I am currently working toward a direct asscession comission as a Navy Nurse. I want to know the truth about hours. As a civilian I currently work 3 twelve hour shifts a week. Is this how it is on the military side? I've heard horrible stories about people who have to work 5 twelves in a row, they never saw their families etc. That scares me, I have a family a small children. I understand there are extra obligations that come with being a Naval Officer , but not working 5 twelves. Please be as honest and transparent as possible.
I don't know about the Navy specifically, but I do know that for the AF it depends on your base, the time of year, and how good your staffing is. So far in my career, I've generally worked either 14, 12-hr shifts per month (3.5 on avg per week) or 5, 8-hour shifts per week doing patient care. Then, you typically required to do a few other small side jobs (such as scheduling and process improvement) that are typically optional or done by supervisors on the civilian side. I would say this adds 4-8 hours in the typical week.
Further, you can be deployed. Deployments can be 9 months long; people seem to work 5 or 6, 12-hr shifts when deployed.
Navy here. I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but how will you handle deployments where you are gone for months at a time with your family concerns? I've worked 5 12's maybe twice in 6+ years (overseas, short-staffed, only one available etc.), but deployments are a different beast altogether.
Other considerations include additional duties you do outside of work hours to make yourself promotion-ready. The military is a lifestyle, not just a job.
I see my spouse plenty to be honest, and I'd consider myself a workaholic.
In the Army we were scheduled with six 12s and an 8 in every two-week period (40 hours). There were many times that I was called in to cover a civilian call-out (particularly on holidays), and while my leadership tried to give me time back, it wasn't always possible. Throw SANE call on top of that along with other collateral duties, and yeah ... you get it. Quite frankly deployment was a break because it was predictable that I would work daily. I spent 9 months with an FST attached to an ODA team in an austere location, so while we didn't really get days off, we did have downtime every now and then.
My experience stateside probably had more to do with a toxic command vs. the way it is everywhere else, but your needs are truly below that of meeting the mission, period. If you can reconcile that, the military might be a good fit for you.
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