Navy Nursing: Anyone have experience with the NCP? - page 3

by GuelnRn

Hey guys, I am a BSN student looking into Navy Nursing. I just talked to a Navy Medical Recruiter who sent me the Nurse Candidate Program (NCP) application. There are a lot of forms to fill so I am just trying to get... Read More


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    Thank you! Your response was in line with what I was thinking. Good luck in your process as well!
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    I am speaking to a recruiter now about the NCP. I am not in SON yet- I still have a lot of pre-reqs to take, and I am thinking I'll be set to apply for Spring semester 2014.
    I know I am talking to him super early, but I didn't know much anything about what the Navy offered, I just saw his flyer for the NCP up on the university adviser's office.
    He said that was actually good and he liked my initiative. His words: "It's better to be talking too early than too late. This is partly because we need to use your projected graduation date, but you might not get in the first time you apply to SON. If you're going to graduate soon and there's no slots left, you have to wait or do DA." (here at UNLV if you don't make it the first time you apply, you can try again- they admit three times a year).
    The recruiter gave me the packet to start looking over, reading, and filling out. Since it IS such a process (and I've moved a lot in the last years, so filling out where I've lived and tracking down who I've worked for takes that much longer), he wants me to start putting it together now- just without putting dates on anything- and as soon as I get my UNLV SON acceptance letter, we'll submit my application.
    I remember he also said the minimum GPA is 3.0 and competitive is 3.5 or more. I have a 3.18 from my previous bachelor's in biology and a slightly higher average GPA (about a 3.3) from a few classes I took after my first bachelor's but I'll be working very hard to bring this up.
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    Definitely bring that GPA up....if not for the NCP, then for admission into nursing school. Nursing school was tough getting into, at least where I'm at (3.77 was the average gpa just to be selected for an interview).

    When you apply to for a spot in the NCP you'll have to submit a package, and your GPA will be a part of that package. The board will VERY likely not be comfortable giving you a seat with a 3.1 GPA because they may view you as a risk. I say this because you have to keep your GPA above a 3.0 at all times while in the program or it creates all sorts of problems and you'll get put on probation. Plus, nursing school is a huge pain in the rear, so your GPA is going to likely fall lower than it was before you started. I started nursing school with a 4.0 and now my nursing GPA is a 3.5 (3.8 overall). EVERYONES GPA falls.
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    I had a poor experience with Navy Nursing. I was an ACLS instructor and worked 6 years as a civilian RN in a level 1 trauma ICU and was usually charge nurse. Had done 4 years enlisted in the Navy many years before and went back in to get 16 more and retire. My goals on entry were to make 05, complete my APRN or CRNA. Recruiter said all easily do-able with my experience and grades. But, when I got to my duty station and reported in, I was told that A) Only Navy ICU prepared nurses work in ICU. B) Only Navy prepared ACLS instructors were recognized and allowed to teach and these people must be 0-4 and above. C) I had to get the chain's permission to enter into an advanced program and they would not agree to it until I was at least an 0-3. D) I would "start" my Navy nursing career on the general med/surg unit like a nurse with 0 experience. So for me it was a step backward career wise. Your life is not your own in the Navy Nurse Corps and I got the distinct impression that the NNC was always trying to impress everyone with the way they controlled their nurses more than attempting to foster an atmosphere of cooperation and collegiality. I head more than one 03-04 say "You got to squash a few ensigns to get up the ladder!" (Luckily, I came in as an 0-2 but even so had several major battles-mostly about standards of care and HIPPA- with mid-rank officers.) The NNC drop out rate is horrendous with over 40% leaving each year, mainly due to backstabbing and in-fighting. Of the 12 junior officers who arrived with me or within 3 months of me, none stayed in the NNC after 4 years. And, the pay is comparably low. I also found it to be very, very cliqish. The blacks took care of the blacks, the hispanics took care of the hispanics, the philippeanos took care of the philippeanos, the gays took care of the gays, and so it was sort of like jail. You had to join a group to survive and the bigotry went all the way up the chain. I also saw nurses who were blatently incompetant, injuring patient even, getting promoted and others who were bright shinning stars get knocked down until they left. I saw nurses grossly overweight get passed in PRT and others who scored high but were unpopular get low evaluation. Our own CO, an 0-6, was morbidly obease. Never saw him do a single push up. I can count on one hand the NNC officers that truly lived up to the values of Honor, Courage, Commitment and there were a few really good nurses. I debated for months before leaving the NNC. By then I had 8 years in. I got out, got my CRNA, (VA paid), and am a much happier person and better AP nurse with more freedom. What I would tell people about the NNC? If you are a backstabbing, vindictive, undercutting individual who has no qualms about devoting most of your waking hours to the NNC and squashing others to get ahead and don't mind starting your nursing career in that type of environment, then go for it.
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    Sounds like you really hated it. Glad you are out now and doing something you love.

    I'm going into the NC in about 6 months or so. Looking forward to it.
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    Hey guys, I have read most about what I could read on the Nurse Candidate Program, the rest of my questions will be asked directly to a Navy health recruiter but I do have one question to ask my fellow Allnurses is do you require to be Navy fit as of now when applying to NCP or by swearing in after BSN? Fit as in fitness, physical req, push ups, running, height and weight, etc. I'mmmm getting there but not quite yet, I started lots of excerises and diet but I could really use two years!

    Thanks for the thread guys, and thank you for your insights cardinal14, sometimes it is good to hear both sides of the "stories".
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    You have to be "within standards" when you apply for the program. As part of the application process they will give you a full physical and it is very thorough - height & weight, blood work, ekg, vision, hearing, head to toe assessment, etc, etc. So, you will need to be an acceptable weight for your height during the physical exam. However, they do not conduct a physical readiness test as part of the physical exam or application process. That means you do not need to pass the run, push ups, and sit-ups until after you graduate and report to ODS (officer bootcamp).

    You stated that you are preparing for all of this and could "use two years". I'm assuming, and it may be an incorrect assumption, that you are not close to being "Navy fit" if you need two years. If you are noticeably "out of standards" you recruiter may not even start the application process until you get closer to being within standards. So get with a recruiter as soon as possible to see what he/she says.

    On another note, I'd also like to point out that medications can instantly disqualify you. A lot of people don't know this when they go into the physical exam, and I personally know a VERY qualified girl who was disqualified because she was prescribed Adderall a year or so before she took her physical. She was disqualified even though she didn't take it anymore (if you are being prescribed it, they assume you are taking it). So, taking certain medications can disqualify you for an ENTIRE year, at which point you have to redo the physical exam.
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    I appreciate the response HM2! No, I am not Navy fit now and could actually use the two years of exercising, BSN studying and RN working. Ya know it's that nobody's perfect thing but gotcha on the health recruiter tip, the actual best source along with us guys.

    I'd really love to get my foot in the door as early as I can.
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    just checking if my accounts working
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    HM2DOC: would you mind sending me an email-the medical recruiter here in San Diego doesnt like to return calls I guess and I had some questions about the package.
    Thanks shipmate


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