US Navy Nurse Corps as already a licensed practicing nurse

  1. I have been looking everywhere and can't seem to find much information related to me or is outdated or its just info more on those who are currently in nursing school or graduating etc. I currently hold my BSN and have a practicing license and currently working as a registered nurse at a hospital. My GPA is not that great due to personal circumstances. I spoke to a recruiter the other day and he insisted to enlist me as a corpsman, because of my 2.8 gpa, however, i didn't become a nurse to not practice as a nurse. I would like to know if i can still put in my package for OCS, if i do not get accepted it truly does not hurt me as i have a stable good paying job etc. However, i would like this opportunity to grow as a professional and have more opportunities in my field to learn. I am very passionate about what i do, i love taking care of my patients i love my job and one of the many reasons i want to do this is to enhance my knowledge and experience and continue to practice. However, enlisted is not an option, because i am better off as a civilian nurse, i'm not that young anymore i'm 32, i know what i would like out of my career.

    So my questions to those knowledgeable about the navy nurse corps, as of 2018 i noticed there is a high demand for nursing in the navy, i sent out my information online received a call spoke to someone, mentioned my gpa he says is no problem, received an email two days after that saying i qualify for the navy nurse corps however to wait to be contacted by someone (thats when i went to a recruiter that wasn't too helpful). I haven't been practicing long, and was wondering if i have any chances of getting in as a practicing nurse despite my gpa? I have professional references from managers, directors, etc from my hospital if needed as well, does gpa really cancel someone out that easily?
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    About AnRN43

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 15
    from FL , US


  3. by   jeckrn
    Sounds like you talked with an enlisted recruiter, they will try to have you enlist vs commission. You need to contact a healthcare recruiter, they can be found at the Navy's recruiting website. They are not quick to get back to you since they cover a large area. Yes, you GPA will hurt you, I am not sure if it is even high enough to even be considered. This is one reason why you need to contact a healthcare recruiter. Have you thought about redoing some classes to increase your GPA?
  4. by   AnRN43
    Thank you so much for this, it makes perfect sense why he didn't even bother to ask initially about gpa and other requirements for OCS and went straight to me taking the asvab and all this stuff i was so confused initially. I hope i can get in touch with a healthcare recruiter. Unfortunately i have already graduated and unable to retake any of these classes. i was just wondering whether i should just give up trying all together, because I'm actually very good at my job and have managers and supervisors that can vouch for me so this is pretty discouraging all together im not sure if i should even try then at this point.
  5. by   jfratian
    If you don't have the minimum GPA required to apply, then your only option is to get an MSN. Many of them are as quick as 30 credits for nursing leadership or education. If you did well, then that would allow you to apply.

    Also, I'd recommend you get OR, ER, or ICU experience while you're getting that degree. That would make you more competitive.
  6. by   DiscGolfNurse
    You need an officer recruiter as previously stated. You would be attending ODS, Officer Development School, for 6 weeks in Rhode Island. Your years of experience as a civilian nurse would determine what rank you would be commissioned in under. GPA isn't a huge factor, more years experience in a certain specialty. It also depends on which specialty you would want to enter in under as there are only so many billets for each specialty that they fill each fiscal year and some are more difficult to enter in than others.
    I was a HM 20 years ago and if you go in the enlisted route it is not hard to transition over to the RN BSN nurse corps. You cannot commission into the nurse corps if you are not a BSN with a 3.0 GPA. Going in as a Corpsman could circumvent this. FYI, Corpsman are the equivalent of LPNS in certain training areas as some states used to allow them to sit for the LPN exam once they completed C school. I know that may not be what you want to hear but if you go in as an HM and mustang over to officer commission this is a way around this.
  8. by   jfratian
    I think it depends on your definition of 'not hard.'

    Since all of those commissioning programs require 2 years of time of station to even apply, you would need to be an enlisted member for 3 years, including all your initial training (basic, A-school) and application time, prior to commissioning. I would say being enlisted for that long, making crap money, practicing below your ability/knowledge level, and obeying NCOs and junior officers who might know less than you do would be quite hard for me personally. Each person has to weigh that for themselves of course.

    I think getting a 30-credit-hour MSN online part-time is way easier than everything I just described.
    This could be hard for some or you can enlist have them pay for your two year program and commision over with much more ammo such as letters of recommendation from CO's and ect. I am speaking from experience. but do what you think is best and good luck.
  10. by   jfratian
    I would argue taking a roughly 50% pay cut for 3 years is quite a cost too. This person is a fully licensed, practicing RN right now. A civilian RN (65k vs. 35k) could realistically make $30,000 more per year than a junior enlisted person. I'd say you're giving up $90K minimum in this 3 year enlist-to-commission later quest. The MSN I'm in right now is $450/credit hour (~$1500/class)...$16,000 total for my 32 credit hr degree.

    I don't begrudge anyone for enlisting. You certainly gain a lot of very positive skills and knowledge in that role. However, I suspect most experienced RNs would not be happy in that role for the reasons I described above.

    I also think that if your life doesn't have the flexibility to cope with the expense and time of an MSN, you definitely don't have the flexibility to cope with enlisting...let alone joining the military at all.
    There are options that one can approach from the reserve standpoint as well. It depends on what this persons goal is. she needs to talk to the recruiters in person and not on the phone.
  12. by   jeckrn
    Right now all the services are well staffed with RN's and making the transition is not as easy today as it was even 10 years ago. I went the enlisted to commission route in the reserves and luckily it was 09 not 10 because it would not have happened in 10 due to decreases in recruitment goals.
  13. by   gilversplace
    jfratian whats your source on that MSN, anybody you knew who went on that MSN route or thats the current policies? would they average your GPA from BSN and MSN or just take MSN. And suggestion on school that 30hour credit msn? the lowest ive seen was 34hr credit. Im in the same boat btw below 3.0 GPA. thanks a lot
  14. by   jfratian
    Schools change their curriculum all the time and I'm at a loss to find 30 credit hour MSNs. I found that the University of Alaska Anchorage has a 32 credit MSN (which includes 3 hours for a capstone really that's 29 credits of actual classwork) for leadership or education for those with a BSN already.

    Unfortunately, I'm not a recruiter and am not up on the current policies. I would definitely propose the idea of getting an MSN to an actual healthcare recruiter before doing it. They allow advanced practice nurses to apply using the GPA of their graduate programs. They also allow foreign BSN students to qualify by earning an MSN in the U.S. So, I am extrapolating a little bit and haven't heard of your specific situation before. I do not know if they average graduate GPAs with undergrad or not.
    Last edit by jfratian on Jun 19