Quote from lizRN1982
I've been a Family Nurse Practitioner for the past two years and I've been thinking about joining one of the military reserves in order to supplement my income and to help pay off all of my student loan debt. Also, I was thinking of going back to school to get my MPH.
I know most of the reserves require a two week training per year and one weekend a month as far as comittment goes. I was just curious to know if any NP out there has served in the reserves and, if so, which branch?
I am particularly interested to know about
2. Deployment (which I'm fine with, I just want to know)
3. How your civilian job feels about it
4. I'm also curiuos to know what rank I can expect to go in as.
So far, the only people I have spoken to are the National Guard. They're offering 60,000 in loans repayment and 20,000 per year for three years (and I believe I would have to stay in Ready Reserve for years after that).
I live in the northeast and am also interested in the Navy Reserves (mostly for deployment sakes), but I looked into the Army Reserves as well. The AIr Force Reserves doesn't look like they offer much in the way of benefits for Nurse Practitioners (at least as far as I can tell on their website).
Thanks in advance!
I'm not a practitioner however I serve in the Navy reserves with two, both are FNPs. As far as benefits go they will be pretty much the same from one branch to another. National Guard may differ a bit since they're considered State rather than Federal. The weekend pay and the pay for your two weeks will be identical regardless of which branch you choose. Your pay is based on rank.
I know on the Navy side they're always looking for NPs howerver these days deployments have been pretty much voluntary. With Iraq out of the picture and Afghanistan winding down it would be a rarity that you would be told to deploy vs. volunteering. State side I know there are always opportunities for NPs however these are voluntary too. Plus since you'd be new to the reserves or guard you really wouldn't be deployable for at least a year. There are a lot of things you'd need to learn first. At least that's how it is on the Navy side.
Civilian employeers are very supportive of the reserves. Mainly becuase at any given hospital there are lots of Docs and Nurses who serve in reserves or guard. I've never heard anyone say they had trouble with their employer due to a mobilization.
As far as rank you'd probably be comissioned as an O-3, pronounced OH 3. Your experinnce as a nurse plus you practitioner status would warrant the higher rank. They do this because medical is medical. Civlian hospital or military hospital it's all the same - a patient is a patient, so they give higher rank to those who join with more experience. Someone fresh out of nursing school would come in as an O-1. The Navy rank sturcture is different than the other branches. An O-3 in the navy is called a Lieutenant. In the Army/guard or Air Force they call an O-3 a Captain. They're both the same rank though, just different names.
If I were you I'd jump on the Guard. That's one heck of a package they're offering. And it seems puting a dent in your student loans is part of why you want to join. There's nothing wrong with that. I know several Navy nurses who joined up for the same reason. I'm a Lieutenant Commander, O-4, and just tyring to remember I think the weekend pay for an O-3 is somewhere around $600 - $650. Not bad for two days work.
Of course being Navy I'd have to recommend Navy. I'm from the northeas too, Ohio, and there are lots of reserve centers in the area. The northeast is part of Readiness Command Mid West, (REDCOM Mid West) and we have over a thousand doctors and nurses. Good luck.