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Military, right thing to do. have some old answers needing updating and some

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by Dacoontz Dacoontz (New Member) New Member

550 Visitors; 3 Posts

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Hi there,

I have been a nurse for 10 years now with mostly PEDS experience in the med/surg and ER with last 2 years in managment. I like the idea of being a nurse int he military with the stellar benefits, sign on bonuses, travel, and retirement prospects. I have some answers from an old post but wanted to see if someone can see ifthe answres are still accurate and I also have some others to add.

My questions are:

1. Do nurses in the military ever go to medical school, especially someone my age (33) and will they pay for it?

2. How often will I deploy?, I am married and have two young children and they need me home right now.

3. Any military bases in Portuguese speaking countries, because I speak the language?

4. How available are Pediatric positions?

5. Will I enter with higher pay or rank because of my 10 years of experience as I would rather not go back to the first couple years of my career.

Hey thanks my friends and here is the post from an older post. I appreciate your time helping me reach a decision. Thanks, Daniel. :up:

" Going to try and answer your questions using your post as a guide. However, I noticed your name is TopazLPN, just so you know the Navy does not use LPNs, the Army does though. Anyway, your questions.

How much control do you have over your work schedule?

That depends, just like anywhere else when you are new, you are subject to the scheduling officer. You can request things, but don't expect to get extra special treatment.

How many shifts a week/month do you work?

In most units you work 12-hour shifts, although some areas do 8s, especially if you are a clinic nurse. You work 3 during week and 4 the next, so you work about 14 shifts a month, that's not an absolute though. generally it's 14-15 a month.

Do you alternate between night and day shifts?

Most places yes. How many of each changes form place to place. Right now, my wife is doing 6 weeks of days and 6 weeks of nights. I've worked in places that were 4 and 4, 8 and 8, it just depends on your unit.

Is your pay hourly or salary?

Everyone in the Navy, actually military, is paid a salary. It is based on your rank and years of service. You also get paid for housing, if you don't live on base, and a stipend for food.

Do you have to work overtime or on-call?

In short, once you join a military service, including the Navy, they own you. Are you scheduled for a 12 and the next shift is short, you could stay for an extra 4 and then someone may have to come in early. There is no protection in the military like the civilian world. There is a loose regulation that a nurse can't work more than 16 hours without at least 8 hours to sleep. My wife got caught by a flood while we were in Italy, she worked for 48 hours with about 10 hours sleep, they couldn't get anyone in. I got caught by another flood and was there for 32 hours, like I said they own you. On-call you better believe it and no there is no extra pay for that.

How much down-time do you have as a Navy nurse?

What do you meant by downtime? Do we have days off, sure. If you think about it, we only work half the month, we have every other weekend off and get 30 days vacation per year. If you really break it down, we work about 6 months out of the year, unless you're deployed then you work for 6 months to 1 year straight. It depends on your perception.

How long are you stationed in one place/what is a typical length of tour/billet? When do you get to travel overseas? Does the work compare to civilian jobs or are you a vaccination machine?

Tours of duty/ billets are 3 years in length. You can extend at a place, buit you have to have a great reason why. you can go overseas after your first tour. You are by no means a vaccination nurse. We have fully functioning hospitals in the Navy, we do it all and then some.

What kind of opportunities to advance your career do you have?

Tons of ways to do it. Your guaranteed your first 2 promotions, after that you have to start working for it.

Can you change units or specialties?

This is an ever changing thing in the Navy. We all technically start as Med-Surg nurses, jack of all trades. From there you can specialize, I came in to the ER back in '97 and have never left critical care. Spent 2 years in an ICU, but I'm ER all the way. It's getting harder to do that, but if you get/ have a certification in a particular area, that helps.

How competitive is it to become a critical care Navy nurse?

You want to be an ICU nurse, then you have to speak up and tell someone. Is it going to happen tomorrow, no, but it will happen. the Navy is in need of critical care nurses so the more they have the better. Remember, there's a war going on, so critical care is a premium.

Will the Navy pay for you to get your Masters as an NP or a CRNA?

Yes, I'm currently in school getting my master's as an ACNP and CNS. However, the Navy only recognizes/ uses certain NPs, I'm not one of them. So I'll be a CNS as far as the NAvy is concerned. I'll do the NP thing on my own time, but the Navy's paying for it, same with CRNA. My fulltime job for the last year has been to go to school and I'm getting paid for it the whole time.

As a new nurse entering the Navy, what kind of additional support/mentoring/training will be available to me while I am still new and learning? Are new nurses welcomed by other navy nurses?

Unlike the civy world, we don't really eat our young, we need them. We have all been in the position a new nurse has been, so there is A LOT of mentoring done. There are only about 3,000 Navy nurses, so it's pretty elite and we are proud of that. Therefore, we make certain that all nurses are at the same standard, lots of support.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions. Been a Navy nurse for 10+ years and counting.

