Civilian Nursing Opportunities/Advice?

  1. Ok.... the really short:

    Too old and too thyroid deficient for joining the service. :-)

    And the really long:

    I'm a new grad from an ASN program, not even really started my first job.
    [I like to have long-term plans, and explore all options!]

    My history is varied. I'm 39, male, married w/2 girls [13 and 11]. I'm eager to do something productive with my new career start. Been a Certified Respiratory Therapist 18yrs, a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist 8yrs, and spent a few years as a Paramedic on the side. From that I've gleaned floor/ICU/Peds work, rescue work, day/night shifts, and suit/tie management experience. However; the lack of a degree always held me back. Recently, I've decided to change that with the ADN.
    Will indeed progress as I can for the BSN, or BS in HC Mgmt, but probably BSN as I'll probably "retire" as an FNP for some doc in Smallville USA, working till I die.

    I'm not interested in being a CRNA.
    [Yeah, I'm sure the concussion from that statement has caused new grads in a 500 mi radius to collectively faint... lol]

    I am interested in what civilian jobs with the military have to offer.
    The online info I find doesn't answer the detail questions, and the only good stuff I find is buried in gigabytes of data.

    Lastly, my wife is a Medical ICU RN [ADN] with 18yrs experience, also interested in acquiring a BSN.

    I assume I will need 1yr experience before applying to the military.

    Questions are:
    [Considered as a husband/wife RN team trailing 2 kids.]

    I assume the Army is the only path for civvies to do ADN to BSN?

    How difficult is it to land specific jobs? Say ICU or ER at Landstuhl in Germany? [Suggestions on a better post?]

    Who pays for the trip to/fro?

    Overseas is my first preference, in hope to enjoy the experience and give my kids a life-long story to tell.

    How long are contracts? I assume a year overseas would be minimum contract. Or is it not a contract situation? At-will employee???
    What is the relationship?

    Any chance of a civilian RN team getting to Austrailia for a year or so?

    Civilians get what bennies? Just post privilages or can they jump MAC flights and the like?

    What are the benefits of working for the military??
    Base pay plus what? Overseas pay? Housing allotment? Choice of on or off-base housing? Clothing allowance?

    Same base housing with permanent party military, or segregated elsewhere?
    Housing options?

    Also, what GS scale and step would we be in??
    [I'm emailing the guys on the army's civilian job site... the job postings say GS 9 - GS12, depending on degree/exp. but that doesn't line up with the descriptions on the pay/requirements charts.]

    How do the steps within a GS scale progress? Time in grade, yearly COLA, merit or ??

    Specific question for my wife.... GS scales appear to start a new grad nurse [me] at same pay expected for civilian employ, [around $18-19/hr] but what about my wife? Will 18yrs experience get her a comparable salary? Currently at $28/hour as Weekend charge in Medical ICU with ADN.

    Is that enough questions?

    Am I nutz?

    Thanks in advance to anyone taking the [hefty] investment in time trying to answer any of that....

    Randy
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    About RN Randy

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 249; Likes: 141
    Professional Teen Wrangler and Boyfriend buster.
    Specialty: MICU, ER, SICU, Home Health, Corrections

    3 Comments

  3. by   Gennaver
    Quote from rmbelcher
    Ok.... the really short:

    Too old and too thyroid deficient for joining the service. :-)

    ...
    Randy
    Hi Randy,

    39 is not too old for the Army, that goes up to 46, (I am enlisting as an Army nurse candidate as I don't graduate until June 2007).

    Also, from what I hear being deficient in thyroid only requires a waiver, having a hyperthyroid will d/q you.

    So, why not go on an talk with a medical recruiter? I've heard through him of some of the waivers Nurses get for various medical issues which might d/q a regular enlisted. However I think I have even read on this board about the hypo thyroid not d/qing you, as its correctable with medication.

    I didn't read the rest of your post yet, will do.
    Gen
  4. by   Gennaver
    >>>not interested in being a CRNA.


    Me either

    >>>I assume I will need 1yr experience before applying to the military.

    The Army is going to give me my 1yr bedside med/surg experience

    Questions are:
    >>>[Considered as a husband/wife RN team trailing 2 kids.]

    >>>I assume the Army is the only path for civvies to do ADN to BSN?

    >>>How difficult is it to land specific jobs? Say ICU or ER at Landstuhl in Germany? [Suggestions on a better post?]

    Not sure about civvies

    >>>Am I nutz?

    Not in my eyes

    >>>Thanks in advance to anyone taking the [hefty] investment in time trying to answer any of that....

    By the way, Corvette guy will probably have lots of answers for you and I hope he has a chance to come along soon. Hopefully he will correct any of my information if it is wrong.

    Good luck,
    Gen-Army Nurse Candidate Hopefull hoping for FT Lewis WA but, just today heard great things about Germany too

    Randy[/QUOTE]
  5. by   RN Randy
    Well.. I guess that was a bit too cryptic... lemme rephrase:

    *Feel* too old, and not motivated enough to go from a size 40 to a size 32...

    I'd join the reserves or ANG tomorrow if I knew I could actually lose the excess and keep it off without killing myself. I can lose about 12lbs/month if I eat nothing but lean cuisines and jog till absolute shut-down 4-5 days a week, but it just creeps back up on me every time unless I cardio and lift without fail.
    Unfortunately, the ol' drive isn't what it used to be so I fail a lot.... LOL.

    --

    Thanks for the help Gen... and yeah, I noticed CG would probably be the answer-man! :-)

    I called the OPM but no one there, left an Audix to call me back. We'll see what they say, and I'll post it up.
    rb
    Last edit by RN Randy on Aug 23, '06

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