Married on active duty

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    Man, I'm glad I found this forum.

    My wife and I have been talking about the potential for me to join the army as an active duty nurse. I will be graduating soon, and since the job market seems somewhat iffy where we are living, I looked into the army. I have a couple of questions for all of you married people.

    What is it like to be the spouse of someone in the ANC?

    I've read on other threads that chances of deployment as a new graduate are lower because we are classified as medical/surgical, is that true?

    Is the tuition assistance/loan repayment, experience, and training worth the sacrifice of being in the army?

    My wife and I are both excited about the experience and financial help I could get by going the army route, but she is very concerned about me being gone for long periods of time. If these questions have been answered more completely on other threads that I missed, please point me in the right direction.

    Thank You.
  2. 8 Comments so far...

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    I've been married to spouse while both were active duty and then while I was just active duty. Granted this was combat arms branch which, IMHO, was more time demanding and less predictable then typical nursing schedules, it was totally doable. That being said both my wife and I loved the Army and were willing to accept that. From a financial standpoint I'd say that most people do not like the sacrifices unless they love being in the Army... you could move somewhere else and be a nurse and gain job stability.. where as the army you will move somewhere else and have other lifestyle modifiers added to the mix as well. my 2 cents- My inexperienced view would agree that nursing overall has a lower deployment ratio within combat zones as majority of positions are based in hard stand hospitals.. that being said there are always exceptions BUT much less relative to most MOS capacities.. at this point in the mideast life cycle there are minimal nurses / hospitals within that area... but training and such has plenty of time requirements and you will never have zero chance of geographic stability.
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    I'm going AF, but will try to shed some light. From what I'm hearing the application process is very lengthy for all branches~about a year. There are a lot of applicants who want this way of life. So if you are close to graduating and this is what you want, you need to get started.

    Those of us who are going through it of course think the benefits outweigh the sacrifices. But this is what we've dreamed about and the lifestyle that we want. The military is a different way of life. You'll love it or hate it. I love it.

    As for deployments, I'm not trying to think of what are my chances. I'm going in expecting to deploy for 4-6 months between 12-18 months active duty. I've been through deployments with my husband and while it is not ideal, it goes fast and it brings you closer. I won't be disappointed either way. As a nurse we will deploy at some point in our first contract and I have learned to accept it as it is.

    If the job market is somewhat iffy where you are and you are willling to move with the Army, you will probably be able to get a job anywhere, if you are willing to move. Big cities have a lot of potential especially for med surg which is where your first job will be in the Army. Best of luck to you. I know what a tough decision this will be for you.

    You can always start the application process and see how your heart grows with it. Once you start, you will have the opportunity to talk to people who are serving now and actually go to an Army hospital.
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    Shapely, you're right - current deployments for the AF are for six months with eighteen months of what they call "dwell time" (i.e., time at home) in between.

    And for the OP, the likelihood of deployment as a med-surg RN isn't less - it's the same as everyone else's. In fact, they'd send a M-S RN before an OB RN because the M-S one probably has more of the skill set they're looking for, and the OB RN might not have their training up to date to go at that particular time.

    I don't know how the Army does it, but in the Air Force you're assigned to a deployment "band", and you go when that band goes (most of the time). Each band makes up an expeditionary force - so you essentially create a new "base" when you get to your deployment location with everyone AF wide who's a member of your band. There is a bit of overlap time in there, but it's not much - I think it's about thirty days - to allow for continuity. And then those folks leave and you basically take over.
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    Thanks everyone. We've got some more thinking to do, but this helps.
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    Quote from carolinapooh
    And for the OP, the likelihood of deployment as a med-surg RN isn't less - it's the same as everyone else's. In fact, they'd send a M-S RN before an OB RN because the M-S one probably has more of the skill set they're looking for, and the OB RN might not have their training up to date to go at that particular time.
    You knew that that OB nurse was gonna have to step in here and give her $.02, right? LOL!

    At my base deployments for OB and med-surg are equal. We are required to do the same RSV training that the med-surg RNs are and when it comes to deploying, we go where the med-surg RNs go. I know that many people think that OB will keep them safe from deployment (not that you were implying that) but I want everyone to know that a nurse is a nurse. This is not to say that I wouldn't be out of my comfort zone if I had to care for a patient with a chest tube, but it's certainly not beyond my capability. It's one of the things I like about the AF, I get to practice in my specialty, but also have to opportunity to maintain my med-surg skills.

    Enough from the OB RN! Back to the regularly scheduled post....
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    Oh, not at all - I know you're not "safe", I'll confess I'm going by what goes on at Big Willie and here now that seems to be the current mindset - however, we seem to have just gotten a huge influx of new OBs (I guess a bunch of folks separated?) so that's probably coloring my view a bit.

    I know here we're having a hard time keeping up with the "crosstraining", so to speak, because of manning (oh God, really - manning? LOL) and the fact that we're transitioning to BAMC over at Ft. Sam as well.
    Travelcrazy likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from carolinapooh
    and the fact that we're transitioning to BAMC over at Ft. Sam as well.
    You may not know this, but any ideas when L&D is moving over there? We've heard rumors here at LAFB that they are going to allow L&D to stay over there awhile longer than some of the other hospital services. The number of stations for OB is quickly dwindling and that was one of the top three. Sorry to hijack the thread here...
  10. 0
    I have a friend who's working L&D that I went to COT with. I'll ask her when I see her.


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