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Questions about Navy Nursing. HELP!

streetjm streetjm (New) New


Im new to the all nurses website so bare with me.

I am currently in year 2 of the nursing program and Northern Kentucky University and have 2 more years to go. We just recently received an announcement of the possibility of entering the Navy Nurse Corp and receiving a $10,000 sign on bonus and $1,000 monthly for 24mo after. I wouldn't be able to sign up for this until next semester. I wouldn't necessarily be in it for the money, I have always had a secret aspiration to be in a military branch, however, before I possibly commit to this I have a few questions:

1) Im newly married as of 2013 and my husband is my rock, he's a big supporter of me and my career aspirations and I would want him with me nearly every step of the way. So, how easy is it for a spouse to be with you when you're "stationed" (not sure how it works in the Navy) and what does this aspect entail?

2) After I graduate nursing school our aspirations at this time are to soon after start a family of our own. How doable is this??

3) I am truly terrified of recruiters because I hear how often they feed people promises just to get them to enlist. What are some of the duties that would be expected of me in the Navy Nurse Corp? What is the likely hood of being sent over seas? (I know thats a hard question to answer)

The biggest thing for me is knowing that my husband can "tag along" in a sense. I know he obviously cannot be there for any training I'll be required to do and things such as this, but I would like to know whether the Navy works with families this way, because honestly I don't have a clue how it works.

Thanks for all who reply! :)

1.) There will be no problem with your spouse being stationed with you. Make sure you have your marriage certificate and any new baby birth certificates handy as part of your recruiting package. There are many married people who join the service.

2.) I would not have a baby right away (I did and many do), but your first duty station is where you learn how to be a nurse and begin to hone your skills. The first couple years of nursing is tough anywhere. If your spouse is going to stay at home and take care of the kids then you should be OK. If he's got a good handle on things or you have local family support you should be fine.

3.) The Navy will try to keep you CONUS (Continental U.S.) your first duty station, usually at the "Big 3". This is: Portsmouth, VA; Bethesda, MD; and San Diego, CA. There are no promises though. I have seen firsthand brand new RNs shipped overseas to the Asian overseas hospitals.

jfratian, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 8 years experience.

I'll echo everything snake just said, but just know that their are TDYs (trainings that can be several months long) and deployments (3-9 months depending on your branch) that your spouse won't be allowed to join you on. I'm not sure how the Navy does things. The AF has an 6 month deployment window every 18 months; these days few people deploy though (that can certainly change of course).

Ok I'm a contract nurse for the military and I have worked for both the navy and air force. I worked at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in VA and now I work for the air force in Washington DC. If I were you I would do the AF over navy. The AF right now and has been for years giving an additional $20K/year for each year you agree to stay in on top of officer pay with the housing allowances, etc that's a lot of money. They have a lot more career opportunities and educational things in the air force from what I've seen. I would totally join but my husband is in the Coast Guard and they don't have active duty nurses. They have corpsman which is enlisted but I would want to use my degree if I were going to join the military. Us being in 2 different branches would cause a lot of headaches of being stationed together. It is already bad enough from what I've seen when a couple is in the same branch. There are deployments in either branch but if career opportunities, advancements, and bonuses are what you are looking for go Air Force just my 2 cents. As for your husband tagging along I've tagged along from San Diego, San Francisco, Charleston SC, Chesapeake VA, Kodiak Alaska, Yorktown VA and now to Washington DC. My hubby has only been in for 11 years BTW. I've loved every place we've been and I wouldn't trade this life for the world. If he doesn't have a job that travels well like nursing maybe he could join too. Dual active duty paychecks and retirement sound pretty good to me. You can further your education with tuition assistance (military pays for the whole thing) and you can save the post 9/11 GI bill for your children. Plus who doesn't want to travel on someone else's dime.

On the note of recruiters, don't be frightened off, you just need to make sure you find the correct recruiter. The recruiters that show up at malls aren't able to give you the information you need to become a Nurse in the military. They're focused more on enlisting, and that's how people end up almost enlisting thinking they'll be a nurse. Search for a healthcare recruiter in your area and go from there. Make sure you state you want to be a nurse, and you'll be fine. I haven't had much issue with my recruiter, none of the horrors or lies. He's straightforward and honest about everything. Usually the healthcare recruiters have more applicants than they need, so they're not lying trying to bring in more! Good luck!

FYI: I have seen standard Navy sea deployments go from 6 months to 10 months currently.

The AF, Army, and Navy have the same sign-on bonuses they're just called different names. You can also use the Loan Repayment Program (which will exclude you from the Post 9/11 GI Bill BTW). Pay, bonuses, and allowances are all the same, which is all dictated by congress. Advancement involves different criteria between the services. The big difference in everyday living between the services is that Air Force housing and facilities have traditionally been a lot better. They focus more of their budget on quality of life things.

Thanks for the encouragement! I'll be sure to speak with the right people.