Allowing Corpsman to Become Nurses - page 8

by Asystole RN

Watching the Presidential debate tonight and a statement by Obama made my head turn. He was relating a story when a corpsman was stating that he has treated wounded soldiers but when he became a civilian he could not use his... Read More


  1. 1
    I think that they should be allowed to take NCLEX-RN exam based on a certain number of years. In addition the military could formalize training to equate to nursing school requirements (in curriculum). Some of the for profit schools offering nursing degrees don't require some of the pre-reqs mentioned in previous posts so that should not be an issue. I do think that serving in the military should come with special privileges - and I would be all in favor of making this one of them.
    FMF Corpsman likes this.
  2. 3
    In the meantime don't put me in charge of selecting applicants to a nursing program, because you know I'll be biased and throw all of the medics apps on the top of the pile ;] ... you know, things like that do happen... job applications as well. An RN with a medic background is way more than just a new grad and employer know this, trust me- they know they are getting far more than they are paying for, and at the end of the day in today's world, money talks, not jingoistic patriotism.
    Lemon00, FMF Corpsman, and PMFB-RN like this.
  3. 1
    Quote from FMF Corpsman
    Esme, Thank you for the compliment, I agree, I think former Corpsman and FMF Corpsman make excellant Nurses. First off, Let me thank everyone who has participated in this discussion and just on a technical note, the correct pronunciation is always Corpsman, there is no feminine for the word. My kind word, No PC to worry about, gotta love it LOL.

    My personal experience was as a FMF Corpsman, meaning I was also trained by the US Marine Corp, in addition to being trained by the Navy. All of this was in another lifetime, during the Viet Nam War. I still have a great deal of difficulty speaking of this, so my explanation will be minimal. As you can imagine, the work of a war Corpsman is unlike anything you could ever prepare yourself for. Exploding ordinance, mines, your friends getting wounded in every way possible and it is your responsibility to see that everyone gets a fighting chance by making it to evac chopper at least, if you can even get one, and half the time thatís impossible. Talk about experience, you can jury rig a chest tube out of spare parts, you donít worry about aseptic technique, thatís the last thing on your mind, youíre in 2 feet of mud to start with. Let the guys back at the evac worry about that. Next up is the kid with both his legs blown off. Youíve had 2 of your guys each holding a leg with a belt wrapped around it for the last 5 minutes until you could get to him while you were elbow deep in that other guys chest trying to keep his heart beating. You try to tie guys together with string, and stuff their guts with kerlex just so you can get them on the chopper. Two other guys are dead, so you might get a chance for your morning coffee after all.

    Some of you may think that Corpsman donít have a clue as to why they do the things they do, and in some cases, you may be right. Some of them may not, especially now, and especially they lower rated HM strikers or HM3ís who are working stateside at smaller bases and simply assisting the RNís and Dr.ís. Those who havenít had a chance to get their feet wet and take on any responsibility of their own. Those who have responsibilities usually also will expand their own minds and learn why they do what they do, simply for their own edification. If they go on to FMSS, to become FMF Corpsman, they are required to expand their knowledge more so than simple A school to become Corpsman for the Navy. They must become proficient in weaponry and a host of other disciplines as well. I urge you to not be so quick to sell Corpsman short; they just might have a whole bag of tricks you werenít aware of. When I came back from the war, there werenít any programs for transitions, I just utilized what I knew best and went to school to expand on what I knew how to do, and kept on going to school. When I first came back, they called me a baby killer and told me I shouldnít be a nurse. I said some things Iím not allowed to say on here. I just kept going to school until I got to where I didnít want to go anymore, and I was in a position to deal with some of those who thought I shouldnít be a Nurse.
    You're welcome....I've worked with some FINE combat medics and the Trauma flight pilot I worked with was one of the best!
    FMF Corpsman likes this.
  4. 2
    Quote from mmm333
    In the meantime don't put me in charge of selecting applicants to a nursing program, because you know I'll be biased and throw all of the medics apps on the top of the pile ;] ... you know, things like that do happen... job applications as well. An RN with a medic background is way more than just a new grad and employer know this, trust me- they know they are getting far more than they are paying for, and at the end of the day in today's world, money talks, not jingoistic patriotism.
    *** That is exactly what happend when I applied to RN school. The program dean looked at my application and my attached DD214 and moved my application right to the top of the pile. I am not sure if she broke any rules to get me in but darn sure she bent the heck out of them.
    Turns out her son was a corpsman serving with the marines.
    FMF Corpsman and mmm333 like this.
  5. 1
    I admit I may be just slightly biased, but I don't see anything wrong with returning vets getting preferential treatment when it comes to school or employment, as a matter of fact, I'll go out on a limb and say I think that's exactly where they belong, at the top of the heap. If they can put their butt on the line for this Country, then when they come home, they can certainly go to the head of the line when it comes to certain benefits.
    Overwhelmed1026 likes this.
  6. 1
    @ FMF Corpsman thank you for your service. I can certainly appreciate Corpsmen and all they do. My husband is AD USMC and been in over 20 years. He has been to Iraq and done overseas tours. I had 2 children in the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton. I get my healthcare at a Naval MTF to this day. So I have seen Corpsmen in action in clinics and hospitals etc :-) My husband will retire in 7 months and is working on his Masters to teach high school (uggghh-gag). I expect his military service to be taken into account as life experience, but he cannot easily transition into his new role without further education and training. Corpsman are highly respected and should be respected in civilian healthcare too, but some bridge program or transitional training should be done before being able to sit the NCLEX-RN.
    FMF Corpsman likes this.
  7. 3
    I have a tremendous respect and pride for US military, having been a part of it, and in support of benefits for the members as they adjust to civilian life. But, it's hard for me to understand why that particular corpsman was so unhappy. As someone pointed out, we have GI Bill. That's what enabled me to finish vocational nursing program after discharge. Also, NREMT-B was part of my medic training and I could've worked as an EMT through school if I wanted. I'm sure Corpsman has that too? I apologize if that is not the case, since I am not really sure how other branches work.

