I have decided on two options. As some may know, I'll be 39 finishing LPN school. Well, I found a two-semester ADN program I can roll right into. Conceivably I'd be 40 years old with an ADN degree. Ok. My two option that I've narrowed down to are this:
A) Apply and go to the Army Reserves. I hear that I can be an ADN nurse and get a commission. From there I'd like to complete my BSN in 2-3 years and then go active duty. Are there any benefits (health, etc) in the reserves? Also, does the reserves count toward Time in Service?
B) Attend an LPN to BSN program in the area that will last 2.5 years. I'd be nearly 43 completing that program. However, I have a question. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand the age limit is 42 (41.5 according to Sgt E). Is that at the time of active duty commission (upon completion of the BSN & NCLEX-RN) or when the application starts? Because a recruiter says I should apply one year BEFORE finishing school. What does that help?
Are there any downsides to reserves vs active duty? I intend on going AD from the reserves anyhow. I consider reserves to get "in" before my age officially shuts me out. With an ADN and being 40 going on 41 would that be my best option?
At one point I thought to enlist as an LPN but in speaking with the good people in the recruiting office and here, I'd be better served (no pun intended) going the officer route.
Mar 23, '13
A) I don't know about army LPNs, but you do get Tricare in the reserves (which is awesome), you do get time in service although you get less points because of less active duty days.
B) Your age is at the time of entry, it took them 14 months to get me in BTW.
One issue about your age, do you intend to put in 20 years? If you do, get in now, 60 is mandatory retirement although you can waiver older, especially in the medical corps. If you are not planning that far out I would wait until you have your BSN. Your entry will be easier as an officer. If you enter enlisted it will take you a long time to complete your education because you will be busy and you will have a difficult time getting the time for school. I don't know about the army but you can enter the Air Force up to 48. Any age requirements can change though. Good luck.
Mar 23, '13
Quote from pacjeffery
I hear that I can be an ADN nurse and get a commission. From there I'd like to complete my BSN in 2-3 years and then go active duty. Are there any benefits (health, etc) in the reserves? Also, does the reserves count toward Time in Service?
That is incorrect -- you need a BSN, even for the Reserves. This has changed in the last couple of years. However, there are RN-BSN programs that can take as little as a year, so it might still be a viable plan.
Mar 23, '13
Lunah you're right. I looked just now and I would need a BSN still. There's a few one year online (accredited) ADN-BSN programs. I'd get my BSN at 41 that route. I'll have to look further into that. If I do that then I'd just assume go AD from there.
Mar 23, '13
Ok, I'll get my LPN. I'll be 38 May 2014. If I do van LPN to BSN program it'll take me to 42. I can do an LPN to ADN program in a year and a half. I'd be 41. There's numerous ADN to BSN programs a year in duration (provided prerequisites have been met). Now I'm 42.
Here's the question.
What can I do? I'm sorry I didn't make the decision to join the armed service sooner in my life. Have I essentially screwed myself? If I have, I could accept it. But I keep feeling like the only time I run out of options is when I stop looking for them.
Y'all see my educational intervals. I'm more than willing to go either enlisted or officer. I truly want to serve. Navy, Army or Air Force. Please help...
Mar 24, '13
I believe there is a "thing" where the years of any prior service is subtracted from your age, so if you spent four years as an LPN in the Army, for example, and were ready to go AD at 42, you'd really only be 38 again. It's magic! LOL. The only way to make yourself younger to the Army is to get some service. You are in a tough place. It wouldn't really be feasible to be doing an LPN-RN program and then working on an RN-BSN while you're serving. That would be ideal, though.
Is there any way you can just go straight into a BSN program with student loans? The military has some great repayment programs ... I know that the budget is crap right now and nothing is ever definite, but it's another thought.
Mar 27, '13
Lunah is right about that "thing" with magical age. I had 3 years prior service which meant I had until I was 45 years old to go in without a waiver. If a waiver is available, I believe AF used to waive age up to 48. However, I understand with competition to get in, waivers are harder to come by. But it doesn't hurt to call a Nursing recruiter and ask!
Mar 27, '13
In order to get the "magic" rollin' I need to enlist when I finish my LPN program at age 39.
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