Long story short, I am a senior BSN student who was just accepted in an excellent and highly competitive nurse residency program. When I formally accept this position, I have to sign an agreement to work 2 years at the hospital.I have been in the process of trying to commission in the navy for almost a year. Unfortunately, I have never been to the board because of my graduation date. My recruiter said the next board is in august, and the best thing I can do before that is get my license and a civilian job (to show I'm actively participating in the field and not just banking on the navy.)I feel torn. Do I accept this job under pretenses that I may leave prematurely? Would military orders even allow me to break the "contract" with them? It doesn't seem right. I also don't want to decline this job because civilian new grad jobs aren't easy to come by. Also, from the looks of it I may not get picked up right away by the navy because I'll have little experience anyway. Also, does anyone know if I am accepted by the navy and decline the offer, would they ever consider me again? If I don't submit to the board, will they save my filer (I know paperwork would need updates). Any input would be helpful. I'm very confused and hoping for some wisdom and support from fellow nurses! Thank you for reading.
Feb 26, '12
I'm not the best at answering this entire question, but I recently talked to a Navy nursing recruiter and he told me I could not even apply to the board without 90days of experience with my BSN and I graduate in July. My suggestion, with budget cuts going on and more and more competition for positions, I would honestly take the civilian job. Or, at the least you can always ask the nurse recruiter at the hospital what their policy is regarding military service and then go from there.
Feb 26, '12
Take the civ job! Entering the military takes forever. You need to get your career started. Worry about your two year contract when and if you have another offer, like the Navy. If you had a date and a commitment it would be different. Read the fine print of your contract and see what disincentives they have for not completing the two years. You need nursing experience to do anything, so get it! Good luck.
Feb 26, '12
Thank you so much for your responses! I really appreciate the camaraderie of this forum and your insight. I am 22 so even if I take the civ job now, I will still have plenty of time to commission after. You are both right: experience is only going to help me! Thanks again!
Feb 27, '12
Oh, dear, yes, being you are only 22 get civilian world experience. Plus, with how competitive positions are at the moment, you will probably come out ahead in the end because by the time you are done with your education there may be more positions available. Right now things are ultra competitive and I am going up for my second AF nursing board. I have 7yrs ER experience and every certification they want (and a few they think is great I have) and was not chosen. Another gentleman is a Cpt. in the ANG and is a flight nurse, has been for the last 10+ years and was recommended by 3 Col. that he has worked with in the past. He was not chosen.
If nothing else you can take the time to look into the various branches to see what each one has to offer and maybe compare that with a reserve position while you are still in school. That was you kinda get the best of all worlds and when the time is right, apply to go active duty full on. There are a lot of options out there for you to consider.
(Heck, I'm 30 and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I just want to help care for those I admire the most.)
Jun 19, '13
Hello SailorWifey, I am in the same dilemma as you. Did you end up taking the civilian job or are you still waiting for the Navy?
Jun 19, '13
I am not sure about a contract but there are laws in place that allow you to join the military for up to five years and still keep your job. It's worth looking into. I think it's called the SSRA of 1994
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