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Content by coconutzz

  1. I was wondering if the Air Force is in need of OR nurses. I was not picked up for NTP this last board. When I told my recruiter I had done my practicum in the OR, he said to get 6 months experience in the OR and reapply. Is there a shortage of OR nurses in the Air Force? Also, will it be hard to be picked up after being a non-select? My recruiter said I didn't have anything wrong with my package, just that there were so few positions open. I'm wondering if this will hurt my chances later. Thank you!
  2. coconutzz

    Air Force NTP Board 4/5

    Hi! I was told we should hear within 2 weeks and that our recruiters will contact us directly to let us know. I hate all the waiting. I am nervous and excited at the same time! Good luck everyone, I hope we get the news we want to hear!
  3. coconutzz

    RN's, how much did you borrow for school?

    I will owe around the amount you do ($60,000) but that is for 2 bachelors degrees. I worked when I could and received loans and grants to get me through. We live off a combination of my loans and my husband's income. I figure you do what you have to to get through school. Sometimes I wish I could have worked more but I had to raise my daughter during both my degrees and my husband deployed twice during that time. But I'll tell you, I would do it all over again the same way cause I am graduating in 2 weeks!!!!!! No more bachelors degrees here, next is grad school!
  4. coconutzz

    How do you like Tricare?

    As the military member it is great, pays for everything. As a dependent it can have good and bad points. As a dependent I have had to wait long periods of time to get an appointment with my PCM, get a referral for a specialty clinic, be told they are only taking active duty due to being understaffed, wait for a request for an outside provider to be approved then get an appointment with them. Plus, if you use an outside provider that is Tricare approved, they can send you anywhere. My dermatologist is 50miles away and they don't always pay for all services. Just something to consider for your family. Oh, and the dental for dependents doesn't cover more than the 2 routine appointments per year. I am no more satisfied or dissatisfied than other insurance. Some difficulties and regulations to work through.
  5. coconutzz

    Air Force NTP Board 4/5

    Hi! I am also waiting this month! I hope we hear good news too! All the pushing back of dates, no news on the budget, and the talks of the Air Force not taking many nurses at all makes me even more nervous than I already am. I keep thinking wow, I hope my timing isn't off...
  6. coconutzz

    Becoming a nurse as an Air Force wife

    Maliaia, Wow. What a decision you have to make. The longest my husband and I spent away from each other was a year and a half so that I could finish my first degree. There were benefits (I finished my degree, was proud of us, raised my daughter solo) but it was VERY DIFFICULT on our relationship. We had just had our daughter and she was 7 months old when we moved away from him. He missed everything in that year and a half. We had no money so we couldn't visit each other frequently. When he deployed during that time, I had already not seen him for two months and when he came home he had to report to the base first before he could use his 2 weeks to visit us. It took a week to see him and it was the worst week of my life (I was an emotional wreck). Hawaii and Texas is quite a distance and 3 years is a long time. You have to make a decision that works for both of you, but if you have your prereqs done, try to get into a school around Texas. While your husband is state side he can support you (nursing school is very hard) and you can use your down time to spend time together. Being away from family is hard, especially if he deploys, but you will meet people. If you don't connect with those in your military community, you most definitely will in nursing school. The high stress and overbearing schedule will bring you close together. Plus nursing school is usually around 5 semesters. That's a little less than 2 years. And like cb_rn said, make sure it is a BSN program. Also, and I am speaking from experience, as you move, you may not meet people who are worth meeting and make those lifelong friends. That's okay, you can't be friends with everyone. Don't be scared of being lonely. At some point, everyone has to go through it. Nothing in life is permanent. It's all temporary. Good luck! And look around the military/government section for a lot of people who are doing what you are. I know when I started nursing school I joined a coast guard pilot's wife, a woman whose husband is a contractor in Afghanistan (our husbands were actually there at the same time!) and a man who had worked with my husband before he separated from the service to go to nursing school. You will meet more people like you to help you out, they are out there.
  7. coconutzz


    Hi, I am talking only about the Air Force here but most sites say that the tattoo(s) should not cover more than 1/4 of whatever extremity they are on. Here is one website that goes into some detail: http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/airforce/a/aftattoo.htm You should speak to a health professionals recruiter in person so that they can see it and tell you if it is a problem. Mine is on my forearm and it was explained to me that it should not be visible in a long sleeve shirt. It was also explained that for the purpopse of future tattoos, think of the PT uniform (t-shirt and shorts). If the tattoo would be visible while wearing it, it should not cover more than a 1/4 of that extremity. Again, this is all what the recruiter told me. Also, different programs have different rules. I tried to participate in the Air Force ROTC at my school and they would not take me simply because of the tattoo on my arm (it really is quite small, about 2"x2"). As for when to start applying, I met with the recruiter to ask questions when I started my first semester in the nursing program. He told me to call him one year before I graduated to start the process because some of the paperwork expires after a year. Good luck!
  8. coconutzz

