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Naval Nursing Corps


Hoping for some more information regarding the Nursing Corps. I have found it hard to obtain more information of the general outlook of this area of duty in the Navy. As of right now I understand they are often stationed on medical ships, carriers etc. as well as the Naval Medical Centers. I was hoping there is a different route that is more combat oriented, such as flight nurse or field medic, something of that sort. Can anyone give me more details on pathways that are available to me?


Specializes in Pediatrics, Ambulatory Care, Military. Has 6 years experience.

If you truly want to be a field medic, or more involved with combat operations, joining as a nurse corps officer would not be your best course of action. The ones actually on the front lines caring for wounded people under fire are the enlisted corpsmen (Navy) or medics (Army). Many Navy nurses do not even go on ships; mostly they are stationed at Navy medical treatment facilities, or smaller clinics. When you start out, you will most likely be assigned to an in-patient unit, and work is very similar to being a nurse in the civilian world. After a few years, your duties become more admin/leadership related, unless you are picked up for an advanced degree program and become a nurse practitioner or CRNA. Even then, there is usually a ton of administrative work!

Some Navy nurses do deploy with either the Marines or as individual augments with the Army, although these deployments are decreasing. When you're with the Marines you learn more field stuff and may take care of more traumas, but truthfully that is a small percentage of the time for the vast majority of Navy nurses.

Air Force may have more opportunities for flight nurses, Navy has some but they are few and far between.

Hope this information helps!

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

Welcome to the site

Moved to the Government and Military nursing forum