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Old 03-21-2011, 10:11 AM   #1
BenJammn5 [OP] BenJammn5 is offline
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Registered Nurse in the Military

Hi Gents,

I've been contemplating on joining the Navy as a commissioned officer (RN). I know there are corpsmen on this forum, but I'd like to mainly hear from those that have served, or are serving in the health care field.

I've really been considering the Navy as I would like to be stationed in San Diego, and I know that's not always possible. My next choice would be USAF. I'll be graduating from w/ my BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) and am looking for a quick way to pay off my debt. I know the military can definitely assist that way, but I also don't want to get older and regret not joining as I really want to at this stage in my life.

However, I am faced with a few conflicts. I'm Christian (seventh-day-adventist), and joining the military has traditionally gone against many Christian beliefs and standards. I've done a fair bit of searching and understand that defense is necessary, but what the military deems 'defense' draws a fine line between national propaganda and defense. I believe a country is not dictated by the force and power of it's military, but by God who allows it to be.

The bible says to love your enemy as yourself, and as a nurse in the Navy you provide care to not only vets and active service, but also the local "enemy" or local populations in other countries. Please don't take this the wrong way as I have a great respect for the Military and am considering joining it. If you don't have anything nice to say, keep your thoughts to yourself. The decision I'm making is HUGE and will effect those around me and my future. I'm wondering, what are your thoughts?
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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If you have any qualms about what you might be asked to do in the military based on your religious leanings-Save everyone the hassle and do not join.
It is a bell- It can not be un-rung. It is an administrative and financial nightmare to deal with and it's not a worthwhile use of your time and talents. It also absorbs a spot in a force that it trying to cut back it's membership...A spot someone commited to the service could have had.

If you are commit to joining the military over your religious leanings- Then go for it. You'll get all the benefits of military service that everyone talks about-See the world, do what you've always wanted to, etc etc. There is also a lot of dynamic options for medical professionals- Stateside working clinic or hospital care, deployed units, combat medics, etc..Tons of options.

Best of luck deciding!!
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenJammn5 View Post
Hi Gents,

I've been contemplating on joining the Navy as a commissioned officer (RN). I know there are corpsmen on this forum, but I'd like to mainly hear from those that have served, or are serving in the health care field.

I've really been considering the Navy as I would like to be stationed in San Diego, and I know that's not always possible. My next choice would be USAF. I'll be graduating from w/ my BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) and am looking for a quick way to pay off my debt. I know the military can definitely assist that way, but I also don't want to get older and regret not joining as I really want to at this stage in my life.

However, I am faced with a few conflicts. I'm Christian (seventh-day-adventist), and joining the military has traditionally gone against many Christian beliefs and standards. I've done a fair bit of searching and understand that defense is necessary, but what the military deems 'defense' draws a fine line between national propaganda and defense. I believe a country is not dictated by the force and power of it's military, but by God who allows it to be.

The bible says to love your enemy as yourself, and as a nurse in the Navy you provide care to not only vets and active service, but also the local "enemy" or local populations in other countries. Please don't take this the wrong way as I have a great respect for the Military and am considering joining it. If you don't have anything nice to say, keep your thoughts to yourself. The decision I'm making is HUGE and will effect those around me and my future. I'm wondering, what are your thoughts?
.

Excellent idea on nursing in the military .... .... USAF or USN ... either would be super ... USAF would be first on my list because of the large support bases, aka AFBs ... ..... The USAF spends it's money on AFBs and aircraft and not ships and ports.

FWIW ... also a a masters while on active duty ... do your 20+ and have a retirement with medical bennies for the family.

Then, you can get out and be the nurse bossman at a civilian hospital ... and maybe have 3 or even 4 retirements too (with medical) ...

This will entail some sacrifices by the family ... but it will be well worth it in the end.

FWIW .... I started out as enlisted in the Navy .. did E-1 thru E-4 as a 8404 Corpsman ... then transferred to the USMC and did O-1 to O-2 as a helicopter pilot and got out on a disability.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:00 PM   #6
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I'll be the "nurse bossman" lol

What do you mean by 3 or 4 retirements? Don't you only get one??
.
(1) Military retirement + lifetime medical + any disabilities if applicable (via VA)

(2) Private Hospital Retirement + maybe lifetime medical civilian bennies (my wife gets this as a bosswoman at a medical center).

(3) Social Security

(4) Your own private government and/or civilian retirement saving ... i.e. .... IRAs and etc.

PS ... At 26 ... you do NOT want to wait long to do this and get ALL of these bennies.

