Active Duty Military Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists out there...?

  1. 0
    Hello!

    I have recently completed a joint masters degree MSN/MPH degree and I am now looking into becoming a Nurse Anesthesist. I am a BSN prepared nurse, and I also have been a telemetry nurse since 2011.

    I am also interested in joining the military, perhaps the Air Force or Army, because of the chance to continue to serve those who need me, in addition to the educational benefits, and I have a few questions:

    1) Should I become an active duty nurse in the military now, or get a year of critical care experience before joining, if I want the military to pay for nurse anesthesia school? How many years must you commit in order to receive HPSP? What are the benefits, if any, to becoming a critical care nurse and getting a year of experience before joining the military?

    2) How does the timing work with joining the military and going to school, as a nurse? Can I join as a nurse and go to school right away? Or must I work as a nurse at a military hospital for a certain amount of time to be able to go to nurse anesthesia school?

    3) Can I join as a telemetry nurse and get critical care experience, or must I get that experience before I join?

    4) Has anyone here on the boards joined the military as a nurse and gotten their advanced education paid for? If so, are there any helpful hints that you may be able to share?

    5) Which military branch is best to join in order to receive the best educational benefits?
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  4. 4 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    1. I would get one year of critical care experience before you apply. The commissioning process itself can be 6-12mo or more. You might as well get your critical care experience ahead of time. My understanding with HPSP is that your time commitment is dependent on the length of time you receive a stipend. 2.5-3yr of school would incur a 3yr commitment plus 5yr of inactive reserves.

    2. No, you cannot join as a nurse and go to school right away. The Army has a direct entry into NA school, but if you join any service as a nurse you will have to do 2-3+yrs first before being allowed to go to school.

    3. You can get critical care experience in the military, but it will usually take 2-3 years before you would get to go into critical care. The military doesn't have telemetry nurses. We have general nurses that do telemetry (which is usually monitored remotely from the ICU). As a general nurse you can be assigned almost anywhere....clinic, med surg, peds, etc.

    4. Yes. There is no secret to it. You need to have good grades, decent GRE scores, and be a good military officer.

    5. I think the Army and the Navy are the best for educational benefits.
  6. 0
    To clarify, wtbcrna, you _can_ go directly into the USAGPAN if you are already qualified and have it WRITTEN INTO YOUR COMMISSIONING CONTRACT [emphasis added for obvious reasons], such as the critical care experience, GRE, and prior acceptance into the program. This is how I did it in 1997. I know the active-duty commitment changed (I owed 4yrs, now 4 1/2 I think), but it should still be a viable option. And, like you, I recommend this route. Waiting for years for your nursing chiefs to ok your packet for school is fine, if you don't mind waiting, potentially, for years.
    But, no better way to go to school, and no better program, IMHO.
  7. 0
    Quote from macanes
    To clarify, wtbcrna, you _can_ go directly into the USAGPAN if you are already qualified and have it WRITTEN INTO YOUR COMMISSIONING CONTRACT [emphasis added for obvious reasons], such as the critical care experience, GRE, and prior acceptance into the program. This is how I did it in 1997. I know the active-duty commitment changed (I owed 4yrs, now 4 1/2 I think), but it should still be a viable option. And, like you, I recommend this route. Waiting for years for your nursing chiefs to ok your packet for school is fine, if you don't mind waiting, potentially, for years.
    But, no better way to go to school, and no better program, IMHO.
    That is what I referring to in line 2. The payback time is 5 years now since school length has changed to 3 years. The only con that I will mention about the direct entry program is that is where the highest percentage of students not completing program come from. That is per Col (ret) Garrett. I don't know if that statistic still holds true the last couple of years though. Potential candidates for direct entry need to realize if they do not complete the program they still owe the Army 2-5 years of Active duty.
  8. 0
    Thank so very much for the responses!!!!


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