Considering joining National Guard

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    Hello all- I'll try to give background and keep it brief- I've been an RN for almost 23 years (do the math--I'm 43). In the early days of the career I considered Navy or AF reserves but decided I wanted kids first. Now 3 kids later I'm about 4 months away from completing a master's degree. My oldest son (18) is going to MEPS next week for the GNG. While doing paperwork with the recruiter he realized I was an RN, and gave me a lot of good reasons to consider joining. It has been something I've considered off and on, and because of his JROTC activities I've gotten to know and respect quite a few military personnel. My preceptor in my current semester is a Col. in the Air Natl Guard and has really enjoyed it.

    So- I'd appreciate any and all advice anyone can offer as I think through making my decision. My nursing background is dialysis and apheresis (plasma exchange, etc). Most of that has been in acute care facilitites, but I haven't done true med-surg bedside nursing since 1991 (YIKES!).

    I have no idea what I would expect to have to do to qualify (do I have to pass a PFT? etc). Does the fact that I would have a master's degree before I could go to Ft. Sam Houston affect entering rank for commission- or would it affect the speed at which future ranks are attained? What type of incentives could I expect to be offered? My MSN is focused in nursing education, but I already had planned to pursue a post-master's FNP- so could I ask for/expect any assitance for this. What type of duty assignments could I expect on drill weekends? And- as a NG nurse what are the realistic expectations for deployment?

    Finally to end this disseration- are there any particular questions you would recommend I ask the recruiter? I have been given the number for the specialty recruiter, but I can't find answers to a lot of these questions on the NG website. And most of all..... am I absolutely crazy to be considering this at my age and with 4 kids. Hubby works at home and has always wanted me to do this- so that is not a barrier.

    And- Thanks in advance for reading and answering!
    Last edit by Mamakellyd on Jan 24, '13 : Reason: added a comment
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