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Who You’ll Hear
Kati Kleber, MSN RN – Nurse educator, former cardiac med-surg/stepdown and neurocritical care nurse, author, and speaker.
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Julie Florentin, DNP Student – Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner student at UC College. Julie was in the USAF for 20 years and served as a military nurse. She served on three deployments. During her most recent deployment (Jan-July 2020) she managed the US Combat Command’s largest clinic. The clinic consisted of 51 personnel, including providers, technicians, and nurses. Julie led a team that developed CENTCOM’s first and largest quarantine and isolation services for over 2,000 service members. She assured the best care for all COVID-19-positive patients placed in isolation, and implemented measures effectively decreasing the spread of COVID-19 in a deployed area of operation.
What You’ll Learn:
- What it’s like to be a military nurse as compared to what it’s like as a civilian nurse.
- Learn about deployments and lessons learned along the way.
- Advice for New Grads
Military Nurse Show Notes:
- Julie felt like she wasn’t able to manage her nursing career alongside being a mother to her children.
- She made the choice to enter the military for the benefits that they offered like job security and medical coverage.
- She has been in the military for 20 years.
- It taught her how to be an effective leader
- Allowed her to experience different aspects of nursing such as Med-Surg, ICU, and even a clinic at the Pentagon.
- From there she went to a base that combined different branches of the military allowing her to work with the Army as well as the Navy.
- Currently, Julie is a self-proclaimed veteran student.
- She is going for a psychiatric nurse practitioner but considering a Ph.D. as the next step.
- Once in the military, she applied as a regular nurse, but they wanted to send her to their largest facility to understand what she can expect as far as patient load.
- As a civilian, she felt overloaded with patients during a shift and wasn’t able to give the best care possible.
- In the military, the patient load was less by about half during the heaviest patient load which allowed her to take the time she needed with each patient.
- Technicians in the military can be trained to the level of LPN, so they’re able to help you and do a lot more than they’re able to outside of the military.
- As a nurse, you have so much more support.
- Documentation for a military nurse is pretty much the same as for a civilian nurse.
- Julie has gone through deployment 3 times, helping to ensure care while transporting soldiers from one location to another.
- For about a year, Julie worked at a facility that guaranteed that if you come here alive, you will leave alive.
- She lived with 6-8 other girls while at this facility.
- She learned to salsa dance as a way to decompress and have fun after work.
- In November of 2020, Julie retired from the military.
- It hasn’t been a really easy transition to civilian life where things aren’t so black and white.
- She wanted to take a year off to travel, but the pandemic made that something that wasn’t possible at the time.
- Julie had to mentor herself to keep herself motivated to keep a healthy daily routine.
- One thing that she realized with more time on her hands, she made sure that her routine was flexible and allowed herself to rediscover what she wanted her career focus to be, who she is, and what she likes to do.
- Being aware that you’re going through something is powerful. A lot of people don’t sit long enough in that uncomfortable space to realize that they need help.
- Julie would tell herself as a new grad:
- Surround yourself with mentors.
- Let them impart their knowledge and experience.
- Trust the process and give yourself grace.
- You don’t have to be perfect right away.
- Understand that failure is good.
- It teaches you what didn’t work, and you’re able to bounce back from it.
- Surround yourself with mentors.