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Plastic Surgery / ENT / Head & Neck Surgery

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Practitioner First Assist. I work both clinic and O.R. with a good mix of procedures, direct patient care, operative time, and admin.

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NickG has 12 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Plastic Surgery / ENT / Head & Neck Surgery.

Livin life...

NickG's Latest Activity

  1. No, we still have (2) 66T and (2) 66S. We lost the 66E, but I’m not upset about that, they brought little value to the team (sorry OR nurses). I have a mix of those who have deployed and those who have not. Not a requirement per se, but helps. There is no amount of stateside training that prepares you for what you face on a real world deployment, it’s not even a comparison. The seasoned vets know this and either avoid it like crazy or are drawn to it like a drug. I’ve been deploying since 2001 to combat zones so you can see where my brain is. Side note, what’s with the “Rhody” name? From RI? My team is based out of RI.
  2. Haven't logged on here in a while, but figured I could help answer some questions out there. I am two things: 1: Army Reserve FRST Commander (been in the military too damn long) **FRST = Forward Resuscitative Surgical Team (The newer FST) 2: Veteran Affairs Nurse Practitioner - Plastic Surgery/ENT; working inpatient, outpatient, and all aspects of O.R. (pre, intra, post op) I see a lot of question about the Army AMEDD and also about navigating the VA system. I have done both so I might be of help or at least have enough pull to get you the contacts you need to answer your questions. Feel free to DM me or post on this thread any questions you have.
  3. NickG

    VA NP residencies

    Make it about the Veterans. Speak on how working with the Veterans is a point of pride for you and allows you to give back to those who sacrificed so much for our Freedom. As long as you make everything about the Veterans and your ability to help them, you should put a good foot forward.
  4. NickG

    Information Starting a Military Nursing Career

    The AMEDD is currently 800% over strength. Even if you meet the minimum criteria, should will not be a strong candidate. No one on my Team has a ADN, all have BSN, most have MSN, and 3 have DNP. You can waiver until 46 so don't worry about the age thing. My advise, get your BSN and make sure you have a specialty (ER, ICU, etc). Your experience will matter and you will be put into a candidate pool. If you have questions contact me.
  5. Anyone on this site snag a slot for CCC in June (reserve component)? Trying to connect with folks prior to class.
  6. NickG

    Reserve Bonus

    66T (Trauma Nurse) and 66S (Crit Care Nurse) have $15k/yr retention bonus for 2, 3, 4 year contracts. I do not recall seeing a sign-on bonus, but they offer the loan repayment and once you have a critical ASI of S, T, E you can apply for the bonuses. Keep in mind, all bonuses will be taxed...heavily, and you must claim them as income each year come tax season. With a 15k bonus you'll get about 10k.
  7. NickG

    Procedure Heavy NP Careers?

    Trying to get an idea of which specialties are very procedure heavy. I know this is variable depending on what your role in a particular group is, but I am looking for a general response. I work in the E.R. currently as an RN so I know what the E.R. NP's are doing, not much outside of this particular area though. I'm not concerned with salary or benefits, just want to get my hands dirty, thoughts?
  8. NickG

    Feb 2013 OBLC Phase 2

    My training NCO said there were still some slots left so make sure they get on it if they are looking to start in Feb. As for Phase 1, it took me about a month of playing around to finish it. I worked for a few hours in the morning a couple of times a week. Lesson A is by far the longest and the rest go by quickly. I found it best to just sit there and do marathon sessions to get through it.
  9. NickG

    How much does GPA matter?

    Not too sure how competitive the AF is, but for the Army it wasn't all that bad. I had a 4.0 but others who came in with me were around 3.0 and got in just the same. If this is really a worry for you yet something you really want to do, I would suggest re-taking some of the courses that are pulling your OA GPA down. This is not only a way to bring up your GPA but also to take-in the 30-40% of the course you didn't the first time (assuming you got C's and D's). There are many online options that are offered by many colleges and universities so time should not be an issue. In the end, the better you look on paper the better chance you will have of getting a slot. Best of luck and get that GPA up!
  10. NickG

    Feb 2013 OBLC Phase 2

    Just got my class date for Phase 2. Feb 21- Mar 18, anyone else going to be in this class?
  11. NickG

