Nursing shifts

  1. I am thinking of joining the military as a nurse and the question that I can't seem to find an answer to is... what kind of shifts do they work. I'm currently a nurse and work mainly 12hr shifts, so that wouldn't be a problem, but various friends of mine are only allowed to work 8hr shifts in their hospitals. What does the military do... specifically NICU?

    How are the schedules prepared in the military. The job that I have now allows nurses to schedule themselves via computer. We are divided into teams and the team that is allowed to schedule first rotates each month. I'm guessing that military system may not be this far along, but I do want to know how scheduling is done.
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    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 1


  3. by   navynurse06
    In our hospital, each unit has its own scheduling officer. So they make out the schedules. You can request days off, but you can't have more than 3 days off in a row without taking leave.
    Also, we work 12 hr shifts.

    However, the navy is begining to phase military nurses out of certian in pt areas, and the NICU is one of them. (at least at my hospital). They are only letting corpsman work in the NICU, and the nurses are civilian nurses. The powers that be have found a staffing issue with this, and they might change back to letting Navy nurses back in the NICU. The NICU is considered a non-operational area and are training less nurses in it.
    Some other navy nurses on this site my have other info that I don't about that subject.
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  4. by   DanznRN
    To further the explaination as far as operational. We don't have many sick babies in the operational theaters we are currently in (Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa). The Navy considers it wasteful to train military nurses in such areas because they would be essentially useless when caring for a wounded adult. Therefore, in the Navy's infinite wisdom, nurses are moving to areas that are more adult focused. Now this is good for operational requirements, but not so good for retention. Not every nurse wants to care for adults. I'm ER/ Trauma, so I get no choice, I do it all.

    LCDR Dan
  5. by   navynurse06
    LCDR Dan,
    It's rumored that they will also be phasing out military nurse in L/D, Peds, PICU, along with NICU; do you believe this will end up happening in all of the navy hospitals? My primary interest is the same as yours (er/trauma), but I know a few nurses that I work with are upset about the chance that this might happen. I fear that this might hurt the retention of nurses in the navy or increase the shortage of nurses that we have. What's your take on this?
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  6. by   DanznRN
    ENS PM-

    I too have heard what you are talking about. I personally think it is short sighted and will indeed hurt retention and further our shortage. The theory behnd it makes sense, as far as making everyone more operational. However, you have to remember that there are only so many active duty members, but there are 3-4 times as many family members. So they Navy has once again forgotten where the experience comes from for nurses. It's the day-in, day-out care of the family members that gives us our skill base and knowledge, then when we got to the field we can apply it. The other thing is that the civy world is realizing how much nurses are worth and they are starting to pay them for it. No longer will nurses come to the military for the extra moo-la, they can get it in the civy world without the threat of being away from their family for months at a time. Patriotism will only go so far as far as recruitment and retention are concerned. As with most things in the Navy it is a phase we are going through, history has a way of repeating itself and once they realize eliminating certain specialties is a bad idea after nurses have jumped ship, it will change. Take a look at this past years LCDR board, it was 2x the size of boards in the past because so many nurses said, "forget it." These were not new nurses either, these were nurses with years of experience, 10+ in most cases, said, "it's not worth it anymore." It will sink in eventually, no matter, I'm in for the long haul.

    LCDR Dan
  7. by   navynurse06
    Thank you sir for your insight on this.
    I totally agree with you! The areas that the powers that be are trying to phase out for us aren't my special interests areas....but it does worry me for our Nurse Corps staff issues.
    I, too, am in it for the long haul!
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