Military Nursing Questions Answered - page 9

Hello. I have seen many questions posted about the recruiting, the military, and future military experiences, I wanted to start a Q & A forum where you can ask questions related to the military from... Read More

  1. by   navyman7
    NavyRN1790: Great questions, I will do my best. Now I can't attest to what Portsmouth does or doesn't do exactly. I have known some people who have worked there and they liked it there and some didn't. Since I haven't worked at Portsmouth I can't say how long it may take for you to get into the ICU/ED there, make your wants known to the nurse internship coordinator soon. Be sure that you don't mention the reasons above as to why you don't want to work on the med/surg floor. Most nurses have worked medsurg at one point in there careers and they make you go there out of your attitude for it.
    As for flight nursing, they don't call it that anymore in the Navy. It's termed en route care nursing. The only place in the navy where you can earn your wings is at Diego Garcia. It's a small island in the mid indian ocean. You have to PCS there for about 1 - 1 1/2 years unaccompanied. There you can work towards earining your wings, notice the work towards phrasing. Not everything in the Navy is a sure thing, even if someone told you different. With that said DUINS is very competitive depending on what type of program you are trying for. They want HARD working nurses who have gone above & beyond their normal daily routine. It's a good idea to become ACLS/BLS instructor too. Get as many certifications as you can, deploying will help too.
    Now about making LT. Basically you will get it unless you are absolutely terrible and kill people or are negligent/reckless. I have heard of a few people who didn't for various reasons but the majority will make LT in that time.
    Leave shouldn't be based on seniority there but who knows, every place will schedule things differently. Good luck.
  2. by   navyRN1790
    Thank you navyman7! You definitely answered many of my questions. I am going to keep a open mind and positive attitude during my first duty station in portsmouth. If I happen to get assigned to a med/surg floor so be it. I have to start somewhere! I will make the best of it. I did work at a university hospital in philadelphia on a med/surg telemetry floor for 1 1/2 years while in nursing school. I was responsible for washing patients & turning patients, vital signs, accuchecks, EKG's, trach care/suctioning, wound care, foley care, drawing labs, priming IV fluids, (sometimes I would give IV meds to patients when the nurses allowed it), etc. Would it be to my advantage to let the nurse internship coordinator know of some of my basic skills?

    1. What do you mean by PCS in reference to en route care nursing and 1 1/2 years unaccompanied? What do I need to be competitive for the program besides TONS of ICU experience?

    2. What is the best way to get attached to the Marines as an RN? I am very interested in combat nursing and would that even be allowed for female RN’s?

    3. While working in Portsmouth, would it be okay to take a college course such as Biochemistry at a community college? Would the Navy reimburse me?

    4. Will the navy provide ACLS and PALS certifications for free during my 3 month internship?

    5. Where have you lived during your time as a Navy RN? What places would you recommend putting in for?

    6. After my 3 year tour is there a chance they will make me stay in Portsmouth? I really want to go somewhere other than the East coast. I’ve been here my whole life!

    7. Is ODS really the “fork and knife school?” I did NROTC my sophomore year of college so I already have a general idea of what to expect. All my PT tests were 90 and above. What should I come prepared with besides a good physical and mental mind-set and what the lists of things to bring sheet?