    Questions after commissioning

    You will need to wait until you have a hard copy of your actual orders. You will get this after you swear in and your are "officially" in the military. Bring your orders and 2 forms of ID to your local DEERS office, your recruiter should know where your nearest one is. They will set you up with an ID card and from there you will be able to set up an AKO account. To do that you will need to go to http://www.us.army.mil and log in from there. There will be an option to set up an account and you will have to do a bunch of cheetah flips and hoop jumping before your account is all set. The reason this is important is that it is your brain for all your stuff (email, personal info, pay etc.).
  12. NickG

    Questions after commissioning

    It took me 2-weeks before my orders came down. You will then need to go to your unit and inprocess there. They will more than likely be no help with getting you your uniforms so be diligent about finding out what sizes you need and picking them up yourself, AAFES.com will have everything you need. Also, get your ID card and your AKO account activated asap, you will need these. As for the weight and PT, if you've read my posts on this you know how I feel. Take a long hard look at what you are putting in your mouth and get honest about everything you eat, most people who struggle with weight eat like ****. As for the running, just keep running. Seriously, you can run everyday and you will live. Don't worry about pace at first, just get out the door as often as you can. It's more about willpower than anything. Best of luck.
  13. NickG

    AECP to BOLC : How long did it take you to get a seat?

    Sounds like you have your bases covered the best you can then. If I were you I would find out who is responsible for getting the OBLC slots and be relentless about getting one. For many people the time spent waiting has more to do with planning around their lives as opposed to getting the earliest slot, all things considered. It will most likely be a few months before you can get a slot as they do fill fast, but stay persistent and keep at it. You seem to have a good amount of drive so use they and do what you can to survive until then. I hope your father can be there to swear you in, I thank him and your family for their service. Again, best of luck and by this time next year your worries should be a thing of the past :-)
  14. NickG

    AECP to BOLC : How long did it take you to get a seat?

    If you are really just looking to make a paycheck and fill the void in your bank account then keep a wide, wide line of fire. Don't listen to that "they don't hire new grads" crap, ********. If that was the case then NO ONE would have a job. You may not get your ideal job, but you will get a job. I would look into every LTC or nursing home you can find, guarantee you will find a job. You also seem to be caught up on things you have no control over, quit that. A good piece of advice I learned when I began racing Ironman was to control your "box". The "box" is things you have control over such as your health, your income, your overall state of being. Things outside the "box" like the weather, other people and the future are things beyond your control so don't put too much invested worry into them. Even if you are faced with a time period of >6mo before you can commission, so what. Do not look at this as a bad thing, accept the challenge and soldier on. See how much money you can save in those 6mo. Live lean, use coupons, find every "free" thing you can possibly do in your area. Quit buying coffee, quit drinking beer, walk places or ride a bike instead of drive, etc etc etc. Turn the negative into a positive and you will learn much more from the experience than you ever knew. If life was easy everyone would be doing it... Best of luck.
  15. NickG

    Where to get uniforms?

    OK, found out yesterday that I have been selected for commission. Unfortunately I do not have any active duty bases nearby or even within reasonable driving distance. Any advice on where to get uniforms and gear online? I know there are a million stores out there, just seeing if anyone has any "go here, not here" or "this place has a great return policy...etc". I am looking to pick up the basic stuff (all uniforms, boots, misc gear), thanks.
  16. I am in the exact same boat as the OP in this case. Prior service looking to see how much time I will have to take advantage of the surrounding area when I am in Ft. Sam. It would be great to hear from some people who could give us some pointers on how it is being run as of late. *On a side note, I do not get the whole "PASS the APFT thing". I am worried about trying to break 400 on the extended scale, not simply passing the damn thing. The minimums are laughable at best. Even the maximums are what I would consider a minimum for anyone who is remotely physically fit. 13:00 for 2mi??? That is 6:30miles for a mere 2 miles, not exactly flying. When you consider that the high school standard for the 2mi is 10:00min it's not hard to see that the standards are pretty low, all things considering. Pushup's, situp's...you should be able to go from none to max in a month of daily pushups and situps. How it is people know for months that they must meet a standard and are still unable to do it is beyond me. And no, I am not the exception here. I do not have a single friend who is either still active or out completely who can't muster up a 300 pt score on any given day. Thinking about being fit won't get you fit, you need to make it part of your daily routine. If you are a soldier it is your duty to remain fit to fight at all times. I realize I am preaching to a bunch of adults here, but some of the comments on just "trying to make it through" and "praying I can pass" should not even be conversation. If you are worried about passing get off the internet and get on your running shoes RIGHT NOW and start running. Rant over.