Considering Reserves as RN--Thoughts?


Hello, I'm just finishing my first nursing degree (MSN-entry-to-practice), and I'm 40 with 15 years of outpatient clinic management experience under my belt. I am heavily considering entering the military reserves and wondered if anyone had any thoughts? I am planning, eventually, to get back into administration at some point, likely in a consulting capacity. Most large consulting firms (Deloitte, for one) want a proven track record of moving up through the ranks of management. In a civilian hospital, this could take a great deal more time than I'd like and I know how much military service is valued, especially in the eyes of the civilian healthcare world. So, my questions are: Which branch of the reserves is a good choice? I'm considering any, although my dad is an honorable discharge amputee from the Army.

I like the thought of having help with loan repayment, as well as the possibility of pursuing advanced practice, but going into the military was something I've always thought about. Now that I'm completing my nursing degree, this is probably as good a time as any.

I would love to hear thoughts from those who have been in the reserves---length of service commitments, where you were located, etc., and anything else you think might be helpful. Thanks!!

wrigley, I think a large portion of what branches / choices are available include where you are located (or intend to live) and then to identify which branches and specific units are in your geographic area that you think are within a reasonable commuting distance. You can then see what units are present, then identify if nurses and then what type of nursing positions are available, look at the size and mission of each unit and this will help refine / limit what considerations you can look at. I also find that depending on what geo area your company is located in and then specific to that corporate culture you will find a varied range of military support.. but in the majority its viewed as a distinct positive, especially within the management track.

The incentives vary by branch and then nursing specialty so that will vary as you look at what is available and specific to your area.. I might also look at National Guard (air and army) within your army and also review those incentives as they are independent of fed reserve incentives. All contracts will have a base 8 years of service required and then the reserve duty status portion will vary based on your individual contract.. in reserves anywhere from 3-5 years is a good estimate of what you are likely to see and the rest would have to be served in IRR status.

I always recommend people interested in reserves or NG to refine their goals based on the units in their area, contact recruiter and ensure you meet baseline requirements, and then to contact local unit (via your recruiter) and coordinate for a meet and greet / unit tour for a day.. perhaps even make a good impression and seek a letter of recommendation from unit commander? Talk to some of the newer officers their and get their perspective... view the command climate and see if its something you want to be part of.


Thanks so much! This is a great place for me to start---great advice! :)