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RN4vets's Latest Activity

  1. RN4vets

    Religious accommodation means no Saturdays....ever?

    SummitRN, I'm all on board to join your congregation....as long as I don't have to wear any funny hats or itchy garments!
  2. RN4vets

    VA jobs

    Most probably would be hired as a Nurse I, followed by a two year probation with annual reviews (from date of employment) for a Step increase as well as yearly cost-of-living increases (determined by the President) in January. Keep in mind that under President Obama, there was NO increase for most of his entire first term, followed by meager 1% increases each year thereafter. We have yet to see how generous (or not!) the new President will choose to be. Once your probation has been completed, you can petition the Professional Nursing Standards Board to consider you for a Grade increase to a Nurse II.
  3. RN4vets

    VA jobs

    As evidenced by my username, I've been a VA Nurse for 25 years. The multi-billion dollar facility in New Orleans hosted a cattle call recently for RNs to help fill over 400 RN vacancies. The Outpatient Clinics and some of the Specialty Clinics have been activated in the new hospital building. The inpatient side, including ER/ICU/OR and everything else is on hold until they can hire and train enough nursing staff. The VA has appointed a new Secretary, Dr David Shulkin. Not sure when the last time an actual Medical Doctor has ever had the reins on this vast organization of over 1000 facilities. One of his unprecedented actions is that he is personally taking on a patient load of his own so that he has the most intimate knowledge of the inner workings of his organization by virtue of having to use it on a daily basis. Another thing being undertaken is a streamlining of the process for hiring, especially nurses, who don't fall under the regular GS (General Service) schedule. Rather, they are all Title 38 employees. I don't work in HR, so all I do know is that they are so inundated with applications and the pressure to get qualified people on board as rapidly as possible that they don't have the time to entertain the "good ol' boy" network, nor do they have the luxury of pandering to the ridiculous myth that "If you ain't a certain shade of skin color, you can forget it!" ( I pray that THAT one stays in the grave!) As of right now, they are anxious to hire ANY QUALIFIED RN as soon as possible. New Orleans has been without a Regional Medical Center since August 29th, 2005. There are tens of thousands of veterans being serviced by the facility who are more than ready to have their own hospital back on its feet, and not have to get farmed out to all the community hospitals in the area. One thing that the VA does better than anyone else is in the area of prosthetics. The new Physical Medicine and Rehab unit is treating our wounded warriors with the most advanced technology available in the world. As a Vietnam veteran, it is so breathtakingly awesome to see my brothers and sisters being cared for with such genuine enthusiasm, that it brings tears to my eyes. Simbaman, you are indeed correct when you say that "working for war heroes ,,,is an honor". When I encounter any of these WWII veterans, I always tell them, depending on whether they served in the European or Pacific Theater, "You sir (or maam), are part of the reason we're not all speaking Japanese (or German)!" Every now and again, you DO run across an absolute bonafide hero in every sense of the word. That experience is a bit beyond your everyday kind of awesome. I would describe it as more reverential and sobering. After caring for someone who sacrificed so much for YOU and all of your countrymen, you will never be the same. In the VA hiring process, once your application has been accepted and processed, it goes through an additional step called "Boarding". During that, your credentials, certifications, total education and experience are reviewed by a Nursing Professional Standards Board. The Board will decide at what level you will be offered a job. By that, I mean, you would be hired as (for example), a Nurse I, Step 5; or if you have advanced degrees, possibly a Nurse II, Step 5, or anywhere in between. As people remain in the system, and get Masters degrees or higher, they can advance to management positions at Nurse III, IV, or V, where the compensation gets really serious. The Title 38 RN pay scale can be found online, but it differs by locale, so the best thing is just to ask HR to give you a copy of their local pay scale for RNs. Consider also that on your very first day on the job, you are entitled to 8 hours of paid annual leave and 4 hours of sick leave EVERY pay period. Combine that with at least 10 paid Federal holidays throughout the year, and it amounts to a considerable benefit from day one. Many people will bank large amounts of leave just for the opportunity to let its value grow with their paycheck. At retirement, or separation from service, you can cash in your leave and have that much extra on your way out the door. The VA does offer a hiring preference to veterans, but doesn't discriminate against any who haven't served in uniform. The culture at the VA is of service. It is not a for-profit institution. Abraham Lincoln, at his second Inaugural Address, established the mission of the VA Healthcare System "to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan". Unfortunately, tragically, that mission will continue for the foreseeable future. Come join us.
  4. RN4vets

