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The "Nursing Officer" Merged Thread

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kincanucks

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JackieRE said:
HI my name is Jackie,
I have a couple questions also.   I'm currently an LPN and I am interested in upgrading to a RN through the ROTP.   There are 6 courses from the first year that I have to complete before I can go into the second year of the program as a full time student to become a degree nurse.   The University offers seats in these classes to LPN's that are bridgeing into the RN program. I was wondering if the military will subsidize me for those 6 courses even though I wouldn't be a full time student.   Also I've read a great deal on this sight that nurses tend to end up in paper pushing postings.   I was wondering if this is almost forced upon them due to lack of availability of more hands on postings or if its personal preference.   I also am interested in the aeromedevac (I beleive thats how you spell it) course.   Is there opportunity for new NO's to get into this program in the first couple years of service, or is it a program that is coveted to get into?

I can answer the question about the bridging program for LPNs.  You will not be subsidized unless you are in full-time Nursing degree program at an university.  Whatever programs you have to take to get unconditional acceptance into the program are at your expense.
 

horsegunner353

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My wife is joining the Reg F as a NO. I'm curious what cap badge she will wear during BOTP.  I'm trying to help her prepare so she's not walking around St Jean with an elephant slipper beret like I did.

Also, will her slip ons say CANADA or MEDICAL?
 

Quag

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I am not 100% sure, but she will probably wear the cornflake.  She is not eligible to be commissioned until after BOTP, and therefore will wear the cornflake, until either she gets commissioned or enters a Phase training that will allow a different capbadge (Phase 3 Armour for example).

After IAP some Dental/MO 2ndLt's wore Medical slips.  However the entire time on course they wore the Canada OCdt's slip-on, so I would imagine she would wear Canada while on course. 

In all honestly, it is better for her to blend in with the rest of the Ocdt.'s/2ndLt.'s. 

-Quag
 

Lima_Oscar

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During IAP/BOTP, they should all be wearing the cornflake and Canada slip-on.  But once she is commissioned, according to the CF Dress Manual 3-4-4 "Direct Entry officers of the Medical, Dental, Chaplain and Legal Branches, who enrol with all the necessary professional qualifications for the military occupation shall be issued branch badges immediately upon commissioning."
 

HCA123

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If you look at the picture to the left, you'll see what cap badge she will wear upon commissioning.
 

FutureNurse

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Hi all,

Just curious if there are any nursing officers here (or folks applying to become nursing officers). If so, I am interested in learning more about your experiences applying to the Forces and, once accepted, your experiences as a Nursing Officer.

I am currently a nursing student (RN), and have applied to the ROTP training program. I completed the application process in March, and am eagerly awaiting a response. This site has some amazing resources; I look forward to hearing from some kindred spirits!

Regards,
FutureNurse

 

Armymedic

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From my personal point of view, NOs in the military do more administration and other military activities then actual patient care nursing. We (medics) tended to joke that if you hate taking care of patients as a (civilian) nurse, join the military.
 

Hot Lips

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Armymedic said:
From my personal point of view, NOs in the military do more administration and other military activities then actual patient care nursing. We (medics) tended to joke that if you hate taking care of patients as a (civilian) nurse, join the military.
Has been true...my understanding from 2 of my friends who are Captains at Stad in Halifax, that the forces is moving away from this...there is going to be a 4 month mandatory clinical practice period yearly to keep nurses up to date on their clinical practices.
My understanding from one of the Capt that just came back from A-stan is that there is a need for nurses who's hands on nursing skills are up to date as the requirement for nursing care is growing.
The comment was made that perhaps in some respects the forces was caught with their pants down with regards to some nurses' skills not being at a deployable level.  As I stated my understanding is that that is not going to be the case any longer.
I am by no means an expert on the topic...just passing along what I have heard.

HL
 

herseyjh

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I would have to agree with the lack of patient contact.   A worry would be if you let the CF foot your bill you are then on the hook for 5 years I think (4 years for each year of school, plus 1 - correct me if I am wrong) so the whole deal will take 9 years.  Degree plus time owed.  At the end of that time you might fund yourself rusted out as most new RNs would have had years of full time clinical experience by then.  An other way to put it is most new grads are just trying to get comfortable with new skills, maybe trying to specialize, say ICU, CCU, ER, or what ever, and you will be missing out on that.

