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AirforceRN

AirforceRN RN

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AirforceRN's Latest Activity

  1. AirforceRN

    Nursing Officers in the Canadian Forces

    dpcRN, I received your your pm...I'm in the middle of a course right now but I'll get something off to you in the next day or two. NewtoOR...are you at VGH? We have a pretty small unit there but I may know somebody that still works there. I take it by your user name that you are an OR nurse?
  2. AirforceRN

    Nursing Officers in the Canadian Forces

    You'll have to go through the Basic Nursing Officer Course (BNOC) where you are introduced to the military medical system and how everything works, as well as the Basic Field Health Services Course (BFHSC) where you learn to work in the field. These two courses are usually back to back and last 3 months total. They take place in Borden, Ontario. This is in addition to BMOQ which is 14 weeks long and located in Quebec. Once those are done you will be considered trade qualified and ready to work. Usually there is a period of clinical consolidation for new nurses but if you are experienced that will probably be waived. There will of course be the usual nursing courses to complete too...ACLS, TNCC, BLS etc.
  3. AirforceRN

    Nursing Officers in the Canadian Forces

    Hey dpcRN...I'm sure there was a question in there somewhere :) Alright....so...in the past (before Afghanistan) there were many nursing officers that spent years and years behind a desk and never saw a patient. They did administration stuff, operations and training stuff, leadership stuff, but had little or no patient contact. Once we spooled up for Afghanistan we realized that the nurses we had weren't clinically current and were having trouble jumping back into the clinical role. It took a couple of years but now, after a bunch of pushing from the trade, we have managed to secure certain requirements for nurses to maintain their clinical skills. This, in its simplest form, works out to about 3 months (I think...can't remember off the top of my head) per year working full time in a civilian hospital. During the rest of the year you can expect to be working in a clinic, teaching, doing administration work or training. Some people do spend more and even most of their time in hospitals but they are the minority. I know this sounds like you don't get to do a lot of nursing work and to a certain extend this is true. It comes down to this...we work for an organization with about 68'000 full time employees. Most of these are relatively young and healthy individuals. Sure, they require health care but by and large they are healthier than your average person. This is one of the reasons we don't actually have military hospitals anymore. So, the down side...you will not be working full time in a hospital during your entire career (if that is what you wish to do). You will be doing some administration, some teaching, lots of training as well as clinical work. The up side...you get to do a job you can be proud of. You can travel the world, go to some pretty wild places and work in some pretty harsh and austere environments. In my time in the military I have worked in both humanitarian and combat environments. I have been trained in both Critical Care and Air Evacuation and have loved every minute of it. I hope this helps a little. If you have any other questions...even specific ones...please just let me know and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. PS dpcRN...where are you located? I might know an NO in the area that would be willing to get together with you for a coffee or something if you want.
  4. AirforceRN

    Nursing Officers in the Canadian Forces

    Hi dpcRN! Sorry it took so long to answer this. I still cruise these forums but don't post nearly as much as I used to. Also, although I'm not overseas anymore, I still seem to be constantly roaming about and internet access isn't always stellar. Anyway I'd be happy to try and answer any questions you might have. I've been an NO with the CF for about 9 years now so I've got a pretty good handle on how things work within this trade and I'm always happy to share what I know and how I feel about things. So feel free to ask anything and I'll try and answer as best as I can. If you want to pm me (if you can) that would work too. Cheers,
  5. AirforceRN

    Canadian Forces

    Fiona's got it, families stay at home while the members go to train. Is this hard on everyone involved? Yes...very much so, especially when training is 6 months or more. There are financial add ons offered to these members to help make things easier but they are currently under review and will probably change early next year.
  6. AirforceRN

