October 25, 2011

Wind of Change, Part 2

The Man and I have been talking about several things lately that will cause some big changes in our family.  Good changes, scary changes...I'm not a huge fan of change.  While I understand that change happens and that it if often good, I don't always handle it well.  Sometimes I even go out of my way to avoid it.  Silly, I know but that's how much I dislike change.

First up is that we're considering not reenlisting.  Yes, I said we.  While I'm not in the military and I don't wear any rank, The Man reenlisting is something that we decided together.  While ultimately it is The Man's decision, it's a huge decision and effects us both.  When we got married we thought that The Man would be career Navy.  Two+ years later we're reconsidering.  It's scary to think of getting out...we have a steady paycheck, healthcare and other benefits.  Both of us had been civilian longer than we've been military but now that I've been in the military bubble, it's scary to think of leaving.  If he gets out then there is a good possibility that he'll go reserve.  Thankfully we have several months before we actually have to decide.  Even though it's scary to think of getting out, it's also exciting.  I'm most excited about no more deployments and no more duty days.  Can you imagine having your husband home EVERY DAY?  I'm not sure what I would do!  The scary part is making sure that we have jobs that pays for everything. I know that people do it all the time but in this economy...I'm sure you get the idea!  Anyway, we're looking at all our options and we haven't decided anything. Yet.

The next item is that I'm considering going back to school.  I have a Bachelor's degree in cross cultural communications.  I started my master's degree in Instructional Technology back in 08 but decided that I really didn't want that degree.  I was only 15 credits in so not a huge loss (just 4 weeks of my summer vacation that year. On the plus side, it gave me a raise when I was teaching!)  So now I'm considering going to school for nursing.  This idea is not out of nowhere.  I keep coming back to it.  In middle school and early high school I wanted to be a nurse and then a doctor and then changed my mind.  Then when I came back from Asia in 05 I considered it again and ended up teaching.  So now I'm considering it again...3rd times a charm, right?!  I've done a little research and I can get as associate's degree at a local community college that will allow me to get my RN in two years.  I'm kinda having a hard time about getting an associate's degree after already having a bachelors but maybe I'm just being snobby.  Last time I did research it sounded like I would need another bachelor's so I was kinda surprised to find an associate's program.  I would probably eventually go for a bachelors and then a masters.

What things to you consider when deciding to stay in or get out of the military?

For you nurses out there, what things should I look for in a program?  Any advice?


  1. When it comes to reenlisting I am right there with you, terrified of change. When I married my husband we thought he would be career as well, and while that hasn't been ruled out, it's also not the only option on the table right now and it scared the bejesus out of me! On one hand I want my husband to be happy no matter, what but I also want to make sure we can support a family. Scary! No advice on the nursing stuff but good luck! Would you need another bachelors though? Would it be possible to go back and just do the nursing classes (not the gen ed stuff)? Idk just a thought, I have no idea how nursing works.

  2. We struggle with the reenlistment question less and less. When we met, Hubby was a high school dropout who had four years in. It was without a doubt a career for him. We got married at his almost-ten year mark, and by then, it seemed like such a waste to throw those years away. But, he had earned his bachelor's, and the idea of getting out was pretty appealing. Now, at 16 years, we KNOW that he's going to stay in.

    There was one time, after a very, very bad day at work, that he came home fuming, telling me that he had had it with the sub force and wanted to go blue to green. Fortunately, he was able to see that the circumstances of his present position were unusually difficult, and now he's glad he didn't go into the Army.

    The question of reenlistment is different for everyone, but for Hubby, it ultimately was the right choice. I wish you both the best of luck as you decide!

    *I know nothing about nursing, although I've been toying with the idea for several years now about being an ultrasound tech. I like medicine, but can't do blood. :) Good luck finding a program! I know plenty of people who have gotten their associate's on top of a bachelor's. I think it's pretty common practice now.

  3. I am right there with you in regards to Reenlistment. The Civilian world scares the daylights out of me. My husband struggles with this daily. And like you said, this decision effects the both of you. For us, with the husband hitting his 10 year mark next year it seems a bit silly to get out but this is a topic we discuss often. I/we are very comfortable with the benefits and the job security. I am not sure either of us are willing to give that up.

  4. We are thinking of getting out of the Army, but it is extremely scary. We (I mean he, but it's kind of a we thing) have been in for 8 years. There are a couple of routes we are considering, but only time will tell.

    There was a time when I wanted to do nursing school. Have you looked into accelerated BSN programs? There are a lot of schools that offer this for people as a second degree. Your first degree can be in virtually anything. They are competitive to get into, but I think getting a BSN would be a great way to go.

  5. We have actually never considered staying in, and it's been that way since I met my husband. But it's still scary! He didn't screen for department head, so we know we're getting out at the end of next year, but I kept trying to push him Reserves. The fact that we'll have a child to take care of on top of just us is a freaky thought. But then I remind myself that my parents did it, my sister is doing it, and people with less resources and education are doing okay in civ-land too. I feel like the shore duty we're on now has been a really nice way to ease us into it.

