Seeking answers about military nursing

  1. hello all -

    new to the website and the board. i'm a former scientist (bs and ms bio/biochem); got laid off and decided to attend nursing school. got my bsn and rn, and have slightly less than a year of med-surg under my belt. i've been interested in the military for quite some time now; tried getting in as an regular enlistee after 9-11 but gave up after 2 years of trying. i am a man in my early 40s now and they couldn't get past my age. tried usnr as corpsman, and usar as a medic, no go. but, now as an rn, i can get in under the dc program, so i'm looking into that. naturally, since i'm new to nursing and know little of the military other than what i've read, i've got plenty of questions. anyone with anything to share, by all means do so - it will be appreciated. the good, the bad and the ugly - all views welcomed.
    • i can go ad or reserves. some parts about ad appeal to me; being able to choose a specialty and getting the army or whoever to play for more training in it, is one example. but i have concerns about my wife. she has lucrative, well-established career in it as a business analyst and one question mark is how a military move would affect her. does the military help spouses of ad soldiers get new positions within their fields, or are we on our own?
    • how does military nursing differ in the us army vs. usaf vs. usn vs. arng? of course, nursing is nursing no matter where you go, but that isn't all there is to it, i'll bet. for example, the ops tempo is very high for the army and ng, or so the newspapers tell us. is it equally high for the other military medical branches? i know an army rn who has done tours in both afghanistan and iraq, for a total of 2 years away from his family. he had to fight like mad to avoid a third year. i'm aware that overseas service is part of the deal; i'm not afraid of it. but, i would like to have at least some foreknowledge of what i'm getting into before jumping off. i'm willing to serve; i just don't want to be called upon to win the war all by myself! another difference: the usn uses corpsmen to do a lot of rn duties; how does this affect what i'll be doing?
    • what opportunities do the different branches offer to - for lack of better phrase - allow me to get my boots dirty? i'm an action-oriented person (triathlete, martial arts, excellent shape), and like high-speed stuff. can rns go on medivac dust-offs? what about other interesting missions? the army says they can send me to jump school or air assault school. is this just recruiter jive or is this for real? one arng recruiter has even held out the possibility of trying out for a special forces medic slot. i'm skeptical on that one. comments anyone?
    • i fully expect to continue nursing for the foreseeable future. however, suppose i am a reservist or an ad soldier and i decide i'd like a new challenge, in a different career track. how does the military handle that? tell you to stay in what you are doing, or try to accommodate you? what about if i want to become an apn, pa or even an md? what about if i change civilian careers while a reservist? i'm asking simply because i've seen plentry of rns who get worn-out and switch fields after doing all those years working nights, on their feet, etc. i am physically very healthy now but who knows about 15 years from now?
    as i mentioned, any comments would be appreciated. i can be reached at or at this board. as you might expect, the recruiters are mostly, with one exception, just trying to make a sale, and not necessarily reliable sources of info.

    thanks -

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    About GeorgiaBoy61

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 55; Likes: 15
    Staff RN and scientist


  3. by   Corvette Guy
    OMG, you have a lot of questions... most are certainly worthy of answers. However, maybe you could narrow it down to a central theme on one Thread. Then, slowly but surely have all your questions answered.

    FYI, please capitalize words such as Soldier & Army.
  4. by   nunurs05
    I can't answer all of your questions, but I can tell you that Navy Corpsman are your "right hand man" if you're a Navy Nurse. I'm glad to admit that I've had great experience being a corpsman...I've worked with some wonderful nurses. Corpsman have alot of responsibility for not being a licensed.
    Think carefully about reserves or active duty. There's a big difference, especially when it affects family. You should talk to as many nurses as you can from reserve and active duty....not just recruiters!:spin: