Army, Air Force, Navy -What fits personality better?

  1. This new thread is to ask for help in choosing what branch of the military to serve in as a nurse of my personality. They're so different in many ways, & it is becoming increasingly tough to decide when all the Recruiters (of course, because it's their job) make it seem all branches would fit me .

    I think I've ruled out Navy because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do well having to go on a ship for 6mo at a time if I were deployed, & I feel the places I'd go wouldn't fit me in that I'd be stuck in a clinic or hospital for too long.

    That said, now I'm looking at A.F. or Army. Can any of you help me decide by these personality guidelines? ....I am much more of an outdoorsy person, hate being stuck in a rut, will be continuing my education to a Masters, love to travel, believe I would be good at field work because I get pretty antsy when I feel I'm trapped in the "four walls" too long -thus not wanting to work in a "building" my entire life, love the idea of helping our men & woman in service & also w/ humanitarian work on the side. I want to learn how to have more leadership & assertiveness, & want to excel in my profession. I'm not married, no kids, thirty years old, obtaining my BSN right now, & have one dog. I love to do technical & eclectic things too -doesn't have to always be medical related, though I am a nurse number one.
    So, what do you guys think would be better for me? Air Force or Army? I'd REALLY appreciate the advice & direction!

    Also, how many days/hours do you typically work as a nurse in both branches (besides going to help whenever needed)??? And are there any downfalls to being a female nurse in the Army/Air Force?

    I know, long request...but it's my life! ha! I'm trying to make wise decisions so that I won't regret which branch I choose, but will instead wake up everyday excited to get to work as a dedicated, educated nurse!

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!
    Last edit by Care&Joy on Oct 4, '06
  2. Visit Care&Joy profile page

    About Care&Joy

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 134; Likes: 21
    ER the past 2 years; Newly accessed 1LT Active Duty Army
    Specialty: Med/Surg;Hm Health;House Super; ER

    34 Comments

  3. by   athena55
    Hello Care&Joy:
    First off, thank you for thinking about the Nurse Corps. Big step that requires lots of thought, which you seem to be doing (giving the decision much thought, smile)
    I wouldn't feel right in telling you which aspect of the Armed Forces would be a better match for you. I would think that is a decision that you would have to arrive at, with enough informational input, that is.
    We do have members of this forum who represent many different areas: Navy, Army, Air Force. And I am sure that maybe a few of these esteemed forum members would agree that, as with anything in life, you have good days and bad days; boring days and days where you don't have time to catch your breath. Please keep this in the back of your mind when you are trying to make a decision: An Order is An Order. You do and go where you are told.
    I am not sure what you meant by "...are there any downfalls to being a female nurse in the Army/Air Force?"
    Good Luck in your decision making process!
    Respectfully,
    athena
  4. by   Care&Joy
    Quote from athena55
    Hello Care&Joy:
    First off, thank you for thinking about the Nurse Corps. Big step that requires lots of thought, which you seem to be doing (giving the decision much thought, smile)
    I wouldn't feel right in telling you which aspect of the Armed Forces would be a better match for you. I would think that is a decision that you would have to arrive at, with enough informational input, that is.
    We do have members of this forum who represent many different areas: Navy, Army, Air Force. And I am sure that maybe a few of these esteemed forum members would agree that, as with anything in life, you have good days and bad days; boring days and days where you don't have time to catch your breath. Please keep this in the back of your mind when you are trying to make a decision: An Order is An Order. You do and go where you are told.
    I am not sure what you meant by "...are there any downfalls to being a female nurse in the Army/Air Force?"
    Good Luck in your decision making process!
    Respectfully,
    athena

    Thanks for responding, Athena. I'm anxious to hear what others suggest! I definitely agree w/ good & bad days, & I heartily agree that I will accept orders. I'm just concerned I'll choose a branch that doesn't fit my personality as well as others (ie: outdoor/field opportunities, travel, continual education...etc), to where I'll have wished I had chosen the 'other' service.

    What I meant about the female officer question is mainly regarding such things as sexual harassment on the field during deployments, etc. I definitely know it happens, so it's not about that; it's asking what kind of protection are we given w/ that & what safeguards we're taught to defend ourselves when it happens. Also, do we get Ibuprofen when PMSing, HA HA! :roll Just kidding!