    Canadian Forces

    No problem. Best of luck with nursing school!
  7. AirforceRN

    Canadian Forces

    What happens during the summer varies with what opportunities are available. In my case (I joined after my first year so it was only 3 summers) I did the first half of basic training the first summer, the second half of basic training plus french language training the second summer and spent the third summer up in Yellowknife and Whitehorse doing "on the job training" or OJT and working at a cadet camp. Most students do some sort of OJT during their summers after basic. This usually consists of working at a base Medical Inspection Room or "MIR" which is like a military doctor's office. This is a good opportunity to get some experience with the way basic health care is delivered in the Canadian Forces and exposes you to a lot of the paper work that we deal with. As far as pay goes, you can look at the pay scales here DGCB - Regular Force and Class C Officer Rates - 2012 You would fall under pay level A as an ROTP candidate. Basically, while in school you would start at about $18400/year (plus your tuition and books are paid for). Once you graduate and become an officer you jump to $57500/year. After roughly 10 years in you are looking at $78500/year. Yes it is competitive but you are accepted before your training and not afterwards. So basically if you are accepted for ROTP you are already a member of the CF, the training comes after that. Basic training is tough but it is not about competition it is about teamwork, learning and leadership. Once you graduate you can expect to be posted. You are able to submit preferences as to where you would like to go but in the end the military will move you to where they need you. For nurses this is usually in Edmonton, Ottawa, Valcartier or Halifax, with some nurses ending up in Vancouver and Petawawa as well. There are some postings in some other places but they are few. For what its worth, I have been posted to all the places I have listed as my top preferences, but other's mileage will vary greatly. The work we do also varies greatly. The CF doesn't have military hospitals anymore so that isn't an option. Once you are an RN you will be placed in a civilian hospital for a period of time (around 6 months now I believe) to gain experience in that setting. After that the road splits into many directions. You can apply for specialty training (Critical Care, OR or Mental Health) or you can work on base in the MIR. There are also many administrative positions that nurses frequently fill in areas such as training and operations. Finally...you can't join the military to get rich, but as you can see from above, the pay isn't bad either. Getting paid to go to school plus having your tuition and books paid for is a huge bonus. To make it simple, right out of school you earn the equivalent of roughly $27/hr (of course you are on salary so its not really "per hour" but you get the idea) and this goes up every year. Plus paid vacation time (20-25 days a year) plus full medical and dental. Obviously money is important but I'll reiterate, this isn't a normal job. We have periods of quiet and we have periods of craziness. We are sent to places that few would want to go and are placed in situations that many would never want to be in. We do this without questioning and without the option of saying no. Food for thought. Keep the questions coming...I obviously love my job and could talk about it for hours.
  8. AirforceRN

    Canadian Forces

    Just to be clear, Officers are not required to be bilingual. To progress to Major or above you will have to have a second language "profile" but that doesn't mean you are bilingual (or even proficient in some cases). This applies to both ROTP and direct entry officers. (Fiona, its been a long time eh? How you doing?)
  9. AirforceRN

    Nursing conditions in Canada

    Agree with the above...plus...don't let the vents/whines/rants on this board dissuade or discourage you. If you get more than two people together who share an occupation you will get these things. Check out any board for mechanics, lawyers, cab drivers...its all the same stuff.
  10. AirforceRN

    Nursing in the CF Reserves

    Hey Mac... I'll be honest with you, my knowledge of reserve nursing with the CF is very very limited. I have met few of them in my career and from what I can tell, they mostly work in their local civie hospitals and parade once a month...it does seem like they get some pretty cool taskings every once in a while though. My best advice would be to walk down to your local reserve unit (15 Field Amb would be a good bet) and talk to somebody there...they would probably have a good idea about what openings are available and what would be required of you. Now...if you change your mind and want to go reg force....I'll be able to give you some more in depth answers. Sorry I couldn't be more help, Regards
  11. AirforceRN

    Military Nurses

    Hello d_n_r! The application process...though lengthy is pretty simple and starts with going to your local recruiting centre and talking to the folks there. They have all the paper work you will need and will tell you how to get everything started. Expect it to take quite a while (months or longer) to hear back...that's just the way it goes. As far as training goes, you will have to complete basic training (a couple of months in Quebec) as well as the Basic Nursing Officer Course and the Basic Field Health Services Course (a couple of months in Ontario) before you will be able to work fully as an RN in the CF. I don't know how many nurses we are looking for at this time but in the recent past it has been competitive. Again, the recruiters will have a better idea on this. The aptitude test isn't all bad and I believe that on the CF website they even have sample questions to let you know what you are in for. They also have videos on what basic training is like as well as some vignettes of nurses to give you an idea of what we do. I hope this helps!
  12. AirforceRN

    Military Nurses

    Hey Jenn...yes, if you want to be a Nursing officer you have to be an RN. The CF will pay for the training but you must be accepted to a recognized nursing school in Canada before you apply to the military. If you have more questions, feel free to ask and I'm sure I can give you some answers.
  13. AirforceRN

    Canadian Military RN info??

    Hey V3ron.", sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I just left Kandahar where my internet connection was less than stellar to say the least. Personally I think the CF would be interested IF you were to complete 3rd or 4th year at a university. Is that the plan? Let me ask around my contacts here and I'll try and get you a more firm answer from a higher up. Let me know too if I understand correctly that you will attend uni to "bridge" to a degree.
  14. AirforceRN

    Canadian Military RN info??

    Hi! When I was in your position I worked up until the week I actually signed the papers and was enrolled in the CF. Timings change frequently and until you have signed on the dotted line don't count anything for certain. As for further studies...the CF offers specialties in OR, Critical Care and Mental Health nursing as well as the option of remaining a general duty nurse. Specialty training beyond that is possible but may (likely) be on your own dime and on your own time. There will be a point later in your career where you consider getting a masters and the CF will help you in that endevour if you are selected for that route. I hope this helps, if you have more questions feel free to ask or pm me and I'll do my best to answer. The Internet connection in my current location is...sketchy at best so please be patient if it takes a few days to answer you. Cheers,
  15. AirforceRN

    Tylenol IV

    I believe the Brits have been using IV acetaminophen for some time...I haven't used it before but anything that can decrease my suppository count can only be good in my books.
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