    Thank you. Probably more questions to come as I get closer to ODS.
  3. by   navyman7
    1) PCS relates to your permanent change of station. That is where you get assigned a location to live and work. As a new nurse you are likely to PCS to one of the big 3 as your first duty station. Portsmouth, Bethesda, San Diego.
    2) I am not 100% sure of your next question but I think that you don't get attached to the marines unless you are deploying with a marine group of some kind. You may work at a Marine base but in a Navy hospital. In the latter case you get the same kinds of patients as you would a navy base: retired people, dependent family members, AD Navy & Marines.
    3) Yes you can take college courses; what you do in your free time as long as it doesn't interfere with your work schedule is your business. As for being reimbursed, it depends on if your command will approve it for you.
    4) They will provide you with whatever training you need and want for free, pending availability and cost to your command. If you're not working with kids you may not get approved for PALS but that depends on your command and your boss.
    5) I have lived in San Diego, Bahrain, Bremerton. Where you want to live depends on you.
    6) The navy typically doesn't let you stay in 1 place for too long, there are always exceptions to this. Most people have to PCS every 2-3 years.
    7) ODS is 5 weeks of boredom. You take some classes that are a joke, that will do nothing for you and your career. You learn about how to where your uniform, your pay, gi bill, PT tests, and so on. I broke ODS down day by day on some post here. Try looking for it. Don't sweat ODS, very easy for the most part. Just make sure you know how to swim, and pass your NCLEX PRIOR to ODS. If you can do those 2 things you will be fine.
  4. by   jeckrn
    If you want to get attached to the Marines as for a FSSG unit, they do have a have some RN's in them. I was assigned to a Collecting and Clearing company back when I was enlisted and we had RN's with us.
  5. by   sailornurse
    Well said, I learned to swim compliments of the Navy at what was then called OIS (officer indoctrination school) so we were called Oisters of course, now it is called ODS! I still remember the USS Buttercup!
  6. by   anne_marie_oregon
    Hello - I am considering joining the Air Force Reserves as a nurse. I am currently a new grad (associates degree) working in the emergency department at my hospital. I really enjoy emergency and first responder type of practice. I have a friend who was in the Air Force Reserves and she gained a lot of experience in public health. I am working towards my Bachelors degree and will wait to apply to the Air Force Reserves until I am finished with my BSN.

    The main reasons I want to join the Air Force Reserves (AFR) are because I would like to travel, I would like to receive excellent training, and possibly further my education into either ... Family Nurse Practitioner, or some form of public health - like epidemiology or environmental health. I am not 100% sure where I am heading at this point ... trying to figure that out!!! I am mainly wondering what sorts of training opportunities will I have in the AFR that I wouldn't have as a civilian. Also, is it worth joining the AFR this late in the game (I am 35 years old) - or should I just go be a travel nurse and keep my freedom? :-)
  7. by   navyman7
    anne-marie; unfortunately I know nothing about the AF. You should try starting a new thread about your questions regarding the AFR. Good Luck.
  8. by   Melissa ICU RN
    I am a recent BSN grad applying for Navy nursing. I have applied for the officer candidate program twice while in school but I did an accelerated BSN program and the time was off both times and I couldn't get in. So, now that I'm done I'm trying again. I also have the desire to become a CRNA. What have you found about DUINS? I'm starting nursing a little later in life (I'm 31) and don't really want to wait forever to be able to get the chance to get into a CRNA school. I just started a civilian job in an ICU step-down unit since I couldn't land an ICU job as a new grad. Thought that would be a good option to set me up for ICU either with or without the Navy. I would appreciate any info you want to provide. Thanks!!
  9. by   Stelth
    By joining the military or staying civilian you are a long ways away from becoming a CRNA. As you know you must get into an ICU not a stepdown unit. It is easy to land a job in the ICU right out of school. Sorry you couldn't. You can always try to transfer now. Or just stay where you are in a step down unit as a civilian.
  10. by   navyman7
    Age isn't really an issue in the Navy as long as you are in the Navy then you are eligible to apply for DUINS (if you meet all the other requirements too of course). What kinds of things are you wanting to know about DUINS?
    Your step down nursing experience will be a benefit to you when you apply to the Navy. Don't give up your current job as a BSN until you get more than 1 year of experience in. This will help you when you apply and it will help you with obtaining an adjusted date of rank which will allow you to promote faster. Let me know what other kinds of questions you have.
  11. by   RNMAYO
    Hi navyman7,

    Does the Navy go through the C-STARS (Centers for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills) program at R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center just like the Air Force does as part of pre-deployment preparations?
  12. by   navyman7
    I haven't heard of that course, but maybe some hospitals send there people to it just not ours. At San Diego they send people to C4 course in texas, and some can attend a trauma course in LA for a few weeks.
  13. by   MA-Nurse

    Im currently 27 and Im going to school for my RN. I went to the navy website and Im trying to find out as much info as I can regarding the Navy Reserves and the Navy nursing program. I had thought of doing Reserves while in school and then going active duty once I graduate. I want to become successful and all aspect of my nursing career . But I have a few questions

    Should I finish School and get my BSN in Nursing then apply for the navy?

    If I join reserve can I still continue going to school ?

    Will the navy pay for my books?

    What type of training im going to do?

    Where will I be stationed?

    Thansk for your help!