RN wants to join, but had a kidney removed. Is it impossible?

  1. 1
    Background: I just turned 35. Have been an RN for 3 years and finishing my BSN this year. Goal is CRNA. The Army recruiter I spoke with said an RN with BSN can go active duty as an officer up to age 46. No problem there. Today I spoke with a Navy recruiter who asked me some medical questions and when I told him I had a kidney removed almost 20 years ago (no problems since and it was a fluke that it was even discovered) he said too bad, you can't join the military because of it. I run marathons and have never had any problems. Not saying that a marathon is the same as military duty, but if the issue is hydration - it has never been an issue for me.

    Does anybody know someone who has gone in with one kidney? whether congenital or surgery related?
    Last edit by Esme12 on Oct 6, '12 : Reason: TOS
    Joe V likes this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 6 Comments...

  3. 0
    Go into the 40-501 thoroughly. It is definitely a DQ, multiple reasons I would think, including the hydration one you said. Anyone can live with one kidney, noone can really live with zero. Let's say you arent even in combat but just have a training accident. You damage your one good kidney, well the army is left holding a much larger tab than if you had that damaged one removed but still had a good one. Not to mention that your kidneys help to cleans your blood stream of toxins, the same type of toxins you may run into in a combat environment. i.e. chemical weapons. I know it sucks to hear that you are medically disqualified, and as they say there are waivers for everything. Unfortunately, just getting a waiver for anything now days is beyond difficult. The military is downsizing, and with a bad civilian job market, more and more Americans are choosing to join. Therefore, they have their proverbial picks of the litter. DO not give up though. You have a few years left. I think the actual cutoff time on age is actually 42, in that time you never know, the economy could take an upswing and we could break out into WWIII. Good luck in your endeavor.

    215. Urinary system
    Kidney.
    (1) Current absence of one kidney, congenital (753.0) or acquired (V45.73) does not meet the standard.


    Former Army
    Spouse going through the Army application as I type this.
    Last edit by nursespouse on Oct 4, '12
  4. 0
    Okay, do not give up yet. I have a blood/ bleeding disorder (ITP) which is a disqualification for the service. However, I looked 3 years ago into reserves due to lack of BSN (had only a BS) and the ITP after Hemo consult was waived. I did not join but instead took a job as a Nurse with the VA and went back to school on my own. I am in my last few classes for my MSN and again started to talk to the Recruiter (different one, US AF) for active duty. Had MEPS on Tuesday and Wednesday (I am also old lol, well older than you are). Not sure if they will waive it again (hope so) but I want the DOD MERB board to say no, not a recruiter...also it has been waived in the past, so they could waive it if they want to.
    Talk to the recruiter again and ask for MEPS as one as your first stops, let the doc tell you NO, not the recruiter. Just my thoughts!
  5. 0
    Quote from BVFD 333
    Okay, do not give up yet. I have a blood/ bleeding disorder (ITP) which is a disqualification for the service. However, I looked 3 years ago into reserves due to lack of BSN (had only a BS) and the ITP after Hemo consult was waived. I did not join but instead took a job as a Nurse with the VA and went back to school on my own. I am in my last few classes for my MSN and again started to talk to the Recruiter (different one, US AF) for active duty. Had MEPS on Tuesday and Wednesday (I am also old lol, well older than you are). Not sure if they will waive it again (hope so) but I want the DOD MERB board to say no, not a recruiter...also it has been waived in the past, so they could waive it if they want to.
    Talk to the recruiter again and ask for MEPS as one as your first stops, let the doc tell you NO, not the recruiter. Just my thoughts!
    The only problem with that is, the recruiter reserves the spot at meps, or the date for that matter. And to reserve that date they have to be comfortable with the fact you could walk out of there as a GO, and there is a chance that yes, you could. It is just a very small chance. And the recruiter talks with meps while setting up the appointment, if he/she does that and the people at meps say dont bother, then that recruiter will not set the date.

    You could always try another healthcare recruiter and start over, but make sure you let them know what is up.(with your kidney)
  6. 0
    Per Army Regs a recruiter can not medically DQ you, can image it is the same for all services. But as nursespouse has stated they are the ones to schedule the MEPS physical.
  7. 0
    exactly they cannot DQ you they can refuse to administer though, if that station is against it, again I would suggest going to another station, you can always get lucky.
  8. 0
    Thank you for your replies. I'm going to be persistent and hope for that waiver.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top