LCDR Dan "

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

14,308 Visitors; 1,868 Posts

hi there,

i have been a nurse for 10 years now with mostly peds experience in the med/surg and er with last 2 years in managment. i like the idea of being a nurse int he military with the stellar benefits, sign on bonuses, travel, and retirement prospects. i have some answers from an old post but wanted to see if someone can see ifthe answres are still accurate and i also have some others to add.

my questions are:

1. do nurses in the military ever go to medical school, especially someone my age (33) and will they pay for it?

i would say for the most part no. but with that being said there might be some type of program out there that you can use.

2. how often will i deploy?, i am married and have two young children and they need me home right now.

varies on what service you are in and what speciality you do. i know of some perioperative nurses who have deployed 3 or more times. but some med/surg & ob nurses who have not deployed at all. presently in the army 2/3's of all nurses have deployed at least once.

3. any military bases in portuguese speaking countries, because i speak the language?

do not know.

4. how available are pediatric positions?

depends on where you are stationed.

5. will i enter with higher pay or rank because of my 10 years of experience as i would rather not go back to the first couple years of my career.

yes you will. each service gives different amounts of constructive credit for years of experience and type of experience. by what you wrote above you should come in as a o-2 or o-3 depending what your background is.

hey thanks my friends and here is the post from an older post. i appreciate your time helping me reach a decision. thanks, daniel. :up:

" going to try and answer your questions using your post as a guide. however, i noticed your name is topazlpn, just so you know the navy does not use lpns, the army does though. anyway, your questions.

how much control do you have over your work schedule?

that depends, just like anywhere else when you are new, you are subject to the scheduling officer. you can request things, but don't expect to get extra special treatment.

how many shifts a week/month do you work?

in most units you work 12-hour shifts, although some areas do 8s, especially if you are a clinic nurse. you work 3 during week and 4 the next, so you work about 14 shifts a month, that's not an absolute though. generally it's 14-15 a month.

do you alternate between night and day shifts?

most places yes. how many of each changes form place to place. right now, my wife is doing 6 weeks of days and 6 weeks of nights. i've worked in places that were 4 and 4, 8 and 8, it just depends on your unit.

is your pay hourly or salary?

everyone in the navy, actually military, is paid a salary. it is based on your rank and years of service. you also get paid for housing, if you don't live on base, and a stipend for food.

do you have to work overtime or on-call?

in short, once you join a military service, including the navy, they own you. are you scheduled for a 12 and the next shift is short, you could stay for an extra 4 and then someone may have to come in early. there is no protection in the military like the civilian world. there is a loose regulation that a nurse can't work more than 16 hours without at least 8 hours to sleep. my wife got caught by a flood while we were in italy, she worked for 48 hours with about 10 hours sleep, they couldn't get anyone in. i got caught by another flood and was there for 32 hours, like i said they own you. on-call you better believe it and no there is no extra pay for that.

how much down-time do you have as a navy nurse?

what do you meant by downtime? do we have days off, sure. if you think about it, we only work half the month, we have every other weekend off and get 30 days vacation per year. if you really break it down, we work about 6 months out of the year, unless you're deployed then you work for 6 months to 1 year straight. it depends on your perception.

how long are you stationed in one place/what is a typical length of tour/billet? when do you get to travel overseas? does the work compare to civilian jobs or are you a vaccination machine?

tours of duty/ billets are 3 years in length. you can extend at a place, buit you have to have a great reason why. you can go overseas after your first tour. you are by no means a vaccination nurse. we have fully functioning hospitals in the navy, we do it all and then some.

what kind of opportunities to advance your career do you have?

tons of ways to do it. your guaranteed your first 2 promotions, after that you have to start working for it.

can you change units or specialties?

this is an ever changing thing in the navy. we all technically start as med-surg nurses, jack of all trades. from there you can specialize, i came in to the er back in '97 and have never left critical care. spent 2 years in an icu, but i'm er all the way. it's getting harder to do that, but if you get/ have a certification in a particular area, that helps.

how competitive is it to become a critical care navy nurse?

you want to be an icu nurse, then you have to speak up and tell someone. is it going to happen tomorrow, no, but it will happen. the navy is in need of critical care nurses so the more they have the better. remember, there's a war going on, so critical care is a premium.

will the navy pay for you to get your masters as an np or a crna?

yes, i'm currently in school getting my master's as an acnp and cns. however, the navy only recognizes/ uses certain nps, i'm not one of them. so i'll be a cns as far as the navy is concerned. i'll do the np thing on my own time, but the navy's paying for it, same with crna. my fulltime job for the last year has been to go to school and i'm getting paid for it the whole time.

as a new nurse entering the navy, what kind of additional support/mentoring/training will be available to me while i am still new and learning? are new nurses welcomed by other navy nurses?

unlike the civy world, we don't really eat our young, we need them. we have all been in the position a new nurse has been, so there is a lot of mentoring done. there are only about 3,000 navy nurses, so it's pretty elite and we are proud of that. therefore, we make certain that all nurses are at the same standard, lots of support.

hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions. been a navy nurse for 10+ years and counting.

lcdr dan "

even thou i am army what lcdr dan wrote holds true for the army.

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550 Visitors; 3 Posts

JeckRN, Thanks for the relpy. It is appreciated.

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