Allowing Corpsman to Become Nurses

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312 Posts

This isn't a secret and as a doctor with 3 college degrees I can honestly say nurses are not impressed with anyone's education or credentials outside of nursing.

Well, now isn't that true of any field? Engineers aren't impressed with business school grads. Business people aren't impressed by education degrees. Teachers aren't impressed with political science degrees. Politicians aren't impressed by anyone ;)

One accelerated BSN program wouldn't accept my BS in business because it wasn't relevant. But the school I got my MPH in liked it fine.


6 Posts

mmm333 - Your post is spot on. Thank you sharing your knowledge of the subject and more than that thank you for being an advocate for medics that are struggling just to make that transition without starting completely over.You are right it's not too much to ask for people to take the initiative and goback to school, and to go beyond entry level nursing you need more formal education not just field experience. I also don't think it's too much to ask that Paramedic's getadvanced placement (which they don't in the programs in my area) The Excelsiorprogram was my best option but many states still make it difficult to get a job after graduating from their program. Mississippi is the closest state thathonors the program and recently I noticed on many of the posted position theysay “must have graduated from a non-online nursing program” so it looks like things aregetting tougher not easier. I guess we need more people advocating for us. If Icould just get an interview I know I could shine but so far it’s not looking good.

Guttercat, ASN, RN

1,353 Posts

My state's only PA program specifically courts military medics and corpsmen, over RN's.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

1 Article; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

Let me start this by thanking all the service men and women for their service.

I too was disturbed by the Presidents comment. To portrayed a complete disregard for the profession and the requirements to be tested and licensed as Registered Nurse. Why couldn't he have said....and "He couldn't even find a position as a Doctor".....because doctors are educated and go to school?

It really bugged me. I felt slighted and insulted. Did he feel that because it is a profession traditionally female that he was incredulous that we wouldn't just welcome anyone with open arms? I felt insulted that he had no clue what it takes to be an RN and that we are licensed and registered by a licensing exam and schooling.

I think the military corpsmen are highly skilled and talented individuals......but they lack the theory behind the task. Learn the theory take the licensing exam and become a nurse. Just like the finest medics I have ever worked with......there is theory they are missing on some things...but they make fine nurses.


6 Posts

I believe the certification is the same whether it be EMT-Basic or paramedic, when you get out of the military. I'm a paramedic and I have worked with EMTs trained in the service. As a Paramedic you get no special placement or consideration in nursing school unless you go through Excelsior,as you mentioned, Excelsior has its downfalls and it's worse for Paramedics than for LPNs. For example in Louisiana if you transition from LPN they honoryour degree, if you are a paramedic they don't and you have to work in another state for 6 months then file for reciprocity.


92 Posts

I think that even if they can not take the NCLEX to become a nurse after being a corpsman then they should think of it as that was an experience and they can if they want to become a nurse by going to school but I do feel that the governemtn or what ever should atleast pay for half of it if not all. because a CNA or PCT or QMA can not go and just sit for the NCLEX and become an LPN after a few years of doing it. but then again they have less training that a corpsman does. I think if a corpsman wants to do it bad enough then they will go to school to do it and if the only thing that is stopping them from doing it is the education then I guess they dont want it bad enough.


10 Posts

I truly believe this is one of the worst comments I have ever heard the president make. So this guy was out treating wounded soliders, thats great and all but can he explain the.process of the wounds on the solider, or can he prioritize, and what about his assessment skills??? Last time I checked nursing school ( which I know all of us busted our butts through) gave a firm foundation for this. And I agree with someone elses comment, that it wasnt just what he said but how he said it. Like my job is so easy some guy wrapping wounds should be able to walk on and do what I do. I invite the president to walk in my ER and do ny job effectivly and correctly for one night. I mean after all he has been in charge of our country for 4 years, he should be able to handle just a nurses job right?????

mmm333, LVN

298 Posts

Some of the following was lifted from another thread online, but it is useful perspective for those who haven't been in the military.

At the end of Navy Corpsman school, you are a "quad-zero" (000) corpsman. Your Naval Enlisted Classification (NEC) code is "0000".

Without advanced training, you won't have a code. If your "C" school is field medicine, your code will be "8404". Many of these codes translate into Allied Healthcare job fields. EKG tech, Radiology tech, OR tech, etc. all have a corresponding NEC code. There are ways to get these translated into civilian qualifications. There is no NEC for RN to my knowledge since RNs are officers. There may be one for LPN - (the Army did create an MOS for LPN partly so that their vets could find jobs similar to their Army jobs once separated). Before I landed my first nursing job I actually considered going back to being a SWCC medic with my RN license in tow, though I realized that my RN license would not be utilized or rewarded there because that job largely entails and emphasizes trauma/field/medevac/CBR.

Quad zero (0000) Corpsman work just about anywhere where the Navy decides to stick them. Could be an XRay lab for 4 years.

