My name is Paul, and I am currently a NCP applicant. I will answer your questions based off of my personal experience and the information given to me by my recruiter.
Answer to ques #1: I began my kit (that's what the package you have to submit is called) at the start of November 2011 and I completed the kit around the 23rd of February. The reason it took so long was because I injured both of my knees back when I was in the military and I had to do A LOT of medical screening in order to get cleared. Plus, you have to make a bunch of appointments and end up waiting around for a lot of it. If you are a perfectly healthy individual, I'd say you could get your kit done in 1-2 months. As you already know, the application process is extensive with security screening, physical, transcripts, resumes, references, interviews, etc, etc. It's not going to be a weekend project, that's for sure.
Answer to ques #2: You will want to have a very competitive GPA (my GPA was 3.99), as well as an excellent resume, character references, interview, and purpose letter (the letter you write stating why you want to be a Navy Nurse Corps Officer). They are pretty big on leadership, so if you've been a supervisor at work or in some sort of school association, then list that. Also, make your purpose statement sound really good. Don't say "I want to join the Navy because I like the uniforms." Mention how you want to be a leader and want to experience the diversity and tradition that the Navy offers, etc. Lastly, you will have to sit down with two active duty or retired Navy nurses and they will interview you...you want to kill this interview. Come prepared and know "Why do you want to be a Navy nurse?" That's about all the help I can give you there. A lot of it you can't really improve upon because it is what it is (like past grades or prior employment history).
Answer to ques #3: I haven't been accepted. My kit was submitted last month and the next board is around the 22nd or 23rd of this month, so hopefully 1-1.5 weeks after that i'll know. On average, it takes about 1-2 weeks AFTER the board sits to review the kits. They were doing 2 boards every month at one point, but they are only doing 1 a month now. Also, you'll probably want to know what the latest numbers are for available seats, right? Well, I was just at my recruiters office today and she said that out of 65 seats available for fiscal year 2013 there are currently 25ish seats left. It was down to around 10 seats left last month, but she said 16 people declined their seats!!! SUCKERS!! That just increases our chances of getting selected! So, now there are 25 seats left and they will probably be filled by the end of April or May, if they don't get filled at the next board. Just curious, what year are you trying to join for? If its 2013, you have to get your kit done SUPER quick. I'm not sure what the deal is with 2014 seats...the quota was less than 65, but I don't know much more than that.
Answer to ques #4: I was on active duty for 7+ years as a Hospital Corpsman, so I worked side by side with Navy nurses.
Pros: Competitive pay. Guaranteed promotions for the first 4 years you are in (as long as you don't get into trouble, that is). Plenty of travel. They give you money for rent and groceries. They may send you back to school for a graduate degree if you want...and they will pay you your normal full time pay AND pay for the schooling. You'll get to try out different nursing specialties. You'll have the opportunity to do humanitarian work. You'll get to where a sexy uniform (it needed to be mentioned
). They will pay for you to go to conferences to fulfill your CEUs (this can add up to a grand or more saved). You get great medical and dental coverage. There's much more, but I'm not gonna sit here and list it all on one post.
Cons: You will start out in a low rank and will have to follow your superior officer's orders...whether you want to or not. This really isn't that big of an issue as an officer because they are generally smart and don't treat each other like idiots...which is exactly how they do it in the enlisted ranks. You will have to stand duty from time to time. You will sometimes have a great deal of responsibility placed on you and will be expected to properly manage those responsibilities. You will be in the Navy and "The needs of the Navy" will basically dictate your life...that means that if you want to work on MSU, but they need you on MBU, then you can bet you will be going to MBU; or, if you want to get stationed in San Diego, but they need you in Jacksonville, then you will most likely be going to Jacksonville (however, in all fairness, they do try to accommodate your requests if they can). Oh yeah, lets not forget that we are at war and you stand a VERY likely chance of ended up there at some point during your career; however, you will have a relatively cush job over there and will NOT be on the front line with a gun in your hand shooting bad guys. Like the pros section, there is more that I could list, but I'm not gonna.
Overall: Do it! It's a great experience and you get to travel and do things civilian nurses will very rarely ever get to experience. Plus, you get to retire at 20 years, collect a pension, and go work somewhere else. TWO PAYCHECKS! And, with military experience on your resume, employers will be wanting to hire you in a heart beat.
Anyway, good luck. Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any other questions.
Quote from GuelnRn
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 everything done as soon as I can to increase my chances of getting in. I was wondering if anyone who has experience with the Navy Corps and the NCP to share there experiences with me. Here are a few questions I have to start. Thanks in advance!
1. How long did the application process take?
2. Any tips on making my application more appealing?
3. For those who were accepted to NCP, how long did it take for the Navy to inform you?
4. Pros and cons of navy nursing in general.