LPN (or ADN RN) to Corpsman/Medic?

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    Hello. I apologize if this topic has been created before, but I couldn't find anyone with my exact situation.

    I have wanted to join the military since I graduated high school. I'll be finishing LPN school at the end of December and I would like to enlist. I am most likely applying to an ADN bridge next fall (which will last 3 semesters), but I would like to get started with the enlistment process by obtaining some information. I understand that I would not be a commissioned officer; I plan on doing my 4 years and then finishing my BSN and coming back to be commissioned. I would like to go with either the Air Force or the Navy, but am open to the other branches if they are more likely to accept me as a Corpsman.

    The reason I don't want to wait until I have my BSN is that it might be as much as 5 or 6 years from now, and I would like to travel while I still have no commitments or responsibilities (I'm 20). Also, I fear going through the entire bachelor's program and not being accepted for commission. The best scenario for me would be able to enlist either during 2013 or right after I complete my ADN, which would be December 2014.

    My question is if anyone has experience going this route, were you able to enlist as a Corspman? I do know of someone who enlisted as an LPN and became a Medic in the AF, but that was about 15 years ago, so I would like to know if that is still an option. If not, I began the enlistment process through the AF about a year ago. My ASVAB score (96 I believe) made me a candidate for most (all?) MOS, and I wouldn't be 100% opposed to forgoing nursing/healthcare for the 4 years that I am enlisted.

    If you read that giant wall of text, thank you.

    PS: please don't tell me to just get my BSN. Again, I would like to travel and experience the military while I'm as young as I am now and come back to commission later (having military experience would help me get accepted as well, I believe).
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  4. 16 Comments so far...

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    Just because you enlist doesn't mean you will be a medic or corpsman. I think you need to figure out if you want to be a nurse or in the military and then consider it a bonus if you can do both. Also, as a medic, depending on your unit you may end up being used in more of a medical assistant role than a nursing role. I would highly recommend getting your BSN first, or at least join the reserve until you finish your BSN.
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    Being an LPN will not really matter to the service. Medic and corpsman training is done from scratch. Even if you have experience you will take the same course as those who don't. As the other poster noted, when you enlist there is no guarantee of a job. The service will put you where they need. You don't say if you want combat experience or the thrill of living in foxholes. In that case, corpsman would be better as they provide medical for the Marine corps who do a lot of fighting, snooping and pooping. If you want to use the service to pay for your further training, that works but takes forever. Don't forget you will be working your butt off while you are there.

    As for your nursing training, I would head right for a BSN and skip the ADN part. I would also wait until you have your BSN to join the service. Then, you would be hired and work as a nurse. Or you could join the Guard (my route) and have much better control over your career. The BSN will serve you well in both getting hired as a nurse, commissioned in the military, and put you only one step away from your Masters. This will serve you very well if you make nursing your career. Imagine what want to be doing when you are 50. I respect those nurses who have 30 years at the bedside but it is not for everyone. You say it will take 5-6 years to get your degree. Not sure why, but it sure is possible a lot faster if you choose. Good luck.
    Corpsman Mom likes this.
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    As everyone seemed to skip over the part " please don't tell me to just get my BSN", and I don't know anything about the military, I recommend you go speak to a recruiter to get information. Beware, they are trying to get you recruited so if something sounds too good to be true...well, you know. Good luck!
    biore likes this.
  8. 1
    I definitely respect your desire to enjoy your younger years while still "unattached" (i.e. no mortgage, spouse, children, etc.). Some things to consider: 1) If you choose to complete your LPN or ADN prior to enlistment, keep in mind they will not likely help you secure any position as you will be put where ever they need you. 2) If you complete your ADN now and plan to do an RN-BSN completion, keep in mind the requirements that go with such programs. Some require courses be taken within X amount of years or having X amount of experience as an RN. Mine required me to be working as an RN to be eligible. 3) If planning to do the RN-BSN bridge program while on active duty, this could potentially be extremely difficult with the demands of being on duty. I know many service members only able to take one course at a time or end up dropping them due to extenuing circumstances related to their duty. (I'm sure all depends on the MOS or branch).

    I guess my only suggestion to you would be to determine what means more to you right now: A military career or a nursing career? Unfortunately, without that BSN you can't have both at the same time.