    Trouble getting a job in a "Good Ole Boy Town"

    New Orleans, LA had a ribbon cutting ceremony last week on their new billion dollar medical center. However, they aren't taking their first outpatient until next month, and no acute care admissions until sometime next year. Part of the reason is that after their old facility was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, most of their staff were scattered to the winds. As of now, this particular VA hospital is looking at a nurse staffing need in the hundreds, as they are basically starting from scratch, so there is tremendous employment potential in New Orleans. As a veteran, you automatically receive at least 5 points of hiring preference.
  5. RN4vets

    Nursing License with Felony

    Wholeheartedly agree with scully4174. "Get an attorney, do not go alone. Have at least 3 witnesses you can call on your behalf. Just be truthful and admit to your mistake and own it."
  6. RN4vets

    Public Urination! License Renew

    Having served as a commissioned LEO, I can assure you that you indeed were "arrested" by means of the "ticket" you were issued. In law enforcement terms (which your attorney should have explained!), you received a Summons to Appear, which is a non-physical (you didn't get cuffed and jailed) form of an arrest. Therefore, you can no longer (forevermore) say that you have "never been arrested" because you have, regardless of whether you actually spent any time in custody. As for the shyness factor in reporting any offenses to your Nursing Board, they are primarily interested in any elements of your behavior that may have violated their Nurse Practice Act. You may find yourself placed under an administrative investigation to determine if any such violations occurred. If they do so, you will be responsible for paying any expenses, such as drug testing, fingerprinting and a background check. The board may or may not choose to launch this procedure, but they will certainly review all of the circumstances. These people are mature, educated health professionals who are most likely not easily titillated by your situation. If they ask you any questions, you respond honestly and completely. They will not appreciate you making any attempts to sugar-coat your actions. As for any disciplinary actions, it all depends on their opinion of whether any of your behavior rises to the level of something that violates your Nurse Practice Act.
  7. RN4vets

    Soon to be convicted felon

    Don't know anything about California's requirements for licensure. Here in Louisiana, we renew our license annually. One of the questions asked is whether or not you have been arrested or received a summons (which is a non-physical, on paper only type of an arrest) in relation to any criminal activity. That requirement applies to even having been accused of a crime, not to mention an actual conviction. Please don't entertain any notions about NOT reporting your circumstances to your Nursing Board. Quite frankly, I don't believe you have retained adequate legal representation in this matter which presents you with such life-altering consequences. Your questions and concerns posted in this forum are far more appropriate for your attorney, who should be thoroughly versed in all aspects of your case as well as the ramifications to your professional license.
  8. RN4vets

    Attention nurse bullies... and victims!!

    The unfortunate answer is that HER supervisor was exponentially WORSE, and could clear a hallway with the sound of her voice! Within microseconds of her appearance, every living soul would scramble and scurry to find places to hide. My most effective tactic was to hurry up and get one of my patients on the telephone to conduct a lengthy medication reconciliation. I did file an EEO against THAT Bully once, but she abruptly retired before the process reached that stage. Her replacement was not much better and was great friends with The Bully. Both remain in their positions of authority to this day, and it was in fact the replacement person who struck the deal for resolving my EEOs.
  9. RN4vets

    Attention nurse bullies... and victims!!