    Sure, I did feel disappointed when I learned that my training didn't get any credit toward nursing. Once I started school, however, I was glad I started from the beginning. The focus is very different: not so much emergency care and lots of legal issues. I have no doubt that experienced medics and Corpsmen possess extensive knowledge, but there has to be an opportunity to learn civilian-specific nursing before transitioning into the role. Even if they have to start from very beginning, there's GI Bill to help them through.

    The efforts to help our military members to transition into civilian life should focus more on those who don't have any easily transferable skills.
  8. 0
    Quote from tokebi
    I have a tremendous respect and pride for US military, having been a part of it, and in support of benefits for the members as they adjust to civilian life. But, it's hard for me to understand why that particular corpsman was so unhappy.

    Sure, I did feel disappointed when I learned that my training didn't get any credit toward nursing. Once I started school, however, I was glad I started from the beginning. The focus is very different: not so much emergency care and lots of legal issues. I have no doubt that experienced medics and Corpsmen possess extensive knowledge, but there has to be an opportunity to learn civilian-specific nursing before transitioning into the role. Even if they have to start from very beginning, there's GI Bill to help them through.

    The efforts to help our military members to transition into civilian life should focus more on those who don't have any easily transferable skills.
    tokebi, Thank you for your service. I'm uncertain of the facts of the case the President was referring to as well, and I don't think anyone in their right mind would expect to come home and simply challenge boards, or whatever they are referred to these days, I guess I am showing my age. First off, I doubt very seriously that there would be the extreme 0.01% who would pass on the skills, knowledge and experience provided by the military. Granted there might be a few who did as I did and studied every chance I got to learn everything I possibly could while I was still in the service and trust me that wasn't easy, and while I did CLEP a few courses, I still had to attend classes and I still worked my a$$ off while I went to school. I first obtained my BSN and then my Masters, but only through a lot of hard work and seemingly endless nights. But back to the present day; I think allowing Corpsman, FMF Corpsman and Medics, basically any NCO medically trained military personnel, a Bridge Programs commensurate with their Military medical experience is only fair.
  9. 1
    I was a FMF Corpsman, and have to say that a corpsman's education is vast and varied. I agree that a Corpsman should be able to hop into a RN program. Usually they are intelligent, and used to a great amount of responsibility. Personally, the idea of being a LPN freaks me out. The scope of practice makes me feel claustrophobic.
    The scope of practice for a Corpsman is difficult to define. Whatever you learn to do, you can do. You learn to assess, diagnosis and have a plan of care. If you do well enough, the Medical Officers begin to trust your judgement. You can prescribe medications, perform minor surgery, and many other things.
    Our education has some gaps in it, especially if you're attached to a marine unit. It's a specific clientele, with specific needs. It is absolutely necessary to fill the gaps in my opinion.

    Our experience on the other hand is one of a kind.
    FMF Corpsman likes this.
  10. 1
    It gets complicated. Every SEAL and SWCC gets trained as a "medic assistant" (enough to call them combat medics) roughly at the EMT-B level + IV therapy and medevacs. The "lead medics" attend at a minimum, the NSW combat medic course which automatically allows them to challenge EMT-P. From there they can get a number of advanced courses including the 18D special forces medic course. IDC etc. NSW medics are among the most highly-trained medics in the military. However, unless becoming a Corpsman first beforehand, none of these people must be or need actually be a Corpsman prior to this! This is because SEAL (SO) and SWCC (SB) ratings were recently created for them to focus on their main skills and not get caught up in the "big Navy" details or have to study that stuff in order to advance in rank. LVN can be a mismatch with the acuity these guys are used to. However they do run sick call and clinics as well. Most of these guys are going PA or RN, not LVN, after getting out.
    They usually get the Navy to pay for that and stay in 10 more years after their badass days are over, OR they get out and use GI Bill to start a civilian career. My lead medic is the one who recommended that I become an RN before I got out (which I did using GI Bill).
    We talk about owing our vets, well- has anyone checked how much the post-9/11 GI Bill pays out for school + living expenses? It's a hell of a lot! We're doing a pretty good job of making it possible for them to become nurses, they just need the info shared with them.

    A number of schools give MAJOR ("shoe-in") preference to vets such as CSU East Bay and other CSUs. In general there is another HUGE and somewhat lesser known benefit- most schools give "priority enrollment" to vets (first seats, no waitlists to get into high-demand majors/classes/prerequisites, etc. right behind the disabled students, dates are always before anyone else can pick their classes and sign up). This allows vets to get all prereqs knocked out faster because they always get the class and schedule that they want.
    FMF Corpsman likes this.


Top