I too have heard what you are talking about. I personally think it is short sighted and will indeed hurt retention and further our shortage. The theory behnd it makes sense, as far as making everyone more operational. However, you have to remember that there are only so many active duty members, but there are 3-4 times as many family members. So they Navy has once again forgotten where the experience comes from for nurses. It's the day-in, day-out care of the family members that gives us our skill base and knowledge, then when we got to the field we can apply it. The other thing is that the civy world is realizing how much nurses are worth and they are starting to pay them for it. No longer will nurses come to the military for the extra moo-la, they can get it in the civy world without the threat of being away from their family for months at a time. Patriotism will only go so far as far as recruitment and retention are concerned. As with most things in the Navy it is a phase we are going through, history has a way of repeating itself and once they realize eliminating certain specialties is a bad idea after nurses have jumped ship, it will change. Take a look at this past years LCDR board, it was 2x the size of boards in the past because so many nurses said, "forget it." These were not new nurses either, these were nurses with years of experience, 10+ in most cases, said, "it's not worth it anymore." It will sink in eventually, no matter, I'm in for the long haul.