Of course there are all kinds of options you will have as a NO that a civi RN would not have.  I am just giving you the reason why I did let the CF pay my way.  I worked as a Med-A then as a civi RN, and now I am doing the PRL thing.

 

Lima_Oscar

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I wouldn't recommend going through the ROTP route.  If you are just going into nursing and have an interest in the CF, a better route would be joining the reserves as a med tech.  That way you get the feel of what the military is like and without trapping yourself with obligatory service.

However, nursing in the CF is changing...with the CF Nursing 2020 Initiative, we are moving back into a more clinical role.  New graduates must now complete 2 years of med/surg consolidation at a civilian hospital (Halifax, Valcartier, Ottawa, Edmonton, or Esquimalt).  Once you have completed your consolidation, you have the options  of going into specialities: Primary Care, Emergency/Critical Care, Operating Room, Mental Health, or Air Med Evac.  So in the very near future, "NOs in the military do more administration and other military activities then actual patient care nursing" will no longer be valid.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to PM me.
 

kincanucks

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5 years I think (4 years for each year of school, plus 1 - correct me if I am wrong)  so the whole deal will take 9 years.

Doing the math the way you wrote it: 4 x 4 + 1 = 17.

You don't administer meds do you?

You get subsidized for 4 you owe 5, you get subsidized for 3 you owe 4 (still a nine year contract).
 
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17thRecceSgt

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herseyjh said:
A worry would be if you let the CF foot your bill you are then on the hook for 5 years I think (4 years for each year of school, plus 1 - correct me if I am wrong) so the whole deal will take 9 years.  

Not to sound rude but....

"on the hook"?

Not a very positive way to describe serving your country after they (possibly) have paid your way thru a university degree...I am hoping people are grateful and WANT to serve, which is why they would "let the CF foot their bill" in the first place...

::)
 

herseyjh

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Hmm, don't you love forums where people act rude?  I wondered why that is?  If I said that in front of you I am sure you would say something like 'don't you mean 1 year for each year of school?'  However, that is not the case, so why be constructive and clarify my typo when you can do that and be snide at the same time?

As for the hook comment, the army is paying, and the reason you owe them time is I bet in the past people have walked away from their obligations. 'On the hook' is a 'figure of speech.'  Obviously a poor one as people took it the wrong way.  Now on to the 9 years: 4 for your undergrad and then time as a NO with the green team (4+4+1=9). I put it that way as if you are not sure if you want to do the army for you whole career you might wonder how your skill will be when you are done.  In other words what are you going to do when you leave?  A buddy of mine, a NO for years asked me that exact question one day.  He was in the ER to 'maintain' his skills, and he said it has been so long sense he worked in the hospital that he had no idea what to do.  'I went from school to here and now I feel stuck.' is how he put it.  'My time with the army is coming to an end, but I am afraid to work as a civi nurse.'  His words not mine, but a valid point.  Picture this: it is 2006 and after five years you are not sure if you want to be a NO.  It is now 2011.  What will your skill set be?  How much actual hands on time will you have with patients?  Will this time be just you and your patients, or are you going to be buddied with an nurse that works in the hospital?  What will your patient population be?  How can I specialize and maintain my skills?  Maintenance of skills is a huge problem for the whole medical branch.  Do I want to do adult nursing my whole career? ect....

Just food for thought for the individual who started this post.  I just want them to think about it from all angles.  That is what I did and that is why I paid my own way, and now I am joining as a NO via the PRL.  I did it that way to ensure sold clinical skills, so when I am working as a NO I have experience, and on the converse also I have a civi career, and the CF gets a RN that they don't have to worry about training.  The CF is happy and so am I, and guess what I am doing this because I want to.  No hook.
 

kincanucks

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Hmm, don't you love forums where people act rude?  I wondered why that is?  If I said that in front of you I am sure you would say something like 'don't you mean 1 year for each year of school?'  However, that is not the case, so why be constructive and clarify my typo when you can do that and be snide at the same time?

Actually it was meant as a humerous poke but....
 

Hot Lips

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IMO some of the statements here are very self-serving.

If and when I get to be a proud member of the forces...I will consider it a privilege to be serving my country and helping my fellow soldiers.

The comments about being "on the hook" really upset me...this (the forces) is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is devoted and loyal, I don't believe it is suited to those with a passing fancy.

If and when you were to get out of the forces at the end of your nursing career in the forces it would take a very short period of time to hone your clinical skills.  IMO you can almost train a monkey to do many of them.

