Hey Metaphoricalcoma and kashi1019,
I was in the same boat as you guys, I'm in the process of being comissioned in the Navy Nurse Corps (March 14, if all goes well) and like Metaphoricalcoma, I too made a pros and cons list and have a 10 year plan such as becomeing a PNP, makeing Commander, travel, and live decently, as well as various other educational goals. I was thinking about the Nurse Corps all through college and now that I graduated I reviewed my 10 year plan and honestly my tie breaker was that I did not want to live the rest of my life thinking "WHAT IF...". Not to mention the DUINS program (obtaining a masters degree, going to school full-time and getting your salary), loan repayment, GI bill, sign on bonus, medical/dental, 30 days vacation...etc. But thats just me, I have been working in health care for 8 plus years and have experienced how unappreciated nurses are in the civilian world and I need a change. In my point of view, why not try it. Yes its 3-5 years you have to commit to, but honestly if you think about it (I did research) if you want to get your loans paid off after you graduate by a civilian hospital you have to commit, on an average 2-3 years for $10,000 to be paid towards your loans and thats if you find a hospital willing to do so. Regarding being deployed, its a chance you have to take, I did research on how many nurse casualtites the military has had since the war begun, and the total is 1, an Army Nurse (details in Nursing Advance March edition, I believe) before that there has not been a nurse casualty since the V war. Also I found out that according to the Geneva convention nurses/mds are permited in war areas but have to be 10 miles away from the war zone and can not participate in combat (anyone correct me if I'm wrong). So there you go sorry for all the info and jumping around if you have any questions feel free to PM me.