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No Military Background?

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 1 years experience.

Hi all,

I am a new grad from a BSN program, and I have been considering navy nursing on and off for years. I like a lot of aspects of the job; the problem is that I have no military background or experience. I truly know nothing when next to people who have grown up with military being a part of life. If I decide to become a navy nurse, for example, I would become an officer. I was also told by a recruiter that I would not need to attend boot camp. Additionally, there are classes about military culture etc so that I wouldn't be completely uneducated and unqualified.

Does anyone have experience with this training program for BSN -> officer/ nurse? I just wonder if it's truly enough to prepare someone. There is obviously a lot to know about the military and the way that it is all set up, and marching and emergency responses etc. There's so much more than nursing! I know it's not for the faint of heart, but I do feel that if times call for it, it is my duty to serve. I just wonder if it's not for me, based upon the fact that I am completely new to all aspects of it.

Any comments?


also- be blunt with me. if you think I couldn't handle it, or that I wouldn't have respect for just walking in clueless, let me know!!

Edited by GinaCat

nurse2033, MSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU.

They will teach you what you need to know. Everone is a first timer, at first. If you have the enthusiasm and commitment you can do it.

jeckrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR. Has 17 years experience.

You would attend a officer basic course which will give you the foundation to become a officer. As a Ensign you are not expected to know everything. Yes the military is a different way of life. As Nurse 2033 stated everyone one is new to the military at one time

You just need to meet the Min Qualifications and submit your packet.. Education, Age, Height/Weight, Health, Family situation, law violations.


Specializes in Med/Onc, Med/Surg, Stepdown, ICU. Has 10 years experience.

I was an Air Force brat growing up, so I figured coming into the AF would be an easy transition for me. Being the active duty person was totally different! It took me a good year to really adjust and feel comfortable with everything. I'm not saying that as a negative. I guess what I'm saying is that it doesn't matter if you have a military background or not. There's still going to be a learning curve!

If something's making you feel that desire to serve, then go for it! It's not a decision to take lightly, though. You'll learn as you go. I learn something new everyday, and I am by no means an expert! Research alot! This site is definitely a good start. I'm sure there are some navy nurses on here that can give you more info on the training they went through. Good luck!

I just finished the officer training....Officer Development School...5 weeks ago. They teach you some of what you need to know..how to wear the uniform, rankings, how an officer should act and lead, etc. But after having been at my station for 5 weeks now I am almost positive I'm going to learn the most by being in the military environment. It's been pretty different IMO than how they made the military sound at ODS. This may be a "to each his own" kind of thing being that this is just my opinion/experience. If you have any more specific questions about ODS let me know and I'll see what I can come up with.