Do I pick what kind of nurse i want to be??

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Heyy all! I am getting ready to apply for an ROTC scholarship while I finish up my nursing school program and I have a few questions regarding what happens when I first get it.

So I know I will be stationed somewhere and that I can pick three places and will have a good chance of getting stationed at one of the three (right?) but what kind of training will I get that first year? I want to get into critical care nursing but heard it is hard to switch specialties once you are already in - is this true? If so, which branch of the military would be my best option as far as a fast route to critical care nursing goes?

BlackSweater

21 Posts

Speaking from experience, the "three places" list you make is pretty much a joke. You will be placed where the military needs you. If you are needed in multiple locations, and one of those locations happens to have made your top 3 picks, they will place you there. It's not really a "good chance", it's pretty much luck of the draw. Just being honest with you!

I wish I could answer your other questions but I have no experience with how the military operates from an officer's perspective. I hope you get the answers you're looking for! :)

jeckrn, BSN, RN

1,868 Posts

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR.
Speaking from experience, the "three places" list you make is pretty much a joke. You will be placed where the military needs you. If you are needed in multiple locations, and one of those locations happens to have made your top 3 picks, they will place you there. It's not really a "good chance", it's pretty much luck of the draw. Just being honest with you!

I wish I could answer your other questions but I have no experience with how the military operates from an officer's perspective. I hope you get the answers you're looking for! :)

Then how do you know if the dream sheet is a joke. Yes needs of the service come first, but depending on the service & the need you can get one of your 3 choices. I did.

allnurses Guide

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

5,125 Posts

Specializes in Anesthesia.

Which service ROTC are you looking at? Different services offer different options/training for new nurses with the Army probably having the most opportunities for new nurses to cross train into a nursing speciality.

As far as dream sheets go, at least in the AF, you usually get one of your choices. It may not always be your top choice, but you do usually get one of your choices listed.

al_e135

67 Posts

I think right now I am strongly considering the Air Force ROTC, but from what I here it is really hard to transfer to a critical care specialty because when you first go in you can't start there so you have to wait to transfer to critical care and that is hard to do and it takes a long time - so this is making me rethink the AF ROTC and I am considering Army because I might have a better chance of getting critical care training sooner in my career (does that sound correct?)

Also, as far as deployments, is it true that I will have a much greater chance of getting deployed as a nurse in the Army than if I was in the Air Force?

BlackSweater

21 Posts

Then how do you know if the dream sheet is a joke. Yes needs of the service come first, but depending on the service & the need you can get one of your 3 choices. I did.

Most folks I know in the military didn't end up with any of their choices, CONUS or OCONUS. The only reason we wound with a place on our list is because it just happened to be home of one of the most frequently deployed units in the Army.

Obviously if you want XYZ, but the military needs you at ABZ, they'll put you at Z. you got lucky. but if they don't need you at XYZ, you aren't going. :)

I only meant that it was a joke because you aren't guaranteed to end up at any of the places you say you'd like to go. You have a chance, of course.

BlackSweater

21 Posts

Also, as far as deployments, is it true that I will have a much greater chance of getting deployed as a nurse in the Army than if I was in the Air Force?

That really depends on the unit. You could go to a unit in either branch that rarely deploy, or ones that deploy every cycle.

Most of the Air Force folks I know go on shorter deployments than the Army, though. I think their deployment lengths vary between 6 and 12 months. Up until recently, Army units were deployed from anywhere between 12 and 16 months. They seem to be holding solid around 10 - 12 now though, for most.

I guess just assume you'll be deployed at some point with either branch and make peace with it. It's just part of the life in the military these days, unfortunately. It might never come, or it might come way sooner than you expect... It sucks over there but I'm sure as a nurse or medic, it's invaluable experience and they really make a difference. :)

bvRN

5 Posts

As far as dream sheets go, at least in the AF, you usually get one of your choices. It may not always be your top choice, but you do usually get one of your choices listed.

Not necessarily true. Dream sheets are a joke. Black.Sweater is correct--you will be assigned based on the needs of the AF. If one of your choices happens to be on the list where they need nurses, then you will get assigned there. I have known hundreds of people throughout my 6 year AF career that didn't get assigned to ANY of the bases on their "dream sheet," INCLUDING MYSELF.

allnurses Guide

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

5,125 Posts

Specializes in Anesthesia.
Not necessarily true. Dream sheets are a joke. Black.Sweater is correct--you will be assigned based on the needs of the AF. If one of your choices happens to be on the list where they need nurses, then you will get assigned there. I have known hundreds of people throughout my 6 year AF career that didn't get assigned to ANY of the bases on their "dream sheet," INCLUDING MYSELF.

I have to ask, were you an officer or enlisted in the AF? In general when I hear this kind of stuff it usually comes from enlisted and is often true for the enlisted side of the house. So far I have only known one nurse that didn't get one of their picks on their dream sheet and I have been in the AF approx. 7.5yrs now.

Good Luck, either way AF nursing is overall a great way of life.

hopeful_army_NP

253 Posts

Specializes in Advanced Practice, Home Care, Med-Surg,.

I will start by stating I know very little, but from I have research over the past several months, along with the info I received while on tour at BAMC and by reading these post- officers in the Army Nurse Corps often do get 1 out of their top 3 choices. If you read through post you will see that. There was just a post yesterday where a new grad RN gets to go to Germany which was her 1st, another RN these boards will be going to Hawaii which was top on her list as well. I do beleive the enlisted side is different. Again I myself have not receive my orders yet so I'm not sure but feel confident I will get one of my top 3.

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns.

Hello All:

Well, I am raising my hand to signal that I did not get any of my top 3 choices of my "dream list".....[i had picked WRAMC, BAMC, LRMC]

I was offered Korea but I turned it down to go to Fort Bliss, which turned out to be such a blessing (for me!!)

{{representing the 66H Army side of the house}}

I have to ask, were you an officer or enlisted in the AF? In general when I hear this kind of stuff it usually comes from enlisted and is often true for the enlisted side of the house. So far I have only known one nurse that didn't get one of their picks on their dream sheet and I have been in the AF approx. 7.5yrs now.

Good Luck, either way AF nursing is overall a great way of life.

When I was enlisted AD AF, both of my assignments were on my dream sheet in my top five. I just commissioned two weeks ago, and got my second choice assignment as an officer (which was actually my first choice - used a bit of reverse psychology!).

I only met one person the whole time I was enlisted (and believe me, I knew a LOT of people) who never got one choice on their dream sheet.

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