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Becoming a military nurse

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MeekRn712 MeekRn712 (New) New

Hello All,

I would like to thank you all in advance for any experiences, suggestions, and comments that you may share.

I have been a civilian nurse for approximately 8 months (wow, didn't think that it was that long, so soon, lol.) Anyway, I am very interested in becoming a military nurse, not too sure of which branch yet. My curiosity was sparked while previously working at a VAMC in my area as a student nurse while still in nursing school. While there I spoke to former nurses in the military and civilian nurses considering a career in the military.

Although many people are telling me to consider the Air Force, before I decide on which branch to join I want to make sure that my decision is an informed one. So for those of you who were or still are nurses in the military please share your experiences as far as time-span it takes to actually get in, length of training, places of deployment, work hours and conditions, etc. Also, please provide the pros and cons of each branch and the advantages of one branch over another, if any. I really appreciate any input you provide.

lots of great info already in this forum - spend some time and peruse.. there is also an exp sticky up top... it's typical for civilians to say join AF.. it does have a better overall lifestyle but that being said.. the medical/nursing world in general is a much more comfy place then being a line Soldier..

you can find some basic info by jotting down what is important to you.. lifestyle, location, loan repayment, etc.. and then writing down info from every branch.

If you don't want to do that...just take my advice and goarmy.

But if she went army, wouldnt she have to shoot people? Everyone knows all soldiers are stone cold killers, even pac clerks :loveya:

Irishman good point.. you know there 'is no front line' anymore..:yeah:

A bunch of us are still waiting on our orders, we have been comissioned and have dressed up for it but that is it.

Rme4life

Specializes in 66H. Has 2 years experience.

i agree, army all the way.

that being said people join for so many different reasons and each branch has its own pull. its not really something that can be answered by others. for example, my husband wanted to join the airforce. they could not give him the job he wanted. this was the most important thing to him. he was not even looking at army but all the other recruiters were out to lunch. the army offered him the job he wanted and that was enough. he has been in 18 yrs and loving it. so the only advice i can give is make a list of what is important to you, and go from there, talk to the different recruiters. Good luck in your decision.

I am an active duty Army Nurse Corps Officer, and have been for the past 18 years. My initial intent was to join the military for 4 years and return to my civilian job, but here I am! There is much to be gained from being a military nurse. The opportunities to grow personally and professionally are endless. There are numerous avenues to pursue your interests in the personal, clinical and educational arenas because of the well-established military career path, and the support and mentorship that are available. Not only would you get exposure to a variety of nursing situations, but you would do so at a variety of locations! What other nursing agency would provide you such opportunities while giving you the opportunity to fulfill a patriotic duty? Good luck in your decision! I hope you consider joining the Army team :)

The roles in the Army are different - none includes "shooting people". A nurse in the Army is responsible for taking care of the sick.

sassysoldier

Specializes in Neuro, Surgical, Trauma and ICU..

Don't forget about the blue side of things. Navy nursing!!!

All your duty stations are close to the wonderful beaches and water. You won't have to worry about field training. You just have to learn how to swim. But personally no matter where you are stationed in the navy there is no bad location i.e San Diego, Virginia, Bethsada, Jacksonville, Pensacola, etc compared to Ft. Leonard wood I love you ANC nurses and I know you will jump on me for this one but the Army has some of the most desolate "boring" cities to be stationed especially if you are young and single. Just my

two cents!!!

That may be so sassysailor, but it affords invaluable experience with support and molds for independent/interdependent practice

Staczse7

Specializes in ER/Critical Care.

The roles in the Army are different - none includes "shooting people". A nurse in the Army is responsible for taking care of the sick.

unless you want to count giving injections............... tee hee!

The roles in the Army are different - none includes "shooting people". A nurse in the Army is responsible for taking care of the sick.

You missed the intent of that post; of course its not a nurse's main role to close with and destroy the enemy through fire and manuver. The possibility is just an added bonus :D.

athena55, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns. Has 38 years experience.