.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenJammn5 View Post
Hi Gents,

I've been contemplating on joining the Navy as a commissioned officer (RN). I know there are corpsmen on this forum, but I'd like to mainly hear from those that have served, or are serving in the health care field.

I've really been considering the Navy as I would like to be stationed in San Diego, and I know that's not always possible. My next choice would be USAF. I'll be graduating from w/ my BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) and am looking for a quick way to pay off my debt. I know the military can definitely assist that way, but I also don't want to get older and regret not joining as I really want to at this stage in my life.

However, I am faced with a few conflicts. I'm Christian (seventh-day-adventist), and joining the military has traditionally gone against many Christian beliefs and standards. I've done a fair bit of searching and understand that defense is necessary, but what the military deems 'defense' draws a fine line between national propaganda and defense. I believe a country is not dictated by the force and power of it's military, but by God who allows it to be.

The bible says to love your enemy as yourself, and as a nurse in the Navy you provide care to not only vets and active service, but also the local "enemy" or local populations in other countries. Please don't take this the wrong way as I have a great respect for the Military and am considering joining it. If you don't have anything nice to say, keep your thoughts to yourself. The decision I'm making is HUGE and will effect those around me and my future. I'm wondering, what are your thoughts?
.

I started a ... "Military Can Be VERY Rewarding" ... thread for you and others interested in the military or that are now in the military.

Take a peek at it ... if you wish ...
.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:57 PM   #8
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Also an RN going in the military...USAF. 0-1. If you have qualms then pray about it, continue to. I'm also a christian man and feel confident in my decision to join. Good luck
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
BenJammn5 [OP] BenJammn5 is offline
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Also an RN going in the military...USAF. 0-1. If you have qualms then pray about it, continue to. I'm also a christian man and feel confident in my decision to join. Good luck
Right on man, definitely prayin about it. Good luck with the new job.
What made you decide the military was for you as an RN? And why USAF over USN for nursing?
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BenJammn5 View Post
Right on man, definitely prayin about it. Good luck with the new job.
What made you decide the military was for you as an RN? And why USAF over USN for nursing?
Actually let me clear up that I'm going into the USAF reserves. I've been drawn to the USAF for family reasons, and after looking at the other branches decided it was the best route for me. I'm in critical care at my current position and feel like now is the best time for me to join. They have big needs for CCRN nurses.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:02 AM   #12
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Right on Jeff, good luck!
CCRN, I should do that.

It's the way to go. Plus we are paid extra for having it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:06 AM   #13
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Best kept secret in the military:
Air Guard,
California Air National Guard.

My mother was a flight nurse and served her 20. Got a fair retirement afterwards.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:46 AM   #14
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Im in San Diego too (live in Otay Ranch). BSN through ROTC then 6 years active Army w/ 2 deployments, 1 year as a civilian, and now 2 years with US Public Health Service. Worked everywhere from outpatient thoracic surgery and family practice to inpatient Med/Surg, PACU, ER, and ICU. Currently working on my MSN/FNP. The "XO" (we dont have executive officers but thats his basic title) where I am now is a former USCG rescue swimmer turned Navy RN and now w/ USPHS. PM me if you wanna get together for coffee and a conversation about military nursing and other opportunities - FAR too much to talk about via the website.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:27 AM   #15
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Be careful with the usaf. they keep closing their hospitals and end up working with us side by side (army). I am not here to start a pissing contest but the ones I worked with were a bunch of whinners and hard a hell of a time adjusting to army life. If you want more bang for the buck, go army (pays for a lot and more and promotion rate is better). In addition, I would read what Brunes posted and read it 200x more. YOu could find yourself in a precarious situations and the shit I seen all over the world, is not pretty. Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:40 AM   #16
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Brunes is right. If your religious qualms are going to be a problem, look elsewhere.

As a RN, you're a noncombatant. You'll be issued a pistol in a war zone, not a rifle. You'll probably have to learn to fire a rifle though.

Are you OK not going to SD? I'm currently stationed in the other coast.

You OK being told what to do by everyone else? An ensign isn't that high a rank.

You OK going to a war zone for 7-12 months? Being bored to tears, maybe not doing the nursing job you want? Heck, maybe not nursing, but teaching?