    Sincerely, Holly

    P.S. Oh, & I mentioned it was tough deciding because all the recruiters are being generic in their descriptions in what I'd be experiencing as a nurse & telling me that "Oh" I'd be doing alllll that I wanted in each branch...etc. & I know that's not true. I know in each branch, I'd be doing more of certain things in certain areas. I've worked in Med/Surg & Home Health (& possibly PACU before joining the service), but I'm wanting to work my way to Critical Care/Trauma, I'm interested in flight nursing after I get through that too, along w/ MASH type settings....

    P.P.S. Oh yeah! & Can some of you A.F. nurses give me some exciting stories of your experiences, travels, education, etc, as a nurse in the A.F.? That would make my day, as I keep hearing great Army nurse stories that are making me lean towards Army, but I'm not really hearing any Air Force nurse stories...& that can make a big difference in my decision. Thank you!
    Last edit by Care&Joy on Oct 5, '06
  5. by   navynurse06
    ok....navy nurses don't go just on ship! in fact, there are only 2 hospital ships in the whole fleet. the mercy is out of san diego, and the comfort is out of portsmouth, va. of course, there are nurses on other ships, but we don't just go on ships!
    i'm not sure what you meant by ”feel the places i'd go wouldn't fit me in that i'd be stuck in a clinic or hospital for too long." we have a wide variety of duty stations conus and oconus. and when we are deployed its not just on ship. we are deployed to africa, iraq, and kuwait in army and air force hospital. those deployments are any where from 5months to 1 yr.
    so i just wanted to clear up those misconceptions!
  6. by   navynurse06
    Also just to add...You commented "thus not wanting to work in a "building" my entire life, love the idea of helping our men & woman in service & also w/ humanitarian work on the side."
    The Mercy just returned from a 5 month humanitarian mission that visisted several different countries and helped many, many people!
    Also, don't forget that we side by side with USMC (they are a department of the Navy), so we get to be the medical for them out in the field, as well.
    ENS PM
  7. by   Care&Joy
    Quote from navynurse06
    Also just to add...You commented "thus not wanting to work in a "building" my entire life, love the idea of helping our men & woman in service & also w/ humanitarian work on the side."
    The Mercy just returned from a 5 month humanitarian mission that visisted several different countries and helped many, many people!
    Also, don't forget that we side by side with USMC (they are a department of the Navy), so we get to be the medical for them out in the field, as well.
    ENS PM
    Thanks for expounding NavyNurse06!
    That's why I was hoping to get some more info on all the branches, as many of the recruiters were being very generalistic in what nurses do in the field. The Navy recruiter has been very nice, but the way it was being portrayed to me was "hospital or ship" & that's it, w/ a very brief possibility of doing field work in MASH type settings...which would be rare. I'm more of an outside tomboy, so the thought of always being indoors w/in four walls or inside a ship...I was getting claustrophobic thinking about it w/ how he was describing it, ha! That's why I kept asking to speak to a Navy nurse to ask questions w/, as that is my best source, but the Navy recruiter couldn't get one for me until the 28th of this month, & I really have to make a decision soon d/t other personal circumstances & schooling. The Mercy ship missions sound very intriguing! One thing that sounded appealing to me too w/ the Navy was that it seems they go to so many ports, making travel an added bonus!

    Again, thank you for sharing & clarifying!
    Holly
  8. by   Care&Joy
    Hello,
    Well, I know this forum I tried starting for help isn't that active, but I'll post an update anyway. I've decided to join Army nursing, but I guess it's not guaranteed until I pass the physical sometime soon. That's the first obstacle to get through, THHEEENNNNNnnn I can say if I really get to join or not

