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Questions about joining the Navy for nursing

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by jarmstrong108 jarmstrong108 (New) New

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I have read through a number of other posts regarding the Navy and the Navy Nursing Corps, but it seems as most people already have a BSN or are actively pursing a BSN, and I have some questions in regards to joining the Navy specifically for nursing with no practical or clinical nursing background.

Basically, I'm 26 and have both a BS and MS degree (in geology, not nursing) - I have decided to change career directions and pursue nursing, and I am very interested in the possibility of joining the Navy for nursing school and as a way to help finance that education - and with the additional desire to experience all the benefits and rewards to come from serving in the Military (and the Navy specifically). So some of my questions are:

1. Seeing as I have no yet started (or even been accepted to) a BSN program, what are the best options for me? Would it make more sense to try to join a NROTC program and start clean at a 4 year university, or would it be better to start pursing my BSN and then look into applying to the Navy Nurse Corps when I am nearing graduation?

2. If I were to pursue NROTC - would I be able to use any of the credits from my prior BS and MS degrees toward some kind of accelerated BSN program as is typical with other ABSN programs? Or would I be required to start over from scratch?

3. Will either of these 2 routes provide me with a better opportunity for accepted into a BSN program, or will my previous science degrees help me in terms of my competitiveness?

4. My ultimate goal, regardless of enlisting or not, is to be a CRNA - I have seen that this specialty is listed on the Navy Nurse Corps website, but what are the chances of getting into anesthesia school with the Navy as opposed to if I did not enlist?

5. What are the rough financial obligations for one path versus another (NROTC vs. reimbursement)?

6. Are there any other paths to becoming a Nurse in the Navy?

7. Is there any kind of similar path for the Marines, and how would that differ from the Navy?

Any other information about going the Naval route for nursing would be greatly, greatly appreciated.


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navyman7 has 10 years experience and specializes in Critical Care Emergency Military Nursing.

125 Posts; 7,112 Profile Views

jarmstrong: I will do my best to answer your many questions. Good luck, let me know if you have more questions. (FYI, I am sure that others here have more experience with ROTC programs than me, so if I am missing something hopefully others will fill in the missing parts)

1. In short the only way that the navy would pay for your undergrad nursing is via a rotc program (there are other programs available like NCP, but you have to be in a program already with

2. Unless the specifics of your ROTC program say no, I am not sure why they wouldn't accept your previous credits. The problem I see is that by utilizing your previous credits it would shorten your time in school and that may affect the actual rotc requirements. You need to speak to a recruiter or rotc director for more details.

3. not sure about the competitiveness. It won't hurt though.

4. CRNA school depends on a lot of factors; deployments, ccrn and other certifications, critical care experience, collateral duties (ACLS inctructor), time in, etc. If you pursue a civilian course, then lots of other factors come into play also; items like gpa, gre score, time in ICU, science gpa, experience, desire, etc.

5. I belive the rotc payback is 4 years. Reimbursement or direct accession depends on your time commitment. Talk to a recruiter about those specifics because they may be changing with the gov'ts cutbacks, etc.

6. Yes there are other paths but you would need to be enlisted and then you could apply for programs like STA 21, or MCEP. But I WOULDN'T recommend doing that as you already have a BS/MS.

7. NO. The Navy provides all healthcare for the marines.

Check out some of the other questions posted under: Military Nursing Questions Answered for more help. Good Luck.

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Thank you so much for the info, it helps an unbelievable amount. I think my next step is going to be contacting someone at the ROTC office at one of my local universities and then possibly talking to a recruiter, but this definitely helps focus my mind toward what I need to be asking them.

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