You missed the intent of that post; of course its not a nurse's main role to close with and destroy the enemy through fire and manuver. The possibility is just an added bonus :D.

Cursed:

Hahahahhahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaa:smokin:

can anyone shed some light on the financial packages you all got? Loan repayment, sign-on bonuses, ect....

carolinapooh, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

lots of great info already in this forum - spend some time and peruse.. there is also an exp sticky up top... it's typical for civilians to say join AF.. it does have a better overall lifestyle but that being said.. the medical/nursing world in general is a much more comfy place then being a line Soldier..

you can find some basic info by jotting down what is important to you.. lifestyle, location, loan repayment, etc.. and then writing down info from every branch.

If you don't want to do that...just take my advice and goarmy.

Oh, don't do that - trust your instincts and cross into the blue!

carolinapooh, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Don't forget about the blue side of things. Navy nursing!!!

All your duty stations are close to the wonderful beaches and water. You won't have to worry about field training. You just have to learn how to swim. But personally no matter where you are stationed in the navy there is no bad location i.e San Diego, Virginia, Bethsada, Jacksonville, Pensacola, etc compared to Ft. Leonard wood I love you ANC nurses and I know you will jump on me for this one but the Army has some of the most desolate "boring" cities to be stationed especially if you are young and single. Just my

two cents!!!

Uh, avoid confusion, please - Navy WHITES and Air Force BLUE... :)

can you guys put the branch bias away and give some good advice and real experiences. You all have just said go army or go blue. But what we are looking for is what is it really like to be a military nurse. What is a normal day/schedule like? ECT!!!!

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

can you guys put the branch bias away and give some good advice and real experiences. You all have just said go army or go blue. But what we are looking for is what is it really like to be a military nurse. What is a normal day/schedule like? ECT!!!!

lol....The truth is day to day the similarities are more common than different. One branch doesn't have some special hours that another one doesn't. No one service puts on their shoes different than another service. I am AF and have got to spend a little time in an Army hospital OR. I now am based at the National Naval Medical Center, and there is trully not that much difference.

Here is my take on the differences:

Navy has the best bases, if you like being near the water. Navy has a crap load of uniforms that are a lot to buy when you first go in and can be a little bit of financial burden initially. It has decent promotion rates, and plenty of opportunities for advanced education up to DNP/PhD. Overall, the Navy and the AF seem very similar, but the Navy does have more of selection of bigger hospitals to work at than the AF.

Army is the most gung ho of the branches in my opinion. It is known for having some of the most austere deployment sites and worst on base housing. In general though I have found that the Army is was actually ahead of the AF in building new houses and the base houses I saw at Ft Polk a few years ago were really nice. It would be nice if the Army had a little different mentality about being deployed and would upgrade there overseas deployment bases, because no matter what branch of the service you are in you could very well end up on an Army base instead of on a ship or with an AF base. The Army has serious retention problem, but that equates to some of the fastest promotion rates and increased opportunities for advanced education/training. The training opportunities for advanced nursing education are the same in the Army as the other branches with probably more slots available to get into school vs the other branches. Most peoples biggest concern with joining the Army is the very real potential of 12+month long deployments and this doesn't include the two months spin up time that most nurses will have to spend before they even deploy.

The AF is a nice blend of all things in military. We have nice base housing at most locations that I have been to. The work schedule is similar to a civilian work place with addition of mandatory additional duties that you will have to spend time doing...which I don't think really changes from service to service (at least it doesn't seem to from what my Navy and Army friends tell me). The biggest problem with the AF has been promotion past Captain in general it takes the AF longer to pin on Major than any other branch for nurses. The AF like the Navy and the Army has ample opportunities for advanced education etc..

And don't forget about USPHS which is close to be civilian as you can get while still receiving the same benefits as military friends. The deployments are pretty much non-existent, but your experience is going to be widely driven by the individual place you work and not on the USPHS as a whole.

The best thing to do is decide what your overall goals you want out of the military are state them, and then we can give you more information. It is really hard to make general statements about this branch or that branch it is more of personal preference than anything else.

Hope this helps!

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