It is the caring, compassion and dedication IMO that makes a great nurse...the skills...well they can come or go and they are always changing...it's technology...

I say serve for the right reasons...the ones you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of  :cdn:

HL
 

herseyjh

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It must have been a misunderstanding then.  The classic inflection of what you think the writer's tone is, in this case negative, when it was really was positive.  I just re-read it and I wonder how I could have misunderstood such a positive message.

As for on the hook, it was a term, as I pointed out, and perhaps sense I am on army.ca, have spent a good portion of my life in the forces, been on tour, worked as a med-A while going to nursing school, and I am joining as a NO I think I would be considered pro-military.  One could say I don't need a hook to join.  With that being said I felt obligated to share my experiences and observations.  Some of the things I said were based on what other people have told me, and from friends of mine who are NO now, while the rest was based on myself.

I am trying to paint a picture to help this individual decide.

Picture this: 

You are a Capt. NO and you are now going to an ER to develop you skills.  You show up and you are pared with a RN who shows you the ropes.  Are you in charge? No it is more like a 2IC role.  It will never be just you and your patients, but you and your patients, and the nurse who is working there.  That might be ok out of school, but say it is 4 years down the road.  Could you see yourself in the student role all the time?  Just like in school? Do you want to work in many fields? Like ER, NICU, or CCU, work ECMO, ect...  Some of those options are not there for you.  Ask yourself what type of person you are and if this will work for you, and if you can see the unique challenges of work as a NO balancing out your career.

Or maybe:

You want to do the NO thing, and the idea of going overseas, doing clinics, and the military training excites you and you can't see yourself going to the hospital day after day.  You pick up things quickly and  you are not worried about rusting out, and the role you will have when you will be working in the hospital is fine with you.  You don't care if you have a buddy who is showing you the ropes when you are doing your clinical time as once you walk out of the hospital it doesn't matter.

Like I said, it is all about where you fit in, and how you want to serve.  I am not saying don't go for it but really think about what you want to do.  In my case, I think it is obvious by now, I am the first story.  I have worked in the medical branch and I know the deal.  I know what a NO does, and how the training goes, and my answer was simple: I will work as a civi and then use my skills as a NO when the military needs me, and in the mean time I can use that time to develop my skills.

Am I happy that I did it this way?  Going through school, the answer would have been a maybe.  Did I reconsider from time to time?  Yes, especially when I was working with the military anyway, but now that it is done it is all good.  I am at my end point, the place I wanted to be.
 

Hot Lips

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Lima_Oscar said:
I wouldn't recommend going through the ROTP route.  If you are just going into nursing and have an interest in the CF, a better route would be joining the reserves as a med tech.  That way you get the feel of what the military is like and without trapping yourself with obligatory service.

However, nursing in the CF is changing...with the CF Nursing 2020 Initiative, we are moving back into a more clinical role.  New graduates must now complete 2 years of med/surg consolidation at a civilian hospital (Halifax, Valcartier, Ottawa, Edmonton, or Esquimalt).  Once you have completed your consolidation, you have the options  of going into specialities: Primary Care, Emergency/Critical Care, Operating Room, Mental Health, or Air Med Evac.  So in the very near future, "NOs in the military do more administration and other military activities then actual patient care nursing" will no longer be valid.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to PM me.
Please see above with reference to the future of clinical skills...as well when we had people "shadow" as you put it when I worked ER, they pretty much worked up to being independent with only the peer as a reference source
or supervisor, which wouldn't be any different if you worked ER...you always have a clinical leader and it would take you a number of years even in the civilian world to become a clinical supervisor.
I appreciate what you have said heshey I just happen to have an alternative view...not based on time in as you have said but time in on civvie street...and good friends who nurse in the Regs full-time.

HL
 

herseyjh

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True, my interactions with NOs have only been as a Med-A working with NOs, intercations with NOs in the hospital setting, and personal friendships.  That was my basis for going on my own and then the PRL.  The lack of clinical time was my reasoning, but perhaps things are changing, after all it has been over two years sense I was directly involved in the medical branch.  Time will tell how this consolidation will mold the future of military nursing.

 

Lima_Oscar

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herseyjh, I fully understand where you are coming from...and yes, there are a still a lot of gaps in the Nursing 2020 Initiative.  However, we all have to start somewhere.  If there are no new NOs coming into the reg force and no new people feeding it, how will there ever be a future for NOs in the CF?

Just my 2 cents.
 
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