Navy Nurse Depression Waiver

  1. Hello I am currently a RN thinking about joining the Navy. I have had a history of depression due to my stress of my sister growing up bipolar and constantly attempting suicide (walking in on her hanging herself and overdosing multiple times). I have been on anti-depression medications for roughly 5 years.

    I know depression is an automatic DQ. I was hoping that being off my medication for two years would qualify me.


    Here are my stats:

    BSN in Nursing (GPA roughly 3.7)
    5 years experience (1 Postpartum, 1 wound care/Case management, 1 step-down, 2 ICU)
    Letter of recommendation from my doctor saying I am fit for duty and off medication
    Intermediate Fluent in Korean (idk if this would help me at all)


    I believe there is a need for CC nurses. I hope this will help alongside me being off my medication for 2 years will help for a waiver.


    Military nurses, what are my chances? It is a dream to serve my country in the Navy and go green side as both of my parents are retired Marines.
  2. Visit soah profile page

    About soah

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 28; Likes: 7

    6 Comments

  3. by   majeco2001
    Hi soah,

    I am sorry to hear about your sister. My recommendation would be to contact a current Navy medical recruiter. Needs of the military change so fast and with those changes, the standards/waivers/requirements change. For example, just recently the DOD has talked about allowing individuals with mental illness across all branches. A current recruiter will have information that is current, accurate, and truthful. I know this doesn't directly answer your question and you are looking for information, but I hope it helps slightly. I am actually meeting with my local recruiter on Friday and if I remember, I will relay your question and see if I can get you an accurate answer. Good luck.
  4. by   majeco2001
    soah,

    This is what the local Navy medical recruiter sent me and I quote:

    "It would likely require a waiver at minimum with the history of the condition and the length of treatment. It does pose the potential to be an uphill battle to be medically cleared for service. Mental health can be a tough one. The ultimate decision would be made by MEPS and the Medical Waivers Department for Navy Recruiting Command. What they will want is to review all the associated medical records to determine if the history of the condition in question is waiverable. They take things like length of treatment, severity, inpatient vs outpatient, circumstance, etc all into consideration."
  5. by   soah
    Thank you so much. I know it probably won't happen but thank you
  6. by   majeco2001
    soah,

    My advice and personal belief is don't tell yourself no, let whoever makes the decision say no. I don't want to give you false hope so plan for the worst, hope for the best, and go talk to a recruiter if it is what you feel compelled to do. If serving your country or fellow service members is something that is important to you, do everything you can to create your own opportunities. If you don't get accepted or you are denied, at least you can look yourself in the mirror and say you did everything you could. Additionally, depending on your motives and reasons for wanting to join, working for the VA might be a consideration. I understand you wouldn't be in the military, but you would be serving veterans and many VA nurses and doctors I know find this very rewarding (even with all the criticism that the VA takes). Just food for thought.

    Take care-
  7. by   ArmyMedicRN
    Hello. Glad to hear you want to serve your country! Your circumstances are indeed an uphill battle, that's for sure. Before you even delve into the process of applying for Officership and this and that you should get in touch with a specialist doctor, a psychiatrist in your case, unless you already have one. You are going to need a written letter from a doctor familiar with your case that states explicitly that you are cleared for military duty and your medical condition will in no way ever interfere with your ability to complete your duties. If it doesn't say that or something similar, I can tell you that you will never get a waiver approved. So, first things first...get an appointment and see if a doctor even thinks you are cleared because if not, you will spend tons of time and energy in fruitlessly applying for the military when you will be inevitably disqualified later. Good luck to you.
  8. by   ArmyMedicRN
    I see now that you said you have a letter of recommendation from your doctor, I must've missed that bullet earlier. Anyway, that is a good starting point and should suffice at least for now. As long as you don't have any other conditions that need waivers, you should be able to safely create a packet and apply. Worse case scenario besides being DQ'd is the Navy needing additional evaluations from other doctors just to be certain. As a side, without getting too personal, if you've ever had any self harm, suicidal attempts, or had to be inpatient psych, I'm not certain, but that may be quite hard, if not impossible, to get a waiver. You would have to ask someone with first hand experience on this subject and definitely tell your recruiter, they have access to all the requirements.

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