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I keep being told the ARMY is changing; How is this affecting Nursing.

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by kr681683 kr681683 (New Member) New Member

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My good friend is in the ARMY, he's getting out in May because he says he hates the way it's changing. That the ARMY is treating good soldiers poorly, overly punishing minor infractions, and just in general not keeping consistencies. He keeps trying to tell me not to go in, but I also have been told that AMEDD is different from being a normal soldier. He's an 11B, E-5, and really hasn't had much contact with the medical field. I wanted to know if the Nurses that are in are feeling that the ARMY isn't treating them right? Or if there are new changes that are causing people who had thought they were lifers to get out.

ALSO: I was speaking briefly to a recruiter who said I could go enlisted or CO. But I haven't found ANY information about going enlisted. I was wondering if anyone had any more information of this option.

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6,285 Visitors; 355 Posts

I'm not in the Army, so I can't tell you about changes, but regarding O vs E, do you have a BSN? If you do, I cannot think of a logical reason to enlist. With other, non-specialized degrees, there can be benefits to doing enlisted time and then becoming an officer, for sure. However, as an RN (with a BSN), if you desire to join the military, becoming an officer is the only logical way to join.

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557 Visitors; 5 Posts

Thanks. I have a BS in Biology emphasis in Neuroscience already, and I will graduate with my BSN in May 2013. I was considering enlisted for the different schools, and honestly because as naive as this is I want to experience combat, not just staying on a FOB, or CSH. I actually really want to be a flight medic, and seeing as now a days to go active duty they want 2 years of experience I was thinking maybe I could go in as a flight medic, and after 2 years go CO. But I keep being told different things so I don't know if this would even be possible.

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nurse2033 works as a RN, paramedic.

3 Articles; 28,073 Visitors; 2,120 Posts

I've heard that the army and perhaps the Air Force is starting a tactical nursing program. They would fulfill the role of a chopper medic. I don't know if that is true, but you might want to look into it. Contact a healthcare recruiter, they are the most knowledgeable I've been told.

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557 Visitors; 5 Posts

@nurse2033 Thank you very much, the AF won't accept me because I have a celtic knot on my neck, but I'll look into it in the Army!

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jeckrn has 17 years experience and works as a Periopertive Nurse.

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From what I have heard the Army is starting some type of flight nurse program. Have not heard much about it other then you have to have ER or critical care experience. As far as going enlisted I would not do it, you will be unhappy since you will not be able to work at a level that you are capable of doing. Since we are getting out of Afghanistan the number of combat tours are down. You could end up with a deploying unit but you never know. There are many in the Army who have not deployed and have volunteer over and over again. You stated that you would do enlisted for 2 years then change over to the officer side. If you are enlisted the chances that you will be able to work on the side as a RN are slim to none. Because of the downsizing it will be hard to change over to officer. From what others have posted the Army only took around 40 direct commission nurses with around 10 being new grads.

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I have been enlisted for the last 8 years and will be commissioning in JULY and my advice is don't go the enlisted route if you already have your degree. I have spent the last 8 years trying to get things squared away to commission but being enlisted (even in MEDCEN and MEDDAC units) it was very difficult to do what I needed to do in order to get my packet and pre reqs done for my program. As enlisted you put up with 5x the stupid crap that officers have to deal with.

Yes the Army is downsizing, so what does this mean to you? Well I will tell you what it means to me. No more re-enlistment bonuses, no more re-enlistment duty station choices, and no leverage. It also means that I needed to be careful (if I was going to stay enlisted) of my RCP (retention control points) as an E5 with 8 years in. Many senior level NCO's are being forced retired and pretty much kiss your retention goodbye if you have UCMJ or refused an assignment.

What will this mean to me as a 2LT RN? Not much really once your in other than maybe working along more civilians while in garrison? Maybe someone can correct me on that one though. I assume that there will be less MTF (military treatment facility) assignments and almost guaranteed attachment to a field unit (will still work in the MTF but just ready to deploy if your unit leaves). Before not all the medical officers were attached to the CSH unit in an MTF so that when that unit deployed it didn't wipe out 1/2 the hospital staff but this may be less likely now (just my guess here). It might limit if you want to extend your contract on your options like choice of duty station. Before the Army was trying so hard to hold onto it's Soldiers that we had leverage which the Army accommodated but now the term "needs of the Army" will be a more common phrase.

This is of course my guess and not Army Regulations.

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jeckrn has 17 years experience and works as a Periopertive Nurse.

14,280 Visitors; 1,868 Posts

ncox has it right you will work along side more civilians then if you were in a field unit. Overall there is few nurses assigned to field units, with most of the RN's used are PROFIS. If a CSH goes somewheres it will draw on Doctors, RN's etc from thru out the country.

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patrick1rn is a MSN, RN, NP and works as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Author of: My Journe.

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Do some research and contact the active army medical recruiter. Here is a secret of you.. The Army is always changing. Nothing stays the same. Regarding this Infantry friend of yours, without specifics I have no idea what he is talking about. If you want to be a nurse in the army, go for it. Personally, I chose to stay in as a medic, evern after my BSN and then earning my MSN, FNP.

