Join the Military?

  1. I'll try to be brief with the frustrating circumstances.

    I'm a CNA. I have a BS in Psychology with math up to Calculus I and two semesters of general chemistry. I was aiming at med school, but since money ran out, all I got was this lousy diploma.

    I'm considering becoming a Nurse Practioner at this point, but time and money are still an issue. I need to work full time to keep a roof over my head. I also have my mother living with me, who does not make enough (working full time) to live on her own.

    My father (a retired Marine) is pushing me to join the military (any branch) - and tells me with the college credits I already have, that I could pursue my ARNP there. He's also told me that the age limit has been increased to 40 (I will be 38 soon), and that physical limitations (I have an undiagnosed/untreated back problem) are considered with respect to the goal.

    Does anyone know any particulars on joining the military on a nursing track? Is it possible to pursue a Practitioner avenue? Is it possible to begin earning a paycheck to keep one's regular home upon enlistment? Does one really get special consideration based on their age and limitations?

    :smilecoffeecup:
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Moved this to the Military Nursing Forum in hopes you will get experienced and helpful advice here. Good luck in any decisions you make in your career as a health care provider!
  4. by   richardjboro1
    check out "goarmy.com" and look for Army Nurse Candidate Program. I'm researching it myself currently so perhaps the more experienced folks can answer your particulars.

    Richard
  5. by   DanznRN
    First things first, yourback problem will cause you problem getting into the service. They will not take you until the cause of the pain is identified, treated, and/ or eliminated. Contrary to what your father said, there is no special consideration and you must perform to the level of those equal to you, healthy or not. If you develop a problem while on Active Duty then limited special consideration is an option, but not before you sign. You also need to go about getting your nursing degree, may push you past the 40 mark, you need to check on it. There are programs in the military for Nurse Practitioner, but you need to be commissioned (not enlisted) as a nurse first. The program for Nurse Practitioner is competative and thus not guaranteed. I'm in school to get my Nurse Practitiooner and the Navy's paying for it, I've also been in 10+ years. Lastly, no matter what, in the military you move. It's a given fact of life and needs to be considered seeing your Mom lives with you. Not sure what you mean by "Is it possible to earn a paycheck to keep one's regular home upon enlistment (remember nurse don't enlist)? The military is not a place to go to just get by. There are standards and disciplines that are inherent in the military that are not to everyone's liking. I applaud you for considering it, think long and hard before you go for it. If you have specific questions regarding the Navy, let me know.

    LCDR(s) Dan
  6. by   theofficegirl
    Thanks for the reply Dan - it answers a lot of questions.

    Believe me, I'm not looking at it as a way to "get by" - I was looking at it as an education opportunity - I would definitely give it my "all". Not knowing much about it, I was under the impression one holds a job while going about their studies, and that's how one gets paid.


    I will be thinking more about it, however, my suspicion about my back problem rings true - I don't think I'd be able to get through basic training.

    Well, there's always the old fashioned route!

    Thank you!
  7. by   CHATSDALE
    i agree with dan above, you cannot go into the service with an unidentified or unresolved medical problem
    there are other options that you can choose to further your education check with the college you would like to attend they can open doors
    good luck
  8. by   richardjboro1
    speaking of medical issues, what about hypertension or cholesterol meds. do those automatically disqualify you?

    Richard
  9. by   DanznRN
    Rich-


    Medical issues that are diagnosed and under control are generally not a disqualifier. You do need to provide documentation of treatment and a successful treatment regimen and generally it is O.K.

    LCDR(s) Dan
  10. by   Gennaver
    Quote from theofficegirl
    I'll try to be brief with the frustrating circumstances.

    I'm a CNA. I have a BS in Psychology with math up to Calculus I and two semesters of general chemistry. I was aiming at med school, but since money ran out, all I got was this lousy diploma.

    I'm considering becoming a Nurse Practioner at this point, but time and money are still an issue. I need to work full time to keep a roof over my head. I also have my mother living with me, who does not make enough (working full time) to live on her own.

    ... Does one really get special consideration based on their age and limitations?

    :smilecoffeecup:
    Hello,
    I am a fellow direct entry student myself, nice to read you and I empathize with the particulars of financing.

    I am attending a private institution and if I would've been accepted to a state one, the cost would be more (edit...less than) than half of what I am paying.

    So, in my case, alternative lenders for health care professions is what is getting me along.

    From what I have heard, the Army (and Air Force and Navy) do not yet recognize the STUDENT status of direct entry students and currently we do not qualify for the student nurse stipends. Those stipends are allocated by congress for BSN students.

    Oh, the lingo may change but, not in time for you or I!

    I say to go forward with your direct entry interests. Your background with math and psychology will have you academically ready for the rigor. If your application packet is rounded out with patient care that should help too.

    Now, if you currently have back issues...you may want to seriously follow or trail a NP for a day and interview her before you invest your time, money and energy. There are definately room for all of us in nursing yet, you really want to have a good fit with your physical situation.

    All the best,
    OH and if you physical situation is not a disqualifyer and is waiverable I say to definately give the Military a shot. My application went before THREE review boards before being picked up! I had two waiver requests.
    Gen
    Last edit by Gennaver on Feb 15, '07
  11. by   ginger58
    When I went in the AFNC my weight had to be right on the button. One pound over didn't cut it. Just mentioning that in case that is something you need to think about. Nurses don't go through boot camp but there is an officer's orientation program before going to an assignment.
    As everyone said, the back will probably be a problem as far as the pre-Commission physical as part of your application.
  12. by   Leilah75_RN
    how differ is the officers orientation program fro a regular bootcamp? i am so keen to enter an army nurse corps. my husband is currently in the navy and planning to go out and study by year 2010. we agreed that only after he moved out that i can go in the military service. so i still have few years to comply with the weight and height requirements and currently i am preparing to pass nclex.
    is there anything special to be able to qualify to become an military/army nurse?
    Last edit by Leilah75_RN on Feb 20, '07
  13. by   cd_y
    Your back problems will no doubt keep you out of the military. they have great programs, but there is nothing worng with taking loans out in order to complete your program. There are plenty of accelerated nursing program out here that only take a year to complete a BSN (with your last degree and prerequisites). Joining the military is a scary option at this time in the game.
  14. by   theofficegirl
    Quote from cd_y
    Your back problems will no doubt keep you out of the military. they have great programs, but there is nothing worng with taking loans out in order to complete your program. There are plenty of accelerated nursing program out here that only take a year to complete a BSN (with your last degree and prerequisites). Joining the military is a scary option at this time in the game.
    I agree about the back problems. I should clarify that I'm capable of full duty nursing - it's just that one wrong move puts me down for a day or two.

    I've been trying to find out about accelerated programs (I'm in FL) - but they only seem to exist for LPNS. I can't find any information on what I can do with what I have. I admit, I haven't talked to a counselor yet.

    So far, it seems that I will need to sit for the basic ADN, then get into a BSN program, and then I can apply for an ARNP into a year of a Masters.

    If you have other info, I'd love to hear it.

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