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Navy Nursing: Enlisted vs Officer


Hello everyone,

My RN brother wants to be a Navy Nurse but since he is a foreign Grad from Philippines he can only apply for enlisted according to our local recruiter agency. He currently has a green card status and only US citizen can apply for officer. He has to wait another 2 years before he can apply for US citizenship.

In Navy Nursing, Can anyone share some disadvantages of being enlisted compare being an officer?



Specializes in CRITICAL CARE. Has 7 years experience.

You can't practice as a registered nurse as enlisted. You'll take an ASVAB, select a rating (job specialty), boot camp, A school/C school. If he wants to stick to healthcare as enlisted, he'll be a hospital corpsman (HM). If he wants to practice at his full capacity in the Navy as a registered nurse, commission, and receive a billet, he'll just have to wait until he attains his citizenship. Best of luck!

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

Unless he graduated from a US school, he will not be able to commission.

jfratian, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 9 years experience.

I would highly recommend that he use the 2 years waiting on citizenship papers to obtain an MSN from a US school. That should make him eligible for an officer's commission in the military despite not having a BSN from a US school.

There's a significant difference in pay between officers and enlisted. An O-3 with 4 years of service makes more money than an E-8 with 26 years of experience. I would say on that basis alone it's worth getting the MSN. As the earlier posters have stated, the military won't let you practice as a nurse unless you are an officer.