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Deploying as a military RN

I have been an ICU RN for 6 years. I recently have been thinking about joining the military as a RN. My question is how likely are my chances to deploy to a combat zone? I know that's part of the deal, but I am a single parent and I worry about my child. I do have a family plan in place, but I'm hoping for assignments I can keep him with me. How realistic is this?

This will sound horribly blunt, but you'd go in (more than likely) ICU qualified, and we're in the middle of a war on two fronts.

You'll definitely be deployed.

Just for consensus purposes: Is it just me, or does there seem to be a rash of threads regarding this same topic?

Why would you join the military to not be deployed? Being part of the Armed Forces is more then just a job...its a commitment and a lifestyle. If you don't want to the job when called upon to do it then stick with civilian nursing.

jeckrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR.

Just for consensus purposes: Is it just me, or does there seem to be a rash of threads regarding this same topic?

I think there has been. It sounds like people are looking at the military as a option, but do no want all that goes with it. They want to continue to work like a civilian.

To answer the question for the poster, yes you will deploy some time in your career even if we are not at war. As far as your child being with you most assignments your child can accompany you. But there are some that no dependents are allowed. With that being said, you will need to make sure that you have good child care since not having it is not a excuse for not being at work. Before you decied if the military for you make sure you really think about what you want in your life.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Both my husband and myself were active duty when our oldest was born - 1980. It broke my heart to have to sign a POA authorizing a friend to take him to the states (we were living in Japan) to family.

It is a lifestyle - its not like being a civilian at all. The gov't can and does everything for the GOVT, not for the individual. I sent my child to daycare from the time he was 4 weeks old....we exchanged him on the flightline several times - in Japan you were only allowed one car, so whoever had our son had the car and the other person had a bike!

Please realize BEFORE you sign the papers that this is not at all like civilian nursing.

This is also going to come across as mean - but for the life of me I can't understand why people even ASK "will I be deployed", especially since we're in the middle of two major combat operations that anyone can find out about just by turning on the evening news.

If that's harsh, I apologize, but I still don't understand it. Sometimes I think I "get it" just because my family has such a long military history, and then other times when I talk to friends who have NO idea about the military I realize that's probably got nothing to do with it.

Again, I'm not trying to be mean - I just wonder.

midinphx

Specializes in ED. iCU, now add on PICU.

As a parent, part of your application packet is a letter describing your childcare arranges plans and a military document that your designee must sign, in case of deployment. Also, you will not be able to take your child with you to training. And I'm pretty sure you will not want to report to your first duty station with your child until you find a place to live. There will be times of separation no matter what.

Ace587RN, RN

Specializes in ED.

Its either the child or the military. Please make arrangements in advance for your child if youre serious about the military

I wouldn't say "it's the child or the military". THAT'S a little harsh.

You're required to show proof of "other arrangements" for your children if you're a single parent in the military. One RN I went to COT with (who is at the top of my list of People I Admire) is the single parent of THREE kids.

Guess who got the first deployment orders? Poor girl can't get a break - and yet she's taking it in stride - her kids back her one hundred percent and are all for their mom being Air Force.

I would never say "kid or the military". I would say it takes a particular type of person to do it, but it's not one or the other.

Ace587RN, RN

Specializes in ED.

I wouldn't say "it's the child or the military". THAT'S a little harsh.

You're required to show proof of "other arrangements" for your children if you're a single parent in the military. One RN I went to COT with (who is at the top of my list of People I Admire) is the single parent of THREE kids.

Guess who got the first deployment orders? Poor girl can't get a break - and yet she's taking it in stride - her kids back her one hundred percent and are all for their mom being Air Force.

I would never say "kid or the military". I would say it takes a particular type of person to do it, but it's not one or the other.

from most of my friends, they just couldn't go because of kids. I know there are parents who balance both well and hats off to them. I dont have kids so my statement i know was kind of immature. My apologies to all parents

from most of my friends, they just couldn't go because of kids. I know there are parents who balance both well and hats off to them. I dont have kids so my statement i know was kind of immature. My apologies to all parents

No, not immature. Maybe misguided somewhat, maybe a bit ingenuous, but I wouldn't say immature.

midinphx

Specializes in ED. iCU, now add on PICU.

Wow. That statement about child or military really hit me hard. Thank you for already apologizing. Here's my point of view as a parent:

I'm rejoining the military. I got out to have a family. I had wanted to stay in the army, but the situation was best for me to ETS. I'm finally rejoining at this late hour. My youngest is 14. I'm leaving him here with his father, by his choice. He knows he can come with me if he chooses to at any time, and his dad is my biggest supporter right now. Believe me, choosing to leave my kids is the hardest thing I will ever do. But I have their support and I know it is the right thing to do. Luckily San Antonio is a nonstop flight and I will see my kids plenty. And of course, the internet lets us see each other as we talk.

Be careful to judge others too quickly. One day you may find yourself in their shoes.

jentrump29

Specializes in Med/Onc, Med/Surg, Stepdown, ICU.

Just to give you an idea of how it is here at Keesler...we're the second largest base for deployment, behind Lackland. ICU nurses deploy every time our band comes up. Some go even more. We deploy for 6 months, then home for 18, but during those 18 months, there are TDY's for training. I'm still new to the Air Force, so I'm just getting started with everything (I'm by no means an expert)! I've been here at Keesler for a month and a half. I'll be leaving in 2 weeks for a 6 week TDY for Air & Space Basic Course (which is an honor to be asked to go to...you don't turn this kind of stuff down). At some point, I'll have to go to EMEDS and CCAT training, which are a few weeks a piece, and they're not at Keesler. Then you have deployment training (someone correct me if I'm wrong here). I'm scheduled to deploy in Jan 2012 (my band is out right now). If something happens in the world that required Air Force assistance, and they tell me to go, I'm going (not to sound too harsh, but having a hubby and kids that need me isn't an excuse)! We had a group that went to Haiti and have a group in Chile right now. The group that went to Chile had less than 24 hour notice. And for most of them, it wasn't "their turn" to deploy.

Point of the story (and again, not to sound harsh)...you're an Airman first, then a nurse. It's an honor to deploy, and unfortunately, you have to sacrifice time with your family to serve our country. This is what you sign up for, so if you have a plan and you're ready to sacrifice time with your baby, then go for it...it's going to be an experience you'll never forget! You just make the best of your time with family while you're home! You'll be able to support your baby in ways you'd never expect!

Good luck with your decision!! :)

I think you need to decide if you can be seperated from your child for a prolonged period of time. If I was a parent, that would not be an option for me unless I was in true dire financial need and you were doing it for your family.

I'm scheduled to deploy in Jan 2012 (my band is out right now). If something happens in the world that required Air Force assistance, and they tell me to go, I'm going (not to sound too harsh, but having a hubby and kids that need me isn't an excuse)!

Hey - I might actually meet you - that's my band too!

jentrump29

Specializes in Med/Onc, Med/Surg, Stepdown, ICU.

Carolinapooh, that would be awesome!! :yeah:

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

Hey - I might actually meet you - that's my band too!

Maybe we will all deploy together. I am up for that band too.

jentrump29

Specializes in Med/Onc, Med/Surg, Stepdown, ICU.

How cool!! It's definitely a small Air Force!!

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