Cup of coffee: check. Bottle of water: check Jumping jacks: check check check! ED nurse bladder: sigh. Check. You know the scenario: you are hired into a position with a new employer, and one of your first tasks is a visit to Employee Health. If you're lucky to remember, you know that you're going to have to provide a urine specimen for a drug screening, and you don't urinate before you leave home. If you are unlucky, you forget and merrily empty your bladder before getting in your car;... Read More →

Using Your GI Bill Benefits in 75 Easy Steps!

I knew I was going to use my GI Bill benefits for my pursuit of an FNP, so when I applied to school in the late summer, I submitted my application online here: . Clicking on "apply online" will take you to the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP) site. Once you complete your VONAPP, make sure you save a copy of it - it allows you to save a PDF copy. You can go back in later and download another copy if you forget. I sent a copy to my advisor at school so they could see that I had applied... Read More →

Army Nursing: All Good Things Must Come To An End

I knew that I wanted to step away from active service. This decision was underscored by my last day on my compound in Afghanistan, when I read an email from a person higher up in my chain of command, telling me that I was PCS-vulnerable (while still deployed, seriously?!) and asking how Korea sounded. HA! I wrote back that it sounded horrible, I was not even home from Afghanistan yet, I hadn't seen my husband for nine months and he wouldn't be able to join me in Korea because he is finishing... Read More →

Deployed Army Nursing: 101 Things I Learned While Deployed

1. Afghanistan gets very, very cold in the winter. People think "desert," "heat," and "sand" when you say Afghanistan, but let me tell you that it's more like "dirt and dust," not sand. And we had plenty of ice and snow in the winter months. I was located at an elevation of 6500 feet, so think Colorado. 2. Don't let CIF tell you that they are out of your size in cold weather gear (see number 1). Take the next closest size so that you have silks, waffle tops, and a fleece jacket at the very... Read More →

Deployed Army Nursing: Finally, Double Digits!

I have a countdown app on my Android phone that includes a home page widget you can set to display however many days until a date of your choosing. My widget has a picture of me with my significant other, David, and it is finally down to double digits for days remaining here in our little corner of Afghanistan! I can recall when I first put it on my phone, and it was well over 240 days. My original orders for deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) were "not to exceed... Read More →

Trauma Nursing

What is Trauma Nursing? Trauma nurses specialize in caring for patients injured through trauma, be it accidental or intentional. Trauma nurses must be well versed in stabilizing patients and rapidly recognizing impending life threats. Patients will range in age from neonates to centenarians. Care of these patients can range from short-term in the emergency department (ED) or dedicated trauma unit to long-term in ICUs and rehabilitation units. When these patients enter the system, they don't... Read More →

Emergency Nursing

What is Emergency Nursing? Emergency nurses specialize in caring for patients in potentially emergent or critical condition, be it from illness or injury. Because this specialty is unique in that patients do not necessarily arrive with a diagnosis, emergency nurses must be able to rapidly recognize impending threats. Patients will range in age from neonates to centenarians, and will arrive in all conditions. Care of these patients is typically intended to be short-term in duration; however,... Read More →

Government Nursing

What is Government Nursing? Government nurses, like their military counterparts, care for those who serve, or those who have served, but in a civilian/nonmilitary capacity. In this article, we are considering RNs as well as LPNs. Government nurses are located all over the world, from clinics to hospitals. There are literally hundreds of different roles these nurses fill for a variety of agencies and entities: everything from Department of Defense to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to... Read More →

Military Nursing

What is Military Nursing? Military nurses care for those who serve, or those who have served, while in an active duty, reserve, or national guard capacity. In this article, we are primarily considering RNs. The only branch of the military that utilizes LPNs/LVNs is the Army, who has LPNs/LVNs that are enlisted soldiers. In general, military nurses are located all over the world, from clinics to hospitals to austere compounds in war zones. This unique specialty can be quite demanding and... Read More →

The Clinical Performance in Nursing Exam (CPNE): what the heck is this madness?!

So what is this exam? The CPNE is a rigorous 2.5-day exam consisting of four timed lab stations on the first night (Friday), then a minimum of three Patient Care Scenarios (PCSs) on Saturday and Sunday, during which masters- or doctorate-prepared nurses evaluate our ability to formulate care plans, carry out assigned areas of care, and evaluate and document everything in a total of 2.5 hours using actual hospitalized patients who have agreed to have student nurses. The Clinical Associate... Read More →

Tactical Nudity and Other Fun Aspects of Deployed Army Nursing

For the latter half of this year I've had the wonderful opportunity of being deployed as the only ER RN with a Forward Surgical Team (FST). One of the interesting things about being with these folks is the "forward" part. That means we're a little further forward (i.e., in austere locations) than your typical Role 3 facility, which is a Combat Support Hospital (CSH). CSHs tend to be located on larger Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) like Bagram and Kandahar, where they even have cafes and... Read More →

On the verge of deploying as an Army Nurse

Back in January I looked at my phone and realized that I'd missed a call -- it was from our ER chief, my boss's boss. Uh-oh. Now what? I listened to the voicemail and just about dropped the phone: it was the news that there may be a tasker (deployment assignment) floating around out there with my name on it. I immediately texted my head nurse (my Officer in Charge, OIC), figuring he'd have details. He replied that he didn't really want to say anything because he didn't have much information... Read More →

New Army Nurse Corps officers: first things first!

I am speaking fondly to my direct commission brethren (and sistren?) who don't know their ORB from their iPERMS. Some of this will seem obvious to prior service folks, or people who have been in for a while ... as one of the Majors/PAs who works in my ER remarked recently, "Everyone knows that they need to get their transcripts uploaded to iPERMS when they come into the Army!" What? Everyone? I'm part of that "everyone," and I didn't know. I think they should have "Board File 101" at BOLC,... Read More →

The Excelsior College Distance Learning ADN Program: Facts, Answers, and Links

I thought I'd compile some basic information/answers to the questions we see here over and over. This is a work in progress. Please feel free to point out any errors. Thanks! 1. Excelsior College (EC) ADN grads are not eligible for licensure in all states, and some states have additional requirements before NCLEX: . Obtaining a BSN after your RN will not necessarily negate the issues in states that will not recognize EC's education; those states always consider the source of your RN, which... Read More →

One Year in the Army Nurse Corps, DNA x 3, and Tinfoil Lining in my Patrol Cap

In March I hit my one-year-in mark. Hooray! How are things going, you ask? Overall, not bad. I still work a lot of hours, and it's still probably too much (in others' opinions). The difference is that I have one employer instead of three, as I did in my civilian life. Are there days that are supremely annoying? Of course. Do I still love wearing this uniform? Absolutely. Funny story. Apparently no one took a DNA sample from me at my commissioning physical at Walter Reed, nor was one... Read More →