Navy Nursing while engaged/married

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    Hello, everyone. This is my first time posting anything on allnurses.com! Here's my question: I am a third-year (senior) nursing student in a BSN program, and I graduate June 2014. I am in the application process to become a Navy Nurse, and if accepted, I will serve for 4 years active duty and 4 reserve. I have been with my boyfriend (who is not in the military) for going on 5 years now, and we have been seriously talking about getting married within the next two years, but this is in the middle of my tour. We don't want to wait until I'm done with the 4 years active duty to get married, but I was wondering if you all have any advice about when to get engaged/married and what navy life is like for navy nurses who are married to people who aren't in the military?

    Thanks!
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Moved to the Military Nursing forum for the best response.

    You may also want to check out this specifc subforum for more information as to what life as a military nurse entails.

    A common misconception about military nursing is that being a nurse in the military means that you'll only serve shore tours or will not be stationed elsewhere. Not true: you CAN and WILL be deployed or sent anywhere depending on the military's needs. This applies to all branches of the service.

    You may get lucky and score a tour where you don't move at all...or you can be like my nurse friend who right after Navy OCS, had her first tour be 6 months in Iraq. And no, she did not ask for that.

    Don't sign on for the military unless you--and your fiance--are prepared for the possibility of your being stationed or deployed to anywhere in the world.

    And if you already know this and still want to sign on, best of luck I'm debating about going active duty myself.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Sep 16, '13
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    If you are a Navy nurse and are not married, your BF will not be entitled to base access, increased housing allowance, health insurance and not be allowed to move with you if you happen to PCS outside of the US. Boyfriends of girlfriends mean 0 to the military so keep that in mind. So with I that would get married before, HOWEVER the divorce rate in the military is sky high so also keep that in mind....

    The Navy or military in general is very very very competitive right now so focus on getting in first.
    Last edit by Dranger on Sep 16, '13
    Meriwhen likes this.
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    Thank you, Meriwhen. I spoke to my recruiter and she told me that new navy nurses usually do not get deployed within the first couple of years, but I am aware that it is a possibility. She also told me that I have to be married for the Navy to pay for my fiance's living expenses. Do you know when exactly is a good time to get married? For example, before/after ODS? Thanks!
  7. 0
    Thanks for your advice.
  8. 3
    Quote from mlockwood358
    Thank you, Meriwhen. I spoke to my recruiter and she told me that new navy nurses usually do not get deployed within the first couple of years, but I am aware that it is a possibility. She also told me that I have to be married for the Navy to pay for my fiance's living expenses. Do you know when exactly is a good time to get married? For example, before/after ODS? Thanks!
    I wouldn't count on that...
  9. 3
    I am about to get married in a few months to a civilian myself, though I am in the Army, not the Navy.

    Let me start off by saying that most of the military folk that I know of have all gotten married in small ceremonies and gone home to do the big ceremony later. I am the first person I know of who is actually getting married at the big ceremony back home. My fiancÚ and myself live a couple hundred miles apart. He has a house and a job that he would be unwise to leave.

    While the lives we live may sound like a wistful scene from a paperback romance novel, they aren't. I am not in control of my own decisions, and that can make for some very grouchy people. The strain of being so far apart can make us both very ornery, and we practice a good deal of self-awareness to prevent fights from cropping up just due to our circumstances. I have applied a few times to go see him only to have my request denied/cancelled because the Army rearranged my priorities, and he didn't shake out on top. If you are fortunate enough to live in the same city, he will have to understand that if you are called in/working late/mandated to work, it isn't your fault. Your plans and life with him come second. That may sound like a simple concept, but there is a reason that so many military marriages fail. Your life is not your own, and by default, his isn't, either. Both of you need to either make your peace with that or go a different direction, whether together or separate.

    Getting married, especially if you want a big ceremony, is not as easy in the military as one might hope. Before you start your planning, talk to your superior and get a guarantee from your command that they will not cancel your leave once it is granted within reason. Of course, this is subject to change. You may PCS, deploy, etc., under which circumstances you have no choice but to go.

    If you're planning to marry at home and will need travel time, save your leave for at least a year. You will need it! I will have burned through 30 days of leave after I'm done with all the travel associated with planning, the wedding itself and honeymooning.

    Marrying a civilian has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, they don't need to have the same permission to come see you/travel/etc. They get benefits through the military system when you are married. However, I sincerely hope your boyfriend is ready to take on the same rigors that you will undertake when you join. If you are mandated to work overtime due to furloughs, denied leave, etc, then he will pay the consequences, too. If you have children, you may not get time off for their parties/birthdays/events/etc. Is he ready/able to be Mr. Mom? Do you have a plan to care for your children if you marry and you don't want them in a government day care?

    As Meriwhen said, do not join unless you are absolutely certain you want to give up everything--including your new husband--to serve.
    shammie, Pixie.RN, and Meriwhen like this.
  10. 0
    Do spouses have to move with you if you get deployed/stationed elsewhere, or can they stay at home?
  11. 0
    Also keep in mind if your soon to be husband travels with you it can and probably will effect his career options especially when you change duty station every 2-3 years.

    No he doesn't HAVE to move with you. Spouses never go on deployments or unaccompanied tours (Korea etc)
    Last edit by Dranger on Sep 16, '13
  12. 0
    Quote from mlockwood358
    Do spouses have to move with you if you get deployed/stationed elsewhere, or can they stay at home?
    Spouses don't go on deployment with you. They have the option of moving if you are PCS'd to a family-friendly location, but they don't have to.


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