Without a specialty (an NEC) you could be helping out in any medical setting from an ambulatory clinic, to a floor on a hospital, to a lab- anywhere they'd like to put you that helps out navy medicine. Many assignments require the code to act in that capacity, such as base EMT or ER tech. No specific code = no specific work center = no specific job. Oftentimes, having a code in your file will get you "stuck" in a particular setting, whether or not you want to be there- because the Navy is short on people to fill those billets (this is common in all fields of the Navy- if you are a welder, you can forget about working in the plumbing/pipefitting shop, etc.).

Maybe someone in the Navy can chime in here- but if there is no NEC for LPN, I'm still pretty sure that passing the NCLEX-PN and getting the license still looks VERY good in a Corpsman's service record, evals, and training file, and may help get them out on a nursing floor working under/more closely with Nurse Corps Officers, essentially working on nursing tasks rather than Allied Health Tech tasks, at varying levels of independence (contact your division officer or officer on deck with any changes of condition, certain parameters, etc.). This was basically the way it was when I got out. Some Corpsman entered Allied Health fields when they got out, some entered nursing, some changed careers.

I know that in the Special Boat Teams having EMT-Basic looked great even if the servicemember was not a NSW paramedic as their primary specialty, and it increases the chance of getting a coveted spot in the Naval Special Warfare Combat Medic course (after which they can challenge EMT-P) alongside their SEAL counterparts. At the end of the first enlistment, they can challenge NCLEX-PN , though many do go to PA school or RN school though.

It would be interesting to hear if anyone knows what the Navy currently does with licensed LPNs. One thing is for sure, you can have any license or qual, and the Navy can still stick you wherever they want to stick you. They could stick you in a closet full of medical supplies handing out hairbrushes if they want to. Alot of this depends on your performance and yes, politics. But most often, whether a billet or space is available for your NEC.

I think the president used the word "Corpsman" instead of "medic" since Navy corpsman may not be able to challenge NCLEX-PN in their state, and many cannot even challenge EMT-P in their state. Meanwhile the Army has allowed for all of its medics to become LPNs through their training. There is something wrong with the Navy there. The right changes are going to have to come from way up high because they involve nursing on the national level (at and beyond each state BON), within the military (makes its own rules and doesn't answer to civilian agencies), educational organizations both public and private (bureaucracies famous for their slowness and backwardness) and in the political arena (oh, brother, we already see it in this thread). And there is going to have to be some tax money thrown at this problem on behalf of our vets (institutional change doesn't happen for free), another problem that gets super-politicized.

I support the president if he's trying to help our vets as the wars wind down and they are looking for work. I applaud it. I do think he may lack an understanding of nursing in general and he fumbled if he said "couldn't even find work as a nurse" (if he said LPN instead of nurse, the LPNs would be up in arms), but I understand that many non-nurses really have no idea who does what. Many patients and families have no idea what the difference is between all of the people coming in and out of their room in scrubs, Obama is likely not much different as his family have all been served by private duty physicians for years. I have a feeling he's going to get quite an education this week as nursing associations write letters to him. Let's make a good impression as we educate politicians and the public about nursing. We don't want to lash out and appear hostile as that will not help our cause much. The fact is that anybody in Congress/Senate or high level positions has very little contact with hospitals- they get attended closely by dedicated physicians or APNs/PAs and are out of touch with what we think of as the healthcare arena. The hyper-politicized environment that exists now has the potential to do lots of harm or lots of good. Let's make sure it does good.

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

I think that whatever your agreed upon educational benefit was once you entered your area of the armed forces should remain. It's why most join up after all. But you still must be edu'd. You must go to college. You applied for and took a job (like everyone does). You get some awesome benefits in exchange. But you don't get a ticket out of college. You need to pass muster and take your SAT's like everyone else - have done well on your SAT/ACT and compete for acceptance with everyone else since you are now leaving the world of the military and entering civilian world.

I also think that if you have to ask why you need to go to college, you have to step back 10 paces and understand that out here is not like in there. HUGE difference. I know a few who have been in and when they got out they went to college for nursing and PA, and they all agree they'd be lost without clinical experiences in college simply because it is so different.

Sure you might be allowed to test out... but remember the "different" part??? That part will become apparent fast.

FMF Corpsman, MSN, RN

1 Article; 191 Posts


You and your son will be in my thoughts and prayers, Semper Fi.


4 Posts

Don't be fooled. It's another subtle step in his efforts to socialize the country.

Regarding the corpsmen/women, their experience goes well beyond the battlefield. The education and clinical experience is comprehensive. When not in a deployed area they are right there at the bedside; probably more so that the Nurse Corps officer.

I spent 22 years in the military and I would trust my care, as well as the care of any family/friends,

to a medic anyday!

Maybe a bridge program? I know in Florida they were allowing EMT's to take a bridge to ASN. Not sure if they still do, but if they are essentially functioning as trauma nurses in battlefields, then they deserve to become nurses!

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