Quote from feb06
Awesome. I would like to know anything. Like what kind of shifts do you work? Where do you spend your day at a hospital, clinic, etc? What are your job duties? Is there time to go for RN while active duty? Do you wear scrubs
or a military uniform? Have you done field nursing?
Hello! Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you! I forgot I posted this.
But on to your questions!
I have worked twelve hour shifts, both day and night. Usually 7 to 7 something like that. I have also worked in an outpatient clinic doing the 8-5 thing. Some units will make you PT with them, so your day actually starts at 0530-0600 even though you dont start work until 8 or so. Usually if you're doing ward (shift) nursing they might have a special PT program for you and others who share your work schedule.
Don't be fooled though. Enlisted LPNs get stationed anywhere. Not just hospitals. They can get stuck doing something totally non-nursing related for months on end... Like inventoring milvans and connexes. Also, theres always the Motor Pool! MmHmm. Trust me, it has happened. It happened to me. You're going to be a soldier first, nurse second. Although LPNs do have a higher chance of getting into a position where their skills are put to good use, it is not guaranteed. Just want to warn you.
My job duties? OK, well I have worked on a ward doing inpatient duties as well as outpatient clinic stuff. So its hard to say what my duties are exactly. Be prepared that as a military LPN you're scope of practice will be higher than those of civilians. In the field (for ex: Combat Support Hospital) we are mainly put in ICUs. In a field environment (downrange) there is no JCAHO. Haha. I have not been deployed yet, but about all of the people I graduated with have. Even in regular mil hospitals you'll find yourself being able to do more things than a civ hosp. I've never worked in a civ hospital so I can't really compare. But I've read a lot of posts from LPNs here and it would seem to me that Mil Hosps are more lenient with that sort of thing.
You will need to get your EMT-B and finish Whiskey school right? You will learn loads there I'm sure. Sometimes I wonder if these people want me to be a medic or a nurse. We have to do biannual training to keep our medic qualifications up to date as well as our nurse qualifications. One time, it had been a year since I did a "assess a combat casualty" with DCAP-BTLS and the medic sergeant jumped down my throat. I was doing it all wrong! I'm sorry, I said, I have been in nursing school for a year and a half..doing bedside oriented stuff not combat stuff. But still...gotta be ready at all times for anything, right?
A lot of times I get some flak for being a jr enlisted LPN, because I wear a shield on my chest instead of bars. People will automatically assume I dont know what the hell I'm talking about and want to speak with a "real nurse" haha. Like I'm pretending I'm a nurse. I have gotten that a lot. People think that only officers/civilians can be nurses. Haha. OK I say and I get them an officer or a civilian LPN so they can ask them some lame question.
There is a enlisted LPN conundrum. I dont want to go into it right now..but you will have to see what I am talking about. Its kinda like you're torn between two worlds. That of nursing, and that of being a soldier. Its definitely a conundrum. But nothing that you wont be able to live with.
Uniforms? Depends where you work! Sometimes scrubs, sometimes its the Army issued white scrubs, sometimes its ACUs. Depends on what dept you're in and how much of a "messy factor" it has. Unless you work in Peds or something, the cutesy scrubs have to go.
Lessee, time to go RN. Yes. Depends on how hard you work it. There are programs in place for individuals who have all the pre-reqs to go to a BSN school of their choice for free and get paid while doing so. (how sweet is that?) However, there are stipulations for that. You will have to do your own research on that. Most likely if you decide not to go that route you will only be able to knock out a few classes here and there. Unfortunately, an Army career isn't conducive to getting a nursing degree. Other career plans yes, nursing not so much. I have been in the process of knocking out a few classes myself and that is all I can do being out of the country.
Hopefully I have answered some of your questions. I know I had a burning desire for knowledge of all things LPN/military related before I joined and I hope I gave you a good jist. Don't let me jade you though. People have completely different experiences in their careers. SO what else can I say?