    Good luck!!
    biore likes this.
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    If you want to enlist and you are an LPN you can go to the Army and be a 68C(LPN) which used to be a 68WM6. As what the others have said about being a medic and working as a nurse you might or might not. I was a ADN and a HM1 in the Navy Reserves and was a line medic with the Marines. Others I know were assigned to a hospital and worked as a LPN. A question to ask the recrutiers is does the Navy now have a NEC for being a LPN. I had a NEC 8404 while I was in the Navy which was a field medic.
    midinphx likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from nurse2033
    As for your nursing training, I would head right for a BSN and skip the ADN part. I would also wait until you have your BSN to join the service.
    ... You say it will take 5-6 years to get your degree. Not sure why, but it sure is possible a lot faster if you choose. Good luck.
    Unfortunately that is no longer an option, since I am almost done with LPN training. There are about 2 LPN-BSN bridge programs in the United States and they are very expensive. And the reason it will take me so long is that I now have to start an LPN-RN bridge which takes 1.5 years in about a year, and then complete an RN > BSN bridge.
    Quote from JillyRN
    2) If you complete your ADN now and plan to do an RN-BSN completion, keep in mind the requirements that go with such programs. Some require courses be taken within X amount of years or having X amount of experience as an RN. Mine required me to be working as an RN to be eligible. 3) If planning to do the RN-BSN bridge program while on active duty, this could potentially be extremely difficult with the demands of being on duty. I know many service members only able to take one course at a time or end up dropping them due to extenuing circumstances related to their duty. (I'm sure all depends on the MOS or branch).

    I guess my only suggestion to you would be to determine what means more to you right now: A military career or a nursing career? Unfortunately, without that BSN you can't have both at the same time.

    Good luck!!
    Both the RN and RN-BSN programs are at the same college, so they transfer well (no experience needed in between). Of course if I were to enlist and look at RN-BSN options away from home, I'd have to research more carefully. I have considered how difficult it is to take classes while on active duty; I've already taken a few of the classes I need for my BSN, and I believe a lot of the rest can be taken online through my college.

    Thank you for the advice!
    Quote from jeckrn
    If you want to enlist and you are an LPN you can go to the Army and be a 68C(LPN) which used to be a 68WM6. As what the others have said about being a medic and working as a nurse you might or might not. I was a ADN and a HM1 in the Navy Reserves and was a line medic with the Marines. Others I know were assigned to a hospital and worked as a LPN. A question to ask the recrutiers is does the Navy now have a NEC for being a LPN. I had a NEC 8404 while I was in the Navy which was a field medic.
    Ah, this is new information to me. I will consider speaking to the Navy and Army recruiters in my area (I've only spoken to the AF).

    Thank you for all of the replies! :-)
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    The AF does not use LPN's. The 46N - medic does not become an LPN after training, though some states allow them to contest and take the NCLEX to get the LPN. 46N's are not utilized the same way an LPN is in the hospital setting. There are some things the 46N does that even an LPN can't do, oddly enough (depending on the setting). The army medics end training by obtaining an LPN license. With the combining of forces, there is conflict over what role the AF 46N plays when they don't have a LPN license. It has been frustrating to watch how proficient techs have been reigned in and not allowed to do their jobs fully while the army and AF figure this all out.

    I think your plan can work. It may not work just the way your have it planned in your head - as deployments and other issue interrupt even the best laid plans. I think that the army may be a better fit for you at this time though.

    Good luck.
  12. 1
    There are a lot more than 2 LPN to BSN programs in the US and many of them are completely online and ran by state schools. They are about the same price as a bachelors at any state schools
    kr681683 likes this.
  13. 0
    Combat Medic in the Army - you can enlist in. You will go to basic then the training to become a medic. Medics later on can apply to become an LPN after some additional schooling 52weeks. I know there is a recent MOS change so this is now a seperate MOS vs a MOS identifier. I know in the reserves some people were able to enlist to get the LPN identifier.. I'm not aware of it for active duty.

    Your post asks a specific question... That being said you might want to be more open to others critiquing your overall plan and asking or being receptive to advice rather then only replying to your question....


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