Military Nurse — NYC


Hello all!

I'm 19 years old, finishing my PCT training while working my GPA up under the Liberal Arts: Math and Science major so that I can hopefully be accepted into the Nursing program at LaGuardia Community College (if not, I'm hoping to try at different colleges as well).

However, my main goal is to become a Psychiatric Doctor. I'm going through nursing to get any kind of feel for the medical field, some kind of experience, before making a commitment to become a psychiatric doctor. Although I'm really determined right now, maybe seeing things at the hospital will change my mind.

BUT: I go to a community college. I used to go to Hunter College before I dropped out due to my unwillingness to attend college in the first place. When I realized I wanted to work in the medical field, LaGuardia was the only school I could attend due to my grades and my family income (Hunter was already a bit too much and I screwed up).

I want to become a military nurse in order to be able to pay for my education to become a doctor, and then get my residency in psychiatry.

How will this work out? Is there anything I should know? Someone I should talk to? Would I be able to go from military nurse to military psychiatric doctor, changing careers, in the military? I'd like to stay and become a psychiatric doctor in the military.

I'm really thinking about doing the Army Reserves so I can do my duty in the military while simultaneously helping civilians. Any advice on how I should go about this? Feedback? Am I making a bad decision?

Any help, advice, thoughts and comments would really help me out. I've been wanting to serve in the military since I was nine, but my rebellious side wouldn't allow me to make the decision until I realized I wanted to become a doctor.

Thanks for the help!

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,545 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

You should focus on whatever your end goal is. Do you want to be a pyschiatric NP or a psychologist or a psychiatrist? You should know the differences between those 3 if you are seriously interested in this field.

An RN program is quite a bit of a detour for someone looking at medical school. Many of the pre-reqs don't line up at all. I would use some sort of volunteer medical activity, nurse aide, or EMT-A/B job to get the clinical experience before med school.

My strong recommendation is to become whatever you want to become first and then join the military: nurse, doctor, etc. Generally, there are military loan repayment programs that will pay back a sizable chunk of your loans after the fact.


2 Posts

Thank you for your input! I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough.

My end goal is to become a psychiatric doctor. However: I cannot afford med school. Schools like Stony Brook and NYU are extremely competitive, and I already go to a community college because of my low grades. I'm hoping that I can get my BSN at Hunter College after I get my Associates and become an RN. Maybe that'll help with the grade issue. But overall, even if I were to somehow be accepted, I cannot afford it. That is why I want to join the military. Partly because I always wanted to, despite my rebelliousness. Partly because they can pay for my tuition.

This is why I'm working towards becoming an RN. I'd like to have a backup plan/career in the event that I can never get into a medical school. I've read here that many medical schools choose people that attend prestigious schools, and LaGuardia and Hunter are the complete opposite. But if I can become an RN and it can help pay my bills while I try to become a psychiatric doctor, especially since I'm hoping to move to the south after my partner and I become officially engaged, then that's what I'm doing.

I'm working toward nursing but need money to become a doctor, so I figured using what I learned and joining the military in, perhaps, the Army Reserves, will help me work towards that goal. And if not, at least I have a stable career with a stable income, and I'm still part of the military, something I wanted to do since I was nine years old.

So, again, is there anything I should know or do before so? Is there anyone I can talk to about this? Specific recruiters? I heard speaking to regular recruiters is wrong. Is there basic training for military nurses? Can I switch careers within the military in the event that I become a doctor? That is my real question and my real issue at the moment.

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,545 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

You really need to focus on your grades if you plan on direct-commissioning. If that's an issue, then I would strongly consider ROTC while in college. You only need to do 2 years of it. You can do ROTC as a non-scholarship student and still get the commission. ROTC AF students that major in nursing and maintain the minimum ROTC standards are guaranteed an active duty commission.

You can certainly go from nurse to doctor while in the military. It does require patience and a lot of time. It is very competitive as well.

Either talk with your nearest ROTC unit or contact a health professions recruiter (if you plan on direct commissioning...without ROTC). Google 'AF recruiter' and it's the link that says 'find a recruiter.' You'll pick the 'healthcare student or professional' link. There are specific healthcare recruiters for any branch.