Army Nursing???

  1. I would love to hear feed back from US Army Nurses. What's it really like? Any advice, suggestions, input ? What should I expect?
  2. Visit flowerchild profile page

    About flowerchild

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 567; Likes: 13
    Clinic, HHC, Peds


  3. by   armyobrn
    expect for your life not to be your own, to be on call 24/7.Make no plans for the future,they will change.If you like to work short staffed,low budgeted welcome aboard.
  4. by   2ndCareerRN
    Not an Army nurse, but working in an Army facility as a traveler.

    Presently the only Army nurses we have here are the activated reservists. The ones who have left their families and permanent jobs to join us for an unspecified length of time ( appx. 1 year).

    Of course, all of the active duty nurses, and most of the docs, are presently sitting in the big sandbox. No one is sure when they will be back. It could turn into a long assignment.

    So, just be aware that your life is not yours in any of the services. You can be plucked from where ever you are at and sent somewhere else at the desires of the government.

    Take a look at where most of the Army bases are. Small backwater towns with very little to offer.

    Now, look where the Navy hospitals are at. Usually close to a major city, and on the coasts because the Navy needs deep water ports to operate from.

    So, do not limit yourself to one branch of the service. There is a lot of opportunity in the military, you just need to do a lot of research on the different branches, and don't forget the public health service also offers commisions.

    On the other hand, the opportunity for travel, personal advancement, and having the government pay for your MS are a few of the good things.


    Edit: Saw your sig after posting. It seems it is to late for you to consider other options.

    Good luck, hopefully you won't end up somewhere like Ft. Polk, or Ft. Irwin.
    Last edit by 2ndCareerRN on May 24, '03
  5. by   flowerchild
    Thank you for the quick replies. Yes, 2ndCareerRN, you are right, the Army is the only branch that will recruit me at age 39. The other branches cut off at 34.

    I am very interested in the educational opportunities. Would like to become an FNP. Is this really possible? Does the Army provide this education to those who qualify? They say they do.

    I am currently a Public Health Nurse with my own clinic. I do love my job but the pay leaves A LOT to be desired. (under 30,000) Currently the budget cuts are threatening my stability. I have already been laid off twice, through no fault of my own, cashed out on retirement after several years of service. I don't want to work the rest of my life. SS says I can retire at 72. Oh boy!

    My goal is to be career Army, retire in 20 years. I'll be 61 y/o. I like the idea of retiring early.
    I'm told I will be commissioned as a 1st Lt, promoted to Cpt. in a few months, and probably retire as a Col. Sounds good to me.
    I am joining the Reserves first. Will be in the Reserves for 2 years then go active.
    I want to travel, serve my country, advance my career, provide for my family, and get more education.

    Hubby (Army Vet) is all for it. My oldest will be an adult by the time I go active. My RN boss, who is an Army Vet, says I will love it b/c I am the type of person who does well in the military.

    armyobrn, I've spent the majority of my nursing career on call 24/7. Used to working short staffed and under budget, but was hoping the Army would be better. My life has not been my own for the last 16 years IMO. I can't remember the last time I actually lived my life for myself. Sad, but true.

    The Reserve unit I will be joining has not been called active. It is a feild hospital that has over 600 members. I understand that when they are called, the entire unit is called. Their mission is changing from training in the jungles to training in Egypt next year. I suspect that they have not been called b/c they are not ready to serve in the desert yet.
    I know the hardest part will be the seperation from my family when I am called to serve in the Middle East or elsewhere. Of course there is a posiblilty that I will never serve in the MEast. I am not going into this with eyes closed. That is why your responses are so very important to me. Any and all information I can get now, will help me make the right decision regaurding my life and my future. Perhaps the 20 I am in won't be my own, but it leaves me with 11 more years of time that will be mine once I'm retired, and that is my light at the end of the tunnel.
    Of course, all of this rides on if I can get through MEPS. I'm wondering if they need nurses so bad that MEPS won't be a problem. I don't think I have anything that will keep me from serving, but I won't really know untill after MEPS. My recruiter tells me I have nothing to worry about, but we will see what happens.
    Please keep the responses coming.
  6. by   2ndCareerRN

    I am not so sure about the cutoff at a certain age for other services. I was toying with the idea of joining the USN reserves at the age of 46. I had already retired from the Navy and was told that the cut-off for recruitment of "war-critical" specialities was 47. Which makes sense, it gives you the ability to do 15 years of active duty (and be able to retire) before the federally mandated retirement age of 65.

    You may be able to look at the other services, even though they list their cutoff age a lot lower what they actually take.

    Be very wary of the recruiters. I won't say they lie, but, they may omit some items or exagerate some others.

  7. by   flowerchild
    Thanks Bob, I'll look into it. The AF was my first choice. I'm a bit shy about the Navy, wouldn't want to be on a big boat for long periods of time. I'll call the recruiters of the other branches on Tuesday. Thanks again!
  8. by   armyobrn
    Flowerchild~1LT to CPT in a couple of years is more likely than months. The average time for that promotion is 3 years. I would check that out with your recruiter if they are telling you it will be just a couple of months.
  9. by   dreamon
    armyobrn....I will be going to college in the fall to get my BSN then join the army. Can I pick your brain about experiences you have had at work? I just got out the army in April of this year, after 4 and a half years. So I know all about the making no plans for the future and such. I am interested in trying out the officers side the second time around. any ifo you can give is greatly appreciated, thank you!
  10. by   renerian
    I tried to enlist after 9/11 as a military nurse. Told I was too old. I was 45.

  11. by   dreamon
    I hope other Army nurses add thrie experiences to this forum. For weeks I have searched for any information out of the mouths of the soldiers who actually have this occupation. Hope to hear from someone soon!
  12. by   CPT_Jana
    I have been an Army nurse on active duty for 8 1/2 years. Most of my assignments have been absolutely wonderful! Overall, I wouldn't change a thing about how my career as a nurse has progressed in the military. Some of the locations I have been in are: San Antonio, TX; Washington, DC; Seoul, South Korea; Heidelberg, Germany; and Kuwait. I've had jobs as staff nurse, head nurse, unit education coordinator, and clinical course director. I'm starting a funded MSN program in the fall of 2004. Being in the Army is not all fun and games, however. You will undoubtedly be required to make personal sacrifices at some point in your career. But, for me, Army medicine is a wholly personally and professionally satisfying career. I can't explain the look in an injured soldier's eyes when he enters a US military medical facility and knows that he will receive world-class healthcare - even in a tent.

    Best wishes to you!

  13. by   dreamon
    Thanks Cpt Jana- I am still deciding whether I should join the Army Rotc or not.
  14. by   FlyingED
    The first part of this year I went to the Air Forces Nursing Service Management Course at Sheppard AFB. My instructor, a Major-LtCol selectee, was well into her 50s. My point is, the Air Force took her in at an advanced age, she had her PhD paid for and she will retire as a LtCol. Not bad.

    Follow the advice to look at all the services. I personally would have liked the Navy, but they wouldn't pay for my BSN so screw um.
    Semper Fi