New NP in the military - page 2

Hi all, I am about to graduate as a new FNP and will enter active duty service in the Air Force. I have to first attend officer training and then I'm off to my first base assignment at the end of... Read More

  1. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from shapely
    I got my 3rd choice. It's starting to sink in now.
    Third choice is pretty good! Where are you headed?
  2. by   FNPdude74
    You know, I am graduating in August 2011 also with my FNP. However, I graduated in Spring 2009 with my BSN and haven't been able to get experience because of the bad job market in Hawaii. So I tried Navy reserves. They won't take me in because I have no experience. So I am reverting back to my initial military preference. The Air Force. If I sign up for active duty air force next year when I'm about to graduate, will they take me in even though I have no extensive nursing experience as an RN? Will I receive some sort of mentorship for 6 months? I am really eager to join the Air Force active duty, but also the recruiter in Hawaii is so difficult to get in touch with. I just want to know that the Air Force would take me in with no experience and put me through a mentorship so I can be working as an FNP?
  3. by   shapely
    Carolina I'll be @ Nellis outside Vegas. Should be interesting.

    As for mentorship--fnp's don't have a program like new nurses. I'm not a new nurse but I am a new fnp and I was told orientation would be 2-4 weeks with slow increase in patients. They expect providers to be prepared. So I'm a little nervous. You will never be in a clinic alone, so u can always ask questions. And you will have a mentor. I'll tell you more this fall first hand. This info came from my interviews.
  4. by   FNPdude74
    Well I was told before by the AF health recruiter that since I have no RN experience, I would have to go through their NTP training in Active duty even though I would then have my MSN in FNP degree, licensure, credentialing etc. Then after 1-2 years of bedside nursing, they would transition me to the FNP role and it's guaranteed since they need FNPs. Though people say recruiters can't guarantee you things unless it's in writing. Am I write in this part?
  5. by   shapely
    If you don't see it on your acceptance letter or orders you won't go. The role of RN is not the same as FNP so I'm not sure if NTP would help much. NTP prepares you for acute care hospital work whereas you will work in primar care. I do live by the philosophy if it's not in writing it may not happen or it very well might. If they offer NTP it couldn't hurt, you'll familiarize yourself with common medical words.
  6. by   FNPdude74
    Quote from shapely
    If you don't see it on your acceptance letter or orders you won't go. The role of RN is not the same as FNP so I'm not sure if NTP would help much. NTP prepares you for acute care hospital work whereas you will work in primar care. I do live by the philosophy if it's not in writing it may not happen or it very well might. If they offer NTP it couldn't hurt, you'll familiarize yourself with common medical words.
    I totally agree with this. All needs to be in writing. I also agree with you in that the role of the RN is not the same as the role of the FNP. Yet, the navy nurse corp panel I interviewed with today (6 nurses in front of me made me nervous), kept telling me I needed acute care inpatient hospital work. Weirdly, it seemed they were trying to get me in as a floor RN and not as a future FNP. Oh well, I see that many employers are looking for FNPs with RN experience. When I join the Air Force next year, I am going to see if I am able to get it stated in writing that I'll be transitioned after 1-2 years of bedside nursing...hopefully after 1 year or luckily which I doubt, after the NTP. One can only hope I guess?
  7. by   shapely
    I just thought about something else. When we deploy it will be as a fnp or medsurg nurse so maybe they will send you to ntp to train. When you sign your contract it has your identifier on it but you also sign saying you can be a medsurg nurse. This was the hardest part for me considering I haven't done a day of medsurg since school. I'd be more comfortable in OB or ICU. With the shortage, they'll use us as fnps stateside for sure. I'm just not so sure when deployed. It will be interesting to see what other nurses think.
  8. by   shapely
    I just realized what you are saying. If you are going in without the fnp identifier you will work medsurg for two years. I wouldn't trust the automatic transfer. But you will go to ntp. Are you going to lose your fnp skills while waiting? Without experience nursing is tough. Keep looking locally for a prn job.
  9. by   Melissa17036
    Quote from shapely
    Carolina I'll be @ Nellis outside Vegas. Should be interesting.

    As for mentorship--fnp's don't have a program like new nurses. I'm not a new nurse but I am a new fnp and I was told orientation would be 2-4 weeks with slow increase in patients. They expect providers to be prepared. So I'm a little nervous. You will never be in a clinic alone, so u can always ask questions. And you will have a mentor. I'll tell you more this fall first hand. This info came from my interviews.

    This is what I was told also, but then I read Starla76's post about 6 months mentoring and additional training, I thought maybe I got some misinformation. I was hoping she could let us know how her experience went. Shapely, I would love it if you could let me know how your experience goes.
    I am an RN with a BSN and 5 yrs experience in an acute care setting and I am working on my MSN/FNP degree.
    I commissioned as a 2nd LT and was told after graduation/certification I would be promoted to Capt. Does this sound correct?
  10. by   shapely
    They have a form which determines rank. Half time for nursing experience and full time while in school. I got 2 years credit for my masters then 2.5years for my experience. Total 4 years = captain and 0.5 years time in grade. I would think you'll be a 1st lt with 1.5 years TIG and you'll get promoted in 6 months. I'd love to hear what kind of orientation to expect. I'm not expecting 6 months with someone at my side like clinicals, but if they give me one I'll take it. I know guidelines and have my med book to in my iPod to guide me along. It's scary but school has taught us how to use our resources.
  11. by   FNPdude74
    I guess I should still obtain bedside RN experience after I graduate from FNP school? I see lots of new grad positions in the mainland and none in hawaii. maybe then after two years i'll be able to get into the USAF easier as an FNP.
  12. by   starla76
    Hello all! First of, I can't comment on the RN experience in the military. I am a direct entry FNP. My AF specialty code is an FNP therefore, I did not attend NTP. If you enter the military as an NP, you will not go to NTP. That said, I haven't been deployed yet, but have been told on numerous occasions that I will be deployed as an NP, not an RN. I am headed on a medical mission to Haiti next month and I am filling a nurse practitioner slot.

    As far as my experience thus far, this is my 6th month in practice. I was assigned an MD mentor, and although this position has been filled by more than one MD, I have always had a mentor. All of my co-workers are willing to help and answer questions. They make sure I am never in clinic without someone there backing me up. I was started at 1 hr appts which decreased over time. Now I see 20 min acutes and 25 min routines. I am now expected to see approx 80 pts a week, and starting this summer, 90 pts/week, which is going to be a real challenge. Each provider has about 1500-1600 patients to manage. The military really wants to increase the numbers we see in clinic and reduce the numbers we send off-base.

    As far as the wish list, I didn't get any of my top five, simply because there were no FNP slots where I wanted to go when I was ready to go active duty. I didn't go to COT until August, after I passed the FNP boards, so my base options were limited. However, the AF did work with me to get me an assignment that I was happy with (mostly).

    If anyone has any other questions, please let me know and I'll post as soon as I can!
  13. by   FNPdude74
    Starla, that's cool. So you didn't work as an RN before but the air force got you in as a FNP and had mentors to work with you? Awesome.. I guess there is still hope for me then?

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