After over a decade of military life, I would say that during times you aren't deployed, military life isn't all that much different than anything else. You get up, go do your job, and come home at night. The hours are pretty normal for the most part.
As far as living on base (there are no posts in the sea services...that's an Army term
, there are a lot of factors that will determine what is best, including your personal preference. Base housing has changed a lot since we first came into the service in the 90's. Most of it is now privatized to non-DoD corporations, rather than owned by the military itself. These houses tend to be much nicer than what I lived in as a newlywed (which was subsequently condemned a few years after we moved to our next duty station), but they make you sign leases, etc., now, like a normal rental, which wasn't the case 5+ years ago.
Depending on your rank and the cost of living in the area you're stationed in, it can be more cost effective to live on base. Although we get an allowance for housing if we don't live on base, sometimes it's still difficult to find a place to rent/purchase that is within those pay parameters. On the other hand, if you live on base, there will be no escaping the lifestyle because you're going to be seeing other service members every time you look out your windows, and there is often a certain lack of privacy in base housing. Some may find that a worthwhile trade-off for the camaraderie gained living among others who understand your life. Another factor to consider is the area where the base is located. Sometimes military towns aren't the best areas, and your family may appreciate the safety of living inside a contained community. Other times, that isn't really a concern.
Most military children will attend regular public schools in the community. DoD schools are generally reserved for those who are stationed overseas. Childcare is available. There is a often a large daycare on the base, as well as youth centers for after school care. As in the civilian community, there is usually a wait list, so if it's something you'll need, you'll want to check into as as soon as you can.
Rank progression and job opportunities are unique to each occupational specialty. You might talk to your recruiter about that, or another Navy nurse. I do know that there are opportunities to serve on ship and humanitarian missions, but these are highly sought after. Unless you specifically seek these opportunities, you most likely will not be required to serve in these places. Navy nurses can also be stationed (and deployed) with the Marine Corps. Since the USMC has no medical service of it's own, all hospitals on USMC bases are staffed with Navy medical personnel. Personnel attached to USMC units tend to have a higher rate of deployments than those on the Navy side. To my understanding, Navy nurses who deploy overseas generally serve in field hospitals within the green zone, which isn't as dangerous as other places, but of course, still represents some risk.
You will probably move ever 3-4 years throughout your career. Dual service couples are not unusual, but of course, present their own unique challenges (who will care for the kids if you both deploy at the same time?).
All in all, it's a good life. I've very much enjoyed our time in the service and the opportunities it has given our family. If it appeals to you, I say go for it!!
Best of luck!