New Grad Navy Nursing


Specializes in L&D, Postpartum.


I am gearing up to graduate within the next few weeks. My ultimate career goal is to be a CNM but I need to get experience on an L&D floor for a few years. I am looking at the possibility of the Navy but I would like to know what is the realistic possibility of getting a position on a labor and delivery unit for my first assignment as that is the most important aspect to me because of my career goals.

Lunah, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 14 years experience. 33 Articles; 13,658 Posts

Unfortunately it seems as though the Navy is closed to direct accessions at this time:

The military is overstrength in most nursing specialties, and experienced nurses/officers are potentially facing early separation boards. Your best bet is to get experience as a civilian and look again in a couple of years.


Specializes in L&D, Postpartum. 56 Posts

I would be applying for the next cycle, so you are correct that is not an option at this moment but it will reopen for the next fiscal year.

SoldierNurse22, BSN, RN

13 Articles; 2,058 Posts

It may open in the next year. The military is downsizing and those cuts are going to extend far beyond this year. It's difficult right now to predict what the demand for direct commissionees will be in the near future, but if it continues as is, the chances aren't good.

Even if you go in later, there's absolutely no guarantee that you'll be doing L&D. Chances are pretty good that you'll end up on med/surg or, especially as you'd enter with experience and perhaps a bit more rank, that you'd be pulled from bedside nursing to management.

If you're going to sign up for the Navy, then the Navy has to be your most important career goal, not any specific area of nursing. Any other combination sets you up for failure and a lot of hardships.


Specializes in L&D, Postpartum. 56 Posts

I know there are no guarantees and downsizing is occurring. I guess I am hoping to hear from those in the Navy what where your options as far as areas to choose and what year you entered. I would like to hear what others experiences specific only to navy nurse corps have been I guess.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience. 3,677 Posts

I was enlisted, and my experience was 10+ years ago, so bear with me, but you don't get a lot of choice over where you go. You can go through some of these posts and see that people are "stuck" in areas of nursing that have little or no appeal to them. You are government property, and they will constantly remind of you of this. They will put you where they need you, end of story. If going to L&D is a priority to you, I would stay civilian. As a new grad (in 1 more week!) with the same career goal, I would say the Navy is probably NOT the way to go, honestly. Plus, as others have said, the military is downsizing, and it's getting harder and harder to get in. From what I understand, even they are no longer accepting new grads, and are requiring RN experience.

jfratian, MSN, RN

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 1,462 Posts

From an Air Force perspective, you can guarantee L&D if:

1. You apply and get accepted as a new graduate nurse (either via ROTC or direct commission) and choose OB instead of Med/Surg. OB is one of the two choices they give NTP candidates, and you would know if you got OB before you signed. I will say that the NTP direct commission route is extremely competitive and only available 1x per year (June deadline, July board). I would say that this option isn't available to you at all, since you're too late for either ROTC or the NTP direct commission. You can't sit around for a year without a job, and you will have more than the 6 month experience limit before the July 2015 board if you do work as a civilian nurse.

2. You apply/join as an experienced L&D nurse: I believe the minimum is 6 months (you need certifications and a few years of experience to be competitive). The contract you sign will have 46N3 G (clinical nurse- obstetrical) as your primary&only AFSC and have the squadron/location that you're assigned too. Next, you will have to work 2 years as a OB nurse. Finally, you can apply for the AFIT program to go back to school as a CNM (your record will have to be quite good to get accepted) full time while on active duty. You could also separate for a while and use your GI bill to do the CNM program.

Yes, it will a long, competitive, and mentally taxing process, but that's the only way you will guarantee yourself a job as a military CNM.


357 Posts

As a new grad, it is possible to get into the L&D area. I am Navy. I went in wanting med/surg and ended up in postpartum. However, I had two friends who came in at the same time and one ended up in antepartum and the other L&D. Generally speaking, once you enter the L&D area you stay there so eventually I would move over to L&D. That said, it all depends on the needs of the Navy. So if your goal is to be a CNM and you can't see yourself anywhere else, the military probably isn't the best place to be. I have also heard that there are a bunch of people who went to med/surg first and want to get to L&D and can't. You just never know where you will end up. But I wouldn't trade my job in the Navy for a civilian one, it just depends on your priorities.


1 Post

It is very possible to end up in L&D. I have seen quite a few new nurses end up there. MIU, L&D, MED-SURG are always looking for bodies. I have seen new nurses make it known that is where they want to go, and even if they end up in MIU, they were transferred to L&d as soon as a spot became open. The only instance where I have not seen nurses get L&D is if they were LT's and floor such as med-surg wanted senior nursing officers. Usually in that case they have already been L&D nurses and couldnt go back to the same specialty once the PCS.Leave a Comment


17 Posts

It's been 2 years since the last post on this thread but....can anyone tell me if the Navy is still in downsize mode and not hiring new grads?

Also, can anyone give advice on how to get in touch with a Med Officer Recruiter other than the Navy website request form. From what I've read on other threads those seem to go unanswered and I have yet to hear back from anyone. Thanks!


357 Posts

New grad as in direct accession and not via the Nurse Candidate Program? We are getting new ENSs at our command and so they are coming from somewhere, but not sure if there is still a hold on DA or not. Best bet really is to contact a medical recruiter.

I don't know where you are located, but I would just call up your local recruiting office and ask how to get in touch with a medical recruiter. I'm fairly certain that is how I got ahold of them. Of course, whether or not they call you back may depend on how full their pipeline is. Things change though, so once you have that number give them a call periodically and see if something has changed. Have you graduated from nursing school?


17 Posts

Thanks for your response Oaktree! :-)

I went to the Navy Healthcare page and scrolled down on the feed a bit. Found out they are currently focused on NROTC and NCP candidates. I am at the very beginning of my process... Which is why I want to make sure I have all the correct info. I was an HM for almost 8 years. Got out to have babies and live the dependent life ;-). Now that my kids are older I feel like I can finally focus on achieving my dream of being a Navy Nurse. Here's to Hope!