Today's Military:

Military Glossary

Career Profile: Registered Nurse - Transcript

Lt. j.g. Shannon Meyer: Being a nurse in the Navy, I love it. I love my patients, I love the people I work with, I love the facility I work at. The best part of my job is making a difference in the lives of those individuals whose lives have been so greatly affected.

My name is Shannon Meyer, I'm a registered nurse, and I'm also a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy. I'm currently stationed at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, and I work on the combat casualty ward. My core responsibilities as a registered nurse in the Navy are always first, patient care, training, as well as leadership responsibilities.

A day in the life of a Navy nurse starts normally as any other nurse would. You get to work, you get your patient assignment, and you start your day. You give your morning meds, you go through your routine. Most of our patients are surgical, so we'll schedule them for surgeries, they're on their way to surgery, on the way back from surgery. So you're constantly having the movement of patients in and out of the floor. All of our patients get daily physical therapy, and occupational therapy sessions. As a Navy nurse, you have the opportunity to work with corpsmen on a daily basis. And they assist you with your vitals, and your assessments, and they give you that opportunity to spend a little bit more time with your patients. So you teach them, you know, everything that you do as a nurse. And they help you to give the best care that you can to your patients.

Well as a Navy nurse, I take care of active-duty military personnel of any branch. Our hospital is a Naval hospital, but we take care of all the branches. Their dependents, and retired. The patients that we have on our floor are usually there for quite some time. Because they're there for pain control, and rehab. It's your job to get them to be able to transfer to the outpatient setting, so they can come back to their life as best as they can, because you know, they deploy.

To be a nurse in the Navy, you have to have your Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. You need to be between the ages of 18 and 41, and you need to meet the Navy standards.

Being a nurse in the Navy gives you the opportunity to have your education paid for, to work with all different types of patients, some that you would not be able to work with in the civilian sector, and gives you the opportunity to travel the world, and put yourself to do pretty much anything.

I made my decision to join the Navy when I just got out of high school, and went through ROTC, which is the Reserve Officer Training Corps, as well as nursing school. So I did both, all through college. It -- I would say that ROTC kept me on track to do well, push myself to have higher grades. Training physically, and the leadership training that you get is crucial, actually I think for nurses. You start as a bedside nurse, and you start as a precept, where you start training these new nurses that come in. From there, you become a charge nurse. I was a charge nurse a year after I got to my command as a ward nurse. So, they push you to have that responsibility, and they give you the opportunity to have those leadership roles.

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