I have my own perception of Army nursing, but since I was a combat medic in the army and not a nurse, I only have a distorted outside view of them. Some favorable, some not. Some nurses just couldnt stay in their lane and wanted to go out with infantry units so they could "get" the combat medical badge from doing a patrol. Just for fake bragging rights from what I saw. Others were good nurses and cared for the men and women in their lane. I guess it takes all kind.

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2,218 Visitors; 81 Posts

The Army is changing as you know they are winding down in Afganistan and pulled out of Iraq. This means they are downsizing and there is a transition from constant deployments to a more garrisoned type environment. Economy is not so good and there are plenty of applicants that want to join. This includes nurses.

Your friend says the Army is "Punishing" Soldiers for "minor" infractions etc. I am not sure what these infractions are, can you be more specific? I mean when the Army are downsizing, if a soldier gets a DUI or somehow blatantly shows that he or she is not upholding the Army Standards they are making it easy for the Army to say hey lets start with these guys. I mean its logical, if your the boss and you know your have 10 soldiers for 8 slots, are you seriously not going to get rid of the guy that is basically messing up and try to weed them out?

As for the AMEDD/Nursing, you will see a more competitive environment for promotion. A good example for this is your seeing a lower percentage of 1LTs being selected for promotion to CPT. 80% something percent to about 50% promotion rate.

And I read your post about you wanting to see "Combat", leaving the FOB, and so forth. I mean seriously as a new grad your most likely working on a MED Surg Ward (hospital). Even in a CSH your a in a Role III on a FOB generally, in a FST your in a more forward environment but you will have combat arms guys around you providing security. Your not organic to a Line Unit/Combat Arms unless perhaps your a Brigade Nurse..... but seriously they most likely do not need you on the front lines doing tourniquets and stuff. I mean they don't need a BSN RN doing a Combat Medic Role. A medic can do just as much and more than you (due to their training) on the front line than you can. So if your into that, by all means enlist as a 68W. As a 68W, be prepared to alot more other stuff besides what you see on the movies. In garrison with a CSH your most likely in a warehouse doing other than medical stuff, in a Hospital your used a MED TECH, and as you gain rank your leading soldiers doing NCO stuff whatever is needed of you.

I cannot tell you much about how a 11B lives day to day, and I am pretty sure that your 11B friend cannot tell me how 66H lives either. I can tell you though as a Critical Care Nurse in the Army as an Officer for me I can tell you that there is no way I would ever go the Enlisted route (not taking anything away from what they do). It is way better for my family financially (see the military pay charts), Bonus (20k per year for 4 years commitment), and educational opportunities to get your Doctorate is unbeatable, and you don't have to use your GI Bill to do it.

Have I heard about "lifers" getting out? what is a Lifer? Is that the guy who is 15+ years in and "gets out"? No never heard of him, if i had he is probably getting kicked out vs just getting out. Because truly if he is 15 years in and gets out he is pretty dumb to throw out that retirement. Have I heard of E4 Lifers getting out at like 12 years? Yes, but you probably need to ask your self why someone is an E4 with like 12 years in first.... Is he the Lifer your talking about? What is a Lifer... I heard of guys that are in 20+ years in and Retiring, after had enough yeah. But that is in any job. There is change going on and if you been in 20 years your probably at a point where your like.... I don't really need to be here and if there is changes going on and I don't really like it I can just bounce...

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and works as a ED/Trauma, Educator, IP/Nurse Epidemiologist.

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the AF won't accept me because I have a celtic knot on my neck, but I'll look into it in the Army!

Depending on where on your neck it is and how visible it would be in uniform, this might be a deal breaker for you. The Army is even considering tightening standards on neck tattoos. You can check out the current regulation (AR 670-1) here: http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r670_1.pdf. Basically, the policy states: "Tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the class A uniform collar are prohibited." The regulations will also be getting tighter: 2012 Army AR 670-1 Update. See number 10 on that last link: "Tattoos will not be visible above the neck line when the IPFU is worn. Tattoos will not extend below the wrist line and not on the hands. Sleeve tattoos will be prohibited (this one will be grandfathered)." The IPFU is the PT uniform, so if your tattoo is visible above a t-shirt collar, the Army may disqualify you during initial application.

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5,005 Visitors; 263 Posts

My good friend is in the ARMY, he's getting out in May because he says he hates the way it's changing. That the ARMY is treating good soldiers poorly, overly punishing minor infractions, and just in general not keeping consistencies. He keeps trying to tell me not to go in, but I also have been told that AMEDD is different from being a normal soldier. He's an 11B, E-5, and really hasn't had much contact with the medical field. I wanted to know if the Nurses that are in are feeling that the ARMY isn't treating them right? Or if there are new changes that are causing people who had thought they were lifers to get out.

ALSO: I was speaking briefly to a recruiter who said I could go enlisted or CO. But I haven't found ANY information about going enlisted. I was wondering if anyone had any more information of this option.

I do not know your friend at all. I can say this though. In my experience in the Army, the ones that claimed they did not get a fair shake, or that they were being unfairly disciplined, were usually the ones that deserved the treatment. In the civilian world they seem quite normal if not awesome. But not all people that seem like good people in the civilian world translate well int he Army or the military in general. And they tend to get pointed out and are subject to discipline alot. Your buddy might be an awesome soldier, I am merely speaking from my own history.

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