    Air Force Mental Health Nursing

    What does a Mental Health Nurse do in the Air Force? Are there inpatient units or is all care done in an outpatient clinic? How frequently are these nurses deployed? And to where? I did not realize Mental Health Nursing was an option until I was looking further into the Air Force specialties. I greatly appreciate any information about it!
  9. coconutzz

    From RN to PA in the military

    Can a military nurse apply for PA school while in the military? I understand that commissioning into the AF as an RN means you commission into the Nurse Corps, but can you move to another Corps? Would you have to leave the military, complete school, and then try to commission back in? Thank you!
  10. coconutzz

    From RN to PA in the military

    Thank you all for responding, I appreciate the input!
  11. coconutzz

    Accelerated nursing program while in the reserves?

    I am currently at a school where both traditional and accelerated programs are offered. While I am in the traditional track, both tracks typically overlap for OB/Peds. From talking with those students, they attend classes 5 days a week, but when they start they have to agree to be available on weekends if needed. They had said that more than a few times they had to take exams on the weekends when they ran out of class time during the week. I am sure that if you explained it to the instructors, they may provide you some flexibility, but you would want to know this before you signed up for the program. In my traditional class, there are several reservists. They rarely have schedule conflicts and are able to complete their 2 weeks during one of the breaks between semesters. The program I am in is 5 semesters, a little under 2 years. As a student whose first degree is fine arts, I have found the extra time helpful in understanding concepts and our lecture material. I have also been able to work as a patient care assistant in a hospital while going to school, which lets me have some experience working in a hospital. The accelerated program does not allow any time to work a job like that. Good luck with what you decide. And don't worry about the age thing, seriously. What is important is how much you want to succeed in school. The more you want to do well, the more you will find ways to learn and advance, regardless of your age.
  12. Hi, In January I will be starting my last semester of nursing school. I signed up for practicum in the OR because I really like the OR and want to work there once I am an RN. My instructor advised me to do it for experience and to make sure I do really like it. I was just wondering what a practicum would be like in the OR? Has anyone taught practicum and could give me some information of what to expect? Thank you!
  13. coconutzz

    Nursing Student interested in OR for practicum

    Thank you so much for your input! I am really looking forward to the experience!
  14. coconutzz

    RNFA in the military

    Are RN first assistants utilized in the Air Force (or any branch)? Would a certification in RNFA mean anything in the military? Thank you ahead of time. It is often hard to find someone who knows the answer when you do not know many military nurses personally.:)
  15. coconutzz

    Guidance for a new student.

    I know what you mean. I was an A and B student (mostly) and nursing school is much more difficult. There are two pieces of advice I can give you that worked for me: 1. Find a way to study that works for you. If you are reading a lot and not retaining it (like I do) then you need to try something else. My first degree is in fine art. So I finally broke down and figured out a way to study to help me learn in a way I would remember. I draw a patient and the S/S of their pathology. Then I draw the labs. I use symbols instead of words when taking notes. I look up procedures and equipment on google images. Find a better way to study that works for you. 2. Do not memorize info. Learn how it works and WHY! I can't memorize info. For fluid and electrolytes, I had to break down the S/S of high/low electrolytes into the cellular mechanism to understand why they work (for example: high amounts of calcium block the influx of sodium into a cell. this makes the cell less excitable. this means when calcium is too high, cells, like muscle cells, need a stronger stimulus to be activated. So...hypocalcemia causes decreased deep tendon reflex and muscle weakness in skeletal muscles. It can also cause hypotension since cells will not respond to cause muscular contraction, leaving vessels dilated). Not to be too wordy, but I just want you to know that there are more ways to study. But it does take time to figure out what works for you. And remember, while good grades are nice, you really need a way to RETAIN important information for when you are a nurse (and to pass boards!). So study to understand, not memorize.:spam:
  16. coconutzz

    HESI - BLOCK 1 - How to prepare

    I recommend a review (like the HURST review, but there are many others) if you have time. It is nice to have all the important concepts highlighted about each disorder, then you can go back and read into anything you are still having difficulty understanding. The reviews tend to be expensive, but you can get good deals (like access to additional material online). I also used this book: Amazon.com: Evolve Reach Testing and Remediation Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN more Good luck!
  17. coconutzz

