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Age of joining as AD RN


Specializes in Neonatal. Has 6 years experience.

I'm curious if any of you know anyone (or have personally) who joined Active Duty as an RN a bit later in life. I noticed so many of you are just out of school or about to to graduate, but my timeline will put me at 30 years old when I apply again. I applied a few years ago, in 2010, but applied too late and then had babies instead :-P.

jfratian, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 9 years experience.

The cut off is 42. There are waivers beyond that, but they are hard to come by. Plenty of nurses join in their 30s, and it's not that uncommon.

jeckrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR. Has 17 years experience.

You have to be able to complete 20 years of service which is we're 42 comes from. Even thou you will never officially hear this, the younger you are the more competitive you are. The reason is just the nature of military service. From personal experience I can tell you it was much easier on the body when going to the field in my 30's vs now that I am in my 50's. Being 30 should not be an issue for you. My statement about age is for applicants who are close to the cut off age.

Lunah, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

I commissioned at 38. You'd be fine at 30.


Specializes in Labor and Delivery/Postpartum. Has 8 years experience.

I commissioned at 39, you will have no problem. If you have already been a nurse for a while it can make you more competitive than the younger, fresh out of school nurses!

jeckrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR. Has 17 years experience.

I meant to say that if you are around 40 a 30 year old would be more competitive. At 30 you will be very competitive.


Specializes in ED. iCU, now add on PICU. Has 19 years experience.

Commissioned at 42.

jeckrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR. Has 17 years experience.

I received my active duty commission at 46, but with today's limited number of direct commissions I would have never gotten a age waiver. As the numbers of direct commissions get smaller age will play a factor. Let's think about it, is it easier to do the physical requirements at 32 or 42. For the average person it will be easier for the 32 year old. Now let's push it out 15 years and compare a 57 year old to a 47 year old, and again it will be easier for the younger one. This is the reason most other officers other then medical have a cut off age in the early 30's. Will some nurse's get commissioned at the upper age limit, yes but when 2 nurse's are equally qualified who do you think the board would select. Also as we get older we have less tolerance to the B.S. which the service dishes out.

For anyone who is getting towards the upper limits of the age cut off and thinking of applying, go ahead and apply because you never know what can happen. If you do not try the answer will always be no.