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Civilian vs. Military Nursing Part II

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OK, lets try this again. Maybe I'll get some valid answers finally.

I want to know so I can make a valid informed decision about my future which way is better civilian or navy nursing. Yes, I want to be a PA someday, but I don't know when that will occur it will matter on money, family (whether or not I have kids and how many kids and whether my fiance is still a Navy active duty or not). So I guess I shouldn't have brought the PA thing up, because all I want to know is the difference between civilian and military nursing (preferrably Navy). I want to know the difference in pay, job duties, advancement opportunities, leadership opportunities, and basic differences that any of you know of. I really just want to make an informed decision before I sign any papers. So come on people help me out please.

Megan, KS

OK, lets try this again. Maybe I'll get some valid answers finally.

I want to know so I can make a valid informed decision about my future which way is better civilian or navy nursing. Yes, I want to be a PA someday, but I don't know when that will occur it will matter on money, family (whether or not I have kids and how many kids and whether my fiance is still a Navy active duty or not). So I guess I shouldn't have brought the PA thing up, because all I want to know is the difference between civilian and military nursing (preferrably Navy). I want to know the difference in pay, job duties, advancement opportunities, leadership opportunities, and basic differences that any of you know of. I really just want to make an informed decision before I sign any papers. So come on people help me out please.

Megan, KS

Navy pay is available as public knowledge. Log on to the DoD website at www.dod.mil/militarypay to see your base rate. You will start out as an O1 with less than 2. That is your taxable income. Also, you will receive $175 and some change a month for food (called your Basic Allowance for Sustanence: BAS) which is tax free income and your Basic Allowance for Housing: BAH, which is dependent on your duty station. BAH is also tax free and you can see those rates at www.dtic.mil/perdiem/bahform.html

Check those sites and compare them to what nurses make where you currently live. Keep in mind, military do not have monthly deductions for such things as medical insurance. Besides the 16.25 a month for SGLI (military life insurance), and taxes on your base pay (and you may or may not have to pay state income taxes, check the laws in your state of legal residence).

Doing all that will tell you how the money compares. You won't get any overtime pay, or holiday pay like you will in the civilian world, what those sites show is literally what you get. Also, the DoD page will show you the increases and how often they come. Military pay rates are adjusted every January 1st for inflation, so the numbers up right now will change soon.

Navy nursing has many rewards and many challenges. I commend you on searching out answers and advice to help you make the right decision for you. Keeping asking questions until you have a clear enough picture to choose your own path, whatever it may be. I've been on active duty in the Navy for over two years now and am more than willing to answer any questions you have, without judgment. Good luck!

OK, lets try this again. Maybe I'll get some valid answers finally.

I want to know so I can make a valid informed decision about my future which way is better civilian or navy nursing. Yes, I want to be a PA someday, but I don't know when that will occur it will matter on money, family (whether or not I have kids and how many kids and whether my fiance is still a Navy active duty or not). So I guess I shouldn't have brought the PA thing up, because all I want to know is the difference between civilian and military nursing (preferrably Navy). I want to know the difference in pay, job duties, advancement opportunities, leadership opportunities, and basic differences that any of you know of. I really just want to make an informed decision before I sign any papers. So come on people help me out please.

Megan, KS

jhawk07,

Please allow me to apologize for something you took as an affront. I did not intend to jump all over you regarding your questions, but you didn't ASK a question you made a statement regarding PA's and nurses. You received a reply regarding Navy nursing and because I do both I might have a few more answers. Civilian nursing generally tends to pay better. Also while employed often your employer will pay for you to continue your education. In the Navy, the needs of the Navy come first and if the Navy needs you to work in a particular area that you may not like they may not allow you to transfer or to continue your education (on their dime) in an area of your choice. Just some things to keep in mind. Benefits are usually better in the Navy (medical and dental) although they can be quite good in the civilian sector. In addition, please keep in mind that we are at war and IF you sign on the dotted line with any military organization you then become theirs to do with as they wish meaning you could be deployed at any time. I still wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose. :)

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