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What can I expect with ICU background?

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by inspiredbynavy inspiredbynavy (Member) Member

5,556 Profile Views; 221 Posts

Hey guys! I've been a lurker/poster here for the past 4 years. I've always wanted to be a military nurse and it seems like the time is getting closer. I have 6 months experience as an ICU nurse.

I will probably apply around the 1.5 mark which will give me ~2 years of Critical care experience. My question is, will they keep as an ICU nurse, and where can I expect to go? I'm mostly interested in the Navy (hence my name), but are there any differences in where you'll go based on whichever branch you're in?

Final question, what are the incentives like for nurses who want to go back to grad school to become an APRN, and how easily accessible are they?

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jfratian has 7 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

1,330 Posts; 11,969 Profile Views

Yes, there is a difference based on branch. Many Navy critical care nurses go to San Diego, Portsmouth, or Walter Reed. The Air Force (often Sacramento, D.C, and San Antonio) and Army (Fayetteville, Honolulu, San Antonio, D.C) have completely different locations.

As opposed to the Army and Air Force, the Navy still does a lot of on-the-job training for nurses. The Air Force and Army like clinical fellowships and have specialty codes that lock you into a certain area. The Navy also doesn't lock you into a specialty to the same extent. If you join the Navy, I doubt you'll do ICU your entire career. Joining the Air Force especially will lock you into ICU unless you are accepted to a retraining program (NP, CRNA, CNS, etc).

There are CNS, NP, CNM, management, research, and CRNA tracks that you can apply to after 2 years on your first base. They are competitive but doable.

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anchorRN has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, Military.

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Yes, there is a difference based on branch. Many Navy critical care nurses go to San Diego, Portsmouth, or Walter Reed. The Air Force (often Sacramento, D.C, and San Antonio) and Army (Fayetteville, Honolulu, San Antonio, D.C) have completely different locations.

As opposed to the Army and Air Force, the Navy still does a lot of on-the-job training for nurses. The Air Force and Army like clinical fellowships and have specialty codes that lock you into a certain area. The Navy also doesn't lock you into a specialty to the same extent. If you join the Navy, I doubt you'll do ICU your entire career. Joining the Air Force especially will lock you into ICU unless you are accepted to a retraining program (NP, CRNA, CNS, etc).

There are CNS, NP, CNM, management, research, and CRNA tracks that you can apply to after 2 years on your first base. They are competitive but doable.

Much of this is wrong. I'm an ICU nurse in the Navy. You are assigned the subspecialty code "1960" and it pretty much corners you into being an ICU nurse for your career (Until you put on O5 then its admin admin admin).

I just spoke to my Detailer the other day who said that the Nurse Corps is 100% manned, but 1960s (ICU Nurses) are only 75% manned right now. So you better believe if you are a 1960, youre staying a 1960.

Regarding graduate school, there is DUINS (Duty Under Instruction) where the Navy will pay for your graduate school. With that being said... as a 1960, you are somewhat expected to head down the ICU CNS (clinical nurse specialist) path. I would hate being a CNS (no offense i hope). One alternative to the CNS path is CRNA and usually the navy is desperate for them so if you have the grades to get into CRNA school you will likely get in. Forget FNP though.

I would highly highly recommend that you get your recruiter to put in your contract that you will get your 1960 upon commission. without it, you may get stuck on L&D... or Mother Baby... or something equally as bad. Also - if you have your CCRN before you commission it will help solidify that 1960. LMK if you have more navy specific questions, I'm still on active duty for another year.

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ICUman specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

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Forget FNP though.

Why's that?

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221 Posts; 5,556 Profile Views

Hey, AnchorRN, question about the DUINS program. If accepted into this program, would I be able to attend any school (that's accredited of course) that I so choose to? or is there like a certain list of schools allowed by the military? Also, if accepted and during school, would I still be considered AD and still have time go toward retirement? Thanks a lot for your insight.

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