Single parent military nursing? - page 2

Hi I'm currently 18 about to start my last semester of prenursing and will begin nursing school fall 2013. I have also recently adopted my sister's 4 year old daughter. I have always wanted to do... Read More

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    Mslecia, you should start your 1st reply with that statement about the Army. It seems very matter of fact when it isn't the case for the Navy, or the AF apparently.

    I know a few single parents in the Navy and they didn't have any problems. Yes, they did need to create a family care plan in the event that they had to deploy. Dual military also have to do the same thing. At least in the case of the Navy. Good luck in figuring things out.

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    I'm reading all of the responses to your post and it can be very confusing.I don't know the answer to your question. But I have a few words of advice. Being a single mom and a nurse will be difficult whether you're a civilian or military...being a single mom in and of itself is difficult.But I've discovered that it never hurts to ask or try, the worst they can do is say no.My husband is active duty Arny enlisted. I'm about to become commissioned Air Force. Enlisted life is very different from being an officer, especially a medical officer. And AF and Navy life is very different from the Army.So, basically, my best guess is that being a single parent shouldn't be a problem. If you have a family care plan, you should be fine. Best of luck to you!
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    A family care plan is a document that you fill out certifying that you have a workable plan for who will take care of your dependent children if you are deployed or assigned to a duty station that does not allow dependents to accompany you. You have to have this if you are a single parent on active duty.

    The challenge is that the army usually will not let you join up on active duty unless you actually give guardianship or custody to someone else while you are in basic training. After your initial training when you go to your first duty assignment you can usually get guardianship transferred back to you.

    Here is the really important point. Be sure that whoever is going to assume responsibility for your child is really up for the job. If they back out on you the army has little or no tolerance for soldiers and nurses who suddenly can't deploy or do thier job because they don't have anyone to take care of the little tykes. You can ask for a hardship discharge but the army doesn't have to be nice about it. In some cases people have been given a "less than honorable" discharge and it can mess up all kinds of things such as federal benefits, federal employment and etc.
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    There is something else that needs to be considered before joining any branch of service as a single parent. You never know where you will be stationed in the military. That is why it is difficult to join as a single parent. When I was stationed on a ship in the Navy we went out to sea.... A LOT!!! This did not include deployment. Sometimes parents or friends may say they will take care of your kids for a few months or a year for a deployment. However, who is going to watch them if you have to go out to sea every other week (Navy) or out in the field for days or weeks (Army). Your parents may have every intention to help, but this doesn't work if you are stationed in another country or state. By the way when the ship leaves everyone goes out to sea, enlisted and officers. There is no such thing as leaving officers behind. Believe me when I say there is zero tolerance for being unable to deploy or go on a mission or go to a field exercise or whatever because you have child care issues.

    On the other hand, as a nurse you may be stationed in a hospital and have "regular" hours that nurses work in civilian hospitals. Hopefully you can find reliable child care for your area if this is the case. Keep in mind there is no way to guarantee what type of duty station you will get. Ok, maybe you will know your first duty station in advance. However, more than likely you will be stationed in different places in the future. You will need a variety of different types of duty stations to have good chances for advancement. I'm not trying to discourage you. I just want to give you a bit of reality and insight into why the military does not like to enlist or comission single parents. Best of luck to you

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