    Hah!!! "Weak Leadership" "Why wasn't it addressed definitively?" EXCELLENT QUESTION!!! At our facility, the Nurse Manager of our Outpatient Clinic had a horrible reputation as a blatant bully for years, even from her days as a Charge Nurse on the floor of the hospital. My first encounter with her was on an evening shift in the ER and we were trying to move several admitted patients upstairs. I had to pick up some meds at the 7th floor Pharmacy and the ER Charge asked me to check the 5th floor on my way back, so she could call the Housekeeping Supervisor and expedite some rooms to be cleaned for our patients. As I approached the desk, I greeted the staff, and told them we were going to get them some help in getting their rooms ready. The Bully loudly admonished me in front of the staff, telling me I had no business being on their floor, and threatened to summon the Hospital Police to arrest me for trespassing if I took one more step in any direction but out. I'm very proud of the fact that I didn't laugh in her face, but I did turn around and return to the ER where I shared my encounter with my colleagues who chimed in with their own experiences of her bullying behavior. Some years later, due to a natural disaster, our facility was destroyed and we had no more hospital. To my absolute dismay, the remnants of our staff were selected to provide care in several Outpatient Clinics. Horror of horrors, The Bully was now my direct supervisor as the Nurse Manager of the clinic. Every single employee, whether they were an RN, LPN, CNA, or even a clerk or housekeeper, cringed at the thought of having to deal with this woman on a daily basis for who knows how many years to come. Her bullying was primarily in the manner she spoke to you.....in a tone and manner that one would address a disobedient child. Then there were the write-ups. She would call staff privately into her office (no witnesses!) and ambush them with a disciplinary action. Within moments of taking a seat, and not knowing why you've been summoned, she shoves a fully written reprimand of some sort across the desk, and says, "You need to sign this, or you're being suspended immediately!" The write-up could have been something that was charted WEEKS ago, and she discovered it during her review of your notes. You're now in a position that you have to sign the document before you can leave her office, and then have to go back in the patient's chart to see what may have been the issue, and then start the appeal process, which can take several more weeks. During that time, she can pull out any number of other issues and just keep piling it on to wear you out. The Bully also seems to operate in a cycle, meaning that she focuses on one or two staff for a period of time, and then rotates off to someone else. This way, the entire staff is always kept on edge, wondering whose turn it is next. So, when "your turn" rolls around, you can at least take comfort in knowing that she'll be moving on to someone else in due time after she feels that you have been sufficiently terrorized. One of our male LPNs was one of her favorite targets, possibly because he was homosexual, or that he was highly emotional and dramatic, or simply that he was such easy prey and she could reduce him to sobbing to the point where he couldn't function and had to go home sick for several days. After one of the episodes, where, even though the door was closed, we could hear their raised voices, and his anguished scream for her to "Please Just STOP!!!" She stormed out of his room, and he was curled on the floor sobbing. He left that day and never returned. Several weeks later, he killed himself. Many of our staff successfully transferred to other clinics or just quit, or retired. Many staff, including myself, filed EEO complaints against her for the incessant bullying. I'll never forget my Arbitration Hearing where the EEO person told me that they were quite familiar with The Bully, but so far, nothing had been done, because in the course of their investigation, they found that she DID NOT DISCRIMINATE, and was EQUALLY abusive and abrasive to ALL the staff.....????!!!!!! The stress of that environment sent me to the ER twice on the job with chest pains and palpitations, thankfully with no permanent damage. Another of my colleagues was not so fortunate. We'd had MANY conversations, sharing our frustrations of filing grievances with the employee's union and we both had filed EEO complaints against The Bully. He remarked more than once that the stress was going to kill him. After his fatal heart attack, I'm definitely convinced that it did. The Bully did finally make good on her threat to me of calling the Hospital Police one day. It was in the last 15 minutes of my shift, and my nephew picked up my children from school, ages 12, 11, and 9. He dropped them off to me on his way to work, and I had them sitting quietly in my office with the door closed while I finished my charting. The Bully burst into my office, eyed my children playing their Game Boys, and yelled at me in front of my kids. "You aren't allowed to have your children accompany you to work!" I tried to explain that they only got dropped off a few minutes ago and were riding home with me. She stormed out, shouting, 'I'm calling the police!" My children were terrified, and started crying. Moments later, two Hospital Police Officers, armed and in uniform, came into my office, ordered me to shut down my computer, and escorted me and my children out of the building as they sobbed, begging the policemen to not take them to jail. All this from a woman who is routinely seen entertaining her own children in her office at various times of the day during work hours. There was a movie a few years ago, "Horrible Bosses". They had a scene in there that gripped me by the throat. One of the lead characters had just been royally screwed by his boss, played by Kevin Spacey. The guy snapped, and snatched Kevin Spacey by the necktie, dragging him through the office while everyone cheered, and he threw him out the window of their office building. Of course, it turned out that it was only what he'd been THINKING of doing. MY thoughts were that the script writers were reading my mind! My ordeals with The Bully ended after another hospitalization and extended recovery, during which she made every attempt (lying, fabricating, etc.) to have me dismissed or forced into retirement. All the while, I had three EEO complaints against her running simultaneously. At the Arbitration Hearing, they lumped all 3 into a single event and a deal was struck where I would finally be granted a transfer away from her; my disciplinary record would be cleared, and BEST of all, that no matter where I would be assigned in the future within the organization, The Bully would NEVER again be my direct reporting supervisor throughout the duration of my employment. The employee's union continues to receive complaints, and to this day, The Bully remains in her position, and her subordinates continue to suffer her verbal abuse and administrative punishments. My children still vividly remember the incident with the Hospital Police, and they're now 18, 17 and 15. I haven't been back in the hospital or had any chest pains or sleepless nights since escaping with my life from that insufferable, suffocating environment. I do feel bad for my colleagues I left behind, and offer moral support whenever they reach out to me. I pray that one day, one of them doesn't snap and we all find out if The Bully can fly without her broom. God be with them all, and I especially do mean The Bully, because HE is the only one who can save her from herself.
  10. RN4vets

