I hope I can help you out here. I just graduated from OIS in April. And I've been at my command since then.
1. After completing OIS, what is training for new nurses like? How long and how comprehensive? At the three big hospitals we have a nurse intern program. Its any where from 6 wks to 10 wks or so depedning on your needs. You go to several different classes that will prepare you for whatever area you will be working in. Also, you get special days where you will go to like the ER, ICU, PACU, Wound care clinic, etc. Then you cross train to the areas that will be linked to your unit. For example, I work in Peds. I was crossed train to NICU, PICU and Mother/Baby unit. Then you go work on your floor while you are still an intern. Then when you get to your floor out of the intern program you are then on orientation for several wks. So its not like you are thrown out there on your own.
2. Were you able to request a specialty? If so, how many of you actually got what you requested? Ok, so you can request a specialty but that doesn't mean you will get it. The needs of the Navy come 1st! I never ever wanted to be a peds nurse. But it was all that was open at the time I came to the command. I wanted the ER but you have to have experience before they will put you in areas like that (ER, ICU, PACU, OR, PICU, NICU, L&D). SO if you want those areas then you have to work in a med/surg type area for 1 yr than you can request to be transferred to those areas. It all depends on what areas are short when you arrive to your command as to if you get an area that you want or not.
3. For those who chose not to do the NCP, did you get an offer for a sign-on bonus and loan repayment? I can't answer that one for you b/c I did NCP. But I know that there is a bonus and some type of loan repayment.
4. If you got either/both of the above, how will it be paid out to you? Is there a schedule of payment (i.e. over 24 months, over 36 months, etc.)? My bonus for NCP was paid to me in two payments. The 2nd half was given to me 6 months later.
5. Have you found your work schedule to be comparable to civilian nursing? In other words, are you working about 45 hours per week or do you find yourself working a lot of overtime? I haven't had to work a lot of overtime. By schedule is pretty good actually. For example, this wk I worked tues night, friday night, sat night. I usally only work 3 or 4 shifts a wk and they are usually spaced out pretty good. Even if I did work overtime, I don't get paid for it! We don't get paid overtime. We get paid the same amt every month.