Military Nursing Questions Answered

  1. 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 someone who is in the military.

    - I am NOT a recruiter. I am fellow nurse who wants to inform others so they will be more informed than I was when I joined.

    - I have been in the U.S. Navy for almost 3 years now. I have worked in the ICU for the same amount of time. I have also deployed as a Navy Nurse overseas. I am currently pursuing a masters in anesthesia degree.

    - I will do my best to answer all questions. I will not lie to you about the military. If the subject is sensitive and possible jeopordize my career I will not answer you publicly about the issue but in a private email response.

    Thanks and good luck.
  2. Visit navyman7 profile page

    About navyman7

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 122; Likes: 24


  3. by   wtbcrna
    Are you at USUHS now?
  4. by   navyman7
    I had my package submitted but withdrew it after reconsidering my options. I am currently applying to several Anesthesia schools on the outside. Aside from this, I can't comment more publicly about this sorry.
  5. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from navyman7
    I had my package submitted but withdrew it after reconsidering my options. I am currently applying to several Anesthesia schools on the outside. Aside from this, I can't comment more publicly about this sorry.
    There is nothing wrong with going to a civilian anesthesia school just make sure they teach you to be an independent provider....CRNA only/military rotations, regional/PNBs, CVLs, small attrition rates and high board pass rates.
  6. by   DSchulte99
    Hello I plan to graduate in May. Couple questions did you have previous experience in the ICU or did you go in as a new grad? Also do you anything about the FRSS(Navy’s Forward Resuscitative Surgery System). I have read a little online but would like to talk to a nurse that has actually been in that kind of unit.
  7. by   navyman7
    Dirtydave; Yes I had previous ICU experience. Depending on how well the med/surg floors are staffed, a new grad can still get into a critical care area like the ICU, ER, CCU. If the med/surg floors need nurses then they get the new grads first. It typically takes about 1 yrs to move from a med/surg floor to a critical care area. But there are exceptions to everything.

    As for the FRSS; you are talking about a deployment item. Typically a FRSS is found in Afghanistan. We typically deploy for about 7-8 months. I have been in a similar situation to the FRSS. Typically one won’t deploy to Afghanistan unless they are coming from a critical care area. Again there are exceptions. Most nurses in the ICU will eventually deploy.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 24, '12 : Reason: spacing
  8. by   DSchulte99
    With deployments can you volunteer to be deployed more often and how do you get on a FRSS unit? or is that something that is hard to get on?
  9. by   navyman7
    Dschulte99, yes you can volunteer. However most division officers try and share the wealth with others in the units so all can gain those invaluable experiences. Deploying also helps with promotion status so they want as many to go as possible.

    As for where you go, it's really not up to you. A command will get taskers for certain types of personnel to go somewhere. Whoever is next to go goes, there are a few exceptions of course.

    Here's an example: Big Navy says that they need 2 nurses for an ERSS team for x number of days. The nurses need to have there 1960 x designators. A command will send out an email to the division officer (DIVO) of the ICU. Then the DIVO will see who meets that designator requirement, and determine if they are qualified enough to deploy. Then the DIVO will speak to the individual about the deployment. By the time you get tasked for a deployment you can't really say no. You can, but it looks really bad. You WILL go eventually if your name is up. The Navy owns you.

    Hope that helps a little.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 24, '12 : Reason: spacing
  10. by   DSchulte99
    Thank you for breaking it down like that. Thats exactly what I was looking for. I am in the NCP program set to graduate in May. Any advice on what I could personally do to better my chances as a new grad on an ICU floor or is there really nothing else that matters besides where the Navy needs me.
  11. by   navyman7
    Dschulte 99, it depends on where you are going to be stationed and what the current staffing situation is. Keep the grades up. It couldn't hurt if you email the new nurse coordinator too about your desires. You would have to call the command and do some investigating as to who that person is. If there is anyway you could start working as a CNA in an ICU until you graduate that would help. Anything that you can put on a resume or application as to why a DIVO should take you into there ICU vs someone else will help. Besides that you are at the mercy of the person making assignments. It will also help if you have a reason why you want to go to the ICU. For example you could say that you want to get your masters as an ICU clinical nurse specialist (know what they do before you say that though. They may ask you more questions about that). The navy will send you to school for that, and it will show the DIVO that you're not just another CRNA wannabe buying your time until you can submit a package for DUINS. I hope this helps a little, let me know if you have more questions.
  12. by   groovy jeff
    I was a Hospital Corpsman in the Coast Guard back in the mid 70s. I was 19 years old, young, dumb, and bullet proof. Today I am 56 years old and would like to offer a wee bit of advice: If you go in and you like the military or if you are even luke-warm about it, STAY FOR 20!!!!

    I liked the USCG and would have stayed except my wife hated it. Had I stayed for 20, I would be receiving 1/2 of the pay that the current (factoring in promotions) W-3 would make, roughly $2800 per month. Now think about this a minute; I would have been receiving close to that amount since I was 39. So for the last 17 years I would have received over $571,000!!! Also factor in I would have been working during that time as well. There is no other job where a regular guy can retire from (unless your a Wall Street banker or drug dealer and they're not regular guys) and do that well after ONLY 20 YEARS!!!

    I do not have many regrets accumulated over my life, BUT not staying in the military is one of my biggest!!!
  13. by   DSchulte99
    Too short of a time to get a job as a CNA job in an ICU. However, I should be having my preceptorship in an ICU unit here. I do want to eventually go back and become a CRNA but I want to do some other things first such as be a apart of a FRSS unit, and flight nursing. I have not been told to contact my detailer yet so I don't know my orders and won't till about March. Thanks for all the info.

    Jeff-Definitely will be staying in for that long or longer. Grew up as an Air Force brat and plan to make this a long career.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    The military retirement system is far different now than it was for those of us who came in in the 70's. My husband is retired AirForce and reitred in 1995 - yep he is still working too.

    However, the retirement system has changed.