Prior experience and entering rank


I have two years of pediatric nursing experience (specialized med/surg = neuro/ortho/trauma). Does that mean anything when going into the Navy? Any chance I could enter as an O-2? Can stay in peds or do I have to serve my time in adult med/surg? I know that ultimately I will go wherever I'm needed...

DanznRN, RN

441 Posts

Specializes in ER, Trauma, US Navy.

It all depends, my wife had 3+ years as an L&D nurse and tried to get time in grade for it and they said no. They said because those 3 years were as an ADN that it didn't count. They used to do that a lot years ago when I first came in, but it does the nurse a disservice. Regardless of your years experience as a nurse it doesn't benefit you as an officer, that's where the rank matters. If you come in as an O-2 you will be responsible for certain things or expected to know what someone who has been in the Navy for 2 years does and you won't. It sets you up for failure, so they tend not to do it as much as they used to, but it never hurts to try. As for staying in Peds, that's a crap shoot. Do you have a certification in Peds? If so, then maybe, however the Navy is phasing those specialties out for more operational specialties such as ER/Trauma and ICU. Then again, things change in the military on a daily basis, if you want to stay Peds, get a cert. Makes it harder to put you somewhere, basically wasting your skills. That's my .02 cents and my experience in the past 10+ years.


Specializes in Pediatrics: Neuro/Ortho/Trauma, Now ER.

Thanks so much for your reply! I can see how entering as an O-2 would be difficult, seeing I would have no idea what an O-1 does. I am trying to get a certification in Peds, but that in itself is a long road.

This topic is now closed to further replies.