Nursing in the Military

Nurses General Nursing


I've been watching the adds for nursing in the USAF and USN and am wondering if there are any other service nurses looking at this site. I'm in the Australian Regular Army and would be keen to hear of the experiences of others in the specialty of military nursing.

I have been part of the Army Reserve / Army Nurse corp for the past 20 yrs. I found the on duty experience very valuable , not so much in learning new things but learning valuable leadership skills. The time spent at weekend drills at home station are a waste of government money, you learn nothing except how to survive the politics of your unit and see how so few actually do any work. I found working side by side with the regular military on active duty much more interesting and fulfilling

It is interesting to note, MaryAnne, that as a reservist you find working with your full time counterparts more fulfilling. Do you find there is much of a difference between the full and part time members of your service as far as skill-sets go?

In the ADF we rely heavily on our reservists to provide the backbone of workers. The number of full time nursing corps members of our three services is only small and as such we find oursleves forever on deployment or exercise. As such, we rarely get the chance to take part in upgrade training. This problem also plagues the medical officers.

The majority of my last three years has been spent overseas on various deployments (I'm in East Timor now!). We tend to specialize in Pre-Hospital trauma care (ie stabilise and evacuate) and often fill the vacancies left by a lack of doctors. As such, our main area of civilian employability once discharged is in remote area care (up to 1000km from the nearest tertiary care).

What differences are there in there in nursing within your different services, is there a degree of inter-operability and do your military and civilian skills compliment each other?


Hey there,

I just wanted to say that I was an active soldier in the Army for 15 years (early out option) and continue to work for the Department of defense now. I was a 91C in the army as well as being in aviation and airborne infantry units prior to going to "charlie" school. I earned my RN after getting out.

The military provides many unique challenges and experiences for nursing and medical personel and I have served all the world in all kinds of different roles and functions but the one thing that still drives me crazy is that every two or so years you get a brand new bunch that wants to change things and if you get some good people it is wonderful but if they aren't it can be terrible.

The military promotes people inspite of exeperience and skill not because of it. (This is not the golden rule but it is realistic)

The other thing is that while reserves do make up the bulk of the forces, for those of us that were soldiers 24/7 we were always alittle leary of them. I am not saying its right, nor wrong, it just is. My two vivid experiences dealing with them for any great length of time was during the "Gulf" and while stationed at Ft.Greely Alaska (Northern Warfare Training Center). It never was thier medical skills that was lacking.

Just my opinion

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