    Anxiety following patient death

    *Hockeynursing* "Forgive me if I'm corny, it's been an emotional day." My dear, the day that one of your patients dies, ....and you feel nothing......THAT's the day it's time to get out of this profession. I'm grateful that after 40 years my tear ducts remain fully functional (at the appropriate time, of course!).
  11. RN4vets

    Marine Corps Reserve & Nursing School

    nishey94 anchorRN, BSN Pro I can't speak for the Army or the Air Force but I'm active duty in the Navy's Nurse Corps and can help answer any Navy questions you may have. ...saw this post on another thread...looks like someone who can answer some of your questions!
  12. RN4vets

    Marine Corps Reserve & Nursing School

    ********************************************************* *********************************************************** ...A "life changing" Boot Camp....my dear, there is NOTHING ON EARTH to compare to Marine Corps Boot Camp. You have to experience it for yourself. Please take a look at Stanley Kubrick's film, Full Metal Jacket. The first 45 minutes or so is the most accurate portrayal I've seen in any movie. In fact, the first time the Senior DI appeared, I found myself about to launch out of my seat to "lock my scummy body on the yellow footprints"! You are correct in your expressions of belonging, hence, "Once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine". The feeling of accomplishing something extraordinary is when they place that Eagle Globe and Anchor in your palm and finally call you something other than an expletive, or derisive low-life term. From that moment and forever more, you are addressed as "Marine". No one can EVER take that from you! I feel your dismay about the MC not having their own medical personnel and MOS specialty. After serving 4 years, I wanted to reenlist and change over to something in that field as I had already obtained my EMT Basic by volunteering with the local Fire Department. My passion for the medical profession was in full blaze and it was an agonizing decision to leave my green & khakis behind. The Navy made it an easier decision when they offered to send me to Corpsman School....but I had to drop two ranks on signing my contract! Somehow, 4 years in the Marine Corps did not destroy my math skills, so instead I took a job that lead to being a Paramedic. I spent 20 years as a street medic before making the transition to Nursing School, and then on to a natural fit in the ER. I've served our nations veterans for almost 25 years as a VA nurse, and that, too, is a unique experience as I always feel like I'm looking out for my comrades. I hear where your heart is coming from. I encountered MANY US Navy medical personnel who wore a Marine Corps Good Conduct ribbon on their chest, which told me that they too had been faced with a searing decision to leave their beloved Marine Corps and follow other passions. I can honestly tell you that my salute to them was just a bit more crisp for their being in that life-long brotherhood. When faced with other challenges in life, you often hear many former Marines exclaim, "Yeah? So What? What are they gonna do? Shave my head and send me to Boot Camp?" And then burst into a guffaw that immediately tells you that they consider the next challenge to be insignificant compared to what they accomplished in successfully completing Marine Corps Boot Camp. You are still very young, although well on your way to making some solid decisions for the rest of your life. If you chose the path of the Marines, there are many opportunities for off-hours education as well as educational opportunities within your MOS and leadership development. Your medical training will most likely be self-directed, and truthfully, my experience as a Paramedic has definitely made me a better Nurse! Since you have expressed such a heartfelt desire to belong to the Marines, you may not feel the same sense of belonging and kinship were you to explore nursing with the Army or Air Force. You would only feel at home in the US Navy. Not only that, but they have MUCH cooler Officer ranks! C'mon, "Commander" sounds SO much better than "Lt Colonel". And if you've served at least 3 years enlisted in the MC, and earned your MCGCM, believe me, your Marine patients WILL notice, and WILL give you that extra measure of respect! Hope I've given you something to think about, even more, I hope I've provided a clear perspective in helping you make some important decisions. God Bless, and best of luck!

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