Joining the Army Reserve Nurse Corps... Help me w/ pros and cons - page 2

So I have been talking w/ a Recruiter, gone through MEPS, and am wrapping up the paperwork for my Officer application. I would like to hear some pros and cons from the people out there who are doing... Read More

  1. by   azariasRN
    Hello. Jeckrn is pretty close to info. I am a direct commission RN as of November. I am currently pre-BOLC. There are 2 options to BOLC. Full course usually is active duty & ROTC cadets. Split course is usually for the Reserves because of cost to Army. Split BOLC is broken up into 2 phases. Phase 1 is strictly online and must be completed before you can get a class date for Phase 2. Phase 2 BOLC is 4 weeks, mainly FTX.

    I am prior service, 101st ABN DIV. Seeing a combat unit versus medical unit and active versus reserves has allowed me a unique perspective. Basically, each unit and unit commander can make military life a breeze and even enjoyable or make you feel like you are in prison breaking rocks and counting down the days until your out. As an FNP, you'll probably be assigned to a Combat Support Hospital and possibly attached to the APMC (AMEDD Professional Management Command) depending how far displaced you are from the nearest unit that has an eligible and open slot for you. Hopefully this helps. BiGGEST thing! Find a Healthcare recruiter who is on the up & up. ANY remote sense you're trying to get a car sold to you and hit the bricks. And by all means, get any incentives/ promises in writing. If you have done any travel contracts, it the same thing. If incentives go away, you are guaranteed them with you contract.
  2. by   Scottlin
    I recently received my direct commission into the Army Reserve in December and have been drilling ever since. I am prior service (from a Special Forces National Guard unit) back in the late 90's-2001. I had been out for over a decade, but decided that this is something I missed and wanted to feel like I contributed to my country and the Army.

    I can tell you that I have not had one single regret since my return. I have enjoyed my time back in the Army and think that my time here will be more rewarding than my previous service tour. Life as an officer is completely different than that of a private-specialist and being prior service, I have respect for both. I have been a nurse educator for several years now and find that it helps me teach my fellow soldiers. I have a masters degree in Nursing and also received the healthcare loan repayment benefit. It's not every day that someone offers to pay your student loans off in 3 or fewer years! I agree with the others here that have stated get EVERYTHING IN WRITING! Good thing now is, most everything has to be in writing and can be easily saved electronically. SAVE EVERYTHING! Save all of your orders, contract, commission papers, and anything military in nature. Have them scanned and available electronically. The one thing I don't miss about the military is that they lose everything and it's always someone else's fault. I went to MEPS and they didn't have my files available ("someone else's fault). Lucky for me (and my knowledge as a prior service soldier) I had everything they were looking for in my possession. I would have been sent home and would have been required to reschedule my MEPS visit (4hrs away from my home) had I not kept those papers with me. I use dropbox. If you haven't heard of's great! I am able to upload files electronically from my PC to my dropbox folder and they're available from another computer and even my cell phone. On several occassions I've been able to get things done quickly that would have taken days/weeks otherwise simply because I had the forms electronically and available for emailing/printing. That's just my story though and my as you see fit. But keep your files up to date and easily accessible.

    Long-story's worth it. I enjoy it, I am already beginning to contribute to my unit and I'm still pre-BOLC. I would be going in August, but I injured my shoulder and had to get rotator cuff surgery...which put me back several months. But I will be going as soon as I can (hopefully November). I feel a sense of new-found honor when I wear that uniform and I feel like I'm part of the big picture again. I missed being able to go to a military base or post too during my decade as a civilian. Now I get to do that as well. The prices aren't much better than a typical big-name store...but the tax-free purchasing does make a difference.

    Good luck in your career!
  3. by   nurse2033
    I'm Air National Guard and the deployments are much shorter (4-6 months) which works better for me as a single parent. I couldn't do longer deployments. And my job as a flight nurse is awesome! I'm in my first deployment and love it. Feel free to email me for more info.
  4. by   tt2323
    I am a Army reserve RN who just finished BOLC in the middle of March. I have been drilling since Sept '11. Been great so far. Keep in mind phase 1 of BOLC the online part can take up to 100hrs to complete and this is unpaid time. You'll have to front a significant amount of money for uniforms as you only get $400 allowance one time after BOLC. This BOLC time can be used in place of your 2weeks in the summer, but being new I'm doing as much time as I can. It's quite a time consuming process at first. Also those bonuses are taxed so if you get the 50,000 school loan payment (20/20/10) they end up being like 14,400 after one year 14,400 after year 2 etc. Any specific questions please ask. Happy to help.
  5. by   Scottlin

    Since you went to Phase 2 of BOLC this March, can you please give me details regarding your time there? I've asked in other threads, but no responses. I'll be going later this year and hope to have an idea of how it works, what we'll be doing (alot of time in the woods I hear), and if you have any free time.

    Any information would be helpful. Trying to decide if I should fly or drive there (I live almost 2000 miles away).

  6. by   tt2323
    We started off with some classroom stuff for a few days and then basically spent m-f out in the field for 3 weeks. Our hotel was about 15mins off post. We all had a great time on the weekend although had Class of some sort on Saturday. We had free time after about 5pm daily where we could use cell phones etc. If I were you I would fly. People rented cars as needed which was like $20/day. If you enjoy driving it did give a little bit more flexibility. Overall it was a blast you'll enjoy it. If you have anymore specific questions send me an email goneu at. Yahoo .com
  7. by   Scottlin
    Thanks for the info!

    I'm beginning to lean towards flying...just to make my trip MUCH shorter. So you guys stayed in hotels on the weekends? I'm surprised they didn't put you up in the barracks on post.
  8. by   tt2323
    Yes housing was full on post so we stayed at the holiday inn off post it was pretty nice though. We dd get up earlier to bus to ft Sam in the AM when we had class and then the few times we got out early the buses came a fee times 2-43 hours later so some Of us used a taxi to get back. Another women at my unit just retuned from BOLC I talked with her today and she stayed on post. Each location has its advantages/disadvantages