Medical DQ question for military nursing

  1. Hello All -

    I am considering military service as an RN, via DCO for either army or navy. I have met with reserve recruiters from both branches, so far so good - they seem interested in me.

    I am writing to ask about a possible medical issue. I am reluctant to bring it to the attention of a recuiter before I know the facts. I broached the subject with one army recruiter, and was basically told to lie about it. The vast majority of recruiters are honorable, (very) hard-working people - so I was a little surprised, but these things happen. They are under enormous pressure to make mission and get people in.

    I am a man in his mid-40s, in good physical shape overall, except that I am pre-hypertensive. I'm just kind of high-strung, and sometimes have a bit of a problem with idiopathic form of HTN. According to the new, more stringent guidelines that classify anyone with systolic BP of over 120 as pre-hypertensive, I qualify - as my systolic BP is generally in the 120-135 range unmedicated. Moreover, I have taken BP medicine now for several years as a precaution, at my physicians' direction. I could get off of it but I cannot deny having taken it, because I have.

    Will this DQ me for military service as an RN? I have gotten conflicting reports from various people.

    I could go off my medication and might pass a physical, but I cannot see how I can fail to disclose this issue. If I keep quiet during my physical at MEPS, and the service discovers it later in a check of my insurance or other health records, I will be booted out on my ear with dishonorable discharge. I am not a liar but don't want to present incriminating information about myself needlessly or unless abolutely forced to, either. I want to give myself the best chance of getting in as possible while still playing by the rules.

    Here's the last complication: I am losing weight and doing tons of cardio. I may get to a point where I no longer need/want BP meds.
    It makes the most sense to follow that route but I am up against it as far as my age is concerned; I am approaching the upper age cutoff for service in less than 6 months.

    Anyone had any success lowering BP with nutritional supplements or the like?

    Any replies appreciated...

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  3. by   wtbcrna
    I don't think MEPS is using the new guidelines for HTN. I think they are still using 140/90 as the cutoff to determine HTN for enlisted purposes.

    As far as how much you tell the MEPS it is up to you. The only information they will get is the information you give them....including where to get your old medical records etc.

    More than likely even if it was a disqualifier you would just get a waiver.

    There are nutritional supplements out there, but I don't recommend any for various reasons.
  4. by   GeorgiaBoy61
    Thanks for your reply and the information...

  5. by   HM2VikingRN
    It is waiverable. In the Navy Manmed there is a rather broad clause that says to the effect that older candidates may be approved for enlistment as minor dq conditions would not impede your ability to perform military duties. The magic phrase is NCD in the doctors notes. SOMETIMES Navy recruiters will use Navy reserve centers medical departments to do enlistment/commissioning physicals as a work around.

    I also encourage you to check out AD recruiters for the Army and Air Force. I think that they can accept non prior service nurses through age 47 for accession.

    Best of luck...