    I also know very little about nursing, but a friend is doing the accelerated BSN program that someone else mentioned. You might even want to hop on this before he gets out, since milspouses get some nice education perks.

  6. We're talking about not re-enlisting too. I think we're having the opposite problem - not trying to find the benefits of getting out, but trying to find the benefits of staying in. Chris has a post Navy job guaranteed, and I pretty much need to stay in the DC area for my field. Plus, add in no more crazy deployment schedule, and we're just about to ready to get out right now...

  7. That's a tough decision! We're no where near getting out (J has to "pay back" 4 years at the Naval Academy + flight school...so we're looking at 9 years in or so). I know you'll find a way to make it work.

    I've also been contemplating a teaching credential or an accelerated nursing program. I have a BA in literature and it's not getting me very far (not that I expected it would). I think an associate degree is a great addition to your credentials! It doesn't lessen what you've already done, and it'll make you some mula down the road. My mom just started nursing school at age 54 and I'm so proud of her. Becoming a nurse is no easy task (no matter which way you go into it)! Go for your dreams :)

    p.s. Any advice on getting into teaching? Especially as a military significant other?

  8. We are still waiting to hear back from the boards on if Ryan stays in the service or not. With that hanging over our heads I can relate to understanding how scary it can seem in the civilian world. Finding jobs, where are we going to live (since we're far from family and in base housing), school for the kids, benefits, paying bills... we are considering everything. I don't see anything wrong with looking at options and The Man possibly applying for positions to secure if he does get out. Pray about it and see how things fall into place.

    On the school idea, I say GO FOR IT! If it's something that's been on your mind and heart for years perhaps it's where you're meant to be. This decision might be connected to the re-enlisting one if your location may change or finances become tight. Get it started if you can and see if it's the right fit.

    I don't know if/when you plan on having kids, but that can also come into play in the re-enlisting and going back to school decisions. Best of luck in whatever you decide.

  9. Gosh, I feel like I could have written parts of this post. A lot of big decisions.

    Reserves also deploy, right? Obviously, not nearly as much.

    I agree with you about the military thing- my husband may be the one going and doing, but it affects our family very much, so I think we should decide all of those together.

  10. Just something to think about... he'll have a few years' grace period in the reserves (two, I believe) for coming off active duty if he does goes reserves within six months of leaving active... but depending on the job he does, many Navy reserves are deploying for 6-12 months every year or two or three.

    The majority of people who came through Huzzy's door when he was recruiting were former military wanting back in. Just make sure your husband has a good job set before he leaves. This isn't the best economy to be going civilian, but it's certainly better than a year ago!

    Good luck and just make sure that you are 100% committed to leaving the Navy before you do! I hope you two find what is right for you... one way or another.

  11. I know what you mean about being scared yet excited about going civilian. Josh will not be re-enlisting and making the Navy a career. He is out in less than 3 years and I'm so nervous already. Neither of us want to move, but there's no guarantee that he'll get into the shipyard or another job even...

  12. Hi there Poe Kitten-

    I can help with the Nursing question. First let me say that I have a BSN. Make sure that any program that you are considering is accredited by the The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Most do but I would still check (Important for Boards and Grad School if you decide to go).

    If I had it to do over again, I would have gotten an associate's degree. I personally think it's better to have a Bachelor's in something else, as it can give you more breadth. I also feel like colleagues that did associate's programs were better prepared to jump into nursing; I felt like in my BSN program I wrote a LOT of care plans and would have preferred in retrospect to learn more about hands on care. I would however consider the BSN if you are interested in possibly becoming a Nurse Practitioner or Midwife or other Master's Level degrees in Nursing.

    As for the program, I'd look for a faculty thats a mix of experienced and new-good to have fresh perspective as much as experience. Also, I look for a variety of strengths in therapeutic areas of focus; my school focused a LOT on Med-Surg; obviously that is necessary but that certainly isn't the only one. I'd also make sure you get exposed during the clinical portions to as much different therapeutic areas as you can; for instance, I always got three med-surg rotations rather than any Cardio rotations.

    There are so many things you can do with a nursing degree too. I have an MBA and another Master's in Pharmaceutical Regulations; I've focused on research for most of my career. But I know other colleagues that have gone on to go into Nursing Informatics, Counseling, Midwifery, Pharmaceutical/Device Sales, Professors, etc. Demand is high, both inpatient and inpatient in terms of jobs in direct nursing, and will continue that trend with the aging population. There's actually a nursing instructor shortage looming as well, so those are other career paths you can consider.

    Sorry to ramble. If you have any questions feel free to PM or tweet me! Good Luck!

  13. Okay, now for my 2 cents - GO FOR THE NURSING - no matter if you 2 decide to re-enlist or not you should go for the nursing. You've had some beginning experience (very basic) but you would be so good at it and from all the nurses you've met over the years you know what to do and what no to do people wise. Pray and see what DAD says. Love you

  14. When my husband got out it was tough at first.  He did the Reserves and now the Guard.  So we do still have Tri-care, which is awesome.  But there is still a chance of deployment.  I'm not sure if it is different for the Navy.  But it is a good transition to being a full fledged civilian.


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