Nursing school and the military

  1. Hello! This is one of my first posts here at allnurses but I love to troll the site whenever I have questions and could spend HOURS looking around here. Anyway, I'm 24 yrs old and desperately wanting to get a nursing degree. I've known for as long as I can remember that this is what I am meant to do and it was only matters of money that held me back as long as they have. I want to work in L&D, unless I change my mind between now and then. Ultimately a BSN would be nice but I'll even go for an LVN and work my way up at this point.

    My backstory
    Until a few weeks ago I was enrolled in a LVN program at a local community college but unfortunately with only 12 weeks to go they gave me the boot. It was a bunch of political nonsense but that's another story... I've been placed on a waiting list to finish up at another school but the way the courses are set up I will have to complete both their fall and spring semesters. For over the past year I've been staying with my folks (I have no hubby, no kids) with plans to graduate in July. That obviously did not happen and now I'm in a pickle. With loans pretty much maxed out from not working over the last year I can't imagine asking my parents to cosign on any more for ANOTHER year of school or continue to live at home rent free since they are both near retirement and money is tight.

    I don't know much about military nursing but have been reading up on some of the military branch sites. It seems that getting a nursing degree isn't possible without already having your bachelors or being within 2 years of finishing it. Unless I'm missing something. I've seen there's medic type positions which sounds an awful lot like nursing and I would love the experience I'm sure I gain but it's not a nursing degree.
    Can anyone recommend how and what branch it is possible to get SOME KIND of nursing degree from scratch? I just can't imagine not being able to go back to school until I meet my dream man and get married and have someone support me through school. With my luck it'll never happen! :chuckle
    And with as long as I've wanted this I can't imagine giving this up but don't know how I can afford it financially on my own otherwise.

    Also, does anyone know why the TX state board only considers the Army to have "an approved vocational nursing program?"
    What military branch has an approved nursing program?
    The Army is the only military branch that has an approved Vocational Nursing Program.

    Thanks so much!
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    About mebamy

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 11; Likes: 1
    MA; from US


  3. by   jeckrn
    Yes, you can join the military and be an LPN/LVN. In the Army you would be a 68WM6. In the Navy you would go to Hospital Corpsman school and then you would go on and could be anything from a line medic to a Dental Tech. Can not answer anything about the Air Force. Your best bet would be to go to talk with the recruiters from all 3 services to find what would be the best fit for you. Sorry to here about your schooling.
  4. by   Mtpiesch
    You should look into a ROTC program. I am in the Air ROTC going for my BSN and they are covering 100% of my tuition, plus free room and board, and a monthly stipend. Its a good deal
  5. by   athena55
    Plus, as long as you are in school (ROTC program or other sanctioned Armed Forces program like the Army STRAP) you are non-deployable.
    You need to consider your responsibilites after you graduate or, if you don't complete the program, you will still owe the government their $$, which they will get back in your time (i.e., x number of years pay-back wearing the uniform)
  6. by   NrsCyn2011
    Hi there,
    I'm kind of in the same boat as you although I have decided I want to do the Air Force. Good benefits, good pay, 30 days paid leave immediately, good retirement, medical, shortest deployments, etc. I am a medic wanting to get my BSN. The Air Force has a program for active duty and reserve where you come in enlisted and apply to go to nursing school (everything paid). You can go in as a med tech and put in a package for nursing. Provided your package is accepted than your "job" would be to go to school. After that I think you can comission, but I just talked to a recruiter and I don't know if he's BSing me to get me in enlisted or if there is no guarantee that when your done with your BSN you dont get commissioned.....still looking into that.
    You can also check at a university because you can also do ROTC in conjunction with nursing and when you are done and get your license you are comissioned and sent ot OTS. They are in great need of nurses, as I am told and will pay everything, but I'm not sure if that varies from state to state. (I'm in Florida).
    If you don't mind we can exchange info as we go to see what's best. I want to be a flight nurse, so I'd have to go through other training after nursing.
    Another thing, the recruiter just told me that going in as flight med tech (enlisted) reserve that I would train 2 weekends out of the month instead of just one, because I'd have to do my regular weekend and then one to fly. I think its 90 hours a year to keep up with flight status. The whole process of coming in enlisted, going through basic, then tech school then finally being able to put in a package for nursing according to the recruiter is a year to 18 maybe finishing my nursing is better.....becuase if i think about it, its 18 months doing med tech, then 2 years for my BSN (already have all my prereqs), then go thought OTS and tech school......maybe3 1/2 years versus 2.
    hope this all helps
    good luck
  7. by   NrsCyn2011
    i forgot to mention that being enlisted means its also hard to go to school. weird work schedules, deployments, tdy, etc can keep you from studying, plus i dont know of nay nursing programs that do one class here one class there, its usually a whole program deal, which is why the AF offers that program where you put in a package for nursing program and all you do is go to school while getting paid rank.