    Question about the amount of studying you do

    The studying depends on your current study skills. I have found that I spend 1-2 hours a day every few days going over information. I have started studying in groups too, that helps the information to sink in better when you see it, someone reads it and others teach it when there is misunderstanding. And each class is different. I would just be careful with working and school. Some people are fine with it and others suffer because work takes not only the hours you work, but time to get ready and rest after. I comute 1.5 hours each way to and from school, and I have found that carpooling helps because someone can read information out loud while someone else is driving. Also, you can get a microphone application for the itouch and record yourself saying information. This helped me with studying medications for clinical days. Good Luck!
  18. coconutzz

    Horror stories- MEPS

    The paperwork is not that bad. They walk you through it together as a group. The only thing that takes some time to complete is the medical section. If you have ever had surgery (dental/medical) or childhood illnesses, they want to know about them. The rest of the paperwork will be filled out while you are evaluated. Then the doctor signs off.
  19. Did the chief nurse ask any questions regarding specific nursing scenarios or just about you as candidate and why you want to join? I have an interview around the end of September/beginning of October and I am getting very anxious! This is the last thing I have to do before I am done with my packet and I can't wait for it to be over! Congrats to all of you who have already done yours!
  20. Does anyone know how many boards the Air Force is having this year for NTP? Is it one or two? and when? I would really appreciate it, I keep hearing different responses! :)
  21. coconutzz

    Horror stories- MEPS

    Going to MEPS is not that bad. You may be there for a long time (We started at 6am and I was finished at 2pm). It really does not matter what kind of underwear you wear, just be comfortable with a room full of women seeing you in them (you may want to save the thongs for later). If the doctor needs to see under your bra, he/she will ask you, and you will be in a private exam room. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was I had to remove my contacts for my eye exams and they did not want me to put them back in until much later, so I felt blind most of the time. All in all it was not that bad. Also, they may do things differently at different MEPS; I was in Montgomery, AL.:)
  22. coconutzz

    Officer/Enlisted marriage question

    carolinapooh, so just to clarify, if my husband is a med tech and i am trying to join as a nurse, it wouldn't be a problem so long as we were not working in the same clinic/floor? we could work in the same hospital and be apart of the same medical group, right?
  23. coconutzz

    Becoming a nurse as an Air Force wife

    One more thing, there is usually a continuing education office at most bases. If you wait until he is stationed at a base, they will have information on schools close to that base. Down here at Keesler AFB, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) has classes that are offered on base, but there are also plenty of schools locally, I travel to Mobile, AL where there are several good nursing programs. Or you can start at a college where you are from and go visit your husband during the summer semesters and take online classes if the school offers them. Just do your homework so you can find out as many options as you can to make a decision.
  24. coconutzz

    Becoming a nurse as an Air Force wife

    Hi! I am an Air Force wife and I am currently in nursing school. I have a previous degree that I completed first which took care of some of my prerequisites for nursing school, but I had to take courses at a community college when we moved before I could apply to the nursing program down here. I don't know if you have any college under your belt now or if you would be starting for the first time once you move. If you are just starting it may be difficult because every school has different requirements for their nursing prerequisites (certain anatomies or a computer class). Get as much done as you can at a reputable college (it may be more expensive but it will transfer more easily). Also, if you have not moved away from family now, you may want to consider staying locally so you can start and finish at the same school. It will suck to have to live apart (we had to so I could finish my first degree) but you'll be able to finish without having to retake courses or stop a program midway. Also, I don't know if this is thinking too far ahead, but my husband and I decided that we would change his "dream sheet" to the base he is currently at so that when it comes time to get new orders he will be more likely to stay here so I can finish school (we are at Keesler AFB and there seems to be a slower process moving med techs to different bases). My point.....you are going to be an Air Force wife. It will be hard because you will have to be separated for deployments, take on the stresses of moving and learning new areas away from what you are used to. Just don't forget that your future is important too. He chose a career that asks (will ask) a lot of your marriage/relationship, you may need to do the same so that you can have a rewarding career. That may mean living apart until you finish school. Also, if you don't have kids now, hold off until you are done school. I have a toddler and it is not easy doing nursing school, raising a child and handling my husband's deployment living (literally) a thousand miles away from our family and friends who could help me. But hey, we figure we are pretty strong so we push on. Also, apply for scholarships through the Air Force, I got one through the spouses club at this base. Good luck! It will be worth it!
  25. Hi, There are a lot of similar posts but I can't find the exact answers I am looking for. I am currently in nursing school and applying for the Nurse Transition Program for the Air Force (I will graduate in May 2011). I was wondering if anyone who has been through the process and been accepted could tell me about their experience. I am concerned about how competitive a candidate I will be (I have a 3.5 GPA, no work experience in the medical field, I am exercising to meet the physical fitness standards). My husband is currently deployed and we have a small child, so I feel a bit overwhelmed with school work and I am worried I may be getting too many B's to be a good candidate. I would greatly appreciate any information! Thank you so much!