    Holly
  9. by   DanznRN
    C & J-

    You need to keep in mind a few things about military nursing and I'm pretty sure this goes for everybody, you gotta crawl before you can run. Almost every service is going to put you in a hospital with walls for the first year at least. How can you go into the field and be an assertive/ self-directed nurse if you don't have the skills to do it? The military won't let you. you are put into a hospital to learn and perfect your skills, then you get to go out. Also, when you go out in the field, you're it in most cases, no other nurses to back you up, no one to bounce ideas off of, they are not going to put a brand new nurse into that kind of environment, we call it "setup for failure." You have to make life and death decisions at the blink of an eye, had a buddy of mine involved in an IED explosion in his HUMMVEE and the one in front of him. He ended up with 4 wounded Marines, all critcal. He had to decide who had the best chance to make it right then and there, 2 did, 2 didn't. You don't learn that with on the job training, that is time spent developing you skills and knowledge starting in a hospital. So don't make a decsiion on who to go with by who is going to put you in the filed right away, it's not going to happen, but you'll get your turn.
    As for the a Navy, I have been at for 10 years now and love it. Never have set foot one on a ship except to go have lunch with my uncle a chaplain on the USS Kitty Hawk. Other than that, I had a lovely "camping" adventure with the Marines in Camp Jejeune for about 2 weeks. the Navy only actually has 12 ships that can use a nurse and they are all carriers and you have to volunteer to get there. Yes, the hospital ships go out from time to time doing humanitarian stuff and yes you could be selected to go, but you end up spending more time off than on because you're helping the communities. I know you have made you decision and good luck with that, I go to school right now with some Army Nurses, great people. Good Luck and I hope you get what you're looking for.

    LCDR Dan
  10. by   dancebeauty03
    Hi I am wanting to enlist after I graduate w/ an associated degree. What are the different roles and responsibilities w/ each branch? I'm leaning towards Navy but what is the difference between the others?
  11. by   frozztozzNak
    wow! a place i feel like i fit in on here. i am a military spouse, who is a nurse. i have been around the army for the past 13 years and currently i am working for the air force. i have seen good days and bad for both services. one of the biggest differences i see between these two services is the cohesion. in the army, it seems that it is one big family. some days, we are one big happy family and others a great big disfunctional one. still all working together for one goal. my spouse is currently adaf( a change he made nearly 2 years ago) there is no cohesion in the af. it seems to me that everyone is for themselves, how, who, and when do i need to step on the man next to me to get promoted. i personally have not seen anyone say great job! let me show you where that is! how bout if i help you with that and i work in a clinic where nurses are supposed to "have each other's backs." what i see here (please keep in mind i am in ak and what we do here is very minimal clinically) are alot of very qualified nurses wasting their license spending their days on the telephones doing triage. we are very near an army post (that is where the "hospital" is) which i work very closely with d/t my job. there i see the experienced nurses in administrative positions, and the "floor nurses" with very little experience and no one around to guide them. i can not speak from experience of a floor nurse in either situation, but as a spouse, seeing and living a military life, if i were to join, i would go "green" yes they may deploy for longer periods of time, yes they are gone from their families alot! but i know, or feel more comfortable knowing that the guy next to me has my back. and not after my job or promotion!!
  12. by   brendamyheart
    Quote from Care&Joy
    Hello,
    Well, I know this forum I tried starting for help isn't that active, but I'll post an update anyway. I've decided to join Army nursing, but I guess it's not guaranteed until I pass the physical sometime soon. That's the first obstacle to get through, THHEEENNNNNnnn I can say if I really get to join or not

    Holly
    Yo will do well there. I was not a RN when I joined, but ended up as an LPN when I left. I was in ten years. I never have regretted the time in. Good luck!!
  13. by   adrienurse
    My BF looks sexy in his blues. So I vote Airforce.
  14. by   DanznRN
    DanceBeauty03-

    Not to disappoint, but the Navy will not use you with and ADN. DO NOT LET A RECRUITER TELL YOU THEY WILL!! I have seen a few people come to the Navy with expectations of using their ADN as a Corpsmen, as the recruiter told them. However, you will not be working as a nurse. In the Navy you have to have your BSN to be a Navy Nurse and officer. As a side note I think the Army will take you with your ADN and you will be enlisted. Search for CorvetteGuy on this forum and he can give you the low down, he's all Army. I'm Navy for the past 10 years, would love to have you, but that's not how the Navy is currently.

    LCDR Dan

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