I can tell you more, but my computer is logging me off in 40 seconds. If you have specific questions feel free to PM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:35 AM   #17
BenJammn5 [OP] BenJammn5 is offline
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Im in San Diego too (live in Otay Ranch). BSN through ROTC then 6 years active Army w/ 2 deployments, 1 year as a civilian, and now 2 years with US Public Health Service. Worked everywhere from outpatient thoracic surgery and family practice to inpatient Med/Surg, PACU, ER, and ICU. Currently working on my MSN/FNP. The "XO" (we dont have executive officers but thats his basic title) where I am now is a former USCG rescue swimmer turned Navy RN and now w/ USPHS. PM me if you wanna get together for coffee and a conversation about military nursing and other opportunities - FAR too much to talk about via the website.
Thanks for the info. I'll pm if you if I have further questions and we can talk about it. I'm sure there are other options and I bet you know of them... I'll definitely keep you in mind!

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Originally Posted by romafern View Post
Be careful with the usaf. they keep closing their hospitals and end up working with us side by side (army). I am not here to start a pissing contest but the ones I worked with were a bunch of whinners and hard a hell of a time adjusting to army life. If you want more bang for the buck, go army (pays for a lot and more and promotion rate is better). In addition, I would read what Brunes posted and read it 200x more. YOu could find yourself in a precarious situations and the shit I seen all over the world, is not pretty. Good luck.
I've read brunes statement several times. Good info
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Originally Posted by Caduceus View Post
Brunes is right. If your religious qualms are going to be a problem, look elsewhere.

As a RN, you're a noncombatant. You'll be issued a pistol in a war zone, not a rifle. You'll probably have to learn to fire a rifle though.

Are you OK not going to SD? I'm currently stationed in the other coast.

You OK being told what to do by everyone else? An ensign isn't that high a rank.

You OK going to a war zone for 7-12 months? Being bored to tears, maybe not doing the nursing job you want? Heck, maybe not nursing, but teaching?

I can tell you more, but my computer is logging me off in 40 seconds. If you have specific questions feel free to PM.
True, I read a small book written by the RN admiral (retired last year) and it basically said that since sep 11, 01 that nursing in the navy changed dramatically. All navy nurses had to be holistically prepared to work in all environments, which is basically what you're saying. And too a degree I like that mentality- a jack of all trades. However, we cant' like everything and I understand that. I'm not sure how military life is exactly, but in the civilian world as an RN, we're pretty much told what to do a lot of the times. There is always a bigger fish and that applies to all work environments, fortunately I'm okay with authority.

I appreciate all the insight guys, really helpin me THINK.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:53 AM   #18
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Pm sent! I didn't have much time to explain but give me a call. I'd love to help.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:06 AM   #19
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I don't just mean taking orders and such. I mean being stuck on a unit you don't like. Ie, medsurg when you want to be in the ER, then getting transferred to Cards when you ask for ICU... not sure how every unit works, but the hospital I worked, the nurses changed every 1-2 years. Plus, you have corpsmen doing the same thing (changing), then you have deployments taking people out ,and it's a very fluid environment.

Don't get me wrong, it's great to do "whatever" for the patient - MRI, surgery, whatever, without worrying about insurance. But you have to be prepared to suddenly be working in a desert in a tent, or being sent to a Public Health clinic in Africa, or working a ship after an earthquake. Very cool, but not necessarily a stable work environment.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:37 PM   #20
BenJammn5 [OP] BenJammn5 is offline
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Pm sent! I didn't have much time to explain but give me a call. I'd love to help.
you're awesome man, thanks I got it.
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Originally Posted by Caduceus View Post
I don't just mean taking orders and such. I mean being stuck on a unit you don't like. Ie, medsurg when you want to be in the ER, then getting transferred to Cards when you ask for ICU... not sure how every unit works, but the hospital I worked, the nurses changed every 1-2 years. Plus, you have corpsmen doing the same thing (changing), then you have deployments taking people out ,and it's a very fluid environment.

Don't get me wrong, it's great to do "whatever" for the patient - MRI, surgery, whatever, without worrying about insurance. But you have to be prepared to suddenly be working in a desert in a tent, or being sent to a Public Health clinic in Africa, or working a ship after an earthquake. Very cool, but not necessarily a stable work environment.
Sounds like a revolving door. So the comradery between the staff is probably broken a little as new staff are flowing in and out every few years. Working in a tent, a ship, etc. 'Sounds' like fun, but I know reality can dictate otherwise.

I know going in commissioned, officers have to go through training, but do they also go through boot camp? Not a problem for me or a determining factor for raising my right hand.

Caduceus-As a nurse, would you go navy or nay? kind of a hard question but just curious. Do you see the benefits of healthcare work outside the military system better for your personal life?
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