  8. by   carolinapooh
    Quick correction - you EARN 30 days leave a year at the rate of 2.5 days for every thirty days served, which includes sick time (there is no such thing as "sick leave" - sick time is considered time served, no matter if you're on quarters for two days or recovering from surgery for two months, you still accrue leave time). You aren't handed 30 days when you walk in the door.

    If you want to go in as an officer, I suggest you wait until you get your degree and get a direct commission. Both of you need to talk to a recruiter whose sole job is to recruit officer candidates for the health professions - this is not your AF recruiter in the shopping center downtown; they recruit for enlisted slots only and know very, very little about officer accessions.

    Going from enlisted to officer is VERY competitive and is not easy - I know, I tried twice while I was enlisted in the USAF and even with an exemplary record I was denied both times. I've since gotten out (nine years ago), gotten my BSN, and I leave for OTS/COT in six weeks (after tolerating a process that took a year to accomplish).
  9. by   Gentleman_nurse
    I was an Air Force medic many years ago so things may have changed. I received about 25-30 credits in nursing subjects from the Community College of the Air Force. For my state (NYS), this was sufficient for a LPN license. A few schools also granted credit toward RN. If you are really considering this route:

    1. Find out what your State Nursing Dept's policy on military medical training

    2. Find what schools policy on accepting military medical training (do they unconditionally accept it with proof of documentation, do you need to take a challenge exam, or they don't accept it at all)

    3. Consider Reserves/National Guard. If you go active duty, there is no guarantee you will have a schedule that will allow you to go to school. Additionally Res/NG have tuition assistance.
  10. by   jeckrn
    I do not believe that many states including NYS count military training for your LPN unless it is specificly an LPN course like the 68WM6. Most colleges will give you some credit for just being in the military and for military training. Like NY teach says you need to check with your state board of nursing to find out what military training they will accept towards your RN.
  11. by   jgcadet
    Remember though as a corpsman or medic you go where the infantry goes (i.e. direct combat) Just a thought because there are other MOS that aren't as dangerous.
  12. by   CVICUismydream
    WOW~just found the perfect post! I am about to turn 25, live in paradise aka beaches of Florida and really need to grow up and get my act together. I want to get a BSN and do work in Healthcare but the rules and tuition reimbursement are a joke but not even good enough to laugh at. My father was in the military and suggested I take a peek. I did and the benefits are really great but the army is scary-I would never want to be shot at but I guess if I had to go over seas there is nothing to do but be brave for your country.

    Is it really as good as it sounds? Do you still have to go through basic training? What is the repayment in terms of years owed to the US?

    Thank you so much
  13. by   athena55
    Hey CVICU:
    Well, you've come to the right place! Just do a search here on All Nurses and you will see a ton of information regarding ANC.
    Yes the Army or any of the Armed Services requires a big committment on your part. But you get out of it what you are willing to put in.
    Good luck with your searching
  14. by   mebamy
    FlytNrs2B...I can't PM but if you are able to please send me a message. I talked to an AF recruiter today and he told me I would have to complete 3 years of service before I could apply for the AF to put me through nursing school. Is that not right? I am leaning towards Army enlistment right now since they are the only ones who can guarantee me a job in the medical field on enlistment.