Navy versus civilian nursing- pros and cons - page 2

Hi Everyone, I was recently accepted into an accelerated nursing program (BSN)- which is only a year long, and I need to make the big decision on whether to be a Navy or civilian nurse. I served... Read More

  1. by   mmm333

    I am a prior enlisted (SW/SWCC) (who was fortunate enough to have spent two years in La Maddalena before it closed). I got out and earned my BA degree (two actually), then worked until the economy started to fizzle. After that, got to thinking about what I really wanted to do with my life. The best two jobs I ever had were as command PRT coordinator in La Maddalena, Italy, and in my limited medic assistant role as a swcc. Reflecting on that was what influenced my decision to enter the nursing profession.

    Now I'm in nursing school, but it's an ADN program. The Navy requires a BSN, but NCS won't compensate for MSN work. People with multiple Bachelor's degrees don't mind the effort, but they do mind spending 1 year full time in school (or two part-time) to get another bachelor's. It seems redundant to get a third bachelor's degree when one could be working as an RN or taking many of the same courses as MSN-level coursework instead. Career-wise, I should gain experience and work on graduate school, not work on a BSN. Life-wise, I know should be back in the Navy and probably overseas. It's a very hard choice to make.

    You are so right that being out in the civilian world shows you that the Navy isn't worse than civ life, even if it isn't always better. I'm considering a BSN completion program +NCS. But that's alot of TIME to put into one's hopes of working for a particular employer (the Navy), when that effort could be going into either WORK or an MSN program.

    When I put it on paper, it seems like my destiny is pulling me away from the Navy... but the one thing that still attracts me despite these goofy logistics is this: the role of the nurse in the Navy is MUCH different than that in the private sector. They are valued professionals and get to be leaders/mentors of HMs. I like the idea of being in the position to guide HMs like some of the great officers that guided me when I was enlisted. Officers are in a position to have a huge positive influence on the careers and lives of enlisted folks.

    Would you say it's worth it to do a third bachelor's degree just so that I can "go Navy" now, or would you come in at 0-3 later once you have your MSN? (I have some leeway on the age limit, because of my prior enlisted 6active+2reserve gives me a few extra years). I'm certainly not asking for a "correct answer" or, what I should do, but just your gut feeling about what you would do given a similar situation.

  2. by   scwhit84
    I am go glad I found this website. All of your comments are really helping me make an informed choice about my career.
  3. by   rndiver82
    So, to those who are in the Navy,

    My husband is finishing his paperwork to come into the Navy as an enlisted to full active duty. I am finishing my BSN right now and am trying to decide if I should come into the Navy as a reservist or full time. My question for you guys: how do you guys make it work with both parents in? I will be getting my master's degree in education, but by then I will have 10 years experience as an ER/Trauma nurse. I tried to go into the AF but it didn't work out, hence why my husband went Navy.

    I want to serve in the military because I want to feel like more than "just a nurse" but I am concerned with how deployments would work with our young son.

    Any info would rule because the Navy health professional recruiter was a little less than helpful once he knew I hadn't finished my BSN, and then he said to call him back once I had the BSN degree for 90 days.
  4. by   navyman7
    You have to remember that on a ship you have IDCs and corpsmen. In that environment they are far more usful than a nurse (i.e. suturing, minor surgery, etc.) Nurses can serve on ships, but they are the carriers and there are only 12 of them. So, you're right nurses have to volunteer to go on ship and at that it is generally LCDR or higher. However, we tagged to go to Field Hospitals all the time as well as the Fleet Surg Teams."

    Actually josh, nurses are serving on multiple shipboard platforms and not just on the 11 Carriers. As a SWO (surface warfare officer) Nurse, I deployed on a ship and I did not volunteer for it. I was not a LCDR when I deployed on a small bouy, so don't think it can't happen to you. If you decide that the Navy is for you, then learn to expect the unexpected and don't get your hopes set on anything.
    There are many different locations that a nurse will deploy to. And if you are overseas that doesn't matter either. The bureau of navy medicine is pulling nurses from overseas all the time. I know people stationed in Guam and Japan that deployed to a "combat zone" so that doesn't exclude you either.
    You can see more of my military nursing questions answered at the same titled thread on this site. Hope this sheds some light on things.
  5. by   SirRomeoRN
    Although I have never served in the military,I was born and raised in a military family,so I pretty much have an idea in regards to the Pros,and Cons,of both serving on active duty,and just working as a civilian nurse.And with all respect to all the active Navy nurses,I would much rather prefer to work as a civilian nurse in the navy.Since I understand that as a civilian nurse,I will not be subjected to any of the military way of life,such as PT,wearing a military uniform,or being deployed,to God knows where.I'm an RN,BSN,fully bilingual, and looking forward to beginning my master's degree,and would simply like to know what are the other real benefits of being a civilian navy nurse, besides the salary,including the work environment, conditions,and other educational benefits.I have the highest respect for the military in general,but I'm not interested in anyway, in joining the military,and would appreciate your comments about the many opportunities of working as a civilian navy nurse,or any other military branch.And please include any websites that can be helpful in obtaining any further information.Thank you!