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

  1. 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 it - Army Reserve Nurse Corps Officers. (No offense, but please none of that "my third cousin's neighbor who lives six streets over knows a gal who..." mess.)

    Here are a few details:

    Good health, long distance runner as a hobby
    BSN, working on my FNP
    Wife and Mother of 3 (youngest being 5 months olds)
    Work in LTC/Rehab
    Well aware that I may be deployed if my country needs me
    Feel it would be a privilage to be a Nurse to our service men and women
    Will take advantage of tuition reimbursment for 3 years service

    You advice would be greatly appreciated...

  2. Visit GetBehindtheBarn profile page

    About GetBehindtheBarn, BSN

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 25; Likes: 14


  3. by   zombie

    I am active duty Army. Not sure if I can help. Wondering what your specifically asking though. It sounds like your initial motivation is to get your schooling paid for which I guess is a PRO. You will be going to OBLC for a few months which is fun, but you will be away from your family during that time. I do believe you will have to "drill" during the month so with your little ones child care can be an issue/or not. Deployments can be an issue, but you know what your getting into when you join the service. Just keep that in mind for child care purposes though. I personally am glad I joined active duty. I worked civilian for a few years in the ICU and joined as a critical care nurse. Active duty members may be eligible for a 20k per year for 4 years with a certification in your field. Such as CCRN for the ICU. But that really doesn't apply to you.

    So, I dunno if this answers some of your questions if you have specific ones I may or may not be able to help you because I am active duty.
  4. by   Pixie.RN
    Reserve OBLC (now called BOLC - Basic Officer Leader Course) at Ft. Sam Houston is much shorter for Reservists ... I think about three weeks total, vs. the 11 weeks I spent there (9 weeks for the core course, 2 weeks for "Nurse Track").

    I'm also active duty, so I can't really shed any light on the pros/cons for Reservists. Good luck, whatever you decide!
  5. by   jeckrn
    I am active now but spent 7 years in the Army Reserve. Some Pros is the extra income for not having to work too hard; get to meet new people, travel to places and do things that you would not otherwise. Some cons, and extra weekend of work per month, problems with employers who do not understand the laws r/t reservist. Deployments can be either a pro or a con depending what is going on in you life at the time. When I went to OBC, now BOLC it was only 2 weeks long, now its 3-4 weeks long with modules to be completed before you arrive at Ft. Sam.
  6. by   ckh23
    I spent some time in the Marine Corps Reserve and I just sent in my application a couple of weeks ago. I'm trying to get into the Army STRAP program, but you still need to be commissioned into the Nurse Corps.

    One weekend a month/2 weeks a year.
    Dirt cheap health care through tricare
    If you decide to go the distance you can draw a pension
    You get to see some exotic and interesting places.

    Deployment (It's not just you that will have to go through the deployment, but your wife and kids as well)
    The Army's needs are placed above and beyond your needs or your occupation. Theoretically they could take you away from nursing and put you into the infantry. The S would really need to hit the fan for that to happen.
    Employers that don't understand.
    In the reserve it is sometimes hard to balance and juggle military life with civilian life.
    And as with everything, there is always a risk of death.
  7. by   SoldierNurse22
    CHK23 tells the truth. MREs are both pros and cons.
  8. by   jeckrn
    Commisary a pro but not the PX so much anymore. The PX used to be a good place to shop but now its only good for the tax free shopping. I remember when gas was 15-20 cents cheaper a gallon on post vs off post. This was when gas was $1.00/gal. Now it can be higher then off post. The PX does give back a lot of money to MWR which is good, but if they changed their pricing and had better prices they would increase their volume which would increase profit.
  9. by   deftonez188
    At the BX I shop at, the quality is poor for non-processed items. I've been occasionally commissary shopping since 2002 at 3 different bases - most of the produce and meats seem to be of the lowest quality. As a person who eats a lot more produce to keep healthy, I don't particularly go there any more. And if you want a good steak, don't bother!

    I also always wondered when I was sent for training at various bases, how the chow halls could charge $7+ for a healthy meal, and yet I could go to the burger/fries line and get a meal for much less.
  10. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from SoldierNurse22
    CHK23 tells the truth. MREs are both pros and cons.
    True dat. Although I'm the weirdo that liked the omelet MRE ... so good! Haha. I could always make a good trade to take that omelet MRE off someone's hands.

    I've been shopping at various commissaries and the BX/PX/Navy Exchange for most of my life. I swear the same clothing buyer has been populating every single facility with the same lame clothing since 1982 or so. I do like shopping in them to support MWR and thus the soldiers/families, but good grief.
  11. by   Riversurfer
    I want to pipe in here! I am a Registered Nurse with a little over 2 years experience on a surgical unit. I will be taking a job next month on a telemetry unit and plan to parlay that into a CCU within a year. My next step in the Army Reserve recruiting process is a physical, which the recruiter is trying to schedule for next week. Here's where I'm trying to understand the larger picture and why the Army Reserve is interested in me: The Pentagon is slashing the defense budget by nearly $500 billion over the next decade by eliminating nearly 100,000 ground troops. Why is the Army Reserve interested in more Reserve nurses? Also, am I being looked at as a Med/Surg RN with a specific duty in mind, or should I have flexibility as my critical care training in my civilian life develops? Thanks everyone!
  12. by   jeckrn
    Recruiting will never stop; there is always someone getting out, either they are retiring or at the end of their contract. By your post you will be looked at as a med/surg nurse since that is where your experience is at. If you had the critical care experince they you could be looked at be a critical care nurse.
  13. by   AWanderingMinstral
    Is the "Army Reserve Nurse Corps" the same thing as being in the reserves as a nurse?
  14. by   jeckrn
    Yes it is