Former VA Nurse wanting to join Navy Nurse Corp as Reservist


I am a 40 year old RN with 20 years experience. I spent 9 of those years working in the ER at a VA Hospital and currently work in a private sector ER. May 1st I began taking classes at WGU to complete my BSN wit the intention of joining the Navy Nurse Corp as a reservist. I had read that an experienced nurse would be eligible to join if they were enrolled & in good standing of a program to obtain a BSN. Sadly, I was disappointed to find out when I spoke online to a recruiter that a RN must have their BSN prior to being commissioned. I would like to know more about the requirements to become a military nurse as a reservist, what is involved in the process, what are the age limits, etc.

Editorial Team / Moderator

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,748 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

All branches require a BSN to commission. You should contact recruiters directly for current needs and age limits. I believe the Army is still 42, Air Force might be 47.

As I have heard it, the Navy also does not recognize years of experience that occur before you have a BSN.

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,559 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

You don't want to join the Navy; all your experience will not be credited towards your rank and pay as it was earned prior to your BSN. You're talking O-1 vs. O-3 with $10K/yr minimum difference in salary.

Generally for all branches, it's a 6 month long application process from start to finish that involves multiple interviews, a medical exam, an extensive security clearance check, and a lengthy paper application; it's a 1 year process in total from the time you contact a recruiter until the time you show up at officer basic. It is competitive, but you would likely get in as an ER nurse with that amount of experience and a CEN.