Wife thinking of joining military nursing

  1. Hi. I'm sure that these questions have probably been answered but any help is greatly appreciated.

    My wife will garduate with a BSN in Dec 2010. When she graduates we have been thinking about military nursing as an option. Our main reason for considering this are the benefits, tuition reimbursement, sign on bonus, and most importantly she wants something that will challenge her as well as we would like to live overseas. My questions are this:

    -What are the chances of being stationed in Europe right away? We'd love to be in Germany or Italy.
    -We have a child and if she is deployed to a warzone we want shorter deployments so we thought AF is better than Army. Is this true?
    -If we can be stationed in Europe will I be able to find work on or around the base (I have a bachelors degree and work experience in business and finance as well as working on getting my teaching certificate)
    -What is the minimum commitment? We think we could be lifers but we'd like to test the waters first.
    -Will I feel ostracized as a male not being in the military by other people on the base (i have a physical condition that makes me unable to join)
    -My wife wants to work critical care. Will she be able to do this right away?
    -How do you explain this commitment to your family who is worried about sending thier daughter into combat?

    Thank you so much for all of your answers in advance.
  2. Visit nebraskan profile page

    About nebraskan

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 4

    9 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Accompanying your military wife is not the novelty it once was. You will not be ostracized. Finding employment can be difficult, especially overseas. You might have to look in the nearby community when you are stateside. But if you can become established in the civilian sector that works government jobs at military bases, you will have a good situation. Your biggest problem may be the possibility of your wife becoming assigned to a combat zone so you need to resolve this issue before she even thinks about joining. Military nurses tend to have assignments that are not in the combat zone so it is quite possible that she never gets near combat, but that can't be guaranteed. This issue and the question about length of assignments and commitments should be asked of recruiters so that you get the latest info. Try to talk to nurse recruiters with each of the services that interest your wife. Good luck.
  4. by   athena55
    Hello Nebraskan!
    Well, now is as good a time as any to check out the different Armed Forces and see what each offers: www.goarmy.com www.navy.mil www.airforce.com www.af.mil
    The chances of your being stationed in Europe are as good as anyone else....The Needs of the Army/Air Force/Navy/Coast Guard come first, of course. That is what the "wish list" or "dream sheet" is all about
    As for shorter deployments and dwell time: While it is true that the Army is attempting to make at home dwell time ~ 3 years for every year deployed (see June 8, 2009 Army Times, pg 22), both the Navy and Air Force have shorter deployments and longer dwell time, I believe. There are numerous postings on All Nurses regarding this very subject. Then again, by the time your wife graduates, has her application packet accepted, who knows where we will be (politically and militarily speaking). Besides the fact we have service members at 2 "fronts", we also have service members stationed in: Japan, Korea, Africa, Sinai, Honduras, Cuba, Kosovo, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Germany, Italy.....
    I know some spouses of AD who are professional teachers teach ESL, but I am not sure about your being able to find employment on or off post/base.
    Will you feel ostracized as a male? You will be a member of a far larger "family": a Military Family. There are thousands of male spouses who are married or in a committed relationship with a female Soldier/Sailor/Airmen. Being in the Armed Services is what you make of it, and what you take from it. No need to mention why you are unable to "join"....You are supportive of your spouse: that speaks VOLUMES to me!
    You ask "How do you explain this commitment to your family who is worried about sending their daughter into combat?" You don't. She should. It seems to me she has already explained her reasoning with the person who most matters at this point in her life: YOU.
    Make sure your wife speaks with a Health Care Recruiter no matter which service she is looking into.
    Good Luck to you and your wife. And welcome to All Nurses!
    athena
  5. by   nebraskan
    Thanks for your help. My main point about finding work isn't that important. I'll mow lawns if need be. The reasons for our joining are both noble and selfish. Noble because my wife and I have discussed this for a while and we feel that military nursing would be challenging, your helping people who appreciate your care, and you don't deal with lots of the insurance and payment bs as in civilian care. But, another BIG reason for joining is because we'd love to live in Europe for 3 or 4 years and travel. We want a little adventure in our lives and feel that this is a great way to do it. That's why I was curious if she could be stationed there right away. We really don't want to be stationed stateside. But we want to be somewhere where we can be together as a family.
  6. by   athena55
    Nebraskan:
    When I transitioned over to AD from RD I was offered a PCS to Korea, but I asked to be assigned somewhere else. Why? I really don't like Korean food.
    Something also to think about: If your wife does get accepted into the ANC, and she is given orders to PCS to Korea: If it is 12 months or less it will be an unaccompanied tour which means no family will be able to go with her; she will go alone. If her overseas tour/PCS to Korea is 13 months or longer then it would be an accompanied tour and you and your child will be able to go with.
    Anyway, who knows? Maybe you guys will "luck out" and be assigned to LRMC or TAMC. But you must always keep in the forefront of your mind: The Needs of the Army (or whatever service) Comes First" PLUS Your wife will be a Soldier First, Nurse Second.
    Good Luck!
    Last edit by athena55 on Jun 22, '09 : Reason: added something
  7. by   hopeful_army_NP
    I have seen people on these boards get Germany as first duty assignment. Hawaii is also a first choice option- although it is overseas but not "overseas", it may still give you some of the adventure you two are looking for. Hope all works out well for your family! Continue to check in here daily, I learn more on these boards everyday.
  8. by   nebraskan
    Thanks for all the replies. We're just beginning our search of military nursing. Either Hawaii or Germany would be great for a first assignment. We just want to be stationed somewhere that we can be together Does Army, Navy, and AF all have these two bases as first assignment options?
  9. by   athena55
    Roger that (for the Army side of the House)
  10. by   jgcadet
    Ok something you need to understand about the European workforce is it is very hard to get a work visa. All too often well paying are hard to come by in Europe and the countries taking you in like to reserve them for their own citizens. Its not like the US. Second, I believe your wife would be stationed in one of the major stateside med centers, Germany is an option but very hard to get. As for Italy I know the 173rd ABN brigade is there, but I dont believe a major hospital is. You will get a wishlist though just list your top 3 choices. This isn't personal experience, just info I have gathered from talking to a lot of army nurses and various officers.
  11. by   carolinapooh
    I have prior Active Duty time with the US Air Force and will be going to COT as a commissioned RN in that service in October (they just changed my COT date earlier in the week).

    The chances of getting an overseas base in the USAF as a first duty station WITHOUT prior active service are apparently very low. Overseas (OCONUS) is very different from CONUS (the continental US) and even with prior service I was told my chances of going to what would probably be Ramstein AB/Landshtul Regional Medical Center (Germany) were low. Given the fact that I haven't been doing this long anyway, I took all the OCONUS bases off my dream sheet and ended up at my first choice stateside base, Lackland AFB. Once I get to Lackland in Nov/Dec, I'll be changing my dream sheet to include OCONUS bases.

    However, as an RN in the AF (and I would guess other services as well), you aren't necessarily at a major hospital, although I believe you're sent to a hospital first. There are clinics of varying sizes all over the world.

    Should you choose military nursing, you'll have plenty of opportunities to travel and live abroad.

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