Military Nursing As A Single Mom?

  1. I am interested in military nursing.

    For the record, I am 36, will have my BSN by the time I'm 38 or so. I know the age cutoff for the Army AMEDD is 47. Pretty much guaranteed deployment to Iraq is why I am really no longer considering the Army (single mom to young son).

    So can I ask you all how Navy and AF are different? Do you know the age cutoff and what kinds of Officers' Schools they have to go to? What is deployment like and am I nuts for even considering the military with a small son (I would take him to live with me wherever I went)? Please be honest.

    Thanks
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   DanznRN
    I believe the age cutoff for Navy is 45 with a waiver right now, I think 41 without the waiver. As far as crazy to go active with a small child, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

    1) Why do I want to be in the military?
    2) Do I have the support network to take care of my son when (not if) I get deployed?
    3) Can I handle being away from him for 6-12 months?
    4) What is the end goal for my nursing career? In the military?
    5) Lastly, do I really care what other people think?

    These are some of the questions my wife and I ask ourselves before we both went active duty. not the same situation, but has similar consequences. The Navy deployments are generally 6-12 months, depending on who you're going with. The Navy will also not give you consideration for being a single Mom with a small child, we're all the same and eligible to get deployed in their eyes. When/ if you go active duty you will have to create/ sign a "family care plan" outlining who gets your son, where he goes to school, and give access to your money for him in the event of a deployment. Will you be able to do that without reservation? It's a tall task, I know, but we have one in place in case we both get deployed. That's the reality of being dual active duty. Might not be what you want to hear, but that's the truth. Let me know if I can answer any more questions.

    LCDR Dan
  4. by   traumaRUs
    From a female perspective, my husband and I did the dual military committment too - it was a nightmare. We worked rotating shifts and often exchanged our son on the flightline! Neither of us were nurses in the military. The military family plan basically requires that you have legal guardianship of your child signed over to someone else! Also - since we were stationed overseas it required us to come up with a non-military person who would escort our son back to the states.

    The military is not necessarily single Mom or dual military couple-friendly. It can be done, but it is not easy.
  5. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from RachieH
    I am interested in military nursing.

    For the record, I am 36, will have my BSN by the time I'm 38 or so. I know the age cutoff for the Army AMEDD is 47. Pretty much guaranteed deployment to Iraq is why I am really no longer considering the Army (single mom to young son).

    So can I ask you all how Navy and AF are different? Do you know the age cutoff and what kinds of Officers' Schools they have to go to? What is deployment like and am I nuts for even considering the military with a small son (I would take him to live with me wherever I went)? Please be honest.

    Thanks
    The deployments in the AF are generally 4-6months for nurses. I have to agree with what Dan stated. It can be very difficult for single parents in the military, but I have known lots single parents in the military. My question to you would be who would be your back up/social network for son when you are deployed? Would your son live with your parents while deployed?

    Also, you have to think about TDYs, long work hours, recalls etc.

    This is not to discourage you, but as single parent you will have to plan ahead for all these contingencies.


    Depending on your longterm goals, you could also consider the reserves, VA, GS positions, USPHS etc.
  6. by   RachieH
    GS positions = Goverment Service positions? Can you elaborate as to what kinds of jobs those are and how one obtains them?

    I've seen USPHS posted about a couple of times here...can you elaborate on those jobs as well? Are the benefits the same as the military? Where does one get posted? Are there loan forgiveness and signing bonuses as with the various nurse corps?

    Thanks in advance!
  7. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from RachieH
    GS positions = Goverment Service positions? Can you elaborate as to what kinds of jobs those are and how one obtains them?

    I've seen USPHS posted about a couple of times here...can you elaborate on those jobs as well? Are the benefits the same as the military? Where does one get posted? Are there loan forgiveness and signing bonuses as with the various nurse corps?

    Thanks in advance!
    USPHS has the exact same benefits as the military. Here is the link to USPHS nursing information page. Bascially, most of the nursing jobs are in IHS, BOP (federal prisons), DIHS, or NIH, but there are several jobs for nurses in other areas as well. As a student you might be interested in their CO-STEP program that will help pay for school. I am pretty sure they do offer loan forgiveness. I am not sure about signing bonuses. http://www.usphs.gov/profession/nurse/


    Here is the biggest job bank for GS positions. http://www.usajobs.gov/

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