I am trying to make some big decisions about joining the Army, and am looking to my very helpful all nurses for assistance!! I love this community of nurses and have been helped many times by everyone! Hopefully someone can help me again.
I am a registered nurse with 2 years of experience, 1 year in telemetry and 1 in CCU, my husbands job is flexable and mobile, and I have started thinking about Army nursing. Many of the changes in lifestyle would greatly suit us, we are young, and don't mind traveling, and I am interested in all the education the Army offers nurses.
However, I have always been interested in specialties of nursing. Med/surg is wonderful, but I have always needed something else. I have greatly appreciated working in the CCU, however I am hoping that if I am accepted, after my 1 year of Med/Surg that is required in the Army, I can apply for the OB/GYN 16 week nursing course; any my recruiter says they are very easy to get into. Me being the skeptic, I would like some input. **Has anyone actually tried to apply for the specialties? **If so, what were some of the requirements to be a candidate? ** Does anyone know how many nurses they accept to the programs a year? There are several specialties including OB/GYN, Critical Care, Perioperative, Psych, Public Health, and ER. **Are they very competitive? Or is it really like my recruiter says, where after a year you tell your supervisor you want to apply, and its a done deal? (I have a hard time believing that!)
I think my only fear of the Army is being stuck in a position I don't want to do for several years, when in the civilian world I could have just applied for an OBGYN internship and got a job doing what I wanted to do. However, putting it in perspective-the service to my country and all the education benefits may outweigh me "getting my way." ANd perhaps I just need to deal with being a med/surg nurse for a couple years.
Anyways, any advice would be greatly appreciated! Every response is so helpful and dear to me, thank you, as always,
Aug 12, '12
I am also really interested in the specialty course! I am a Florida licensed RN with 2 years of experience in ICU. I am 25 years old, single and currently getting trained in my hospitals Family Center (postpartum, nursery, L&D, etc.). I am hoping to join the Army in the future and it seems so much more difficult than I expected!!! Help!!!
Aug 17, '12
Sorry, I only have support to offer. My husband is in the military and the one thing I have learned is if it sounds too good to be true, it is. There are some really great recruiters out there and some not so great recruiters out there. Just remember that nothing is "true" unless you see it in writing. Also, everything can change in a heart beat. The military really is wonderful and I am very thankful to be a part of this lifestyle. Just remember when you join the Army, you are starting a whole new style of life and not just you but your husband as well. You will no longer control what you do, your "higher ups" will. If you decide to join, you will get a lot of great opportunities and gain wonderful experience. I suggest looking into coming in as an officer. The pay will be a lot better and you get a little more freedom.
Also, question what your recruiter tells you and ask him/her for documentation. Good luck to you!
Last edit by RubySlippers06 on Aug 17, '12
: Reason: typo
Oct 24, '12
I know this was posted a while back, but I figured I would offer my opinion anyway. I was in the Army for 10 years and just got out Sept 2012. I spent the first 6 as a Medic and then became an RN throught the Amedd Enlisted Commissioning Program. Once I passed NCLEX I was required to spend a year in Med-Surg and then, according to my contract (EVERYTHING in the Army must be in your contract or else it didn't happen) could apply for the specialty of my choice with a guarentee of acceptance. That being said, I decided to stay a Med-Surg nurse because, like you, I didn't want to be stuck in something I hated and 66H (med-surg) nurses in the army can and do pretty much practice anywhere in the hospital. After my year of med-surg, I request (begged, pleaded, stole and borrowed) to be moved ANYWHERE else and ended up in our LDRP on the postpartum side. Once in postpartum the transition to L&D was easy. I never did go to the course. Civilians don't go to a course that certifies them as a L&D nurse. They learn from experience. That being said, this was my experience and I knew how to work the system from dealing with the Army for so long. AND also, had the chain of command seen fit, they could have moved me anywhere they felt the need for me to be in the hospital as I was not specialized. For them to do that would have been completely idiotic, but they could have. For direct commissions coming straight off the streets, it has been my experience that in order to commission into the Army Nurse Corps as a 66G (L&D nurse) you must have 1-3 years experience as a L&D nurse.
Now from what I understand, you are okay with going in as a med-surg nurse and doing your year that way and then going to the course. If that is your plan, I would ask the AMEDD recruiter to have in your contract a guarentee to the specialty of your choice. I can tell you right now that the ANC is overstregnth, Obama has cut defense budget, and the Army in general is cutting its forces dramatically. Because of this, you may or may not get what you ask for. If they won't guarentee it and put it in writing, don't sign up
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